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Commercial Real Estate

Fort Worth’s New Frost Tower Leasing Up at Record Rents

The only new skyscraper the city’s seen in decades is roughly 80 percent spoken for, brokers say.

Downtown Fort Worth’s Frost Tower officially opened in May, though its anchor tenant—Frost Bank—moved into the 25-story skyscraper in February. The 278,000-square-foot building is already home to Frost, Jetta Operating Co. Inc., and the building’s owner Anthracite Realty Partners.

The last time downtown Fort Worth saw a new office skyscraper was in the 1980s when buildings like 777 Main Street, Wells Fargo Tower, and Bank of America Tower were completed. Frost Tower, which broke ground in December 2015, was able to get underway thanks to preleasing from Frost (about 70,000 square feet) and Jetta/Anthracite (also about 70,000 square feet). Anthracite is the real estate arm of Jetta, a privately held oil and gas firm.

Frost Tower in Fort Worth

Stream Realty Partners, which leases the building, will move into 5,400 square feet on the building’s 14th floor, and a to-be-announced two-floor tenant will move in during the fourth quarter, Stream Managing Director Seth Koschak and Vice President Tyler Maner said during a recent tour of the building. In total, the building’s occupancy percentage sits in the high 70s or low 80s, Koschak and Maner say. Interest in the building has been primarily seen in local companies expanding, such as oil and gas firms, law firms, and accounting companies. Though brokers are quoting $40 per square foot rents (plus electric costs) and signing seven- to 15-year leases, Koschak says he hasn’t heard much pushback from potential tenants due to the lack of competition for brand new Class A space in downtown. Maner is seeing a lot of interest from Dallas companies looking to open a satellite office in Fort Worth that need a comparable quality building for “internal recruiting.” “They need this high-quality building to compete,” Koschak says.

The Fort Worth central business district submarket accounts for about 11.3 million square feet of office space across 77 buildings with an average rate of $30.34 per square foot, according to quarterly research from Cushman & Wakefield. Average Class A rents in Fort Worth’s CBD reached $33.89 per square foot in the first quarter.

The first 11 floors of the building, designed by Bennett Benner Partners and constructed by Balfour Beatty Construction, are parking levels, giving the building 2.5 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of office space. The building’s 12th floor serves as a transition floor with a public restaurant, called Perch, that serves three meals daily, as well as alcohol. This transitional floor also has seven unisex bathrooms and private wine lockers for tenants.

The 13th floor of the building has three conference rooms, a private dining room, and a 7,500-square-foot event space that can be divided up into smaller parcels. Unlike typical conference and event spaces, a third-party company called 640 Taylor Event and Conference Center operates these spaces. Common area maintenance (or CAM) expenses are, in turn, not expanded to these spaces and tenants can instead rent them out on a per-event basis. Office space begins on the 14th floor, and goes up to the 25th floor.

The building’s ground floor also has a 2,600-square-foot space that could be a restaurant or retail user. Anthricite is being careful to lease the space to a concept that will be complimentary—not competition—to the upstairs restaurant, Perch.

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