Blackstone Group LP (BX:US) acquired the Solana corporate park near Dallas for $180 million in a bet on growth in the area’s office market, according to a person with knowledge of the investment.
Blackstone plans to spend about $110 million to renovate and lease up the half-empty property, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deal is private. The seller was a bondholder group represented by CWCapital Asset Management LLC, which foreclosed after developer Robert Maguire defaulted on $395 million of debt in 2009, the person said.
Peter Rose, a spokesman for New York-based Blackstone, declined to comment on the transaction. Mike Goodwin, a spokesman for CWCapital, said he had no immediate comment.
The Solana business park in the suburbs of Southlake and Westlake, Texas, includes about 10 office buildings with about 2 million square feet (185,800 square meters), a hotel operated by Marriott International Inc. (MAR:US), a fitness center, and about 70 acres (28 hectares) of undeveloped land, said the person.
Blackstone’s strategy is to buy assets at discounts that it can improve physically or lease up before selling. The firm in February bought the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas in a CWCapital auction of troubled assets in the commercial mortgage-backed securities market.
In July, Blackstone acquired Park Avenue Tower in Manhattan for about $750 million and in August it agreed to purchase an office building in Boston’s Back Bay district for $117 million from Shorenstein Properties LLC.
Dallas ranked fourth in the U.S. for office-rent growth in the second quarter, with rents after any landlord discounts rising 4.6 percent, above the national average of 2.5 percent, according to real estate researcher Reis Inc.
Blackstone plans to increase parking at Solana and may add new restaurants to improve the mix of amenities available to tenants, said the person with knowledge of the deal. CoreLogic Inc. (CLGX:US), a property-research company, is the largest tenant at the Solana park, leasing about 20 percent of the property. Other occupants include Verizon Communications Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Travelocity.com LP.
Cassidy Turley will continue to handle leasing and management the property. HFF Inc. is arranging about $170 million in financing for Blackstone, according to the person.
Robert Maguire, who once ran Maguire Properties Inc., built the Solana complex for International Business Machines Corp. in 1988, according to the person. After the credit crisis forced the real estate company to relinquish many of its assets to lenders, Maguire changed its name to MPG Office Trust Inc. and was eventually sold last year to a unit of Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
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