The Tarrant County Commercial Real Estate Forecast hit a milestone Thursday when it celebrated its 25th presentation and honored Ben Loughry for making the popular event what it is today.Ten years ago, it was Loughry who spearheaded changing the event from a by-invitation-only meeting to a public gathering of real estate professionals. A charge was also added to help fund economic development efforts of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Fort Worth Real Estate Council.In 2005, the first year it was opened to the public, the cost was $40. Last week’s event was $85, and well worth the ticket price. Loughry, who announced that he is now semi-retired as managing director of the Integra Realty Resources Fort Worth office and spending more time with his eight grandchildren, has spoken at all but one of the 25 events, typically addressing how Tarrant County’s commercial markets rate nationally. Last week’s event marked his last appearance.“That’s probably enough for me,” he said. “It’s been fun to do.”The forecast includes discussions of trends and events that may affect the real estate market. Each year, the speakers include local brokers, and sometimes there are national speakers. And always, attendance reaches several hundred people.The event started as a small breakfast gathering at a restaurant. Within a few years, it was moved to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. In 2002, it was moved to the Fort Worth Convention Center. Last year, it was held at Ridglea Country Club.Loughry said many of the predictions he has heard over the years have panned out, but none more stunning than in 2005 when Jim Eagle, now with CASE Commercial, bravely stood in front of the crowd and suggested that downtown office rents would reach the unheard-of level of $30 a square foot. The market is now reaching that figure, Loughry said.Office buildings in Cleburne and Arlington soldSeveral deals for some smaller office and shopping centers have taken place recently.Chicago-based Stage Equity Partners healthcare real estate investment firm has bought the Cleburne Medical Office Building on Texas 67.Stage Equity said it paid $5.7 million for the 28,850-square-foot building on 3 acres at 2010 Katherine P. Raines Road. The 7-year-old building was 100 percent leased at the time of the sale to the Cleburne Surgical Center, Cleburne Orthopedics and Sports, Pinnacle Anesthesia Consultants, and Hulen MRI. In another deal, Grapevine-based 2GR Equity, in a joint venture with Dallas-based Dominus Commercial, bought the 82,500-square-foot office building at 1600 E. Pioneer Parkway in Arlington from Southwest Securities. The group said it will spend $700,000 on capital improvements for the property to improve occupancy.And in a third deal, Tug Hill Real Estate Partners in Fort Worth sold the 32,000-square-foot St. Michael’s Shopping Center at 2900 Texas 121 in Bedford. It was 97 percent leased at the time of the sale to a limited partnership called TSCA-6 in Richardson.Tug Hill Real Estate Partners, founded in 2008 as a privately held real estate investment firm, was represented by Philip Levy and Chris Gainey with Marcus & Millichap. It owned the center since July 2011.Transactions Park Row Drive and Bowen Road, ArlingtonUnleashed by Petco has leased 5,600 square feet in the Woodland West Shopping Center. Britton Lankford with Bright Realty represented the landlord. Tim Hughes and Tucker Szybala with Falcon Realty Advisors represented the tenant. 3612 and 3991 W. Vickery Ave., Fort WorthAdvertising Matters has leased 2,500 square feet and Foremost Staffing has leased 2,000 square feet, respectively, from Witcher Properties. Chris Stewart and Gary Vasseur with Coldwell Banker Commercial Searcy Vasseur Group represented the landlord. Jim Parr with William C. Jennings Co. represented Foremost Staffing. 2005 108th St., Grand PrairieForever Gifts has leased 12,818 square feet of office/warehouse space. Michael Stanzel with NAI Robert Lynn represented the tenant. Steve Koldyke with CBRE represented the landlord. SWC of Texas 114 and North White Chapel Boulevard, SouthlakeRock Med Partners has bought a 6.3-acre tract of land for $3.5 million. Barry Smith with Keller Williams Commercial represented the buyer. Darryl Cothron with Search Commercial represented the seller.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST