Austin real estate firm buys former Motorola plant in north Fort Worth

12/03/2013 4:02 PM

12/03/2013 4:02 PM

An Austin-based real estate investment firm has bought the large former Motorola plant in the Fossil Creek Business Park in north Fort Worth and plans to lease the building to a new tenant in the next couple of years.

Capital Commercial Investments, which said it specializes in buying undervalued commercial properties, bought the 665,545-square-foot building on 54 acres at 5555 N. Beach St. in mid-October from an investment group managed by CommonWealth REIT near Boston, according to deed records.

The building sold for $13.9 million.

The property is one of three buildings totaling more than 1 million square feet that Motorola developed on 97 acres off Beach Street and Loop 820 beginning in the mid-1970s and over the next couple of decades.

In 2003, Motorola sold all the property to Boston-based Berkeley Investments and partner Starwood Capital Group for $45.7 million, according to reports. Motorola continued to lease the building at 5555 N. Beach St.

The new owner said he believes Motorola moved out in December 2010. Motorola did not return a phone call requesting comment.

Paul Agarwal, Capital Commercial’s president, said that demand is strong for industrial space in north Fort Worth and that his company has been contacted by large out-of-state companies, including a defense contractor and financial companies, that are interested in leasing the building.

According to a third-quarter market report from CBRE commercial real estate brokerage, the vacancy rate for industrial space in north Fort Worth is 6 percent, among the lowest in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Nearby, Motorola’s 395,754-square-foot former office/research and development building on 40.8 acres at 5401 N. Beach St. was sold to Countrywide Financial. Bank of America took over the property when it acquired Countrywide in 2008. Bank of America has 2,300 employees working in its mortgage division there.

The third property, a 12,000-square-foot day-care facility on 2 acres at 4175 Sandshell Drive, was also sold.

At one time, Motorola had about 1,400 employees working at the campus, where it produced two-way radios and paging systems. It was home to its Global Paging Infrastructure and Advanced Messaging Systems divisions, and its Cellular Infrastructure Group.

This year, Motorola’s mobility division began making its Moto X smartphone at Alliance in far north Fort Worth.

This is the second former Motorola facility bought by Capital Commercial, Agarwal said. In 2009, the company bought a 512,000-square-foot, 152-acre Motorola site in Chandler, Ariz.

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