If Fort Worth’s economy is so great, why are these 3 buildings empty?

The FAA regional headquarters building photographed in 2009.
The FAA regional headquarters building photographed in 2009. Star-Telegram/David Kent

The market for office space in the Fort Worth area is by most accounts in good shape.

In west and southwest Fort Worth, for example, 90.5 percent of office space is occupied. Downtown is 88.2 percent full.

So what’s up with the North Fort Worth/Alliance area? There, the occupancy is only 59.5 percent.

No need to panic, though. There’s an explanation.

Matt Montague, vice president of JLL and a member of the Fort Worth brokerage team, says the statistics in the city’s northern stretches are being skewed by three enormous buildings that wound up vacant at the same time.

These three buildings, all within about a mile of each other, make up a combined 1.28 million square feet of available office space. They are:

▪ Former FAA building — The six-story, somewhat pyramid-shaped structure at 2601 Meacham Blvd. (east of I-35W, near Sylvania Avenue) has been a shell of its former self since the nation’s aviation agency moved to its new digs closer to Heritage Trace Parkway. The owner is Mercantile Partners.

▪ Bank of America — The former back office operations center at 5401 N. Beach St., which was previously used by Countrywide Financial and Motorola, has been in a funk since Bank of America moved out in 2016. It is now owned by Austin-based Capital Commercial Investments.

▪ Motorola — The sprawling structure at 5555 N. Beach St. has been a lonely part of Fossil Creek Business Park since Motorola moved out circa 2010. Capital Commercial Investments bought the building in 2013.

Montague, who talked about the vacancies during the annual 2018 Tarrant County Commercial Real Estate Forecast last month, says plans are in the works to get new tenants into all three buildings, hopefully in a matter of months rather than years.

“They’re older buildings, but they are well-maintained and well-managed,” he said.

The forecast is a big show put on annually by the Real Estate Council of Greater Fort Worth. Movers and shakers in the real estate industry get together each year in Fort Worth to talk about retail, single-family and multifamily housing and industrial properties, with an emphasis on the western side of the Metroplex.

Gordon Dickson: 817-390-7796, @gdickson