Downtown Dallas tower sale is new record Texas building buy

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A downtown Dallas tower has just sold for the highest price ever for a similar office building in Texas.

The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio paid almost $700 per square foot — about $180 million — for the year-old 1900 Pearl high-rise in downtown Dallas’ Arts District. That’s thought to be the most paid per square foot ever for an office property in the state.

The 25-story office tower next door to the Meyerson Symphony Center was sold by Goldman Sachs and developed by Dallas’ Lincoln Property.

Deed records show the sale closed this week. But officials with the Ohio pension fund still aren’t talking about the record transaction.

Jeff Gilder of the retirement system’s real estate department said the investor doesn’t comment on its acquisitions or property holdings.

Cushman & Wakefield handled the sale and is also not disclosing information about the transaction.

The 1900 Pearl tower was designed by Dallas architect HKS and has major tenants including Steward Health, Maverick Capital and law firms Husch Blackwell and Baker McKenzie.

The building has a 14th floor tenant lounge and fitness center and an outdoor deck overlooking Klyde Warren Park.

A balcony area of the 1900 Pearl Tower, the newest downtown Dallas office building, affords a spectacular view of downtown Dallas at Pearl and Woodall Rodgers.

Ohio State Teachers is one of the largest U.S. pension funds with almost $80 billion in holdings.

In 2018, the investor paid more than $46 million for the 3131 Turtle Creek office tower in Oak Lawn.

The sale of 1900 Pearl far surpasses the previous record Dallas office building purchases of the 2000 McKinney tower and 17Seventeen McKinney high-rises in Uptown, which went for more than $500 per square foot in 2016.

A Plano office tower in the Granite Park development that’s leased to mortgage firm Fannie Mae sold to German investors last year for about $504 per square foot.

An Austin office high-rise previously held the state title at more than $650 per square foot.

The 1900 Pearl tower is the newest of a half dozen downtown Dallas towers that have been up for grabs.

The buildings on the market include Dallas’ tallest skyscraper, the 72-story Bank of America Plaza.

None of the other downtown buildings up for grabs are expected to sell for anywhere close to the 1900 Pearl price tag.

But the high-dollar transaction will ripple through the overall market, property brokers say.

"New benchmark pricing helps investors overall gain confidence about higher pricing per square foot across all properties, whether they are comparable to the subject property or not," said John Alvarado, senior vice president with commercial property firm CBRE. "It’s a ‘pricing discovery’ marker that moves the pricing benchmark upward."

The 1900 Pearl office tower in downtown Dallas was purchased by the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio.

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