Fort Worth's tallest building sells for nearly $140M

May 3,2021

See full Dallas Business Journal by Ryan Salchert here.

An entity connected with New York City-based Opal Holdings has acquired Burnett Plaza, Fort Worth's tallest building.

The 40-story, 1.02 million-square-foot office building is located at 801 Cherry St. in downtown Fort Worth and was sold by Atlanta-based Cousins Properties (NYSE: CUZ) for $137.5 million, according to Cousins' most recent quarterly earnings report. Cousins took over ownership of the property in 2019 after it merged with Dallas-based TIER REIT Inc.

The property's sale represented a $364,000 gain for Cousins, according to a first quarter report. Tarrant County records show that Burnett Plaza's sale was financed by a loan of more than $86 million from UMB Bank. The property was nearly 80 percent leased at the time of its sale.

Built in 1983, Burnett Plaza's largest tenant is currently GM Financial, a subsidiary of General Motors, which operates its headquarters out of the building and occupies 329,186 square feet. At least three other headquarters are also based in the building, including that of Huckabee & Associates, Basic Energy Services and Freese and Nichols. JLL’s Jack Crews and Todd Savage represented the seller in the deal.

By square footage, this is the second largest office building sale in North Texas so far this year. The largest was the sale of The Crescent to Crescent Real Estate LLC in March for around $700 million. This is also the second significant office building sale to happen in Fort Worth this year. In February, the city of Fort Worth completed its acquisition of Pier 1 Imports' former 409,977-square-foot headquarters. The city paid $69.5 million to buy the property, according to the City Council.

Founded in 2012, Opal Holdings’ portfolio includes more than a dozen assets across the country, including office, mixed-use and multifamily properties. The company’s portfolio is valued at over $1 billion, according to its website.

Location Mentioned: Burnett Plaza