FORT WORTH—The acquisition of Atrium Center has allowed one of the buyers, Caffey Group, to relocate its headquarters from the CBD to the new property. A joint venture of SkyWalker Property Partners and Caffey Group paid an undisclosed price for the 50,686-square-foot asset at 8851 Camp Bowie West in West Forth Worth.
The joint venture agreement includes an option for minority partner Caffey to buy the property in the future. Until then, the firm will lease 10,419 square feet on the first floor of the three-story building, including long-vacant atrium space once occupied by a bank. Caffey has been headquarters Downtown since 2001 and will move into its new digs when its lease at 309 W. Seventh St. expires by Sept. 7.
“We’d always talked about owning our own building. It made sense to partner with someone we knew,” says Caffey CFO Marty Oakes. Oakes and Mark Caffey, president and CEO of the 16-year-old firm, are original investors in the Hangover Opportunity Fund, which is led by Gary Walker, president of SkyWalker Property.
Caffey had searched nearly six months for new office space to lease before they came across Atrium Center, which is now being called Atrium West. A casual conversation between Theron Bryant, senior leasing agent for SCM Real Estate Services, and locally based Red Oak Realty LLC, which was leasing and managing the building at the time. Jack Clark of Red Oak Realty represented the seller, Hwy 80 Capital LP.
The building, which was 58% leased at the time of the deal, had been on and off the market in the past few years. The building was ideal for Caffey because it had vacancy to accommodate the energy firm’s office requirements and was situation in close proximity to many Caffey employees’ homes and to Loop 820 and Interstate 30.
Situated on 3.5 acres, the property has a high parking ratio, important for Caffey’s 75 employees in project management, lease acquisition and title completion for natural gas plays in the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, Haynesville, Marcellus, Mississippi Lime, Utica and West Texas Basin shales.
“We thought it was a good long-term buy,” Oakes says. “We’ve looked at nearly 15 buildings to acquire in the past two years with Gary. In Tarrant County, there aren’t a lot of good buys out there.”
The Atrium West deed is now part of the portfolio of the Hangover Opportunity Fund. An estimated $100,000 earmarked for upgrades to common areas, landscaping, parking lot and ADA accessibility.
“Our goal at SCM and SkyWalker is making places better,” Bryant emphasizes, “and we intend to improve this property for our tenants and the neighborhood.”
The deal also brings the building’s occupancy to 78%. The asset’s largest tenant is the city of Fort Worth’s engineering department, which occupies the entire 16,141-sf third floor. Three of the nine tenants are medical providers. Within the past week, Bryant and Bryant and Casey Tounget, also with SCM, took over as leasing agents. “We’ve had good activity,” Bryant says, “and we’re working on a few new prospects.”