DALLAS-Two Dallas-Fort Worth companies have completed Louisiana purchases. One deal nets the deed to a 220,000-sf, class A high-rise in Shreveport.

Dallas-based PNL Cos. spent “north of $5.8 million” for the American Tower at 408 Market St. in Shreveport’s CBD, Dave Stahl, PNL’s senior vice president, tells GlobeSt.com. The tower, built in 1977, is just 65% leased.

The building’s hard times were tied to city decisions that pushed out tenants in 1998 to dedicate space to municipal offices. The city subsequently retreated on the plan and sold the high-rise to Shreveport American Tower Investors LLC, an affiliate of Levin-Menzies & Associates LLC of California. The property came to market in early 2002 after the owner decided it was time to cash in on the upside potential and invest its capital into California properties. The first contract fell out, leaving seven offers on the table, Stahl says.

The upside potential was the motive for spending seven months in negotiations for the building, which includes a 430-space parking garage and sits on an 84,000-sf tract that’s within walking distance of a $500-million investment of public and private funds along the riverfront. PNL closed the deal on a going-in cap rate of about 9%.

American Tower is home to Morgan Keegan’s regional offices, several law firms, investment companies and gaming-related corporations. The penthouse is dedicated to the University Club, the only tenant left intact when the city plotted the use for the “donation” from Harrah’s, an in-kind swap reportedly tied a gaming permit.

American Tower, situated two blocks from the riverfront, will be getting a new look in its common areas as the leasing team, Keitha Gosslee & Associates of Shreveport, sets out to boost the occupancy. Stahl says the leasing strategy will return a bank tenant to the lobby. That bank, he predicts, will be signed in the first quarter. The goal is to reach 90% occupancy in the coming year.

In a deal also relatively close to the Texas-Louisiana border, the Woodmont Co. of Fort Worth completed a sale/reverse build-to-suit for a 43,000-sf pad site in Monroe, LA for shopping center developer, POB Apollo Monroe LP. An International House of Pancakes will be built on the site, part of the 236,000-sf Pecanland Commons, a Target-anchored center at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Powell Street, roughly 100 miles northeast of Shreveport and 240 miles east of Dallas.

Woodmont associates Greg Rabin and Jack Swartz negotiated the IHOP deal, which started out as a sale to IHOP and ended in a long-term lease with the developer “This works well for IHOP which won’t have the cost of the real estate on its books,” Swartz said in a press release. IHOP was represented by the Louisiana real estate firm of Red, Luther & King while Woodmont brokered for the developer. IHOP intends to open its doors by March 2003.

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