FORT WORTH-A Boston investment group and its equity partner, Starwood Capital Group, have made their first buy in Texas, reportedly paying close to $45.8 million for Motorola’s 96.9-acre campus in Fort Worth’s Fossil Business Creek Park. Motorola, working through a consolidation, has signed a long-term lease for the campus’ largest building, 665,000 sf at 5555 North Street.

Once the decision to sell was made, Motorola turned to Berkeley Investments Inc., which bought its four-building campus in Mansfield, MA just 13 months ago. Berkeley’s acquisitions director Richard Griffin tells that the deal for 5401 N. Beach St. went from start to finish in 45 days although the two parties had been in discussion for some time as Motorola weighed the decision to hold or sell. Griffin is bound by a confidentiality agreement not to disclose the price. Another publication, quoting Motorola, reported the deal closed at $45.75 million.

The upside, Griffin says, lies in a vacant 396,000-sf office/flex structure in the three-building campus. The plan is find a tenant for the seven-year-old building, hold the investment for a few years and then possibly sell. An abutting tract, which could support another 250,000 sf, was part of the package as was a 12,000-sf day-care center at 4175 Sandshell Dr.

The fate of the 1.1-million-sf Fossil Creek campus, situated at the intersection of interstates 35W and 820, has been up in the air for some time as Motorola put together a consolidation plan that included the relocation of its North American distribution center from Missouri to Hillwood’s AllianceTexas. The consolidation cut 900 of the 1,500 jobs at the Fossil Creek campus although some of the workforce had been given transfer options for the AllianceTexas facility. The distribution center opens in March.

“We feel this is a win/win situation,” said Young K. Park, Berkeley Investments president. “Motorola accomplished its objective of an efficient year-end close while Berkeley acquires a campus that combines the security of strong credit tenancy with upside potential through repositioning and lease-up of the 5401 N. Beach St. building.”

Park and Griffin teamed with Ame Amesen, Starwood Capital’s managing director, and Sundaram Rajagopal, also with the equity partner, to broker the transaction. Andrew Sexson of Binswanger/CBB represented Motorola. The new owner has hired Stream Realty Partners of Dallas to lease the vacant building.

Griffin says the Motorola deal was the sole reason Berkeley ventured into Texas, but didn’t rule out additional buys if the right sale/leaseback opportunity surfaced. Berkeley’s portfolio, valued at more than $300 million, consists of three million sf, primarily in the Boston and Washington, DC areas, of office, industrial and research and development product.

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