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FORT WORTH-Equity Office Properties Trust has sold its lone Fort Worth holding, the two-building Summit Office Park, for $17.2 million to locally based Klabzuba Properties to end a 15-year run with institutional owners.

According to Chicago-based Equity Office Properties, this year’s BOMA International suburban mid-rise TOBY winner came up for sale as part of an ongoing drive to cull the portfolio of non-core class B assets and deploy the gain into core class A properties. For the Klabzuba family, the just-bought 239,095-sf, twin-building complex at 1200 and 1300 Summit Ave. is a core asset, now standing as a crown jewel to a suburban office building portfolio, says Kim T. Sallinger, vice president of Centra Asset Partners LLC. The family and other Fort Worth investors bought the asset under a partnership, KP/Summit Office Park Ltd.

Buyer and seller aren’t talking about the final price, but area real estate sources have confirmed for GlobeSt.com that the building brought $17.2 million out of the $17.5-million initial ask.

Centra Asset, the buyer’s broker, will lease and manage the 86%-occupied buildings, bought for their Interstate 30 visibility and proximity to the downtown. “It wasn’t about the money,” Sallinger tells GlobeSt.com, “it was about the transaction. We were in search of a high-profile building.” With that deal closed, Sallinger confides he will set out after the calendar flips to find a CBD building that suits the buyer’s value-add criteria in Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, Denver, Phoenix or Kansas City on either side of the border.

Sallinger says the office complex sold with a renovation about 70% done on the common areas. But, the job will be finished, he stresses. Centra has put its broker, David Cason, in charge of leasing while hiring the entire Equity Office management team in a smooth transition of ownership for the 60-tenant roster. Summit Office Park’s top tenants are Summit North Bank, the international engineering firm of Turner Collie & Braden, CorpHealth, Northwestern Mutual Insurance Co., the Wallach & Moore law firm and WFAA-TV, each in place for a decade or more to deliver a stable lease rollover in the eight-story buildings.

As soon as he heard about the offering in early spring, Sallinger started lobbying Equity, which is holding tight to its 4.2 million sf in Dallas. He believes Equity was swayed by the local name, knowledge of the local market and plan to keep leasing and management under local control. “The Klabzuba family was a perfect type of buyer,” he says. Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP’s Dallas office brokered the sale and placed long-term financing with Archon Financial Group LP of Irving, TX.

Built in 1974 by local developer Ed Yeager, the building was sold to the Bass Family and then passed to Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. In 1989, Zell Merrill Lynch Real Estate bought the property and then transferred it to Equity in 1997.

The Klabzuba family is well known locally for its philanthropy. At the University of Oklahoma in Norman, octogenarian Robert Klabzuba, a geologist by profession, financed a geology center while the Harris Methodist Hospital’s Cancer Center in Fort Worth carries his name and his wife’s, Doris. The family’s wealth, in part, comes from oil and gas investments in Wyoming, Montana and Kansas. About 10 years ago, the family started diversifying into multi-tenant office buildings and single- and multi-tenant warehouses in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston. The local holdings include the Stonegate Development along Fort Worth’s Hulen Street and Apple South in Bedford, an empty headquarters sold two years ago to Daystar Television Network.

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