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DALLAS-CRT Properties Inc. and Wilcox Capital Partners are teaming on the off-market acquisition of the 437,000-sf Signature Place in North Dallas. Sources say the class A, two-tower asset is under contract at the mid-$80 per sf level.

The Archon Group is poised to close in mid-December on the sale of 14785 Preston Rd., assessed at $16.9 million. In a press release issued today, the Boca Raton, FL-based CRT says Wilcox, a subsidiary of Cawley-Wilcox Cos. in Dallas, will contribute 25% of the equity for the acquisition, which is expected to close before December’s end. CRT will finance the deal with a non-recourse mortgage and a revolving line of credit.

Bill Cawley, president of Cawley-Wilcox Cos., tells GlobeSt.com that his leasing team already is locked in talks to fill another 40,000 sf in the 65%-leased complex. “We think we can lease 50,000 sf per year,” he says about the campaign to boost the current 41-tenant roster.

Signature Place, built in 1985, is a pair of eight- and 11-story towers near the corner of Preston and Belt Line roads. The asset includes a four-story parking garage.

“I just think it’s a quality asset,” Cawley says. “I like the real estate a lot….We’re buying it at a good price.” Cawley, mum about the final price, says Archon was quietly shopping the complex without an asking price.

When the deal closes, CRT pockets its third class A office deed in Dallas and second one in the northern sector. “This acquisition is well suited for CRT’s strategy of acquiring quality assets with significant value-add opportunity at a discount to replacement cost,” says Thomas J. Crocker, CRT’s CEO. “Since our proposed venture partner’s returns are subordinate to CRT’s, Wilcox is highly motivated to add value by reaching stabilized occupancy and is already in the process of regaining leasing momentum for this asset.”

The company, which owns 10.8 million sf in the Southeast and Texas, also owns the 127,226-sf Cigna Plaza along Texas 114 in Irving and the 152,163-sf Tollway Crossing at the junction of the Dallas North Tollway and George Bush Turnpike.

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