IRVING, TX-A telecommunications company with management ties to the West Coast and capital ties to the East Coast has roped off 84,674 sf in Waterway Tower in the Las Colinas Urban Center. The eight-year lease is the next step in Comtel Telecom Asset LP’s $82.1-million takeover of the VarTec Cos.

According to bankruptcy court documents, Comtel will take over the Carrollton-based VarTec May 22 or shortly thereafter. VarTec, which filed bankruptcy in November 2004, was made up of VarTec Telecommunications Inc., Excel Telecommunications Inc. and VarTec Solutions Inc. Comtel is owned by Sowood Commodity Partners Fund, which is managed by Boston-based Sowood Capital Management.

The “new” news behind the takeover is Waterway Tower at 433 E. Las Colinas Blvd. gets the headquarters. The managing partners, coming in from California, have inked a stair-stepped lease for five full floors, including the penthouse, and a 1,530-sf spot at street level. “Everyone was focused,” Brandon Henry, senior associate with Stream Realty Partners LP in Dallas, stresses to “It came together in just under a month. The stars were aligned.”

The alignment, though, was aided by a last-minute change when a deal cratered for a Dallas North Tollway high rise. Henry and Stream’s managing director and partner Ben Sumner say all that it took to swing the deal their way was the managing partners’ first tour of Waterway.

Comtel wanted to be in by June 1, but realistically finish-out will take longer. Sumner says the keys will turn no later than Aug. 1 to space vacated about two years ago by Fidelity Investors LP. The general contractor was picked late Friday; work will begin ASAP.

Comtel will house 350 employees in the building, uprooting them from 2440 Marsh Lane in Carrollton. T.D. Briggs and John Briggs, partners in Dallas-based Peloton Real Estate Partners, bargained Comtel’s side of the pact, which pulls floors four through seven from the inventory plus the 13th, a penthouse floor with a balcony overlooking Lake Carolyn. The top floor will be Comtel’s conference center.

The first-floor deli space, dark since Fidelity exited, was a crucial part of the Comtel plan from the onset of the talks. “It was kept ready to go,” Sumner says, “but we didn’t think a tenant would operate it.” A Comtel exec, who’s also a chef, will double the deli size and operate it as a building amenity for all tenants.

The Comtel lease lifts occupancy to 56.5% from 18.8% in the 220,471-sf Waterway Tower, where the quoted rate is $18.50 per sf plus electric. “There were no out of the ordinary concessions,” Henry says. “We’re just in dealmaking mode at Waterway. We have a proposal out on every single open space in the building.” The hard push to fill the space has talks nearing the finish line to take another full floor off the brokers’ hands.

Waterway Tower and its 238,320-sf sister, Canal Plaza at 400 E. Las Colinas Blvd., are owned by Dallas-based Bandera Ventures Ltd. But, the 10-story Canal Plaza is reserved for a full-building user. “We’re about to get cranking on it,” Sumner says. “It’s going to come to the market hard and fast.” The plan is to launch the marketing blitz at $19.50 per sf plus electric.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.