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DALLAS-In an off-market transaction, Shafer Property Co. has gained control of Valley View Tower, a class A office building with the value in its underlying land. The North Dallas corner, now ticketed to swing mixed use, has traded in the $6.5-million range if street talk’s correct.

Shafer, known for assembling boutique-type retail lineups, approached Dallas-based Harwood International Inc. at the year’s start about selling the 77,056-sf, class B office building at 13101 Preston Rd.–laying down an offer just as the 15-year owner was weighing if it wanted to continue the hold or sell it like it’s been doing with other suburban office properties. “I have all the faith in the world that that they’re going to make it a fabulous corner,” Julie Morris, president of Harwood Living, tells GlobeSt.com about the 2.9-acre hand-off at the LBJ Freeway-Preston Road doorstep of Valley View Center.

Shafer’s plan is to overhaul the 31-year-old, five-story building, including a new skin, and build an 18,000-sf retail section with underground parking levels for office tenants, according to Greg Pierce, executive vice president in Dallas for Colliers International Inc. “Everyone associated with the mall is excited because it’s going to clean up that corner and make a nice presentation,” he says. Valley View Center’s owner and related major tenants still need to sign off on the final plan.

Pierce says he heard Harwood was considering a sale and took the opportunity to his long-time friend, Steve Shafer. “I knew he’d see the vision. In 10 minutes, he had it sized up,” Pierce says. “He’s visually one of the best in the business.” Assessed at $4.1 million, the site is being planned with an ell-shaped project facing Preston and LBJ Freeway. He says the existing building will be re-clad, including new windows, and the interior completely overhauled. Brad Donnell with Dallas-based Metropolitan Capital Advisors is arranging Shafer’s financing.

Harwood last year began selling suburban office buildings to focus on its Dallas CBD properties, the Azure and International Center. Morris says there had been several inquiries about the 60%-leased Valley View Tower, but the uncertainty about selling was in limbo due in part to the location’s value. “With that kind of site, you just can’t go wrong,” she says. “The land is more valuable than the building.”

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