FORT WORTH-With a third-quarter acquisition hanging overhead, the financial services groups of Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz will sever ties in long-time leased office space as part of the plan for their parents to go separate ways. To drive home the division, Mercedes-Benz Financial will uproot its team from Westlake and put it into 75,344 sf of class A spec space about five miles to the west.

Mercedes-Benz Financial has signed a 10-year lease for all but 39,366 sf of Hillwood’s under-construction Heritage Commons II office building at 13601 North Freeway. The building will deliver by month’s end, with finish-out starting immediately so doors can open in January 2008 on a 350-employee shop.

The group will be vacating about 50,000 sf of a 130,000-sf building at 2050 Roanoke Rd. in Westlake’s Circle T Ranch, which is fully leased to the German automaker’s DaimlerChrysler Financial Co. LLC. “It will be quickly backfilled by Chrysler Financial employees,” says Stuart Smith, senior vice president in Dallas for Chicago-based UGL Equis Corp. After the split, Chrysler will have 750 employees in Westlake.

“The sale to Cerberus Capital Management necessitated them becoming two completely independent entities,” Smith explains to “That’s why it was necessary for them to have completely separate facilities.”

Smith and UGL Equis’ DaimlerChrysler account rep, Wendy Dobreff in Auburn Hills, MI invested six months into the local search, courting the market with a code-named deal of Project Zenith. Smith says the search began in Las Colinas, then shifted north of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and ended in the AllianceTexas pocket after Mercedes-Benz evaluated demographics for current employees and prospects for future ones. Although Hillwood is DaimlerChrysler’s Westlake landlord, Smith stresses that Heritage Commons II’s proximity to residential developments was the chief dealmaker.

Smith says four buildings made the short list. “Because of the credit, size and length of the lease, the developers were all very aggressive,” he says, adding all options were new and all given equal consideration. The financial terms are being kept under wraps for Mercedes-Benz Financial’s deal. The Hillwood space, though, has been quoted to the market at $20 per sf plus electric.

As the sale to Cerberus took shape, Smith says there was never any question about Mercedes-Benz Financial’s future in Dallas/Fort Worth. The Heritage Commons II lease fills the entire second floor and part of the first. The space will house an upscale call-center team focused on financing for dealers and their retail customers. Mercedes-Benz’s make-ready plan for the corporate split has included a recent 153,000-sf headquarters lease lease in Farmington Hills, MI.

Heritage Commons II is the third office building in the AllianceTexas pocket earmarked for class A development. “It’s a huge benefit to the project to have such a recognized name,” says Steve Aldrich, vice president of Hillwood Properties. And, he says, a fourth building will soon be on its way so there will be some spec space on the ground. Besides the 39,366 left in Heritage Commons II, there is roughly 25,000 sf open in Hillwood’s headquarters building, Heritage Commons I.

Aldrich says the team has started to work on the design for the next building, but it’s undetermined if it will end up as Heritage Commons III or a 120,000-sf build-to-suit like its third office building, which is leased for the long term to DynCorp. International Inc. Earlier this year, DynCorp took 10,316 sf of overflow space in Heritage Commons I.

Aldrich says the next office building, just like its neighbors, will be in the 120,000-sf to 150,000-sf range. And, he adds, ground could break in 60 to 90 days.

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.