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FORT WORTH-Charter Communications Inc. has sold a regional sales and customer service center, uprooting the team for newer office space and closer proximity to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The second leg of the deal was sealed with a 10-year lease.

“The market was changing. They wanted to be closer to the airport,” Charter’s broker Bruce Hoffman, a senior vice president in Los Angeles for Chicago-based UGL Equis Corp., tells GlobeSt.com. “Instead of reconfiguring the office, they preferred to lease.” He says the sale and relocation search took one year to complete, but the final decision has kept Charter in Fort Worth.

The St. Louis-based Charter is in the process of relocating from a 26,998-sf building at 4800 Blue Mound Rd. and moving into 21,099 sf of the 66,977-sf CentrePort Tech IV at 15100 Trinity Blvd. in the 1,300-acre CentrePort Business Park. The difference in age is 1978 versus 2000 space while the drive to the airport is slashed from 26 miles to seven.

“The local people had a handful of buildings that were candidates. We picked their top choice,” Hoffman says, “and took it from there. The timing was tricky.” He says the obstacle to clear was locking in a leased site to coincide with the sale after Charter was “comfortable with the buyer.” The sale papers, as expected, included a clause for extra time if the CentrePort build-out took longer than expected.

The CentrePort office, owned by Dallas-based Emerson Partners Inc., will house all Charter operations in the metroplex. “We’ve been committed to the City of Fort Worth for more than a decade. It was important to us to remain in the area and relocate to a facility close to our customers that reflects our image as a provider of entertainment and communications services,” Wayne Cramp, vice president and general manager of Charter’s Dallas/Fort Worth operations, says in a press release.

Charter Communications sold the Blue Mound building, situated on a 10-acre tract, to an investment group, Shalehouse Rock Ltd., led by Gary Walker, president of SCM Real Estate Services in nearby Arlington. Charter acquired the holding in August 2003. Walker’s partnerships hone in on smaller flex-type buildings in the Mid-Cities, with upside in moderate rehabs and re-leasing.

All that Hoffman will say about the sale price is the $1.8-million ask was discounted. Jeff Givens with NAI Huff Partners in Fort Worth held the listing.

UGL Equis took over the Charter account four years ago, getting oversight for 2,300 locations totaling three million sf in the US. UGL Equis senior associate Todd Phillips in Dallas partnered with Hoffman for the lease talks. Michael Peinado, vice president with Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co., represented Emerson Partners, which is marketing CentrePort Tech IV’s space for $11 per sf, triple net.

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