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[IMGCAP(1)]DALLAS-The Mindlin Cos. LLC will invest at least $1.5 million to upgrade its newest acquisition, the 195,587-sf Woodview Tower, which was bought last month. The make-ready plan to lure tenants to the 48%-leased office building near Love Field includes bait like a chance to win a cruise for six on a 54-foot private boat, with crew, in the British Virgin Islands.

Bradley Mindlin, principal of the Los Angeles-based company, says upgrades to Woodview Tower at 1349 Empire Central will swing into full force shortly after 2008 begins. “This building should look like a brand-new building by March or April,” he says. Built in 1982 and renovated in 1997, the building’s upgrades will include a new chiller, roof and several floors of spec suites. The team is targeting tenants in 2,000-sf to 5,000-sf range, with the class A’s spec floors being built out with a full-service common break room.

“The view is this market is still a big-tenant market, but there are more small-tenant deals there,” Mindlin tells GlobeSt.com. There are 17 tenants now in place, with the largest being the US Postal Services’ legal division.

Mindlin subsidiary, Darby Real Estate Services, will lease and manage the asset just like it does for the firm’s other one million sf in Dallas. And for the first time in years, there will be an on-site office, Mindlin says. Darby employees Beall Carothers and Dawn Williamson have been assigned to the building.Mindlin says he likes to own buildings 30 to 60 days to “find the personality” before embarking on a retooling plan. With that done, talks have begun with Clinton Climate Group to devise an energy-efficiency program for the tower. “It won’t be a LEED building, but it can become a greener building,” he says.

Mindlin closed the all-cash deal right before Thanksgiving, inking it three weeks ahead of schedule. Grubb & Ellis Co. senior vice president Scot Farber and Tom Strohbehn in Dallas brokered the sale from Boston-based TA Associates Inc. TriSail Capital Corp., a Los Angeles-based division of Bank of America, provided 18-month financing for the acquisition and renovation. TriSail’s Kirk Malmrose and Brian Eisner of George Elkins Mortgage Banking, also in Los Angeles, packaged the loan. Mindlin’s not discussing financials, but Dallas County has the asset and the adjacent extra 3.3-acre tract assessed at $6.97 million.

Mindlin says the going-in plan is to hold the asset “four or five years,” building in time to fix, lease and stabilize. The 13-story building’s top floor and the one below it represent the largest contiguous block of open space–31,062 sf.

[IMGCAP(2)] Mindlin says leasing will start from the bottom up, reserving the top two floors for full-floor users, deals that could nail top-of-the-building signs visible from Interstate 35E. Other amenities include a 6:1,000 parking ratio due to the extra land, which is paved and lined for surface parking, and a plan to add an airport shuttle for tenants.

As for the brokers’ incentives, Woodview Tower will become part of Darby’s “lease and set sail” giveaway raffle and second-place chances for private parties and dinners at leading metroplex restaurants. “If there’s a true showing, you’ll get your name in the till,” Mindlin says. “And if it’s a true showing, we’ll beat anybody else’s deal. We’re also offering free rent on a deal-by-deal basis.” The opening quotes are $14.50 per sf to $15.50 per sf gross.

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