Bisnow Scoop: Champion Buys on LBJ
Champion Partners quietly purchased the 170k SF Two Hillcrest Green with plans to rebrand it as Hillcrest Tower. (Inspiration to caterpillars everywhere thinking about becoming butterflies.) There are upgrades in store, too, it tells Bisnow exclusively.
Champion co-managing partner Steve Modory (here, at a recent Bisnow event) tells us the firm was looking for off-market opportunities and discovered this property through Transwestern's Steve Rowland, who already had a relationship with the owners, a subsidiary of Travelers. Under institutional ownership for more than 30 years, the building is in great shape without a lot of deferred maintenance, Steve says. One big change will be the elevator modernization, typical of 30-year-old buildings. (Anyone who's ever been stuck in an elevator is applauding right now.) There will be some lobby improvements on the first floor, added covered parking, and upgrades to the food service. Plus Champion plans to immediately build out several turnkey spaces with high-quality finishes designed for tenants ranging from 1,000 SF to 5,000 SF.
Three things attracted Champion to the property, Steve says: quality, location, and tenant profile. It's visible from the LBJ Freeway, but the biggest plus is that it's located along the stretch of LBJ that is substantially completed and scheduled for opening by year's end. Plus the building personality tends to cater to smaller tenants who typically own their own businesses and live within a few miles. For those company owners and executives, it's extremely easy to reach, he says. There are about 40 tenants, unique for a building this size. (It also allows for a pretty diverse lunch room.)
Steve says the LBJ office submarket has underperformed for the past four or five years, first because of the downturn and second because of the ongoing LBJ construction. But he believes the submarket is poised for occupancy and rental rate recovery. Transwestern principals Kim Brooks and Justin Miller will be leasing the project. Peloton will continue to manage the property. (Steve handled the sale.) Kim tells us they'll be marketing space to the decisionmakers in Preston Hollow, Highland Park, University Park, and surrounding high-income areas. It's a great location for those executives who live nearby, she says. The building's tenants were treated to a welcome breakfast this morning (served with a side of the new ownership news).