In an era of new, state-of-the-art buildings and corporate campuses in north DFW, it can be hard for a 30-year old office complex to compete. Such is the case with Solana, the landmark business park that once stood alone (and out) along State Highway 114. A much needed multimillion-dollar makeover is underway to renovate and re-position the property.
It is anticipated that these massive updates help the owner and the City of Southlake welcome new corporate neighbors to the 380,000 square foot, Class-A office at 1 Kirkwood Blvd.
When it opened in 1988, the colorful business park named Solana – which means “sunny place” in Spanish – quickly got attention of drivers along (then rural) SH 114. The 233-acre project, spanning the highway in the communities of Westlake and Southlake, became home to IBM (one of the developers of the project), a Marriott hotel and eventually Sabre Systems and others.
Unfortunately, IBM terminated its lease in 2003, the 2008 recession hit and Solana’s owner, Maquire Partners, defaulted on its loans in 2009. This finally led to foreclosure of the Solana buildings in 2010. The massive 380,000 square foot building in Southlake, now known as The Vista Building, sat vacant for years until New York-based Blackstone Group purchased the all of the Solana properties out of foreclosure in August 2014 for a reported $180 million.
Fortunately, the Southlake building and those across the highway in Southlake are getting extensive makeovers. In addition, Equity Office Partners, an affiliate of Blackstone, has been retained to tell the story to potential tenants about how the property has been resurrected as one of the finest Class-A office properties in the north DFW area.
Here are just a few of the dramatic changes that are returning Solana to a high profile business address:
“The intention is to keep the integrity of the original architecture, but implement physical updates so it is appealing to new corporate tenants,” explains Jeff Eckert, a managing director for JLL in Dallas, which is leasing Solana’s office space. “Parking is a top priority, which is why we’ve added a new garage,”
Today, the entirety of Solana boasts 1.9 million square feet and 14 buildings. According to Eckert, approximately 1.2 million square feet is currently leased at Solana. The Solana website lists an impressive list of current tenants, including Levi Strauss & Co., Wells Fargo, Phizer, and First American Corporation.
In addition to luring corporate tenants, new retail stores and restaurants are being recruited to Solana by CBRE/UCR. A new Tex-Mex restaurant, MarCosina, will open in April.
For more information about Solana, visit www.DiscoverSolana.com or contact the City of Southlake Economic Development Department at 817-748-8039.
Sources: Blackstone Group, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, Jones Lang LaSalle, Equity Office Partners.