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Friday, June 8, 2012

Fort Worth lease inked

Fort Worth Business Press - Real Deals

Enbridge Gathering LP signed a lease for 14,520 square feet of space at 2600 Cherry Lane in Fort Worth. Grant Huff and Jim Sager with Transwestern represented the tenant in the deal and Ryan Wood with Conti Warehouses represented the landlord.

Source:  Fort Worth Business Press

Friday, March 23, 2012

Former bean plant leased

FORT WORTH -- Granite Security Products Inc. inked a 49,467-square-foot lease at 1734 E. El Paso St., the former home of the Ranch Style Beans plant. Nick Talley with Bradford Companies represented the tenant in the deal and Ryan Wood of Conti Warehouses represented the owner of the building, Conti Warehouses.

Conti Warehouses purchased the 212,000-square-foot industrial facility from Allens Canning in February.

Source:  Fort Worth Business Press - Real Deals 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Smart Buy Bean plant purchased in weak industrial real estate market

FORT WORTH -- At first glance, the purchase of the former Ranch Style Beans manufacturing facility in East Fort Worth may indicate a strengthening pulse of the broader local industrial real estate submarket, but the facility’s buyers said they picked up the property as more of a one-off from their 2012 strategy, not because they see this as a particularly opportune time to plunge back into the industrial sector.

Fort Worth’s Conti Warehouses purchased the 212,000-square-foot heavy industrial facility from Allens Canning Co. late last month. It was the firm’s second acquisition this year. The first was the 103,000-square-foot vacant Target building on Cherry Lane in West Fort Worth.

“It just popped up … ,” said Bruce Conti, the company’s president. “It was a pretty good deal. And it goes back to our roots as an industrial provider.”

But Conti’s other buildings, including a couple it plans to purchase this year, are slated for office or retail conversion, or, at the very least, light industrial tenants – nothing heavy. The Target facility, which Conti closed on in early January, is also slated for multi-tenant retail, light industrial and office use.

“We aren’t trying to build out too many traditional industrial buildings right now, even though Ranch Style is that particular type of asset,” Conti said. “Right now we’re trying to focus on some redevelopment – could be retail, could be closer to office conversion – and work on that for a while.”

By “a while,” Conti means three or four years, at least until the pickings run slim. Right now, his firm is focusing its efforts on acquiring “distressed buildings in decent office locations.”

The next acquisition is a 74,000-square-foot warehouse in the 4000 block of Lubbock Avenue in South Fort Worth, which Conti plans to also convert into mixed-use retail and office space with perhaps some distribution. Conti and his company’s vice president, Ryan Wood, said they’re also preparing to purchase yet another building for office build-outs this year, but he declined to go into any further detail.

Once these prime locations run out, Conti said, he and his staff will return to their traditional niche: heavy industrial space such as the canning facility.

It’s a timely strategy. Local real estate insiders expect 2012’s industrial submarket, unlike the retail and office sectors, to remain tepid as the economy continues its slow climb out of the recession.

Todd Burnette, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Fort Worth office, told the Fort Worth Business Press early this year that he doesn’t expect the local industrial market to regain much of its pre-recession steam until 2013 at the earliest.

He noted distribution as a possible exception as more and more big-box stores beef up their inventories to keep pace with growing consumer demand.

If Conti Warehouses is any indication, heavy industrial demand may not be growing, nor is the sector in a freefall. Most of Conti’s total portfolio, now exceeding 2 million square feet, is devoted to heavier industrial.

And, as the firm’s president pointed out, his overall occupancy rates are above 90 percent, a sign there’s still plenty of local industry that needs space.

Source:  Fort Worth Business Press

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Allens Canning closes and sells former Ranch Style Beans plant

FORT WORTH -- Less than two years after opening in the former Ranch Style Beans plant near downtown Fort Worth, Allens Canning Co. has shuttered the facility and sold it this week to a Fort Worth-based industrial real estate investor.

Conti Warehouses in Fort Worth on Tuesday bought the 211,743-square-foot manufacturing plant on 20.2 acres at 1743 El Paso St., said Ryan Wood, a Conti vice president.

Ryan said Conti will turn the facility into a multi-tenant warehouse and manufacturing facility. It is negotiating with two tenants, one that would lease 30,000 square feet and another 130,000 square feet.

"We were happy to get it," Wood said of the building.
The plant was closed by the end of 2011; it's believed that between 60 and 70 employees lost their jobs.

Representatives of Allens Canning, based in Siloam Springs, Ark., could not be reached for comment today.

Allens bought the plant from ConAgra in June 2010, two months after ConAgra idled its operations and moved production to other states. More than 120 employees lost their jobs.
In May 2010, the Fort Worth City Council approved a 10-year tax abatement for Allens, but it was never honored because the company didn't meet hiring requirements, said Robert Sturns, the city's economic development manager.

Sturns said city officials leanred that the plant was closed after receiving a bulletin from Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County in December. He said his office tried to reach company officials, but calls were not returned.

Allens began operating out of the plant around June 2010 and at one time planned to hire as many as 150 workers and run two shifts.

Allens, founded in 1926, produces 11 lines of canned and frozen vegetables and beans. The company says it was one of the first packers of sweet potatoes, which it still sells under the Sugary Sam, Princella and Royal Prince brands.

The landmark Ranch Style Beans plant opened in 1913 as Great Western Foods. ConAgra acquired Ranch Style Beans in 2000 when it bought International Home Brands. Waples-Platter Cos. developed their bean recipe during the Great Depression.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Former Target store in west Fort Worth being redeveloped

Conti Warehouses, a Fort Worth commercial real estate investor, has bought the vacant former Target at 2600 West Cherry Lane in west Fort Worth and will redevelop the building for multitenant use.

Conti completed a similar project with the former Levitz Furniture store, a 157,450-square-foot building, on Camp Bowie Boulevard last year.

Target moved from the 11.4-acre location in 2008 to a new, larger store in the Westover Village shopping center at the southeast corner of Green Oaks Road and Alta Mere Drive. The property was sold by Target Corp.

Ryan Wood, a vice president at Conti who represented Conti in negotiations, said windows and other building materials will be added to the facade to tone down the appearance that the building was a Target store.

Wood said he has a couple of proposals out to prospective tenants, including one tenant that would be new to the area and use about 50,000 square feet. He declined to offer additional details.

The former Levitz location is now 70 percent leased, Wood said, adding that the developer expects to have the same success with the former Target location.

The property is deed restricted to prohibit a discount retailer that would take up 40,000 square feet or more, he said.


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