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Chili's Parent Brinker International Sells Longtime Dallas HQ

Serra Real Estate Capital Buys Restaurant Giant's HQ Along LBJ, Will Lease Property to Dallas County
April 10, 2018
Chili's parent company, Dallas-based Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT), has sold its longtime headquarters campus along LBJ Freeway to an investment group that plans to lease the property to Dallas County.

Terms of the acquisition were undisclosed. The 7.5-acre campus, which includes a four-story, 110,000-square-foot office building and garage, at 6820 LBJ Freeway was last valued at $6.7 million, according to the Dallas Central Appraisal District.

"The sale of the Brinker headquarters was the last piece of the broad real estate strategy we developed," Rick Hughes, an executive managing director in Cushman & Wakefield's Dallas office told CoStar News in an exclusive interview.

Brinker International announced last year the restaurant giant would move its longtime North Texas office to a new building at Cypress Waters. Dallas-based Billingsley is building a new four-story, 216,000-square-foot build-to-suit building for Brinker International, which is the parent company to Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy.

The planned relocation of Brinker International is slated to occur by the end of the year.

Until then, the new ownership group, Addison-based Serra Real Estate Capital, led by R. David Kelly, plans on upgrading the office building for its new key tenant, Dallas County. Kelly is the chairman of the board of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

The partnership's plans differed greatly from other proposals submitted for the Brinker International property, Hughes said.

"About 90 percent of the interest in the building was to tear it down and redevelop it into a mixed-use facility to take advantage of the improving LBJ office and multifamily corridor," Hughes said. "However, Dallas County had the desire to consolidate multiple locations into one building."

Dallas County Commissioner Mike Cantrell is overseeing the consolidation.

In all, the Brinker campus will become home to the Dallas County tax office in North Dallas, the Justice of the Peace, the county clerk's support staff, the constable's office, the county's agri-life department and the juvenile services department. Cantrell also said other operations are also being considered for consolidation in the North Dallas building.

The new ownership group has structured a lease with Dallas County that allows the public entity to later buy the property.
In the meantime, Serra Real Estate and CGA Mortgage Capital plan to upgrade the office building upon Brinker International's departure later this year to make it move-in ready for Dallas County offices in late summer 2019.

So far, about 125 county employees will work from the property along LBJ Freeway.

The consolidation gives Dallas County the ability to market several of its owned properties, including 516 Twilight Trail in Richardson and 10056 Marsh Lane in Dallas.

Hughes said Dallas County was innovative in finding a third-party investment group to work the deal.

"The third-party entity buying it to renovate the building and take advantage of the non-public procurement process will allow them to move with a greater speed to modernize the building," Hughes said, adding he expects Dallas County to acquire the building at some point in the future.

"It's nice to see the last piece of Brinker's real estate strategy come full circle," he added.

For the record:

Tenant: CBRE's Peter Jansen and Stan McClure, along with Lawrence Gardner of OMS Strategic Advisors, represented Dallas County in its lease negotiations.

Seller: Rick Hughes, Maureen Kelly Cooper and Robbie Baty of Cushman & Wakefield represented Brinker International in selling the campus.

Buyer: Serra Real Estate Capital purchased the property under the name, 6820 LBJ I Inc.

Candace Carlisle, Dallas-Fort Worth Reporter  CoStar Group   
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