March 23, 2017

What Makes Cawley Partners’ Mid-Tollway Play Successful

Fourteen555 is the fourth commercial office development completed with Cawley Partners in the last four years. Other projects include Tollway Center, the American College of Emergency Physicians Headquarters, and Knoll Trail Plaza.

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Bisnow: What Makes Cawley Partners’ Mid-Tollway Play Successful


Much of the office product along the Tollway surrounding LBJ was built in the ’80s and ’90s — and that is the way Bill Cawley likes it.

“The Tollway is the spinal cord of Dallas,” the Cawley Partners CEO said. “But I’ve always tried to be contrary.”

Cawley Partners has built and leased a slew of office buildings in the middle Tollway area, most recently Fourteen555. The 240K SF, six-story building is already 50% pre-leased to a single tenant and will break ground on April 1. Cawley is weighing some build-to-suit projects and leasing up existing buildings.

Many landlords have been renovating vintage buildings along the Tollway. CBRE pumped $20M into Galleria Office Tower. The newly rebranded Pinnacle Tower will undergo $8M in renovations. But Cawley’s new products do not have a lot of competition for brand-new buildings. Cawley said having the newest, nicest buildings in the lower Tollway is an opportunity, but one that attracts different tenants than than than Frisco’s $5B Mile.

While the Platinum Corridor pulls the big guys like Toyota, Liberty Mutual and FedEx, tenants around the Galleria and lower Tollway hover around 100K or 150K SF.

The huge corporate players also draw in smaller businesses. Cawley’s Legacy Center is a four-story, 175K SF building adjacent to many corporate campuses. Cawley said most tenants work closely with the larger corporate players and rent only a couple of thousand SF.

Cawley does not think the lower Tollway and the Platinum Corridor much affect each other and instead can live symbiotically. “We seldom see tenants looking in both places,” he said.