Baupost Group and Woods Capital eye purchase of Uptown’s landmark Crescent buildings.
A Boston-based hedge fund investor is teaming up with a local real estate firm to take a run at buying Dallas’ Crescent complex.
Baupost Group and Dallas’ Woods Capital are making a pitch to acquire the landmark Uptown office and retail project.
The iconic Crescent buildings just north of downtown are among Dallas’ best-known properties.
The Crescent was designed by famed architect Philip Johnson and built in the 1980s. The parts of the Crescent for sale include three office high-rises and an adjoining retail center.
The buildings were put on the market earlier this year — one of the biggest Dallas real estate offerings since the start of the pandemic.
The Crescent buildings have some of the highest rents in Dallas and have been owned for more than a decade by JP Morgan Asset Management.
Commercial property firm JLL is marketing the Crescent for sale.
The property is expected to sell for one of the highest prices ever paid for in North Texas — more than $700 million by some estimates.
Real estate brokers who have been tracking the deal say Baupost and Woods Capital have emerged as the lead contenders to acquire the Crescent.
Baupost officials aren’t talking about the deal.
“As a matter of practice, we don’t comment on current or potential investment opportunities,” a company representative said in an email.
Founded in 1982, Baupost Group has $27 billion under management and is headed by Boston billionaire businessman Seth Klarman.
The company has made major equity investments in commercial properties across the U.S.
Klarman acknowledged the problems the property sector faces with the pandemic in a mid-year message to the company’s investors. But he didn’t signal a company exit from real estate.
“The challenges to real estate won’t apply to every kind of property,” he said in a newsletter. “As always, we continue to carefully oversee our property portfolio, driving occupancy, controlling costs and opportunistically exiting fully valued holdings while conservatively underwriting new opportunities.”
Baupost is partnering with Dallas’ Woods Capital, headed by businessman Jonas Woods.
Woods has redeveloped downtown’s landmark Thanksgiving Tower — now called Santander Tower — and is a partner in the PGA of America campus development in Frisco.
Woods Capital is also part of the team planning the $1 billion Field St. District mixed-use project proposed for the northwest corner of downtown Dallas.
The Crescent anchors Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood.
Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate operates the buildings, which just completed a more than $30 million redo.
The 11-acre office, hotel and retail development at McKinney Avenue and Pearl Street includes more than 1 million square feet of commercial space.
The Crescent Court Hotel is not being sold as a part of the current transaction.
Seller JP Morgan Asset Management also owns Dallas’ landmark Trammell Crow Center skyscraper and is an investor in the East Quarter development on downtown’s eastern side.