FORT WORTH – Benson Lane Partners Ltd. and E.A. Young Academy have signed a 10-year lease that will repurpose Southland Holdings' former corporate headquarters campus in north Fort Worth into a private school for gifted and talented students.
The transformation is underway on the 23,537-sf two-story building at 608 Henrietta Creek Rd. in Roanoke, which served as Southland's headquarters for 13 years. Construction on the academy's new home will be completed in time for the 2022-23 academic year.
Southland Holdings, one of the largest heavy civil contractors in the U.S., developed the 2.34-acre campus in 2008 and occupied it until last year when it relocated to a brand-new facility in nearby Grapevine. The single-tenant structure features a glass lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows, above-standard ceiling heights, security system with keyless entry and 11,768-sf open floor plates.
"Demand has waned for office single-tenant corporate campuses. That trend is driving landlords and occupants to look at these locations in a new light," says Erik Blais, senior vice president in the Fort Worth office of Dallas-based Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services. He represented the landlord, a related entity of Southland Holdings.
E.A. Young Academy will be nearly doubling in size with the relocation to Roanoke from North Richland Hills. Phillip Maxwell of Glacier Commercial Realty LP represented the tenant.
The property was rezoned to special use prior to the lease signing. "The city of Roanoke was very receptive. Council voted unanimously for the rezoning," Blais says.
The campus' new occupant is an independent, accredited private school for grades K-12. The award-winning academy is a College Board AP Capstone Diploma school, founded in the 2011-12 academic year with a pilot group of a half-dozen students. Last year's enrollment was 94, with an average class size of eight.
Blais' leasing objective was to find a single-tenant user, resulting in rejected overtures to lease part of the structure. "Full-building users are few and far between these days. It's a sign of the times," he says.
As a corporate campus, the proximity to four airports and downtown Fort Worth was highly important. From the academy's perspective, its students hail from within a 30-mile radius, putting the new location close to numerous high-income neighborhoods in Tarrant, Denton and Dallas counties.
"Everyone had the vision to see past a corporate headquarters office building," Blais says, "and recognize its value as an educational campus."