Dallas’ landmark Infomart building northwest of downtown is selling for $800 million — one of the highest prices ever paid for a local piece of real estate.
ASB Real Estate Investments, which has owned the white filigree building on Stemmons Freeway since 2006, said it’s selling the 1.6 million-square-foot property to Equinix Inc.
Equinix is a global data center company that already has holdings in North Texas. It already leases space in the Infomart for one of its data centers, along with Bank of America and Verizon.
"As Dallas becomes an increasingly strategic North American interconnection hub for businesses making the shift to digital, the acquisition of the Infomart will enable existing and new customers to scale their operations with Equinix," the company’s Americas president Karl Strohmeyer said.
Built in the mid-1980s by developer Trammell Crow as a wholesale marketplace for the tech industry, the Infomart has transitioned into a structure to house data centers over the last 10 years.
The sprawling seven-story building was patterned after London’s famed 19th century Crystal Palace.
ASB acquired the Infomart out of foreclosure after paying just more than $100 million for the debt.
At the time, the property was about 75 pecent leased. By 2008, the building was almost full.
"ASB has benefited from significant value creation over the term of our investment, and we saw the opportunity to realize gains for our investors," ASB president Robert Bellinger said in a statement. "The structured payout of Infomart Dallas allows for an orderly redeployment of capital, maintains a stake in data center investments for at least three years, and aligns us with Equinix, the leading industry operator."
Few Dallas area properties have ever changed hands for so much money.
The 72-story Bank of America tower downtown — the city’s tallest skyscraper — last traded for about $325 million.
In 2016, State Farm Insurance sold its more than 2 million-square-foot Richardson campus for $825 million.
"The State Farm deal is the only one that I can think of that comes close to the price on the Infomart," said John Alvarado, a senior vice president at commercial real estate firm CBRE. "The Galleria and the Penney headquarters in Plano sold for more than $300 million.
"There might be portfolios of properties that come close in price, but not a single asset sale."
DH Capital and DLA Piper LLP advised ASB Real Estate Investments on the Infomart transaction.
The sale is scheduled to close in the second quarter.
How the Infomart sale compares
State Farm Insurance CityLine campus, 2016: $825 million. The four-building, 2.1 million-square-foot State Farm Insurance campus at Bush Turnpike and Plano Road in Richardson was bought by Mirae Asset Global Investments of South Korea and Transwestern Investment Group of Houston.
Liberty Mutual Insurance Plano campus, 2017: $360 million. The 1.1 million-square-foot, twin tower office complex in Plano’s new Legacy West development was built and sold by developer KDC.
J.C. Penney Headquarters, Plano, 2016: $350 million. Retailer J.C. Penney sold its 1.8 million-square-foot office campus in West Plano to a company headed by investor Sam Ware. The purchase included almost 45 acres of land surrounding the building.
Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, 2017: $290 million. Part of a nationwide sale by developer Duke Realty, the 458,396-square-foot building is part of Baylor Scott & White’s East Dallas campus. It was acquired by real estate investment firm Physicians Realty Trust.
Galleria Towers, Far North Dallas, 2016: $310 million. The three-building, 1.4 million-square-foot office tower complex connected to the landmark Dallas Galleria shopping mall in Far North Dallas was bought by California-based CBRE Global Investors.
Bank of America Tower, Dallas, 1999: $325 million. A German investor bought the 72-story, 1.9 million-square-foot downtown Dallas skyscraper, which was built in 1985. It’s still the tallest building in North Texas.
The Infomart has been converted into a huge data center complex.