Local Building Sells at Steep Discount

Burnett Plaza
Burnett Plaza lobby | Image by Burnett Plaza

The tallest building in Fort Worth was just purchased for a fraction of the price it sold for just three years ago.

Burnett Plaza, located at 801 Cherry St., is the tallest building in the city at 567 feet — just slightly taller than the 38-story Bank of America Tower in Fort Worth. On May 7, Pinnacle Bank Texas purchased the 40-story tower during a Tarrant County courthouse auction, the same auction that netted Will Northern 163 acres of east Fort Worth real estate.

According to Pinnacle, the previous owner of Burnett Plaza, Burnett Cherry Street LLC, an affiliate of Opal Holdings LLC, found itself unable to meet the payments on a $13 million loan that had initially financed the tower’s purchase in 2021. Consequently, the bank reclaimed the property with a credit bid of approximately $12.3 million, a fraction of its recent appraisal value of $104.5 million. In fact, Burnett Cherry Street LLC bought the tower for over $137.5 million just three years ago.

In other words, three years ago, the building sold for more than 11 times the price Pinnacle paid for it last week.

Tenants of the building, which is adjacent to Burk Burnett Park, include General Motors Financial, Huckabee, Kimley-Horn and Associates, and infrastructure consulting and engineering firm Freese and Nichols.

Opal allegedly had 10 contractors file mechanics’ liens on them totaling over $1.6 million, accusing the New York-based real estate investment firm of failing to pay for renovation work at Burnett Plaza. Tarrant Construction Services filed the largest lien at nearly $1 million, claiming Opal failed to pay for renovations of multiple suites and bathrooms. This, in turn, prompted Opal to sue Pinnacle last month, alleging the bank drove the building into default.

Burnett Plaza had a 22% vacancy rate last quarter, nearly double the 11.5% average vacancy rate in downtown Forth Worth.

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