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FBI regional field office: security issues drove search for new location

February 28, 2003 - Dallas Business Journal

Christine Perez Staff Writer

STEMMONS CORRIDOR In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Federal Bureau of Investigation decided to move its Southwest field office from the West End's Landmark Center to a more secure location. The agency wanted to build a new home that was set back from major roadways and pedestrian traffic, but wanted to stay within Dallas city limits.

Rosebriar Properties Inc., owned by Robert Brittingham, stepped in to solve the dilemma with a 16-acre site in its Stemmons Crossroads project. In addition to a 200-foot setback, the parcel backed up to the Trinity River and was bounded by a creek on two sides, offering the FBI just the security it was looking for.

For Rosebriar, the 230,000-square-foot, $45 million FBI build-to-suit is the latest in a string of successes. Since acquiring about 180 acres at the southwest corner of Interstate 35E and Loop 12/Northwest Highway in 1991, Brittingham has transformed the busy West Dallas intersection, developing more than 1 million square feet of office, multifamily, warehouse, restaurant and retail space including the country's first megaplex theater.

"Stemmons Crossroads is the epitome of a mixed-use development," said Robert Dorazil, president of Rosebriar. "We've built all of this in an area where there's not a lot of residential in close proximity, and it has been very successful."

What's more, Rosebriar has developed Stemmons Crossroads without any assistance from the city of Dallas. For the FBI, that meant a 65,000-cubic-yard flood plain reclamation and building a new city street, water, sewer and drainage lines, and other infrastructure specific to the bureau's needs.

Rosebriar's efforts have increased property tax values in Stemmons Crossroads to more than $100 million, Dorazil said. Its stores and restaurants attract more than 3 million people each year.

The FBI build-to-suit was put together by David Hicks, formerly with Bradford Cos. and now senior vice president of office development at Hillwood. It was the largest office construction project within Dallas city limits during 2002.

New York-based Cowperwood Co. purchased a 15.5-acre tract from Rosebriar and served as the project's developer. Mark Sullivan at JTL Capital represented Cowperwood in the deal.

Contact DBJ writer Christine Perez at cperez@bizjournals.com or (214) 706-7120.

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