By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief
Interest in May Owen Center, six acres on NE spurs sale
TCC is selling its administration offices downtown with intentions to relocate to its TR Campus, and the college is putting six acres of NE Campus on the market.
The college has housed its district offices in the May Owen Center located at 1500 Houston St. in downtown Fort Worth, since 1983.
The Clear Fork building on TR formerly housed Radio Shack’s offices, but the company left the campus last year, making that space available. Communications and external affairs vice chancellor Reginald Gates said it made sense from a “space utilization standpoint to use that space.”
TR’s Clear Fork building is also a more updated space than the May Owen Center, Gates said.
“Instead of trying to do a great deal of retrofitting and otherwise to this building [May Owen Center], it just made sense for us to go into an upgraded space that’s there,” he said.
But Gates is sure some people will have some sentimental ties to the space, especially those that may have known May Owen, the former board member the building is named after.
“I think folks are by and large excited about it, but certainly nostalgia has a place for this facility,” Gates said.
The six acres TCC plans to sell on NE Campus consist of five acres at Grapevine Highway and Harwood Road in North Richland Hills and one acre at Harwood and Precinct Line Road in Hurst. Gates said a lot of market interest in the properties instigated the desire to sell the land.
“What’s notable about those two parcels is they’re areas that we don’t plan to ever develop for grade levels and otherwise,” he said. “They’re not areas we would use. They’re part of the campus footprint, but they’re not part of campus proper.”
Unlike May Owen Center, the potential buyer of the land on NE will need to have the property rezoned for their use as all of the campus’ property is zoned for educational purposes, said real estate and facilities vice chancellor Nina Petty in an email.
JLL, the commercial real estate firm hired to sell and market the May Owen Center and the NE land, deferred questions back to the college. However, in a press release, JLL’s Todd Burnette said interest in downtown Fort Worth properties, like May Owen Center, “is the highest it’s been in years.”
Burnette also noted that May Owen Center’s proximity to the Fort Worth Medical District will “positively impact the marketability” of the property and attract “national interest from hospitality and multi-family developers.”
As for what the college stands to make from selling the land, the proceeds for both the May Owen Center and NE properties will be determined by the market, according to Petty.
“The properties do not have offering prices,” she said.
Offers for the six acres on NE Campus are due Sept. 18, and Petty said she anticipates the college will call for bids on the May Owen Center early this fall.
“Activity on both MOC [May Owen Center] and NE Campus properties from potential buyers has been very good,” she said.
According to Petty, the college doesn’t usually sell off property.
“These are two unique offerings that TCC determined there was not a long-term need for the properties,” she said.
Gates agreed and added he doesn’t believe the college selling off other property or portions of campus land will be a trend going forward.