May 13, 2022

Twin Sisters Nab ‘Rare’ Find Near Dallas Design District, Plan Major Upgrade

By Candace Carlisle, CoStar News, May 2, 2022

M2G Ventures Purchases Eight Industrial Buildings With Plans ‘To Craft a Vision’

Twin sister developers who make aging industrial buildings new again added what they call a “rare opportunity” in purchasing eight buildings — with the size to affect the neighborhood near the Dallas Design District — with plans for a major renovation.

M2G Ventures, led by co-founders Jessica Miller Essl and Susan Gruppi, purchased eight industrial buildings, including Commonwealth Center, totaling about 207,000 square feet on 11.6 acres in the South Stemmons area near the Dallas Design District. Terms of the acquisition were undisclosed.

With easy access to Uptown and downtown Dallas and other residential neighborhoods, the proximity of the industrial properties makes them ideal for tenants with last-mile logistics needs, Essl said in an interview with CoStar News.

“These buildings haven’t been touched in several decades,” Essl added. “We want to bring it into a new era with placemaking.”

M2G Ventures plans to spend a significant amount of capital on tackling deferred maintenance and major capital improvement projects such as new roofs, new electrical and mechanical systems, new lighting, a new facade and even public art to help transform them into Class A industrial properties. Project details, including the total amount of the renovation, are still being determined.

The recent acquisition includes Commonwealth Business Park, a six-building, 113,000-square-foot light industrial property. The Fort Worth, Texas-based real estate investment firm also bought two buildings along Woodall Street totaling about 95,000 square feet one block from another property owned by M2G Ventures, Proto Park. The addition of these two buildings adds Scout Design Studio, a home decor showroom, to its tenant mix. The Woodall Street portion of the acquisition also includes an adjacent land tract.

Commonwealth Business Park is expected to require a complete renovation and upgrade. The Woodall Street buildings were recently redone. The real estate investment and development firm expects to hire an architect and general contractor in the coming weeks.

“It is rare to have an opportunity to buy six buildings with this much land and parking. We have the ability to craft a vision we can control that is bigger than one building.”

Jessica Miller Essl, Co-Founder of M2G Ventures

M2G plans to continue adding to its urban industrial portfolio with a “deliberate uptick in acquisitions in the first quarter,” with the growth trajectory expected to continue throughout 2022. The firm is looking to add to its portfolio with urban industrial and mixed-use properties. But it won’t be easy, Essl said.

“We haven’t really encountered an easy close or noncompetitive situation in the last 24 months,” she said, referring to the competitiveness of Dallas-Fort Worth’s industrial market, one of the nation’s largest. “Everyone is looking at purchasing right now. If you drop a building, two or three other buyers are going to want it. This takes an incredible amount of time and focus, as well as having the right relationships in a highly competitive situation.”