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Dallas Business Journal - September 27, 2004
From the September 24, 2004 print edition
Tarrant/Denton Buzz

Basking in the beauty of Pier 1 Place
Daniel C. Bartel
Staff Writer

Marvin Girouard, Pier 1 Imports Inc. president and CEO, shared some quick insight last week into the illusive meaning behind the shape of Pier 1 Place, the company's new corporate headquarters.

"It's like an 'M' which people think stands for 'Marvin,' " he said, during a company-sponsored tour of the building. "But what I tell them it's 'M' for 'Momentum.' "

Or "Mobility" or "Makeover" or any other "M" word that's had people talking. One thing is certain: If there's any M-word that defines the building to outsiders, it's "Money."

From top to bottom, the $100 million building is a shrine to all things imported. The walls of the building's impressive lobby hallway are made from African eucalyptus wood, the floors from Italian marble, Girouard said.

Stepping out onto the 20th executive floor, one feels as if they've entered a modern art gallery. The glossy floor is made from Brazilian rosewood. Smallish art prints adorn the walls. Security guards are positioned in the hallways, dressed like museum curators.

It's the style and flavor that Girouard wanted for the building.

"We wanted it to be a piece of art," he said.

Art with flair, no doubt. Like a kid with his new toy car, Girouard spared no expense pointing out all aspects of the building, obsessed with everything down to the last detail.

In his office, bigger than most family living rooms, he showed guests the workings of his new dark chocolate-colored burlwood desk. After pushing one of the desk drawers in, the drawer lip retracted on its own.

"Just like the door on my BMW," he said, jokingly.

Lights out
Office tenants at the Fort Worth Club Tower in downtown Fort Worth worked by candlelight and flashlight last week. Power on all the odd floors went out after two J. Davis Electric Co. workers attempted to repair an electric panel, which resulted in an explosion. The building was evacuated just after noon Sept. 15. The workers were treated for severe burns. Power finally resumed Friday afternoon.
"On occasion, we have electrical failures," one ninth-floor tenant said. "The last time we had anything like this was the 2000 tornado."

  • Arlington-based National Executive Management has leased 19,360 square feet at 1700 Tech Centre Parkway at Parkway Business Center in Arlington. Chris Delzell of Henry S. Miller Commercial in Dallas represented National Executive in the deal. Jim Ferris and Al Blaine of Bradford Cos. in Grand Prairie represented the landlord, Parkway Industrial Partners L.P.

  • Franktown Properties L.P. has sold the 77-unit English Village Townhomes to an undisclosed buyer. Doug Wendt with Visions Realty & Investments represented Franktown in the deal.

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