The skinny is Pioneer Natural Resources renewed 223,000 sf andadded 70,000 sf, which is being touted as the largest deal in adecade for Las Colinas. The oil and gas company will remain firmlyrooted through 2020 in Williams Square's West Tower at 5205O'Connor Blvd. In Downtown Dallas, AIG has inked an 11-year leasefor 125,000 sf in Plaza of the Americas' south tower at 600 N.Pearl St. And, the word is AIG isn't done dealing.

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Dealmakers say Pioneer gets its extra space in spring 2009 andhas an option for another 50,000 sf. AIG's lease goes into effectin January 2009.

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[IMGCAP(2)]"That's a good start to the year," says JoelPustmueller, partner of Dallas-based Peloton Real Estate Partners,which leases the 1.8-million-sf Plaza of the Americas. "This is areflection of what went on in the last 12 months." Like others inDallas/Fort Worth and elsewhere, he's optimistic yet uncertainabout how 2008 will play out for the office market. But for now,the street's happily buzzing about the two signings.

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Mark Dickenson, senior vice president of leasing forAtlanta-based Cousins Properties, tells GlobeSt.com that Pioneer,with ties to billionaire T. Boone Pickens, will sublease its extra70,000 sf from TIG Insurance Group and then move to a direct dealin 2010 with New York City-based TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate for293,000 sf of the 350,000-sf West Tower. The packaged play for arenewal, expansion and extension is keeping occupancy at 95% orslightly higher in the 1.4-million-sf Towers at Williams Square at5215 O'Connor Blvd.

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"Basically, this puts the West Tower to bed," Dickenson says."They consider that West Tower as their corporate headquartersbuilding." Pioneer's predecessor company has been a Williams Squaretenant since 1991 when Pickens shifted the operation fromAmarillo.

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Los Angeles-based TIG Insurance, which once leased 450,000 sf inthe trophy complex, has steadily downsized in the past 13 years.Dickenson says the lease for its remaining 50,000 sf will expire inMay 2009.

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Dickenson credits TIAA-CREF's multimillion-dollar upgrades andmaintenance to being key to Pioneer's decision to keep its900-member workforce in the building and remain the largest tenantin the Las Colinas Urban Center. The deal spans 12 of the tower'sfloors. The tenant reps were Staubach Co.'s Larry Toon, executivevice president, and Paul Whitman, president of Southwest corporateservices. TIAA-CREF's point man was Steven Bither, director of realestate asset management. The asset's quoted rate is $28 per sf to$30 per sf plus electric.

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In the Downtown Dallas win, New York City-based AmericanInternational Cos. moved from the CBD in 1999 to the North Dallassuburbs. Word's been out since early last summer that it wanted toreturn to the CBD. And the latest buzz is AIG is planning to keepsome suburban space in hand.

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AIG houses several divisions in 190,000 sf on the top sevenfloors of the 18-story, 464,289-sf Walnut Glen Tower at 3144 WalnutHill Lane, a 95%-leased, class A building owned by Dallas-basedPrescott Realty Group and leased by Duane Henley of Radnor,PA-headquartered Brandywine Realty Trust. AIG's lease doesn'texpire until February 2009.

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"We've been working with them for awhile on their renewal andexpansion," says Stephanie Colovas, Prescott's senior managingdirector. "We've not received any notice of their renewaldecision."

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Rick Hughes, executive director for Dallas-based Cushman &Wakefield of Texas Inc., is AIG's tenant rep. AIG won't comment onthe regional headquarters lease or if it plans to hold a spot inthe suburbs. What is a certainty is the lion's share of the crew isheaded to floors three through nine in the 24-story, 527,980-sfPlaza of the Americas, where a $19 per sf plus electric quote hangson the space. The deal bumps occupancy to 90% for Blackstone Groupof New York City, which inherited 50% of the asset in itsacquisition of now-defunct Trizec Properties Inc.

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It's no secret that AIG initially was searching for 200,000 sf,which initially put it out of reach for the Plaza of the Americas'openings. Pustmueller says "we aggressively went after it" when therequirement was broken up.

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Yesterday's AIG news reverberated throughout the city as theGreater Dallas Chamber announcement hit the streets. "We areclearly excited about this announcement. Not only did AIG decide tostay in Dallas, but it chose Downtown Dallas as its new home,"Mayor Tom Leppert says in a press release. "We welcome them astheir relocation adds to the exciting momentum already building inthe city's core."

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