"We chased it like crazy," Joel Pustmueller, partner inDallas-based Peloton Real Estate Partners, tells GlobeSt.com. "Weput a very attractive deal on the table for them." He says theScottsdale, AZ-based Meritage plans to keep an office along theDallas North Tollway and roll all others in Dallas and Fort Worthunder one roof at 909 Hidden Ridge Dr. in Las Colinas. Based on taxrecords, the company has 12 locations in Dallas and Tarrantcounties.

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Pustmueller says negotiations for the stair-stepped pact wentfull circle in two months. Meritage is taking 20,000 sf at streetlevel and the 22,000-sf balance of the fourth floor in thesix-story building. The street-level space is earmarked forMeritage's design center, title company and mortgage brokerageservices. The just-leased space is in shell condition, allowingMeritage to build from scratch.

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The Meritage win bumps occupancy to 55%, a 25% climb in the pastfew months since Peloton moved into the driver's seat to lease the246,664-sf landmark building. Pustmueller says there are a coupledeals working that could push occupancy to 80% by summer for itsowner, Houston-based Hines.

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MacArthur Ridge II is on the rebound from losing EMC MortgageCorp., a wholly owned subsidiary of New York City-based BearStearns Cos. Inc., to a headquarters build-to-suit in Lewisville.Hines has added some spec suites of 1,200 sf to 3,000 sf to helpwith the find-and-sign campaign by Pustmueller and Peloton vicepresident Grant Sumner.

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Pustmueller says Dallas-based Staubach Co.'s executive vicepresident Brad Selner and associate Andy Leatherman scoured LasColinas and the Texas 114 corridor before Meritage settled on theMacArthur Ridge II space. In today's leasing climate, thebuilding's deals are being bed down in the $23.50 per sf range.

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Meritage is one of the largest homebuilders in the Southwest andranked 11th nationally. Last year, there had been talk in Phoenixbrokerage circles that the company was planning to move itsheadquarters to Dallas.

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Las Colinas is corporate America-driven so the 42,000-sf win isparticularly significant because leasing has slowed in tandem withthe economy. "It's a quiet period. It's the smaller deals that keepLas Colinas ticking," Pustmueller says. "When you have a chance tosnag a deal in this market, you have to be all over it."

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