trophyCarnegie

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A Comerica spokesman says the search is underway for a leader ofthe Tarrant County headquarters office, an adjunct to the Dallasoperation which has stood as the banking giant's HQ sincesince August2007. Fort Worth's rise in prominence on the nationallevel, its built-in wealth for investment and its strongundercurrent of doing business with its local players have made italmost imperative for businesses, like Comerica, to open shops inboth cities although they're commonly thought of as one by theoutside world.

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"Comerica is plugging into the Fort Worth community, which is akey method to do well in this city," says Johnny Campbell,president and CEO of Sundance Square, the guardian company andowner of the 20-block Downtown and the Carnegie's developer. TheComerica lease, inked with a minimum seven-year term, pushed the16-story building at 421 W. Third St. over the 80% preleasingmark.

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Campbell says the initial search for a bank to fill one of tworetail spaces in the Carnegie began at least six months ago. "Therewere quite a few banks that expressed interest," he tellsGlobeSt.com, "but Comerica clearly was the lead choice." TheCarnegie's tenant roster to date is a mix of professionals,financial and oil and gas companies like EOG Resources Inc., whichhas bumped its 100,000-sf headquarters lease to 196,507 sf duringthe course of construction.

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Campbell says EOG occupies roughly 60,000 sf in three buildingsin the CBD, all owned by Sundance Square. In prepping for theCarnegie's delivery, EOG's management team has turned to exercisingoptions to ensure it has room to expand. "They're still growing ata fast pace," Campbell says.

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Comerica's Tarrant County HQ will fill half of the sixth floor.As would be expected, its name will light the building, but in amanner in keeping with the Sundance streets: a corner blade signand awnings with its name. "It will be respectful of thearchitecture," Campbell stresses. The Carnegie was designed byrenowned architect David M. Schwarz of Washington, DC with BOKAPowell of Dallas as the interior architect. Comerica's broker wasNathan Wood, first vice president with CB Richard Ellis inDallas.

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Besides functioning as the Tarrant County HQ location,Comerica's commercial team will provide services for wealthmanagement, treasury management and small business operations. Thefirst-floor bank is one of three in Comerica's pipeline, withretail locations in the works for 5925 Overton Ridge Blvd. and 4351Western Center Blvd., both in the city limits. Comerica already hasbranches open in Arlington and Bedford, both Tarrant County.

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The Carnegie's tenant hunt has been led by Bill Booker,Sundance's leasing director, who has floors two, four and five andpart of the Comerica's sixth floor left to fill in the officecomponent and an 8,000-sf street-level retail space. The officespace is tagged at $27.50 per sf plus electric. As for the retail,Sundance is known for being particularly choosy about tenants soit's more the name and category than the rate, always billed asnegotiable, that ultimately fills the space.

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Campbell says the second, and last, retail spot most likely willbe one tenant and complement the city library, which is rightacross the street. The categories are much like he's sought forother Sundance locations: soft goods, specialty retail andrestaurants.

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Campbell confides that talks are underway for the remainingretail and office openings, but there are no more names ready todiscuss. However, there are enough deals working in the pipeline tofill the new trophy, he says. "But, they may not be all ready tolight at the opening," he adds. "You work prospects until the dealsare all done." EOG will be the first tenant to move in, beginningaround Sept. 25 in a 10-week phased-in occupancy earmarked forcompletion by the building's grand opening in early December.

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