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FT. WORTH-The Sundance Square hierarchy is just waiting to see what CoServ plans to do about honoring its high-tech hookup contract for 900,000 sf now that Chapter 11 petitions are filed for six telephone and cable divisions. The hookups to 24 CBD buildings were slated to begin with the under-construction 200,000-sf Bank One Building.

Tracy Gilmur, Sundance’s marketing director, says “at this point we don’t know that it’s not going to happen.” The Bank One Building is set to open in March 2002.

A CoServ insider tells GlobeSt.com that the firm still “believes” in the viability of the Sundance Square project. But, he adds, CoServ is “still in the process of evaluating all of our options in light of the Chapter 11.”

Sundance and CoServ, a bundled utility provider based in Corinth, TX, signed the deal in late October 2000 to deliver services to the buildings’ 118 residential and 120 commercial and retail tenants. CoServ was the only provider willing to bring high-speed connections to all 24 buildings, regardless of size. The CBD square is laced with two- to 12-story structures intermingled with the usual high-rise fare. CoServ was to use fiber-optic cabling, small rooftop satellite dishes and copper cabling techniques for the hookups, carefully tailoring the connection to the building since the square has a good size stock of historic structures.

CoServ is still occupying its 1,325-sf retail site in Sundance West that came along with the contract, says Gilmur. And, CoServ is looking for a buyer while maintaining service to existing customers. The catch is Sundance Square isn’t connected.

“Filing for Chapter 11 reorganization will help assure continued service as we proceed with the sale process,” Bill McGinnis, CoServ president and CEO, said in a Nov. 30 press release. Some possible buyers already have come forward, according to the company.

The Chapter 11 petitions were filed Nov. 30 in US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas, in Ft. Worth. The petitions are for CoServ Telecom Holdings LP, CoServ Telecom GP LLC, CoServ LLC dba CoServ Communications, DWB GP Inc., Dallas Wireless Broadband LP and MultiTechnology Services LP dba CoServ Broadband. Forty-five of CoServ’s 236 employees were let go as a result of the bankruptcies.

CoServ is a 1990s single-source utility provider that evolved from a 1930s electric cooperative. In addition to electric and broadband utilities, it offers gas, telecommunications, cable TV, Internet access via an Integrated Services Digital Network, security and fire solutions to commercial operations. CoServ’s broadband width division had 40,000 lines under contract in late 2000.

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