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IRVING, TX-Chicago-based Transwestern Commercial Services has assigned its most senior team to its latest challenge: leasing what is being touted as the largest contiguous block of class A space now standing empty in North Texas.

Jack Eimer, president of Transwestern’s central region, tells GlobeSt.com that the team of Kim Vincent Butler, executive vice president, and Blair Oden, senior vice president, intends to take a “different tact” for the task at hand. It’s common practice to “stay close” to the national relocation consulting firms, but the size and scope of the new contract for the 401,000-sf Plaza at Las Colinas warrants “actively” pursuing the advisers for the corporate decision-making process, he explains.

Transwestern beat out “three or four” other brokerage houses in the region chasing the contract from GE Capital Real Estate, owner since 1998. Jones Lang LaSalle’s Dallas office had held the property management contract and Dallas-based Capstar Commercial Services was the leasing agent.

The building fell empty when the Associates, by far the largest tenant in the 18-story structure, was bought by CitiCorp and regional offices consolidated. A tenant exodus over the past year has taken the building down to a deli and a full-service bank, occupying a combined 1,000 sf. Additional retail will be added when the time is right. Mike Ogden, senior vice president of management services, was assigned the property management end of the deal.

The Plaza at Las Colinas was built in 1983 as the headquarters for the former Gifford-Hill & Co. and renovated in 2001. The Associates was the lead tenant for at least a decade, say Butler and Oden. The class A building at 300 John Carpenter Freeway is positioned at the intersection of Texas 114 and Wingren in Las Colinas, one of the region’s most sought-after addresses by the corporate crowd.

The Butler-Oden team just isn’t facing the easiest job in today’s market. According to Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.’s first quarter office stats, Las Colinas is shouldering a 24.7% vacancy, including sublease space. Still, says Butler, “the building is primed for a corporate relocation.” And, she adds, the interest is there based on talks with Greater Dallas groups that say inquiries are still coming in from around the country as corporations look to cut costs by relocating to more business-friendly climates.

Oden says they are armed with a list of prospects seeking 7.5 million sf in the region, from 25,000 sf to 400,000 sf. “We will be chasing every single one of those tenants for this building,” Oden emphasizes to GlobeSt.com.

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