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IRVING, TX-CMD Realty Investors LP has won a headquarters tenant in a Las Colinas submarket relocation amid stiff competition for a seven-year contract being dangled by EFG Cos., a national automotive finance and insurance firm.

EFG has signed for 38,134 sf at 122 W. Carpenter Freeway after weeding a short list of four potential office buildings. CMD had cause to aggressively seek the nod since it was hoping to fill a class A spot that’s sat empty for two years, Bob Gibbons, CMD’s vice president and regional manager in Dallas, tells GlobeSt.com. The 218,000-sf building’s top floor once housed the feds’ Office of Thrift Supervision.

“It was very competitive. That’s the market right now,” Gibbons said. “I’d rather be ahead of the market instead of behind it.” He said the long vacancy was due to CMD’s desire to fill the office with another single tenant. The space went totally dark in mid-2000 after a phased-out exit over a three-year period. “We were already on the down side of the hot market at that point,” he explained.

EFG’s lease takes the Las Colinas Urban Center building to 85% occupancy and gives it a lead tenant. EFG has had its offices at 1901 Gateway since 1995, operating under a sale/leaseback with Invesco Realty Advisors. The lease expiration will coincide with the relocation, said Kevin S. McGovern, managing director for Insignia/ESG in Dallas.

McGovern says EFG’s existing address was in the final face-off. With EFG’s exit, the 75,000-sf office building is empty. The new lease simply enabled the tenant to go from a class B office building to a class A, a strong consideration in today’s tenants’ market.

“Everyone wanted this deal,” McGovern tells GlobeSt.com of the lateral submarket move. “It’s one of the biggest deals that will happen in Las Colinas this year.” He added that “it takes a sophisticated, educated client to translate today’s low rates and concessions into long-term benefit….their decision demonstrates both economic prudence and foresight.”

Matt Schendle, associate with Atlanta-based Cousins Properties Inc.’s Texas operation, represented CMD Realty, which has just held the first pre-construction meeting. Finish-out should get under way in late October.

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