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DALLAS-The 1.7-million-sf Renaissance Tower, with law firms as 31% of the tenant base, has added another, with a full-floor lease of 31,000 sf in a CBD relocation. The long-term contract is rumored to be a prelude to a 70,000-sf deal waiting in the wings for another downtown high-rise as a suburban law firm eyes an in-town move.

The Renaissance deal, though, is signed, sealed and will be delivering the 34th floor to the firm of Diamond, McCarthy, Taylor, Finley, Bryant & Lee. Move-in is Jan. 1. The turnover of the keys will coincide with the expiration of a two-year sublease pact at 1700 Pacific, where it now occupies 13,000 sf.

Bill Brokaw, Renaissance’s leasing manager for Trizec Properties Inc. of New York City, negotiated the seven-year contract with the tenant’s representatives, Lee Wagner and Sam Hocker, a Dallas team for Grubb & Ellis Co.

“The bottom line,” Thom Ridnour, Trizec’s regional vice president in charge of Dallas operations, tells GlobeSt.com, “is we’re retaining and importing law firms to the downtown.”

Wagner says the law firm surveyed the market for 10 months, narrowing the options to four. “It was a matter of evaluating the fit,” he says. The proximity to amenities and floor plate efficiency were critical factors in the decision-making, he says.

“We had many choices to consider and in some ways had to make a tough decision, but we feel that Renaissance Tower captures the environment that will work well for us,” Sharon Gage, the law firm’s executive director of administration, said in a prepared statement.

Finish-out starts tomorrow, according to Brokaw. The law firm will move into space vacated in March when another firm merged with Winstead, Sechrist & Minick and took its office up 12 floors.

Diamond McCarthy is a boutique law firm with national and international clients, including world banks, creditor groups and bankruptcy trustees. It specializes in complex commercial litigation and insolvency.

The landmark high-rise, which gets about $18 per sf plus electric, also snagged a 5,000-sf, three-year expansion from Blockbuster Inc., which occupies 240,000 sf on eight floors for its corporate headquarters plus lobby retail space. The 42nd floor office space will be used for Blockbuster’s Movie Trading Co. Hocker and Wagner also represented Blockbuster.

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