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IRVING, TX-Northwestern Mutual has reassigned the leasing and management assignment for a 161,400-sf, class A office building in Las Colinas in a behind-the-scenes move that wrested the contract from Stream Realty Partners and put it into the hands of Cousins Properties Inc.

The Dallas-based Stream Realty held the contract for the last three years. GlobeSt.com has confirmed that the contract did not come to the open market. Stream Realty did not return telephone calls by publication time for comment on the loss of 511 Carpenter.

The Atlanta-based Cousins’ Dallas office also handles Northwestern’s 6565 MacArthur at Sierra, which went from 55% occupancy to 90% less than a year after its contracts changed hands. At that takeover time, the 260,000-sf office building was battling the loss of Nokia, a 100,000-sf tenant. The 511 Carpenter is 70% leased with a stable rent roll that puts it on stronger footing, Mark Dickenson, Cousins’ senior vice president of leasing in Dallas, tells GlobeSt.com.

Still, Dickenson says “we do have some (leases) that we are pursuing that are ready made for this building. I think our track record in Las Colinas and our most recent success with 6565 MacArthur that Northwestern basically decided it was time to consolidate their Las Colinas portfolio…with us.”

About eight months ago, a $1-million overhaul wrapped up on the seven-story 511 Carpenter, which is bearing a quoted rate of $16 per sf to $18 per sf. With 50,000 sf sitting empty, Cousins is huddling over a brokers’ “incentive to sign” package that will be announced in 30 days. “We will come out with something that excites the brokerage community,” Dickenson promises.

The 50,000 sf sits in blocks of 1,000 sf to 10,000 sf. Dickenson says the target market will be 1,000-sf to 5,000-sf tenants, a hotspot in the Las Colinas market as class B tenants continue to seize opportunities to move into class A space without putting a chokehold on their budgets. If the right tenant comes along, an 18,000-sf block of contiguous space could be configured.

Cousins has been pushing hard to grow its footprint in the leasing and management arena, shooting to beef up its third-party contracts by 10% to 20% per year over the next three to five years. Company-wide, the assignments total 6.3 million sf, with 4.1 million sf in Dallas-Fort Worth. Bagging another Milwaukee-based Northwestern building “is just one step in that direction,” Dickenson says of a structure positioned in the Las Colinas Urban Center and fronting Texas 114.

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