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DALLAS-After year of regrouping, the Beverly Hills, CA-based Kennedy Wilson Inc. is shopping Texas with upward of $50 million for mostly office acquisitions while rebuilding its Dallas/Fort Worth management footprint. In fact, the bulk of the Lone Star State allocation is earmarked for the DFW region.

“We’re not going to be the biggest company in Dallas,” Christy Means, the regional manager in the city for Kennedy Wilson Properties Ltd., tells GlobeSt.com, “but we’re working hard to build up our third-party business and ownership.”

The regrouping began in mid-2002 as Kennedy Wilson pared its ranks and triggered rumors of a DFW pullout. Instead, the North Texas office was put under the watch of Austin. The one-time triple-digit local staff now numbers 12, of which two are brokers and the bulk property management specialists.

John Duban, formerly with GE Capital, joined the team about nine months ago as the acquisitions partner. “His full-time job is to find acquisitions for us,” Means emphasizes, confiding that a couple metroplex buildings were under contract, but owners subsequently withdrew and refinanced.

Also, the local team has been quietly rebuilding its property management portfolio which, Means stresses, is the new team’s strong point. The latest and largest assignment in a year, the 255,190-sf Redbird Business Center in Southwest Dallas, put the management contracts over the one-million-sf mark. Last month, the team added Lockwood Business Center, an 18,000-sf retail project here, and previously rolled in three multifamily projects, Turnberry Isle and Glen Eagles here and the Meridian in Bedford. The portfolio also contains the FedEx Building in Las Colinas and the Plaza at Riverbend and Commerce Plaza Hillcrest, both in Dallas proper.

Cohen Asset Management Inc., also headquartered in Beverly Hills, shifted the Redbird Business Center management from its homeport to Kennedy Wilson to have someone on the ground in town for the 100%-leased property. Leasing agent, Ken Wesson of locally based Bradford Cos., is courting a handful of tenants for renewals, but Means says the bulk of the pacts are good until 2008.

Built in 1990, the seven-building complex sits on seven acres in an industrial area near the upgraded Executive Airport. Lead tenants include the Dallas Police Academy, a Dallas Morning News distribution site and Tiger Flow Inc., a pipe manufacturer for HVAC systems.

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