DALLAS-In a triple hit, the Dallas CBD has secured 91,457 sf for the long term, with Wells Fargo Bank staying put in 69,914 sf at Fountain Place and the balance of the coup going to two new deals at Renaissance Tower.

The Wells Fargo signing ended 1.5 years of shopping from the CBD to the suburbs. “In evaluating all the parts…economics, location and amenities…they just felt like the Crescent package met their needs better than the others,” says John T. Amend, president of Dallas-based WorkPlaceUSA. He tells GlobeSt.com that the short list also included 1700 Pacific, Bryan Tower and Lincoln Plaza, all with one thing in common–empty retail bank spaces on their ground floors. Still, the offers were no match for Crescent’s 1.2-million-sf trophy at 1445 Ross Ave. and a third-generation relationship that began in 1986 when the building opened and the lease belonged to Allied Bank, which became First Interstate and then Wells Fargo’s Texas entry.

Amend says the 15-year lease calls for an immediate reconfiguration of 14,000 sf with more office layout changes down the road. Although it wasn’t part of the Crescent deal, the bank also re-upped for the long term on a drive-through retail branch across the street from Fountain Place.

The renewal keeps the 60-story structure at 98% occupancy, says Kirby White, leasing manager for Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. “We were comfortable with the agreement we reached,” he says of the deal in a building that commands $23 per sf to $26 per sf plus electric. “It’s important for us and the downtown to retain our financial institutions.”

Wells Fargo, the high-rise’s fourth-largest tenant, occupies half of the first floor with its retail branch and all of floors two through four plus some extra space above the elevator bank. In the last four years, Wells Fargo has boosted its Fountain Place space from 40,000 sf to the existing 69,914 sf, says White, who negotiated the pact for the building owner of record, Crescent Real Estate Funding X LP. The tenant’s terms were brokered by Amend, James Vanderslice, president of GLV Realty Advisors in Dallas, and Mark Riley, the bank’s vice president of corporate properties division.

Trizec Properties Inc. signed Maclean Oddy & Associates to 16,029 sf for the next seven years and ChangeAgent Inc. to 5,154 sf for three years. Maclean Oddy’s finish-out has just begun while the other newcomer is getting comfortable in as-is space on the 42nd floor of the 1.7-million-sf Renaissance Tower at 1201 Elm St.

At the end of December, Maclean Oddy, an excess and surplus lines agency with brokerage and underwriting capabilities, will move from Fountain Place to the 49th floor of Renaissance Tower, taking over space empties in April by Prudential Security. “We have been seeing more and more insurance businesses looking at downtown Dallas as the ideal place to locate or relocate their operations,” Thom Ridnour, regional vice president in Dallas for the Chicago-based Trizec.

Bill Brokaw, Trizec’s man at the bargaining table for Renaissance Tower, says there’s been an increase in CBD tours by several insurance companies from the suburbs in search of in-town deals. It’s a safe bet that more such deals will close before the year ends, he says. The 84%-leased high-rise is quoting a rate of $16 per sf to $17 per sf plus electric.

Carl Ewert and Brad Selner, with Dallas’ Staubach Co., represented Maclean Oddy. Mike Wyatt and Sheila Belinger, a Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. team in Dallas, brokered terms on ChangeAgent’s behalf.

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