DALLAS-The law firm of Vinson & Elkins, with 16 years invested in Trammell Crow Center, has re-upped a five-floor foothold and added a sixth for a combined lockdown of 156,373 sf of contiguous class AA office space. Even sweeter, the Arts District tenant will stay rooted for 184 months.

The gold-plated law firm, opting against shopping, has been renegotiating its lease at 2001 Ross Ave. for the last eight months with a Trammell Crow Co. consulting team at its side to bargain against TCC colleagues and a pair of execs from the ownership line. The talks resulted in a stair-stepped lease for upper bank floors; a 26,000-sf expansion or a full floor with flexibility for a phased-in takedown; and tenant improvements on old and new space in varying degrees of refurbishing, Jon McNeil, the Dallas-headquartered TCC’s senior vice president, tells GlobeSt.com.

The prized pact pushed the 1.1-million-sf trophy’s occupancy to 91%, edging one notch above a market benchmark for Dallas CBD and Uptown office building owners. The building’s quoted rent is $25 per sf to $27 per sf plus electric. With lawyers as the tenants and Texas’ strict confidentiality clause, it’s not likely that word will get out as to how much was saved by writing a new lease. The law firm, like others around town, are jumping into renewals and taking down expansion space for the long, long haul to lock in rates just in case they start to climb.

Though the law firm wasn’t looking to move, the possibility always hung overhead. “This transaction,” Rob Walters, co-administrative partner in Dallas for the Houston-based law firm, says in a press release, “would not have been possible without the efforts of all of these seasoned and capable professionals.” Vinson & Elkins’ consultants were TCC principals Phil Puckett and Brant Bernet and vice president Chris Herrmann. The Fort Worth-based building owner, Crescent Real Estate Equities Co., had TCC principal Matt Craft and McNeil negotiating its terms along with its leasing director Kirby White and regional vice president Michael Lewis.

The 87-year-old law firm started as a two-man partnership and now is ranked in the nation’s Top 10 practices by American Lawyer. Vinson & Elkins’ office network includes Austin, New York City, Washington, DC, Beijing, Dubai, London, Moscow and Singapore.

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