DALLAS-Bringing a close to a hard-fought battle, the New York City owner of the 1.2-million-sf JPMorgan Chase Tower in the Dallas CBD set off shockwaves in a decision late yesterday afternoon to pull the assignment from the high rise’s one-time owner, Trammell Crow Co., and turn it over to Stream Realty Partners.

Neither winner nor loser is talking about the changing of the trophy’s guard. TCC occupies the 34th and 37th floors in the 55-story building at 2200 Ross Ave. so the fallout could empty two levels in a play for a replacement assignment in the CBD. Sources say early speculation is TCC has the 1.8-million-sf Bank of America Plaza at 901 Main St., now leased and managed by Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc., in its crosshairs.

TCC was the force that brought Chase Tower out of the ground in 1987. It’s now owned by Equitable-Nissei Dallas Co., a teaming of Equitable Assurance Society and one of Japan’s leading insurance companies. TCC has leased and managed the building since it opened. The turnover date and terms of Stream’s coup weren’t available before press time.

The Chase Tower “opportunity” pitted TCC, Stream, Capstar Commercial Real Estate Services and Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. against each other. Pitches were made about three weeks ago to Morgan Stanley, the owner’s adviser for the 85%-leased high rise.

The guard change comes as the market waits to hear if the Chase Bank-Bank One merger will empty space around town or bring a demand for more with a headquarters relocation from Chicago. Chase Bank occupies 175,000 sf at Chase Tower–the lease is good through 2008. Bank One occupies 350,000 sf at 1717 Main St. and it has six years left on the term.

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