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DALLAS-After a heated face-off by major brokerage houses, Blockbuster Inc. has hired Staubach Co. to lead a headquarters site search. The video giant’s lease, expiring in 2007, spans 240,000 sf of class A space on eight floors in the Dallas CBD’s Renaissance Tower.

“We intend to explore all our options in the Dallas/Fort Worth area,” says a Blockbuster spokesman. “It doesn’t mean we’re going anywhere. It just means we’re exploring our options.”

Staubach’s Carl Ewert and Jeff Staubach will be leading the charge after securing the win in a competition with the city’s top teams. Blockbuster’s headquarters has been in Renaissance Tower at 1201 Elm St. since 1997. The corporation houses about 900 employees in the 56-story building, taking up full floors on 21 through 24, 26 and 30 through 32 levels. Insiders say Blockbuster’s corporate chiefs are eyeing an expansion, but the game is just beginning.

The 1.7-million-sf Renaissance Tower, now 84% leased, is owned by Chicago-based Trizec Properties Inc. The Blockbuster decision to begin shopping early for space doesn’t come as a surprise. “It’s certainly typical of today’s marketplace and it’s fine,” a Trizec spokesman tells GlobeSt.com. “We have a great relationship with both organizations. We’ve had a very positive experience with Blockbuster at Renaissance Tower and we look forward to providing a compelling set of reasons to stay on.”

Besides the office space, Blockbuster has a retail store in the high rise. And, the corporation owns an 850,000-sf distribution center in McKinney, 33 miles northeast of Dallas.

The class A sector has been the big leader in the CBD space race as corporations and law firms alike seize the moment, or rather market conditions, to lock in rates for the long term. Blockbuster is following the lead for an early deal to take the utmost advantage of rates that are on the rebound and just now starting to firm up.

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