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DALLAS-CB Richard Ellis Investors Inc., representing the Utah State Retirement Fund, has released the 295,809-sf Turtle Creek Centre to MetLife Real Estate Investments Inc. Market sources say the Uptown office deed has brought in the high $170s per sf for its 11-year owner.

As the deed changed hands so did the property management and leasing assignments for the class A building at 3811 Turtle Creek Blvd., assessed at $33.9 million by Dallas Central Appraisal District. None of the deal’s brokers was available prior to publication time for comment on the transaction.

When the deal closed, the new owner put Trammell Crow Co. in charge of the asset after a face-off with Houston-based PM Realty Group. TCC principal Jim Yoder tells GlobeSt.com that the same team assigned to the New York City-based MetLife’s 2100 McKinney high rise has been handed the reins to Turtle Creek Centre–Matt Craft and Worthey Wiles for leasing and Kari Whitley as property manager. “The common ownership gives you flexible, creative things to do with leasing,” Yoder says.

The TCC team is stepping into an 85%-leased asset with “not a lot of immediate roll,” Yoder says. The 21-story building has about 40 tenants, with its leads as CSC Consulting Inc., 25,000 sf; Centex Construction Co., 29,000 sf; and Wilson & Associates Inc., about 15,000 sf.

Turtle Creek Centre’s quoted rate has been $23 per sf plus electric. “We’re going to try to push it to $25 per sf plus electric,” Yoder says. The rent hike will be married to a renovation of landscaping and common areas aimed at nudging the class A into the class AA playing field, he adds.

The Utah pension fund bought the 21-year-old building, positioned on two acres in the city’s most valued office submarket, in October 1994. CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s Gary Carr and Russell Ingrum steered the sale for CB Richard Ellis Investors, which had Michael Everly in Los Angeles and James Bell in Newport Beach, CA in the drivers’ seats.

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