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HOUSTON-In a move to expand its office space while retaining its current address, Franklin Bank Corp. has inked a long-term, 44,000-sf deal in the Richmond Plaza I office building, located in the Westchase submarket.

Franklin Bank, with 27 bank offices throughout Texas, had been subletting approximately 20,000 sf at Richmond Plaza I. “They went out, looked in the marketplace, and when they saw what was out there they came back,” says Steve Rocher Sr., vice president of Trammell Crow Co.’s Houston office.

Rocher and Trammell Crow colleague Kristen Rabel represented the landlord, locally based BMS Management Inc., while Bob Parsley and Saul Keeton with Colliers International’s Houston office brokered the deal on behalf of Franklin Bank. Rocher tells GlobeSt.com that the landlord is rebuilding the space for the tenant, which has practically doubled its size with the transaction. Renovation costs could not be obtained by press time.

The 175,856-sf Richmond Plaza I, located at 9800 Richmond Ave., was constructed in 1982, and is 88% occupied, with $16.50 the quoted rate per sf. “We have about 20,000 sf vacant, and we’re trying to work a bunch of deals to fill that space,” Rocher says.

Founded in 2001, Franklin Bank Corp., which bills itself as “my hometown bank” offers a variety of banking products including personal banking, mortgage and construction loans and other types of commercial lending.

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