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DALLAS-In a year-end closing to nearly four months of negotiations, Koll Development Co. and an accounting firm have signed long-term, stair-stepped leases for 22,085 sf of class A office space in Preston Commons II and Sterling Plaza. The first move takes place Jan. 1 and KDC’s headquarters team follows suit 30 days later.

KDC signed a 91-month lease for 12,507 sf on the seventh floor of Preston Commons II, the 122,500-sf east tower at 8115 Preston Rd. while Toombs, Hall & Foster penned an 89-month deal for 9,578 sf or half of the ninth floor of the 303,000-sf Sterling Plaza at 5949 Sherry Lane, says C. Frederick Wehba II, vice chairman and co-founder of BentleyForbes Group in Los Angeles. Both companies now office in the nearby Berkshire Court at 8411 Preston Rd.

“It was very aggressive,” Wehba tells GlobeSt.com, crediting the companies’ need to expand and “flight to quality” with securing the wins for BentleyForbes’ four-building Preston Center portfolio. “Their previous landlord was really fighting hard.”

Michael Navarro, BentleyForbes’ senior vice president of asset management, says there were no particular stickling points during the negotiations. “Both parties were raising the typical deal point issues,” he says. “The challenge was the time constraints to get it done now sooner than later.”

In both cases, the move-outs from Berkshire Court will coincide with lease expirations although KDC could be looking at a short hold-over, according to the BentleyForbes’ executives. Preliminary demolition has just begun on KDC’s future headquarters space. “Suffice it to say, they’re putting in high-end finishing,” Wehba says.

The Capstar Commercial Real Estate Services’ team of vice president Trey Smith and associate Clint Madison lease BentleyForbes’ Preston Center portfolio. Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.’s Tracy Fults and Allison Fannin assisted in BentleyForbes’ negotiations for the KDC coup. KDC used an in-house broker to work out its terms while Larry Denisoff with Dallas-based Weitzman Group represented Toombs, Hall & Foster.

The eight-story Preston Commons tower goes to 95% occupancy with the KDC signing. The building, one of three in a 418,604-sf package of mid-rises, bears a quoted rate of $26 per sf plus electric.

The 19-story Sterling Plaza’s occupancy climbs to 83%. Its quoted rate is $25.50 per sf to $26 per sf.

The class A office buildings were part of a $134.8-million portfolio buy in May from the Chicago-based Equity Office Properties Trust. “Our market presence has enabled us to provide more choices to tenants,” Wehba says. “We’re building more on the leasing side. It’s been very strong in the past couple months. We really want to be the market leader and we’ve shown that we’ve done that.”

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