IRVING, TX-Drawing a close to a seven-month search, Fremont Investment & Loan has locked in 52,042 sf in a 64-month lease to set up a second loan servicing center in the US. The lender will open doors in early September if all goes as planned.

Fremont plans to hire up to 330 employees for the 2901 Kinwest Parkway center, says Serge Vishmid, senior vice president in the West Los Angeles office of Grubb & Ellis Co., who teamed with Kevin McGovern, senior vice president in Dallas, to run the search. Vishmid tells that other cities were considered early in the search, but once the deal became destined for Dallas that the Las Colinas submarket was “the preferred location.”

Vishmid says three buildings made the short list, with 2901 Kinwest’s location, parking, ready-to-go data center and dense user space helping to shore up the win for the New York City-based owner iStar Financial Inc. The deal was further steeled by “a very aggressive economic package,” he says, adding the outcome is a stair-stepped rate with annual bumps. He says Fremont, which naturally got expansion rights, is taking over the first-floor data center and space on the top floor of the three-story building.

Rodney Helm and Chris Taylor with Capstar Commercial Real Estate Services in Dallas hold the assignment for the 178,123-sf building, which has 103,597 sf sitting empty. According to the North Texas Data Exchange, the class B office space is being marketed at $15 per sf plus electric.

Fremont also has a 3,000-sf office in North Dallas for its commercial lending division, but Vishmid says there’s no plan to relocate the workers. “This office is strictly going to operate loan servicing,” he says. The Tustin, CA-based Fremont’s other loan servicing center is in Brea, CA, the headquarters city for the commercial loan division.

The Las Colinas submarket has picked up momentum this year, allowing select buildings to edge up rent and raise hope for others. “This submarket has struggled in recent years along with the rest of the metroplex,” McGovern says in a prepared statement, “but now is one of the last remaining value markets left.”

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