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IRVING, TX-CB Richard Ellis Investors Strategic Partners LLC has grabbed title to the 401,463-sf Plaza at Las Colinas, its fourth high rise in the corporate office pocket, for slightly more than $40 million. The value-add play for a 55%-leased, class A building has gone full circle in less than 60 days for ITW Mortgage Investments III Inc. and adviser, GE Capital.

Dealmakers won’t discuss the price being circulated on the local investment sales circuit, but they did say that the listing for 300 E. John Carpenter Freeway brought out a field of institutional and private buyers that lived up to expectations for the Chicago-based ITW and GE Capital, which took over the asset in 2001 as the Associates Corp. was exiting its headquarters building. As with its other Las Colinas assets, the new owner has put Bill Lokey, first vice president with CB Richard Ellis, and John Fancher, senior associate, in charge of leasing and managing the high rise. Transwestern Commercial Services’ managing director Michael Hardage and director Stephen Simon brokered the sale.

“We’re going to do what we always do,” Michael Burrichter, principal for the Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Investors Strategic Partners, tells GlobeSt.com. That means a deli, conference center and health facility will be added, a “Five Star” amenity package that most often costs $1 million to $3 million to bring on line. As the renovation takes shape, the plan is “to hit the market,” he says. “Tell everyone I love paying commissions. We are dealmakers and we are good landlords.”

Fairfield, CT-based GE Capital and locally based Hanson Pipe & Products Inc. are the 18-story building’s only tenants. Burrichter says each has at least 10 years left on its lease.

To date this year, Lokey and Fancher have sealed off nearly 368,000 sf in renewals and new deals for CBRE Investors’ portfolio. Lokey says the 364,336-sf Tower at Lake Carolyn at 900 Lake Carolyn Parkway is 89% filled, with 163,000 sf getting inked this year; 833,390-sf Urban Towers at 222 W. Las Colinas Blvd. is 88% filled, with 144,000 sf added to the roster; and 369,659-sf Summit at Las Colinas at 545 Las Colinas Blvd., is 70% leased, picking up 59,000 sf in 2006 deals. “We are one year ahead of schedule on our lease-up activity,” Lokey says.

Like the other portfolio pieces, the going-in rate is a special: $21 per sf flat plus electric with five months’ free rent. Lokey says CBRE Investors’ other buildings are $21 per sf plus electric and $22 per sf plus with 50-cent annual bumps and three months of free rent. And those rents just went into play into September due to the leasing velocity in a submarket with an average class A rate of $22.50 per sf to $23 per sf.

Lokey and Burrichter are meeting today with architects. If all goes as planned, work on the Five-Star Services Center could begin in 30 to 45 days, according to Lokey. The renovation takes, on average, four months to complete.

Meanwhile, Lokey says he’s working a “full” pipeline for the two-million-sf portfolio. The goal for the Plaza at Las Colinas is to get it to 75% by the end of 2007, he says.

The Plaza has six full floors, roughly 125,000 sf, of contiguous space. The plan is to add spec suites and chase tenants of all sizes. “We’re not elephant hunting,” he stresses. “This building has traditionally shunned smaller users. We don’t want to do that.”

Burrichter says the Las Colinas attraction is it’s on the cusp of fulfilling its developer’s mixed-use intent. “We’ve caught the wave at the right time. It’s on the verge of becoming what was originally intended for this development,” he says, citing his neighbors’ plans for retail and high-rise residential in the Urban Center. “We’d love to be a partner on that.”

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