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DALLAS-In what Younan Properties Inc. chairman and CEO Zaya Younan calls a turnaround year, the Los Angeles-based developer has completed nine leases totaling 236,347 sf at six metro office buildings. Younan has raised occupancy levels at Two Energy Square, KPMG Center, Lakeside Square, 8080 North Central Expressway, Four Forest Plaza and Graystone Center.

Younan says the company is finishing 2006 in robust health after experiencing “an extraordinary year of growth and accomplishment.” He attributes the company’s success to the Dallas office market which had “strong positive absorption and better performance than expected.”

In a prepared statement, Younan says the company has brought its investors an average leveraged internal rate of return of 65% on properties sold to date. Younan’s Dallas area holdings include 12 class A office high-rise buildings. The firm’s Texas portfolio totals 4.7 million sf.

Sixty days after acquiring Two Energy Square at 4849 Greenville Ave. at the Central Expressway, Younan’s team brought the 16-story building’s occupancy to 85% from 81% with the signing of a 43,129-sf lease to Emergency Medicine Billing & Coding Co.

At the 34-story KPMG Centre at 717 North Harwood St., Middleberg, Riddle & Gianna extended its 50,622-sf lease to 11 years and two months, bringing the building to 87% occupancy in the high-rent Arts District.

Global engineering firm CH2MHill expanded its space at the 18-story Lakeside Square to 32,074 sf, increasing occupancy at the 12377 Merit Dr. building to 93% from 82%.

Younan’s 8080 North Central Expressway property is at 97% occupancy, up from 85% when the developer acquired the asset 15 months ago. Penn Virginia Resources expanded its space to 12,407 sf and extended its lease at the 17-story structure. Compass Bank occupies the entire fourth floor totaling 49,656 sf. Regency Centers has moved into 17,811 sf.

At the 19-story Four Forest Plaza in North Dallas, Judd, Thomas, Smith & Co. has expanded its accounting business to 10,027 sf. Prescott Pailet Benefits LP grew its space to 8,203 sf. A pending new leases expected to close by year end with Secore & Waller LLP for 10,390 sf will bring the building at 12222 Merit Dr. to 84% occupancy, Younan says.

Electric Power Research Institute Inc. has extended its lease at Graystone Center in North Dallas to 12,418 sf. The average asking gross rent at Two Energy Square is $19.50 per sf; $20 per sf at KPMG Centre; $23 per sf at Lakeside Square; $24.50 per sf at 8080 North Central Expressway; $21 per sf at Four Forest Plaza; and $18 per sf at Graystone Center.

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