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DALLAS-A trio of power players, each carving out headquarters space, has broken ground this morning on a 20-story office tower and five-story residential-and-retail building. Projected at more than $120 million, the Uptown development is 40% preleased, with enough deals in the pipeline to fill the 445,000 sf of trophy office space.

Lincoln Property Co. and co-developer, Corrigan Properties Inc., have been working on the 2.9-acre plan for 2000 McKinney Ave. since summer 2004. The goal has been “to create a project that we think is going to serve that site with the best possible development,” says Elliot Prieur, Lincoln’s senior vice president and point man for the Texas Capital Bank Building project.

Executives from Lincoln, Corrigan and Texas Capital Bank turned the first shovels of dirt before 150 guests at an on-site ceremony. Prieur says the tower will go vertical in mid-March, with work starting immediately on underground parking areas for both buildings. The office tower will deliver in Sept. 2008; the 15 condos and 6,500 sf of street-level retail will come on line in 2009.

The office leasing scenario, though, tells the story. Prieur tells GlobeSt.com that there are enough deals working in the pipeline to fill the high rise’s balance. The class AA space is being marketed at $33 per sf to $36 per sf plus electric in one of the city’s most expensive office camps, filled with competition from new, planned and existing trophy assets.

Prieur says the Texas Capital Bank Building’s sweet spot are unobstructed “Pritzker-winning views” and front doors on McKinney Avenue and the proposed Woodall Rodgers Park, a Central Park-like, over-the-freeway connector penciled for a late 2009 completion to link Uptown to Downtown.

“Our feeling is each project stands on its own merit,” Prieur says. “Our project is viewed as the central location in Uptown. We’ve got protected views and proximity to retail. Ours is being viewed as a very good alternative to the other developments.”

Texas Capital Bank inked the first office lease in summer 2006, taking about 98,000 sf. Lincoln then carved out two floors, totaling 52,000 sf, for its headquarters and Corrigan tapped 8,000 sf for its executive team. Prieur says Lincoln’s headquarters team basically is getting the same amount of operating space that it has at Lincoln Plaza in North Dallas, but picking up 17% to 20% more efficiency due to the 25,500-sf floor plates. Corrigan and the bank have their headquarters right next door at 2100 McKinney Ave.

Lincoln’s team also is in the midst of talks with national and local restaurateurs for two prized spots: 6,500 sf in the residential building and 10,000 sf to 12,000 sf in the office tower. And, Prieur says, a deal could be sealed relatively soon. Also still to come is the start of condo presales, which Lincoln plans to handle too. Prieur’s office leasing team includes vice president Jeff Montgomery and associate Lee Nix.

HKS Inc. of Dallas designed the Uptown trophy. The Dallas firms of the Beck Group and SWA Group are general contractor and landscape architect, respectively.

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