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DALLAS-New York City-based partners SMA Equities and Moinian Group have added two more leases to the finished stack in a fast-paced bid to boost occupancy at 2100 Ross, where they are marking their fifth month as titleholder. The 843,728-sf high rise is poised to pass the 80%-leased mark.

“We have close to 80,000 sf signed or in the midst of signing since we bought it,” says Sina Mahfar, principal of SMA Equities. He tells GlobeSt.com that a pair of full-floor tenants will be closing on their class A deals in two weeks.

Until then, the team is basking in its latest win: the law firm of Wick Phillips. The 18-attorney firm will move Nov. 1 into 11,580 sf on the ninth floor of 2100 Ross, vacating 7,080 sf of sublease space in Lincoln Plaza at 500 N. Akard St. The deal has been in the market six to nine months. Wick Phillips has inked a six-year, stair-stepped lease, bumping 2100 Ross’ ninth floor to full.

“This just worked out for them,” Jeff Staubach, vice president of Dallas-based Staubach Co. says, citing price and location near the Arts District as the dealmakers. “It’s a good value for Downtown.”

Staubach says Downtown buildings outweighed Uptown’s due to the price differential, ranging from 30% to 50% in per sf costs for class A stock. “We glanced at Uptown, but the pricing is significantly higher,” he says. The high rise’s space is being marketed at $16.50 per sf to $19 per sf plus electric.

In the second win, Haas Petroleum Engineering Services Inc., an oil and gas consulting firm, has added 1,966 sf in a co-terminus lease with a two-year term to double its headquarters space on the 18th floor. The firm also subleases space from Ernst & Young LLP, the building’s largest tenant with 244,000 sf in its grasp through June 2009.

Haas Petroleum gets keys Oct. 1 to the extra space, says Celeste Signor, vice president with CB Richard Ellis in Dallas. She, CBRE senior vice president Dennis Barnes and former senior vice president Malcolm Ross represented the JV owners in both transactions. Bruce Hecht, executive vice president and managing principal with Swearingen Realty Group LLC in Dallas, is Haas Petroleum’s tenant rep.

“The amount of activity we’ve had on this building is amazing,” Mahfar says. “I’m very surprised about the amount of activity that I see Downtown.” And, he adds, the pace is equally as brisk at his other two CBD holdings: Renaissance Tower at 1201 Elm St., which is jointly owned with Moinian, and Republic Center at 325 N. St. Paul St., a wholly owned SMA asset.

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