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IRVING, TX-Timed to coincide with the office’s opening, Toronto-based Research In Motion has loosened the guard on a months-long secret to open its US headquarters in the Las Colinas Urban Center. The 10-year lease starts out with 110,577 sf of class A office space and includes an option for at least 20,000 sf more in Riverside Commons.

Research In Motion, BlackBerry’s parent, has jump-started training for its workforce at 5000 Riverside Dr., with the official office opening planned for next week. The lease, though, was signed in the second quarter, with rent and lease now in effect. “They wanted to play it close to their vest. Their wishes have been respectively honored,” Stephen H. Kanoff, EVP of Dallas-based Westmount Realty Capital LLC, tells GlobeSt.com.

Kanoff says the lease took six to eight months to nail down for the six-building, 455,000-sf complex, which Westmount bought in February 2006, completed roughly $3 million of upgrades and had on the market earlier this year. He says the new plan is hold and lease. “To land a big fish like this, it’s terrific,” he says. “It says a lot for the property.” Riverside Commons’ second-largest tenant is Reston, VA-based Sprint Nextel Corp.

Research In Motion leased the entire 84,868-sf building six, commonly called Brazos West, and took 25,709 sf on the top floor and part of the second in the three-story, 60,000-sf Brazos East, which also holds Riverside Commons’ amenity center, on-site office and cafe. Sources confirm that Research In Motion’s option includes the balance of the 50%-leased Brazos East and 20,000 sf in building four. The initial lease bumps occupancy to 78%.

In keeping with the aura of the high-tech firm, finish-out has been extensive. Word on the street is the property owner met the market with $25 per sf and Research In Motion kicked in significantly more to ready the headquarters space.

During yesterday’s press conference, Research In Motion co-CEO James Balsillie told the media, state and local officials and well-wishers that Riverside Commons set the signing hook with its quality, proximity to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and expansion opportunities. The state’s pro-business environment weighed heavily on the decision, which came without any Texas Enterprise Funds. “Actually, it was a very easy decision. It was pretty compelling,” he said. “The proximity to Latin America and Mexico was a real bonus with all the growth for us there.”

The 1,000 jobs will be research and development, technology and business support. In North Texas, there are 227,000 technology jobs, representing 8% of the region’s workforce, according to state Sen. Florence Shapiro. “This is exciting all over, not just for the city of Irving, but the entire state of Texas,” she said at the press conference hosted by the Greater Dallas Chamber in Brazos East.

Research In Motion has joined a favored corporate America landing ground, with Las Colinas up to 10,000 businesses. Four Fortune 500 corporations have their global headquarters in Las Colinas and another 35 Fortune 500 corporations have “a significant regional presence,” said Irving Mayor Herbert Gears.

And, adding the Research In Motion name to the corporate roster “will make a powerful impact on this community for many years to come,” said Phil Wilson, secretary of state.

Riverside Commons’ space is quoted at $23 per sf plus electric. Rodney Helm, VP for Dallas-based Capstar Commercial Real Estate Services, leases the complex and colleague Greg Wingate is general manager on the property side of the assignment.

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