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[IMGCAP(1)]DALLAS-After screening the market nearly one year, Studio Movie Grill Corp. has inked a lease for a new headquarters location. The operator is planning an Oct. 1 move-in, securing the 5,200-sf class B space with a five-year lease and bringing in Staffelbach Design Associates Inc. to repackage the interior.

Studio Movie Grill founder Brian Schultz tells GlobeSt.com that the search focused on office buildings in and around its Dallas theaters, but Royal Central Tower at 11300 N. Central Expwy. won because it shares a parking lot with the chain’s newest theater and 24-Hour Fitness and has direct links to White Rock Lake Trail–setting up a ready-to-go amenity base for employees. “It’s very convenient,” says Schultz, who co-owns the chain with Martin Massman. “As our company grows, we can see ourselves taking over an entire floor. We’ve set it up in such a way that we can do that.”

Schultz says the locally based design group’s charge is to “completely” redesign the interior to make it fit the corporate culture. A test kitchen and screening room are right next door in the new theater at 11170 N. Central Expwy.

Studio Movie Grill’s 28-employee team is adding 2,000 sf to its operating space with the move to Royal Central Tower’s second floor from Prestonwood Place at 15400 Knoll Trail Dr. in far north Dallas. The move will coincide with the expiration of a short-term lease, according to Benjamin Hautt, senior associate of Dallas-based Stream Realty Partners LP, the tenant’s broker for the deal.

Royal Central Tower’s owner, Algonquin Realty Inc. of Dallas, had Michael Cagle, Josh Knez and Michael Carmichael with the John Bowles Co., also in Dallas, negotiating its terms for the six-story building. There is just 9,452 sf of vacant space to fill in the 67,777-sf building, which carries a full-service quote of $13.50 per sf.

[IMGCAP(2)]Studio Movie Grill has five locations up and running in Dallas/Fort Worth and one in Houston, where a second one–a nine-screen theater–is set to come on line this winter in CityCentre, a 1.1-million-sf mixed-use development at 800 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. Next year, the chain will push outside Texas for the first time, focusing its search on lifestyle and town centers much like Arlington Highlands, where it has an eight-screen theater with 1,200 seats at 225 Merchants Row in Arlington.

Schultz says the national acceptance of the dinner-and-theater concept means it’s definitely time to take its show on the road. The larger headquarters office provides more room for more employees, also needed for the expansion plan. “We’re keying up for our national expansion,” he emphasizes, keeping details about the search for its first non-Texas site under wraps for now.

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