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DALLAS-After nearly four months of negotiations, Capital One Bank Commercial has signed a 10-year lease for the 1.2-million-sf Plaza of the Americas’ south tower, taking the 23,840-sf top floor as its regional office and a 2,392-sf retail spot at ground level. Move-in is set for early in the first quarter.

Hunter Blanks, Charlie Morris and Lauren Walker with Colliers International in Dallas led the search, which began in April and quickly zeroed in on the Plaza of the Americas’ south tower at 600 N. Pearl St. in the Downtown. Carla Machulis and Joel Pustmueller with Peloton Real Estate Partners, represented the joint venture owner, Blackstone Group of New York City and European investors.

Blanks tells GlobeSt.com that the retail location wasn’t required, “but it was a major consideration.” He says there were 11 office options initially identified in the Downtown, with the list “quickly” being shortened to five. In June, Plaza of the Americas emerged as “where they wanted to be,” he says. Capital One’s commercial group is led by area president Kent Eastman, who also is chairman of this year’s United Way drive in Greater Dallas.

According to Blanks, ingress and egress for its 80 employees topped Capital One’s priority list followed by the potential for a retail location and amenities for staff and clients. The senior tenant rep says the Q1 move will closely coincide with the commercial group’s lease expiration at the Princeton at 14651 N. Dallas Pkwy. in North Dallas. “It’s a positive for the city that Capital One wanted to have a presence in the Downtown,” he says, pointing out that the McLean, VA-based bank’s regional group’s primary office is a campus in Plano.

Machulis says Capital One’s lease nudges occupancy to 85% in the two towers, with the 527,980-sf south tower getting its top floor lighted for the first time in six years. The class A office space was on the market for $20 per sf plus electric with $36 per sf as a tenant-improvement allowance. Finish-out construction will start in November.

Capital One will be the first retail bank for the 100,000 sf of restaurants and shop space in the landmark complex. “We talked to several banks in the past couple of years,” Pustmueller says. “We were waiting for the right one to land. The truth is this is kind of a win-win for the tenant and the landlord as well.”

Pustmueller points out talks were underway as the global financial crisis heated up, but it didn’t delay the decision. “But, we’re superstitious and nothing’s done till it’s done,” he emphasizes.

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