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IRVING, TX-An executive with Westmount Realty Capital LLC says Research in Motion’s buy late last week of the 460,297-square-foot Riverside Commons is bucking current real estate trends. Most companies these days are moving toward a sale-leaseback arrangement rather than the other way around.

“A lot of companies rechoosing not to own real estate,” says Stephen H. Kanoff, EVP of Dallas-based Westmount Realty of Dallas, which sold the six-building Riverside Commons to Canadian BlackBerry manufacturer. “Companies are more trending to the other way, going from being an owner to a tenant and getting the cash out of their asset.”

Kanoff tells GlobeSt.com that Research in Motion’s management has a slightly different mind-set, however. “That company owns a lot of buildings, so the philosophy is different,” he adds.

He also says Riverside Commons wasn’t on Research in Motion’s short list as a potential headquarters site when it came looking for Dallas-area space in early 2007. At that time, Westmount had acquired Riverside Commons a short time before and was busy with its close to $6 million renovation.

“At the time, it had been a single-tenant campus and not known to the tenant rep brokers,” Kanoff explains. “It didn’t come to mind when Research in Motion hired CBRE to find them a location for about 80,000 square feet.”

Ultimately, Westmount’s brokers Gary Carr and Eric Mackey acquainted Research in Motion broker Pat O’Keefe with Riverside Commons, and the technology company ended up leasing the 84,868-square-foot building six, while taking 35,709 square feet of an additional building on the campus. All brokers involved were with CB Richard Ellis’ Dallas office. “What sold them on the opportunity as a tenant was the renovation we’d done,” Kanoff notes.

Kanoff points out, however, that there was no option to buy in the original lease, signed in late 2007. He says there were clauses dealing with rights of first refusal on additional space but “no discussion about a purchase, initially.”

Ultimately Research in Motion liked the campus and liked the ability to control its own destiny and growth, so when an option to buy was put on the table last June, the company was willing to listen, Kanoff adds. The fact that Research in Motion was willing to pay all cash for the asset also helped its cause.

The triumvirate of a happy tenant in a growth mode that could pay cash is ultimately what spurred the sale, Kanoff notes. “Without any of that, there wouldn’t have been a sale,” he adds.

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