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AUSTIN, TX-THQ Inc. has signed a six-year lease for 33,000-square-feet at Four Points Centre, the first multitenant office development to achieve LEED Gold certification. The Southern California-based developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software will take the entire third floor of the 100,000-square-foot building one later this year.

The just-completed first phase office component of the 330-acre mixed-use product at state highways 2222 and 620 consists of two twin towers totaling 200,000 square feet. The floor plates of both buildings measure 33,000 square feet, which perfectly fit THQ’s needs perfectly.

“THQ really liked the floor plates. They liked that it allowed them to be the one and only tenant on the floor,” comments Brett Arabie, a partner with Oxford Commercial who represented landlord and developer Thomas Properties Group Inc. in the transaction. THQ was represented in the transaction by David Kimball and Keith Zimmerman with UGL Equis. Though specific considerations weren’t released, the quoted lease rate is $19 per square foot, triple net.

Arabie tells GlobeSt.com that in a city like Austin, 33,000-square-foot leases are a big deal. And, he adds, 33,000-square-foot floor plates at Four Points Centre meant space could be designed with a LEED focus. “One of the focuses of LEED certification is a lot of glass, to bring in a lot of natural light,” he remarks. “If you start building with larger floor plates and columns, you just can’t get that same type of effect.”

Jerry Hackney, Thomas Properties Group’s senior vice president, property management, tells GlobeSt.com that Four Points Centre was always slated to be LEED-certified, at least at the minimum. As time went on, however, it became clear that it could be just as cost-effective to aim a little higher, to LEED Silver certification. “Then it proved that the Gold was obtainable,” Hackney comments.

He explains that Los Angeles-based TPG’s future developments will be sustainable, and the company is also examining its current portfolio to renovate and apply for LEED certification as well. “In this day and age, with the economy in the kind of shape it’s in and the condition of the environment with limited resources, it’s incumbent on owners of buildings that they move in this direction, by virtue of looking at their systems and energy usage,” Hackney remarks. “This might be kind of a drop in the ocean in some respects, but we have to start somewhere.”

Arabie says that, in the meantime, the Gold certification is providing some nice traction when it comes to future tenants. Companies are being pressured into sustainability options, he points out. Many are using sustainability as a tool to recruit.

“A company’s leadership wants to have the best talent coming out of college, and a lot of that talent wants sustainability,” Arabie adds. “And CFOs like LEED because the utilities cost less in the long run.”

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