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DALLAS-Two signed leases totaling 21,000 square feet have boosted occupancy of the Coit Central Tower to 62%, effectively doubling occupancy in the past year and a half. Other deals are in the pipeline for this 246,955-square-foot, class A office building, which was snagged from foreclosure in September 2008.

The newest tenants are Fox Byrd and Co., which took 12,000 square feet and Bucher, Willis & Ratliff Corp., which signed on for 9,000 square feet. Both tenants have 10-year leases and will take the space in mid-December. Earlier this year, McCarthy Construction moved into 18,000 square feet. Finally, Qwest Communications renewed its lease at the building at 12001 N. Central Expwy., adding 2,000 square feet in the bargain.

Nathan Durham, senior vice president with PM Realty Group’s Dallas office says when his company was tapped to fill the building about a year ago, occupancy was 31%. At the time, Coit Central Tower had the dubious distinction of being one of the area’s first, and largest, office buildings to go into foreclosure. Catalyst CCT LLC of Los Angeles, through its RPD Catalyst Fund I, bought the asset for $18 million, rolled up its sleeves, and got to work.

Durham, who represented the building’s ownership in the recent transactions, says Catalyst renovated lobbies, drive-up areas, common areas and added a fitness center and conference center. What also helped was that construction linking Interstate 635 with U.S. 75 was completed.

“Before the construction, the ingress and egress to it was really poor,” Durham says. “Now it’s phenomenal. Coupled with new ownership and amenities, it’s now on the radar screen as a building with amenities that class A tenants want.”

Durham declined to discuss financial specifics of the lease deals, only to say that the ask is $18 to $19 per square foot, plus electricity. Most of the deals being done these days come in at between $17 and $17.50 per square foot, he adds.

PM Realty Group leasing manager Lauren Napper worked with Durham on the transactions. Sam Hocker and Lee Wagner with Grubb & Ellis Co.’s Dallas office represented Fox Byrd on its new lease, and Qwest on its renewal. Melissa Holland of Jackson Cooksey went to bat on behalf of Bucher, Willis, while Lance McIlhenny and Josh White with Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc. represented McCarthy Construction last spring.

Just as important as the leases, Durham goes on to say, is that Coit Central Tower’s story could be considered a portent for the future. It was one of the first large office buildings in the Dallas area to go into foreclosure, and was the first building to be bought out of it. Now occupancy has improved.

“It’s likely that in 2010, we’ll see a lot of buildings like this being bought, or notes being bought, from default,” Durham adds. “Buyers can add value, and bring in new tenants.”

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