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Large and In Charge

Dallas-Fort Worth
Large and In Charge
DFW’s largest office space owner, LA-based Younan Properties, inked another 27k SF of leases at three of its suburban Dallas properties, they tell us exclusively. And the firm is adding to its portfolio and headcount.
John Cook and Thom Ridnour
We sat down with Younan regional VP John Cook and the new director of leasing for Dallas Thom Ridnour recently. As owner of6.5M SF in DFW, John tells us the firm has refocused onenhancing broker relationships. Paying brokers in a timely fashion has vaulted leasing progress more than anything else this year. “A lot of landlords fell behind last year—a symptom of the market. We’ve been one of the first landlords to come out swinging and making sure we put the emphasis on getting people paid,” he adds. Last March, COO Robert Peddicord joined Younan with the goal of increasing occupancy portfolio-wide. First thing, he created regions to establish local control to move deals along more quickly.
Eighty-Eighty Central
John says the Central Expressway submarket is doing better than others (except Preston Center), and tenants are finding high value and quality versus the $34/SF Uptown. The 27k SF of deals includeEighty-Eighty Central (above), North Central Plaza III and 9400 North Central Expressway. At Eighty-Eighty Central signing deals were W.J. Bill MorrisAmerican Momentum Bank, and Pearson Partners. (CBRE’s Burson Holman and Blake Shipley repped Younan.) At North Central Plaza III, three leases were signed with new tenants: Spector SoftPulsar, and Property Acquisition Services. (Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services’ Melanie Hughes and Sharon Friedberg repped Younan.) And at 9400 North Central Expressway, five renewals and new tenants are: A. William Arnold III & Assoc., Electric Transportation Engineering Corp,Steven Bell, and Stephen GoetzmannPromotional Network, andPeter Baldwin and John Franklin. Sharon and Melanie worked those deals, too.
Zaya Younan
Last month, CEO Zaya Younan told our LA reporter the company increased its portfolio (now 11M SF) and occupancies during the recession, and also its staff size. In 2010, the firm leased 1.4M SFnationwide. Zaya tells us the company wants to place $500M to $700M worth of capital in acquisitions this year, targeting assets 100k SF and larger in its key markets: Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Phoenix, and LA (in that order). Robert tells us Younan anticipated doing an IPO last year but put it on hold because of the market conditions. “The decision to wait was made because the market was not where we wanted it in valuation," Robert tells us. "We may revisit that next year.”
9400 North Central Expressway
Thom’s newly created position oversees in-house leasing and works with third-party brokers, John says. With the refocused attention, the retention rate for 2010 is almost 90%. John says 2010 was a banner year with a more than 200% increase in leases negotiated in the second half of the year versus the first.