Ross Tower maintains major law firm tenant after two years of negotiations

Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr will be moving floors, but not buildings

400 Akard Street in Dallas with Russ Munsch, Steve Harr and Rick Kopf (LoopNet, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr)
400 Akard Street in Dallas with Russ Munsch, Steve Harr and Rick Kopf (LoopNet, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr)

After two years of negotiations, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr will be staying at the Ross Tower.

The Dallas-based firm first moved to the downtown tower in 2005. Since then, Munsch Hardt has grown by 50 percent, cataloging 176 employees along with record profit last year. The Dallas Business Journal reported that the law firm has signed on for another 15 years at the property. It is, however, moving up from floors 36, 38 and 39 to floors 40, 41 and 42.

Architecture and design firm Gensler and contractor Pacific Builders have been tapped by Munsch Hardt to renovate the new 77,009-square-foot space that it plans to move into by the fall of 2023.

The negotiations surrounding the lease began back in the Summer of 2020, said Craig Wilson of Stream Realty Partners, which represented Mansch Hardt. He said the process required “a lot of patience and creativity on all sides.”

Built in 1984, the 45-story tower at 400 Akard Street was originally named Lincoln Plaza and at one point served as Hailburton’s headquarters before the company moved to Downtown Houston in 2003.

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In 2015, it was bought by an investment group headed by Dallas-based commercial property firm Bandera Ventures for an estimated $120 million. The 1.1 million-square-foot granite and glass office tower — the 14th tallest building in the city — was sold by the California State Teachers Retirement System, which had owned the high-rise since 1999.

Many of the other 1980s-era towers in downtown Dallas are abandoning commercial tenants all together and, instead, are undergoing residential conversions.

But the DFW office market remains attractive to investors. This month NC-based REIT Highwoods Properties formed a joint venture with Plano-based Granite Properties to complete two of Granite’s ongoing office projects that will total more than 1 million square feet of space.

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