This Week in the Houston Office Market: 10/23/10

by CoyDavidson on October 23, 2010

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Headline News from the Houston Office Market

Boxer makes its 10th Acquisition in 2010

Boxer Property recently closed on 12808 West Airport, a three-story, 150,578 square foot office/tech building in Sugar Land Business Park. The class B property, which is 50% occupied, marks the firm’s entrance into the Sugar Land submarket.  Boxer Property acquired the 1980s-era building from KBS Realty.

The Sugar Land buy comes just days after Boxer Property acquired One Northwest Centre, a six-story, 151,835 square foot building at 13831 Northwest Freeway in Houston. The company bought the 1980s-era building, which is 50% occupied, out of foreclosure from Western National Life. Previously, the property was owned by BGK Group.

So far this year, Boxer Property has acquired 10 office buildings totaling more than 2.3 million square feet. The local company has four more buildings totaling 550,000 square feet under contract and plans to search out at least a couple more acquisitions by year end. In total, Boxer Property owns and operates over 12 million square feet of commercial real estate across the U.S.

Praxair Expanding and Relocating to Sienna Pines

Praxair has signed a lease for approximately 61,000 square feet, taking the top floor of the Reserve at Sienna Pines near the Woodlands. Praxair is relocating from 222 Penbright where it currently occupies approximately 27,000 square feet. The Reserve at Sierra Pines at 1585 Sawdust Rd., which was developed last year by Stream Realty Partners LP is now 46.7% leased as a result of the new lease. Danbury, Conn.-based Praxair is a major supplier of atmospheric, process and specialty gases, as well as high-performance coatings.

Intertek takes Sublet Space at Two Riverway

Intertek Testing Services subleased 44,000 square feet of office space at Two Riverway from Chicago Bridge & Iron.  In a separate transaction, Intertek Oil Chemical and Agriculture division recently leased 14,000 SF of office space at 801 Travis St. in the Central Business District.

Intertek will be moving into the Two Riverway project in early 2011. The CBI sublease runs through May of 2017.

Thomas Properties Closes New Loan on CityWest Place

Thomas Properties Group in a JV with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (TPG/CalSTRS) closed on a new $95M loan  for two buildings in Houston that TPG/CalSTRS has owned since ’06

The new first mortgage is on CityWestPlace Buildings III and IV, part of a distinctive four-building office campus totaling almost 1.5 million square feet located in the Westchase market. The new loan, representing approximately 50% loan to value, was provided by The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. The loan will mature in 2020 and bears interest at a fixed rate of 5.03%. It replaces a short term floating rate $92.4 million loan which was scheduled to mature in July 2011. With the completion of this refinancing Thomas Properties has no remaining debt maturities through the end of 2011. Thomas Properties has increased occupancy in CityWestPlace to 99% from 78% when originally purchased four years ago.

MainPlace pre-certified for Platinum LEED

Downtown Houston skyscraper MainPlace is set to be certified at the platinum level under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design core and shell rating system, according to Hines. The Houston-based real estate developer said that the building was at one time pre-certified at the silver level, but the addition of certain features has now elevated MainPlace’s rating with th USGBC.

Developed by Hines for Hines CalPERS Green fund, MainPlace is a 46-story, 972,000-square-foot office tower bounded by Fannin, Rusk, Walker and Main Street. The glass and steel building, featuring a cutaway notch on the 39th floor, was designed by Pickard Chilton, and will be ready for occupancy in early 2011. The top four floors are already leased to KPMG LLP. Hines oversees leasing and management of the property. Read more in the Houston Business Journal.

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