Clarion Grabs One Oak Park, Expands Westchase Park in Houston

Clarion Partners has acquired One Oak Park, a six-story, 153,342-square-foot, Class A office building in the Westchase submarket of Houston, where it is also planning to expand the Westchase Park property it bought six months ago.

Clarion Partners has acquired One Oak Park, a six-story, 153,342-square-foot, Class A office building in the Westchase submarket of Houston, where it is also planning to expand the Westchase Park property it bought six months ago.

The purchase price for One Oak Park was not released by Clarion or the sellers – The Carlyle Group and Means-Knaus Partners. The joint venture partners developed One Oak Park, which was completed in April 2009. The sale to Clarion Partners, handled by CBRE, also included Two Oak Park, a 4.2-acre fully entitled parcel adjacent to One Oak Park.

“Investors were attracted to these assets due to their exceptional Westchase location, being situated in a deed-restricted and architecturally controlled office park that is a premier destination for some of Houston’s most prominent corporations,” Bernard Branca, senior vice president of CBRE, said in the CBRE news release on the sale.

Branca and Jared Chua, vice president at CBRE, arranged the transaction for the sellers.

Brian Watkins, a managing director at Clarion Partners, called One Oak Park “an outstanding asset in the Westchase submarket.”

“The efficient floor plates, diversified and strong tenancy as well as the recognition of the property’s sustainability with LEED Gold and Energy Star certifications, coupled with the ability to develop a second phase, make it a fine addition to Clarion’s office portfolio,” Watkins said in the Clarion Partners release.

In November, 2007, when The Carlyle Group and Means Knaus Partners announced their JV, they stated the project would cost $75 million. At that time, they intended to develop a second building with approximately 150,000 square feet of space after One Oak Park was completed. A four-level parking garage was built and was included in the sale.

The Two Oak Park parcel is the last remaining developable site in the 220-acre Oak Park business park, which has 2.46 million square feet of space and is home to some of the largest employers in the Westchase submarket, including Halliburton, Quest Diagnostics, CGG Veritas and Emerson. The 4.2-acre Two Oak Park site has frontage on Rogerdale Road. Both properties are located one block west of Beltway 8 and near Westpark Tollway and Bellaire Boulevard.

Clarion Partners also announced it was building a second office property at Westchase Park I, a six-story, 272,361-square-foot building which it acquired in December. Plans call for Westchase Park II to be a 300,000-square-foot Class A + building that will be designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. It will have six stories, best-in-class finishes, and 50,000-square-foot floor plates. Designed by Ziegler Cooper architects, it will complement the existing building. They will be connected at completion of the new building, which is scheduled for late 2014, according to Clarion Partners. The 15.2-acre site is noted for its large water feature and sculpture by Texas artist George Schroeder.

Westchase Park I was completed in 2008 and is 98 percent occupied. One of the newest buildings in the area, it has LEED Gold certification for core and shell and a LEED Platinum designation for certain tenant improvements.

“The Houston economy today is enjoying solid growth. Employment has been increasing,” Chuck Kemp, senior vice president of Clarion Partners and the Westchase Park asset manager, said in a news release about the expansion. “We are proud of this property and excited about the expansion.”

PM Realty Group provides leasing and management services for Westchase Park I and will provide development services for Westchase Park II.

“Based on the heightened demand in this area and the success of the existing Westchase Park building, we are pleased that Clarion Partners has elected to move forward with the new development,” Wade Bowlin, executive vice president and managing director of PMRG, said in the release.

Bowlin and his colleagues, John Spafford and Allie Hubbard, will be leasing both buildings.