Houston Office Brings in $131M

Ownership of One City Centre in Houston’s Central Business District has officially changed hands in a deal valued at $131 million. Broadway Partners sold the 608,600-square-foot high-rise to Behringer Harvard REIT I Inc.Once known as the First City Main Building, One City Centre was originally developed in 1961. The deal closes about 18 months after Broadway Partners acquired the property for $115 million from McCord Development, which had renovated the property to the tune of approximately $22 million. Spanning an entire downtown city block and carrying the address of 1021 Main St., the 31-story tower had an occupancy level of 82.2 percent when it was snapped up by Broadway. In short order, however, occupancy jumped to near maximum capacity, 95.5 percent, as a result of the company’s repositioning program. Most recently, Broadway secured a 10-year lease extension with Waste Management Inc. for its 181,000-square-foot digs in the building. Real estate services firm Transwestern had been handling the property’s leasing on behalf of Broadway, marketing the space for $22 per-square-foot. The challenges presented by the current lending climate have not kept investors away from the Houston office market, where the average vacancy rate for Class A properties is presently 9.9 percent, according to a first quarter report by real estate services firm Grubb & Ellis Co. Last month, Hines REIT acquired the 1.5 million-square-foot Williams Tower for $271.5 million, and in March GE Real Estate helped paved the way for Chase Merritt’s purchase of the 395,000-square-foot Four Corners complex by providing a 71.4 million loan. For Broadway, the disposition of One City Centre marks its exit from Houston, which the company determined to be outside of its group of core markets. Real estate services firm Holliday Fenoglio Fowler represented Broadway in the deal.