HOUSTON – Brookfield Office Properties is offering investors an opportunity to buy a stake in 4 million square feet of downtown Houston office properties including the Allen Center complex.
Brookfield is expecting to receive $1 billion for a minority stake in its Houston buildings along with nine smaller buildings in Washington, DC and the Grace Building in Manhattan, according to Real Estate Alert newsletter. The 8 million square foot portfolio is more than 90 percent leased, the newsletter said.
Houston has been devoid of major trophy property deals in 2014 for the most part. A large number of skyscrapers sold in recent years and the inventory of trophy properties available has been thin lately.
In Houston, Brookfield is reportedly willing to sell a minority stake in the three-building 3.2-million-square-foot Allen Center complex and the nearby 1600 Smith tower, a 1 million square foot building.
Office occupancy has been extremely strong in Houston in the last year and Class A rents have gone beyond $40 per square foot in some properties – a high-water mark that was once thought to be unattainable. The strong downtown market prompted Hines to break ground on a 1 million square foot building on Main Street.
The Houston office market has been very strong in recently years because of the advancements energy companies have made in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Dozens of new office buildings are under construction and the Energy Corridor area in West Houston has had Class A occupancy around 99 percent. Houston gained 112,000 new jobs for the 12-month period ending in July, to lead the nation.
The Brookfield REIT gained ownership of these properties when it took over Trizec in 2006.
The offering includes seven buildings in Washington DC and two buildings in Washington suburbs, according to Real Estate Alert, a newsletter for industry professionals.
The downtown Houston properties include:
- One Allen Center, a 34-story building at 500 Dallas, at Smith Street. Developed by Century Development, it has 914,000 sf of office and 66,000 sf of retail. Designed by Wilson Morris Crane and Anderson. Completed 1972.
- Two Allen Center, 1200 Smith. 1 million sf, 36-story tower completed in 1978. Designed by Lloyd Jones Brewer & Associates.
- Three Allen Center, 333 Clay. 1.2 million sf, 50 stories, completed 1980. Designed by Lloyd Jones Brewer & Associates.
- 1600 Smith. 1 million sf. 51-story building completed in 1984. Designed by Morris Architects. Former headquarters of Continental Airlines.