AUSTIN – CBRE Debt & Equity Finance team in Houston arranged $83.5 million in construction financing on behalf Seaholm Power, LLC for the redevelopment of the Seaholm Power Plant, an historic, art deco facility located in the southwestern portion of the Austin Central Business District. The borrower, Seaholm Power, LLC, a joint venture between Austin-based Southwest Strategies, Los Angeles-based CIM Group and the City of Austin, plans to transform the 117,000-sf power plant into institutional-grade office space while constructing 60,000 sf of new office and retail development anchored by a Trader Joe’s. The new development will also include a 30-story, 309-unit apartment tower. Bank of the Ozarks and IBC Banks were the two lenders on the open-ended construction loans. Executive Vice President Jim Richards and Senior Vice President Jim Kirkpatrick of CBRE led the team.
SYDNEY – The Sydney office of Hines, the international real estate firm, announced that Hines Global REIT, Inc. has acquired 825 Ann Street, an office building in Fortitude Valley, in Brisbane, Australia, for $128 million. The seller was a trust owned by Laing O’Rourke Australia. The Australian investment manager is Challenger Management Services Limited.
825 Ann is 99 percent leased to three office tenants: Ergon Energy; Laing O’Rourke Construction; and Macquarie Bank; and retail tenant 4evermen.
Designed by Rice Daubney, 825 Ann is a new 11-story, 206-507-sf office building, with ground-floor retail and two levels of underground parking.
By Ralph Bivins
HOUSTON – The 46-story BG Group Place in downtown Houston is being acquired by Invesco Real Estate, with backing reportedly from Korean institutional investors, for $480 million, according to Real Estate Alert, an investment newsletter.
Invesco is believed to be acting on behalf of the National Pension Service of Korea, the newsletter reported. Korean money is been reallocated and invested in U.S. realty in a fast pace recently because of political unrest and nuclear threats.
The sellers of BG Group Place, Hines and Calpers, were represented by Eastdil Secured. The 973,000-sf tower is expected to close for $485 per square foot, the second-highest sales price ever in Houston, Real Estate Alert reported. The record sales price in Houston was set when H&R REIT paid $524 sf of $442 million for the 845,000-sf Hess Tower in 2011. The highest dollar price was set when the 1.8-million-sf One and Two Shell Plaza traded for $550 million last summer, Real Estate Alert said.
The tower is 92 percent leased with BG Group occupying 354,000 sf. KPMG and the BakerHostetler law firm are major tenants also. The building, completed in 2011, is located at 801 Main Street.
The BG Group Place building is LEED Platinum. Urban Land magazine recently reported that investors pay more for sustainable buildings, rather than “brown” properties. http://urbanland.uli.org/Articles/2013/Apr/BivensHouston
In developing BG Group Place, Hines blessed Main Street as a viable location for new office development in the current era. Years ago Main Street had been ceded to transit domination, making Main Street little more than an elongated bus stop surrounded by low-end retail and grease-coated restaurants. But Main Street has enjoyed a revival in recent years.
Hines has proposed to build another Main Street tower on Block 69, just a couple of blocks from BG Group Place, at the southeast corner of Main and Texas Avenue.
By Ralph Bivins
HOUSTON — Transwestern has been retained by Shorenstein Properties to lease the ExxonMobil building at 800 Bell, a 1.2 million-sf office tower in downtown Houston.
A major renovation is being planned by Shorenstein, which paid $50 million to buy the building a few months ago. There has been speculation that Shorenstein will attempt to connect the building to Houston’s downtown tunnel system, which is de riguer for Class A buildings in today’s office market.
The property includes a 45-story office tower and a seven-story parking garage covering two city blocks on the corner of Travis and Bell Streets.
800 Bell was built in 1962 as the headquarters of Humble Oil & Refining Co., a predecessor to ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil will vacate the building in 2015, giving Shorenstein the opportunity to deliver significant improvements via an extensive redevelopment, details of which will be released soon, Transwestern said.
ExxonMobil will be moving to its huge 3.25 million sf corporate campus, which is being built now on 400 acres north of Houston, near The Woodlands.
With the high-quality office space to be newly constructed, 800 Bell offers an exciting opportunity in the CBD with its unique corporate identity on the Houston skyline and one of the largest blocks of contiguous space offered in Houston in more than 30 years.
“Shorenstein has a reputation for delivering successful signature redevelopment projects, such as Market Square in San Francisco, which includes the headquarters of Twitter, Yammer and One Kings Lane. We are excited to see what Shorenstein has in store for 800 Bell and downtown Houston,” said Transwestern’s Eric Anderson, executive vice president.
Anderson, David Baker, executive vice president, and Paul Wittorf, vice president, will market and lease the property.