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.