"There are a lot of people in that particular sector," saysRichard Zigler, director of research for O'Connor & Associatesin Houston. "Many are there because of HP." Others are there, hecontinues, because there are good buildings in nice areas. "Thereis a lot of executive housing in that area; the residential areasnearby are healthy; and the school districts are strong," Ziglertells GlobeSt.com, adding the announcement of the sale wasn't asurprise.

According to a Palo Alto, CA-based HP spokeswoman, the decisionto sell the property was not a sudden one. "Even prior to themerger [with locally based Compaq Computers in 2002], we've beencontinually assessing our real estate assets and have beenexamining our underutilized properties for cost and operationalefficiency," she tells GlobeSt.com. "The five buildings in questionhave been vacant or underutilized for some time, even before themerger."

Local experts say HP needs to find one buyer because of theconfiguration of the office building complex. The HP listing ispart of a "technology corridor," where absorption has been fairlyhigh and lease rates range from $13 per sf for class C product toas much as $20 per sf for class A space.

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