"We've remained patient, though it's been frustrating to do so,"explains Jon Ruff, Spire Realty senior vice president. "Wheneveryone was buying, we were sitting on the sidelines. But nowthere's a tremendous opportunity in the market, and we plan to beactive in the coming years."

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Ruff tells GlobeSt.com that Chase Tower at 221 W. Sixth St. madesense because of Austin's stability in the current economicdownturn and a 1970s trophy asset that is 96% leased with notabletenants including JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bury & Partners and theHeadliners Club. The sales price was kept under wraps, however, theTravis Central Appraisal District values the asset at $76.9million. What makes the deal sweeter, Ruff says, is that officespace in downtown Austin is in limited supply.

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"We own another building in Austin at 611 E. 6th St.," Ruffadds. "We like the Austin market, we're interested in growing ourportfolio there, and when this opportunity presented itself, wejumped at it." Spire Realty was represented in house. Andrew Levyand Todd Savage with Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP's Dallas officerepresented the seller.

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With Chase Tower safely in its collection, Spire Realty is onthe hunt for other class A trophy type assets in Houston, Austin,Dallas and San Antonio. Spire Realty has been waiting on thesidelines for the craziness between 2005 and 2007 to end, and forthe economy to pick up before jumping back into the market. Now thecompany is eager to get active. "Our war chest is ready and this isa great market to buy in," Ruff comments.

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