HOUSTON-Folks outside of Texas looking toward the Lone StarState might be surprised at a number of things: The strong economy,number of jobs created and the health of the commercial real estatemarket. More specifically, the commercial real estate market inHouston, particularly west Houston, is booming, with a lot ofoffice buildings going north.

What is even more surprising is that the construction underwayin the Energy Corridor, as the submarket is named, is primarilyspeculative. "There's roughly around 3 million square feet underconstruction across the Energy Corridor," says AaronThielhorn, managing director of Trammell CrowCo.'s Houston business unit in a recent interview withGlobeSt.com. "That doesn't include user buildings.This is the speculative/leasing market."

But what about overbuilding? Not a chance. "About 85% of thatspace has been preleased already and the construction isn't evendone," Thielhorn says. In other words, the existing class A officemarket is close to 99% occupied, with the Energy Corridor and TheWoodlands submarket (to the far north) being the strongestmarkets.

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