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Hines Interests sees opportunity in Houston’s tight office market, where parking is at a premium.The Houston-based firm is expanding a parking garage that services its 1100 Louisiana office building, adding two floors and 679 spaces to the 11-level structure. The garage, which now has 1,586 parking spots, is situated across the street from the 55-story, 1.3 million sf office building, which is jointly owned by Houston-based Hines and CalPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System).

“A shortage of well-located, high-quality parking in downtown is an ever-increasing issue of importance as office vacancies drop to historically low levels and older properties with limited parking receive new lives as offices or living spaces,” says Mark Cover, Hines’ vice president. Houston’s class A office market is 98% leased. More than 150,000 people work in the downtown, placing heavy demand on the CBD’s 90,000 parking spaces.

An additional parking choke hold is being felt from the recent conversions of numerous class C office buildings into loft apartments and street-level retail as well as this month’s opening of the Houston Astros’ Enron Field baseball stadium.The garage expansion is scheduled for completion in first quarter 2002, with Vaughn Constructors serving as general contractor.

The 1100 Louisiana office building is 97% filled with such major tenants as King & Spalding, Equiv and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The office property was developed in 1980 by Hines and sold five years later to Capital Guidance Associates IV, an affiliate of Capital Guidance Corp. Acting as the property’s sole leasing and property manager since its completion, Hines formed a joint venture last year with CalPERS to purchase the CBD property, paying $212 million.

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