A two-building 300,000-sf office portfolio in northwest Houston has been purchased by the Principal Financial Group of Des Moines. The portfolio is comprised of the One Northwind Plaza, a 141,283-sf building at 7600 W. Tidwell and the 150,465-sf One Northwest Centre at 13831 Northwest Freeway.

The six-story One Northwest Centre is 98% occupied and the eight-story One Northwind Plaza, 86% occupied. The portfolio has been purchased from Archon Financial., which has been represented by the Grubb & Ellis Co.

Houston’s improving office market is giving the city more luster in the eyes of investors. The citywide office vacancy rate in Houston has dropped to 11.7% in this year’s second quarter, down from 12.1% in second quarter 1999, according to the Trione & Gordon real estate brokerage firm. The citywide average rental rate has risen to $17.99 per sf in the second quarter, up from $16.42 in the 1999 comparable period.

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