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HOUSTON-Boulder Management Inc., the real estate arm of New Orleans-based Seismic Exchange, has purchased 2.4 acres in Westway Park, a 150-acre office development at Sam Houston Tollway and Clay Road.

Boulder Management’s buy will ultimately house a 35,000-sf to 50,000-sf office building. Company principals say the plan is to break ground next year. The acquisition, say officials, is a forward-looking, cost-effective decision. The play puts the company on the offense “in reserving land we know someone else will buy if we don’t purchase it first,” officials contend. Boulder’s parent company, Seismic Exchange already has a 51,000-sf building in the park. Wolff’s in-house representative David L. Lane has negotiated the land sale.

David Hightower, senior vice president for developer Wolff Cos., says the park has just 35 1/2 acres remaining. He says interest has been strong since development began in 1998.

The Sam Houston Tollway will be to the first quarter of this century what the West Loop had been to the last quarter of the last century, he says. The city’s northwest, west and southwest quadrants are prime areas for new single-family and multifamily housing, accounting for 80% of the new residential construction. Westway Park is just a 20-minute drive to most of the master-planned communities. Hightower says the location of the park and subsequent quality of life that goes with its proximity to the suburbs gives companies an edge in recruiting talent.

Hightower says he’s finding more companies want to build rather than lease. “Much of this phenomenon is driven by technological needs. Many buildings today can’t accommodate the sophisticated telecommunications requirements of tenants,” he says. “Westway Park was planned with this in mind.” Current park projects include the under-construction 215,000-sf Cooper Cameron divisional headquarters and the 130,000-sf Concourse Building, a 100%-occupied speculative building that Wolff completed a year ago.

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