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HOUSTON-The Houston Telecom Exchange has scored a major play in the sagging telecom market, signing Apache Telecom LP to a 70,542-sf lease. The northwest Houston property is a 216,000-sf, class A telecom hotel situated at 7100 Business Park Dr., well positioned at the northwest corner of Beltway 8 and Texas 290. Its new tenant, headquartered in Houston, is a telecom services provider that specializes in wireless communication infrastructure.

San Antonio-based Koontz McCombs LLC, New York City’s Blackacre Capital Management LLC and Insignia Financial Group Inc. is the building owner. Insignia/ESG is a major player in the telecom market, currently managing more than five million sf of telecom space in Houston, San Antonio, Chicago, New York and Atlanta.

Derek Beck and Jerald King of Insignia handled the lease negotiations. Beck tells GlobeSt.com the telecom hotel is quoting annual lease rates from $11.20 per sf to $12.50 per sf triple net. Beck’s mum about lease terms, but the ads place terms from five to 15 years.

This size lease, says Beck, is extremely significant considering today’s rough market for telecom product. And though times are tough, Beck says he is noticing more technology providers and data centers are turning to telecom space for back-up facilities.

Apache was founded in March 2000 and boasts clients such as Sprint, Alcatel, Crown Castles International and American Tower. The company received more than $6 million in funding from Houston-based Kimberly Telecom Ltd., an offshoot of MetroNational, late last year.

Apache CEO Wayne Hays says the property meets many of Apache’s space requirements.

“We were fortunate to find a facility so adaptive to our needs,” he says. “The needs of the telecom industry are ever changing.” The Houston Telecom Exchange will be the first of several such facilities that Apache intends to bring on line, according to Hays.

Apache is joining Global One, which has a 25,000-sf spot in the first ground-up telecom structure in the city. Insignia’s King says it’s a fresh product unlike the competition, which are conversions of older properties. LZA Associates designed the structure, which is now 50% leased.

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