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HOUSTON-A Halliburton Co. spin-off, Highlands Insurance Group Inc., has downsized its office space in a lease renewal at the 319,000-sf Westchase high-rise. The Lawrenceville, NJ-based firm has relinquished the 23,000-sf penthouse at 10370 Richmond Ave. while inking a pact for the 45,330-sf balance.

Greg Shaw of Insignia/ESG’s Houston office tells GlobeSt.com that the deal actually works out well for both sides because the 14th-floor location will be easy to market. Highlands is holding onto its two other floors. Shaw represents the building owner, Alder Properties Associates LP, and Mike Boehler of Dallas-based Staubach Co.’s Houston office handled the talks for the tenant.

Highlands Insurance, a property and casualty insurer, uses the office space for deals related to its commercial lines. Highlands originally was the insurance group for Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Halliburton Co. In 1996, the company was spun off from Halliburton to shareholders in a transaction sponsored by Insurance Partners LP. In 1997, Highlands acquired the American Reliance Group of companies. It has regional offices in Denver, Des Moines, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, Raleigh, Woodlands Hills and Lawrenceville.

Shaw says the class A building was constructed in the early 1980s and is about 75% leased. The advertised rate is about $21 per sf. “This building is the best value play in the submarket,” says Shaw. The high-rise’s major tenants include Charles Schwab, Grey Wolf Inc. and W.H. Holdings. Shaw says Highlands has been in the building since 1990. Insignia/ESG has been managing the building for five plus years.

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