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HOUSTON-Central United Life Insurance Co. of Houston is pulling out of an upscale property west of the CBD and heading into a 22-year-old office building in the city’s northwest submarket.

John Silberman, part of the Houston-based NAI Partners Commercial team representing the buyer, tells GlobeSt.com that the 83,107-sf structure at 10700 NW Freeway presented a perfect scenario for Central United. The insurance company will be moving from Wortham Tower, located at 2727 Allen Parkway just west of the CBD.

Cathleen Morgan and Drew Lewis, both of NAI Partners, assisted Silberman in the negotiations for the buyer, whose holding is assessed at $3.7 million. Jim Roberts of Dallas-based First Texas Realty Group acted for the seller, Houston/Office LP, a Dallas investment group.

Central United’s buy was 50% occupied at sale time. Half of the building will be used for the insurance company’s home office and the balance leased until expansion space is needed.

Silberman says there are several reasons why Central United opted to own instead of lease, one of which is the rising rent for a premier location. Silberman says the products definitely vary, but the acquired building has many amenities and is more economical than the Allen Parkway location. He adds that accounting practices put in place for insurance companies make owning real estate for a home office more attractive than other business types. And foremost, the leader of the privately held company particularly liked the idea of investing in real estate.

Central United will be building out its office space, but other than that no other work is planned. According to Silberman, the building just underwent a renovation.

Roberts tells GlobeSt.com that the office building, situated on 3.4 acres, was part of a five-property portfolio recently purchased by Houston/Office Properties LP. He says the investors turned around and sold the building to Central United because it had a strong desire and need for the property.

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