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HOUSTON-An ambulance service affiliate has hawked a 45,000-sf office building to Phoenix Tel-Supply Inc. of Houston, striking a temporary lease for about 4% of the structure.

Logan Brown Jr., senior vice president of investment properties with the Houston office of Grubb & Ellis Co., and Steve Adkisson of National Realty Group, represented the buyer of the structure at 420 Lockhaven. Rural Building LLC, an affiliate of the Rural Metro ambulance service, is the seller of record of the build-to-suit. Under the contract terms, the seller will get to stay put for roughly six more months, Brown tells GlobeSt.com.

Brown wouldn’t discuss the selling price, but the asking ticket was $3.6 million. Phoenix Tel-Supply, an engineering, furnishings and installation provider to the telecommunications industry, was located in a structure near the intersection of the Hardy Toll Road and Beltway 8. The firm began looking for a new location after its building was damaged in this summer’s floods, says Brown.

Phoenix Tel-Supply plans to take over the entire building upon Rural Metro’s exit. The holding, says Brown, should meet the firm’s growth projections for the next four to five years.

Small, privately owned companies have been on a buying binge of late in Houston due to rising rental rates at leased sites. So much so, that there simply aren’t enough smaller buildings available to meet the strong demand, assesses Brown. And, 10,000-sf to 40,000-sf buildings are becoming increasingly more difficult to find.

The interest by smaller companies to own their locations is a positive sign in a market being drawn into more conservative economic decisions due to an imminent recession and world events, Brown explains. The uncertainty of a recession and military action in Afghanistan is trickling down to investors in particular. It will take more than a military resolution for the market to break free from its present rut; it will require a serious economic upswing, he believes.

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