HOUSTON-New York City-based Clarion Partners closes its second buy in three weeks for institutional clients investing in Houston. The most recent deal puts the 229-unit Plaza in the Museum District into a pension fund portfolio. Sources tell GlobeSt.com that the luxury complex fetched more than $25 million.

Located at 1615 Hermann Dr., the class A apartments were developed by Houston-based the Morgan Group Inc., a nationwide developer of class AAA multifamily properties. Mike Morgan, CEO, tells GlobeSt.com, “It is a win-win transaction for the buyer and seller. The buyer received a quality property in an irreplaceable location, which will earn Clarion a stable and growing income on its investment. The Morgan Group Inc. received a fair price considering the quality and location of the property.” Craig LaFollette, Todd Stewart and Todd Marix, all of the CB Richard Ellis multifamily team in Houston, brokered the deal.

Morgan says the property exceeded expectations from the “get go.” It leased up faster than originally projected and brought considerably higher rental rates–$895 to more than $1,600 per month–than the pro forma. The deal became sweeter as partners achieved a record internal rate of return on the project.

The Plaza is part of Morgan’s urban in-fill strategy and the third that the Morgan Group has developed in Houston. It’s nestled in the midst of Rice University, Texas Medical Center, Museum District and Herman Park plus within walking distance of a planned station for the city’s under-construction light-rail system.

In late September, Clarion Partners bought the 11-story, 204,151-sf Norfolk Tower on the periphery of the Greenway submarket. Its price too was a closely guarded secret, but market sources said it could have brought upward of $90 per sf because of its caliber.

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