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HOUSTON-With the recent downturn in the economy and other factors, sublease space is on the rise in Houston, says Robert Kramp, director of client services for the Texas offices of Grubb & Ellis Co.

Kramp believes the third quarter is likely the “quiet before the storm” in terms of sublease space. But, he cautions, Houston’s sublease space will be low in comparison to Dallas and other cities. In third quarter research, Dallas had nearly eight million sf available for sublease while Houston reported approximately 3.5 million sf.

Bank United’s recent merger with Washington Mutual has caused the company to place 175,053 sf of vacant sublease space on the market at the Phoenix Tower at 3200 Southwest Freeway, Kramp says. Meanwhile, layoffs at Bindview have freed up 62,000 sf at the Halliburton Center at 5151 San Felipe. And, Proxicom vacated the two top floors at 2700 Post Oak, adding 32,535 sf to the sublease market. Kramp says more sublease space could surface with Continental Airlines layoffs, but he explains that it’s hard to quantify right now exactly what the future holds.

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