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HOUSTON-A 30,000-sf news studio and office for the up-and-coming Houston News Channel, a project of Time Warner and the Belo Corp., is practically done. Finish-out is wrapping up and equipment should start rolling in by late June, James E. Foreman of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.’s Houston office tells GlobeSt.com. The plan is to start broadcasting by the end of the year from the site along Beltway 8 and Equity Drive.

Foreman and C&W’s Sandra F. Harris represented the joint venture buyers at the closing table for the building and its near three-acre tract. Andy Billip of Houston-based Billip Co. was the in-house representative for Billip, project developer. A confidentiality pact has confined the project cost to only those who need to know.

Billip bought the acreage from Westway Park owner, Wolff Cos., in fall 2001 and assigned its development arm to bringing the product out of the ground. Kirksey of Houston was the architect and Rosenberger Workman Constructors, the general contractor.

Time Warner and Belo will be using the site for a 24-hour news format just like channels now operational in Austin, San Antonio and Atlanta. Mark Aronsen, Time Warner’s senior director of strategic planning and business development, previously said the plan for the Top 10 news market is to provide weather updates every 10 minutes and “wall-to-wall coverage of the cultural landscapes, events and lives of Houston.”

The round-the-clock Houston project was on the drawing boards for some time before the tract in the 150-acre Westway Park was identified as just the right spot. “Westway Park is perfect for us,” Aronsen said in a prepared statement, “because we have access to the entire city–it’s not too far from any particular place and that’s vital for us. We want to be in touch with every geographic area of Houston. This spot at Beltway 8 and Clay Road is perfect for us, location, beauty, image, convenience and sophisticated technological planning.

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