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HOUSTON-An industry expert tells that the up-and-coming sale of three Mack-Cali Realty Corp. buildings in Houston is “a non-event relative to the market.” The Cranford, NJ-based REIT has announced it has a buyer willing to spend $27.2 million for the class B trio.

The properties, totaling 413,000 sf, are 1717 St. James Place, 5300 Memorial Drive and 10497 Town & Country Way. The 1717 St. James Place is a six-story, 109,574-sf office building positioned close to the edge of the Galleria/West Loop submarket. The 5300 Memorial Drive, a 155,099-sf office property, is nestled between Wescott and Shepherd roads in the Allen Parkway/Montrose submarket. And, the Town & Country Way building is a 148,434-sf, suburban property near Town & Country Mall in the Katy Freeway submarket.

Craig K. Beyer, principal with Houston’s Trione & Gordon and an expert on Houston’s office market, tells that the Mack-Cali properties are all “solid, class B office properties in secondary markets.” In terms of the broader market picture, he says it’s a “non-event.” He says the sale won’t help the suffering Houston office market. Still, he acknowledges the market “could be a lot worse.” Houston is actually faring quite well when it’s stacked up against other metropolitan office markets. “It is a strong tenant market,” he adds, “and unless something dramatic happens it is going to continue this way for a couple of years.”

Beyer says a major influx of out-of-town business is needed to spark the market, particularly the downtown. Houston’s affordability and other amenities make that a possibility. “There are real opportunities in downtown Houston that did not exist six months ago for a company to establish a major beachhead presence,” concludes Beyer.

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