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HOUSTON-Caldwell Watson Real Estate Group’s management services firm has beat out four other top Houston-area real estate companies for the third-party management contract of 20 Greenway Plaza, which is Koch Industries’ Houston headquarters.

The Houston office of the Trammell Crow Co. had the management contract on the mint-condition, 450,000-sf building for the last two years. Trammell Crow had no comment on the change.

Tim Seckinger, Caldwell Watson’s vice president of corporate development and team leader for asset and property management, tells GlobeSt.com that the assignment is the first class A office building to be awarded to the team. In the 13 months that it’s been around, the management group has secured about two million sf of third-party contracts, but it’s been all class B space, excluding its parent’s portfolio. He said he’d like to secure another two million sf in 2003 management contracts.

Seckinger believes the deal was won because of the firm’s customer service philosophies. “We manage every property as if it was our own. We treat every property owner as if he or she was our only client. And, we treat every client in every building as if it was the last month on the lease,” he said in a press release.

Seckinger says business as usual includes daily interaction with customers, newsletters, monthly client socials and monthly management and weekly engineering visits. “We attack from all levels,” he adds.

Michael Bates, director of corporate real estate for Koch Properties Co. LP, the building owner, said in a statement that the firm’s “experience and approach to business” sewed up the decision. “Caldwell Watson’s culture closely mirrors our own business approach,” he said.

Koch occupies all but 100,000 sf of the 450,000-sf 19-year-old office building. Grubb & Ellis Co. holds the leasing assignment. According to its Web site, there is 21,629 sf being marketed at an asking rate of $21.50 per sf.

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