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TULSA, OK-The oil and gas service company Helmerich and Payne Inc. has signed a 105,000-sf lease deal that will relocate its headquarters within Tulsa from a building it owns to Boulder Towers, a 520,000-sf office tower owned by KBS Realty Advisors of Newport Beach, CA. The value of the seven-year lease is estimated at $9.3 million.

Rodney Richerson, the SVP with KBS Realty that brokered the transaction with Trammell Crow’s Terrance Payne (no relation), declined to confirm the lease details but tells that the lease more than backfills the 60,000 sf in the building that was vacated by Williams Communications and has been unoccupied for about eight months now. The lease brings the building to 90% occupancy. The annualized full-service asking rate for space in the building is $13.50 per sf.

Helmerich and Payne’s current headquarters, which it has occupied since the 1960s, is located in the Utica Square area, which lies a few miles south of Downtown Tulsa. Since the company is mothballing its existing facility, the lease at Boulder Towers, located just outside Downtown in Tulsa’s Mid-Town submarket, is pure absorption.

Richerson says Helmerich and Payne will occupy office space on the 4th, 13th and 14th floors of the 15-story Boulder Towers, as well as a piece of the ground floor on which it will operate a reception/security desk and some below-grade space for a data center.

Helmerich says the Tulsa market is “fairly soft” with an 18% vacancy rate, in large part due to Williams Communications, which built itself a 700,000-sf facility, vacated about 200,000 sf of leased space in the market and then never really occupied much of its new facility. The company is now quietly chasing sublease opportunities.

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