HOUSTON-St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System Corp. is expanding outside of the Texas Medical Center with a long-term lease for 139,424 sf at 3100 Main St. The deal is valued in excess of $20 million.

“This is a landmark deal for Midtown,” says Phillip Thompson, a senior vice president with CB Richard Ellis Inc./Trione & Gordon who represented the building owner, Houston Community College System, along with senior vice president Jay Bonano. “Most of the major colleges and medical organizations have chosen to stay within the general vicinity of the Medical District and St. Luke’s is one of the first major hospitals to move to out to Midtown.”

The hospital system is looking to move into the 531,000-sf building by the end of the year. It will consolidate administrative offices from several locations in the Medical District to three floors in 3100 Main, now 100% leased, Thompson says.

According to Thompson, Midtown is a logical progression for the Texas Medical Center’s hospitals and ancillary businesses. “Midtown and the Medical District are connected by rail with St. Joseph’s on one end and Texas Medical Center on the other,” he points out. “Midtown is the new playground.”

Thompson tells GlobeSt.com that he chased the deal for a couple years before entering into serious negotiations earlier this year. “The lease is not only a huge deal for 3100 Main, but for the Midtown market,” he says. “This lease tells people that they now may have an alternative to the medical center…now they have the option of going to Midtown.”

Rental rates per sf in Midtown are in the mid-teens versus $30 or more in the Medical District. “The bottom line for St. Luke’s is that there are major savings involved in doing the deal in Midtown versus Medical Center,” Thompson says. He declines to disclose a specific amount, but says that the hospital saved “millions of dollars.” St. Luke’s was represented by Eric Johnson of Transwestern Commercial Services Inc.

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