HOUSTON-The Dallas-based Behringer Harvard Fund has tapped Trammell Crow Co.’s Houston office to lease and manage the 506,470-sf Travis Tower. The new team replaces Navisys Group, the in-house property overseer for the Houston-based joint venture partner that sold the CBD holding.

The Dallas-based private REIT bought Travis Tower at 1301 Travis St., about 30 days ago from AEW McCord LP, a joint venture of an affiliate of Boston-based AEW and McCord Development Inc. of Houston, for about $24.9 million. Navisys Group, the third-party management arm of McCord Development Inc., had the leasing and management assignment for the class A, 21-story tower. Joe McCluan, the lead person on the assignment, was not available for comment.

“The assignment was not hotly contested–it was more behind the scenes,” says Dave Hanusa, a TCC vice president in Houston who will direct Travis Tower’s leasing. Debbie Fujimoto will lead the property management.

Hanusa tells GlobeSt.com that “there were a few” companies after the assignment including Navisys. “We had an inside track because we helped Behringer Harvard with the due diligence,” he says. Plus, TCC handles leasing and management of the REIT’s other Houston asset, Enclave on the Lake in the Energy Corridor. Behringer Harvard did not return telephone calls prior to publication time.

Built in 1954, Travis Tower is 86% leased, with CenterPoint Energy as the lead tenant. It is located between Travis and Main Streets on light rail line and has an attached 10-story parking garage.

Hanusa tells GlobeSt.com that he and his team hope to hit 100% occupancy in the next 18 months. Rental rates will range from $17 per sf to $18 per sf for five- to seven-year lease terms. Currently, the largest block of open space is 30,358 sf–the entire fourth floor. “We’re very exited to have the opportunity to lease this building,” Hanusa says.

According to Fujimoto, parts of Travis Tower need to be updated to be compliant with federal and city codes. For example, the vacant fourth floor needs sprinklers and ADA compliant features.

With the Travis Tower assignment, Trammell Crow leases four million sf in the Houston metro. In the CBD, the TCC team also leases and manages 811 Dallas St.

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