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HOUSTON-With two office buildings now fully leased, Panattoni Development Co. has broken ground on a third class A structure in the Beltway 8 Corporate Centre. The firing pin for the 133,068-sf spec office project was Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. stepping up for the park’s 24,013-sf balance.

The Columbus, OH-based insurance company signed a seven-year pact for the balance of the 102,000-sf Building 2. Nationwide Mutual is planning a July move into first-floor space at 5300 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. The insurance company occupies office space in five buildings in the metro, but information wasn’t available by publication time to ascertain if it’s an expansion or consolidation.

Jon Napper, Panattoni’s Texas partner, isn’t commenting on the lease, but he is talking about the new building, a $15-million project that will rise at 10900 Corporate Centre Dr. “Now that Building 1 and 2 are leased up, we’re starting on Building 3, which is a spec building and will be ready for occupancy this fall,” Napper tells GlobeSt.com.

Napper says Panattoni’s built out only 40 of its 120-acre tract. “We have been on a constant building program over the last three years,” he says. “A lot of companies are looking at this location near Beltway 8 to eliminate transit time for their employees. We can build at least another five or six more buildings.” Other tenants in the Corporate Centre include the Deerfield, IL-headquartered Walgreen Co., Mariner Health Care Inc. of Atlanta and the locally based Hanover Compressor Co.

Napper has turned over marketing of the spec project to the CB Richard Ellis Inc. team of Dena Wren and John Pruitt. The asking rate is $20 per sf plus electric.

Powers Brown Architecture of Houston designed Building 3, which has a 5:1,000 parking ratio. Sacramento-based Panattoni Construction is the general contractor. Napper says Washington Mutual provided the construction financing.

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