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HOUSTON-Thomas Properties Group Inc., through a joint venture with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, has entered the Greater Houston market through the acquisition of 2.5 million sf of office properties purchased from Chicago-based Equity Office Properties for $280.5 million. Now, it’s time to focus on a repositioning.

According to John Sischo, executive vice president with Los Angels-based Thomas Properties Group, the overall strategy is to increase occupancy at the four office buildings through a $30-million renovation and repositioning. Thomas is setting up a local office to lease and manage the properties, which had occupancies ranging from 72% to 92% at sale time. The just-bought EOP portfolio consists of San Felipe Plaza, a 959,466-sf building at 5847 San Felipe Blvd.; 2500 City West, a 574,216- sf structure; Brookhollow Central I, II and III, totaling 797,971 sf at the intersection of Loop 610 and US Highway 290; and Intercontinental Center, a 194,801-sf building at 15600 JFK Blvd. For the previous story, click here.

“We’ll be providing capital to fix elements of the properties that need to be addressed,” Sischo says, adding the portfolio carried some deferred maintenance. The initial emphasis will be on Brookhollow I, one of the older properties in the Houston portfolio. “This is a currently well-occupied property, and a perfect target to redo,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “The redevelopment will be a complement to the other two buildings on the site, Brookhollow II and Brookhollow III.”

Sischo says that, while the acquisition provides an excellent opportunity for Thomas Properties to enter the Houston market, the company is no stranger to Texas, with development projects already under way in Dallas and Austin. “We like the market in Houston,” he continues. “It’s a recovering market, in our view, we think these are excellently located properties and within the individual submarkets they’re the top properties.”

While this is TPG’s first purchase in the Houston market, it will not be its last. “While there are not deals pending at this time in Houston, we continue to seek out properties to expand our presence there,” Sischo says.

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