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HOUSTON-Iglesia De Dios Ministerial De Jesucristo International Ltd. of Miami has expanded its presence in the Greater Houston area, signing a five-year, 4,703-sf lease for the Bissonnet Retail Center. The church gets its keys in early 2006.

“This was right at market in terms of the quote, but above market in terms of TI,” says Shawn Ackerman, senior vice president of Henry S. Miller Commercial’s Houston office. Ackerman represented Bissonnet Realty Partners Ltd., the local owner of the 104,000-sf shopping center at 9819 Bissonnet St. The deal involves “a full scrape and remodel,” he says.

“I typically don’t do church types of deals, but their credit was phenomenal and they have a real strong following,” Ackerman tells GlobeSt.com. In addition, he notes, the organization doesn’t sign anything permanent until it tests out the market. “They’ll rent out a hotel room for a few months, until they have a strong base of worshippers, then they’ll open up a location,” he explains. “They don’t put the cart before the horse.”

The center’s quoted rate is slightly more than $1 per sf net. The church group was self-represented in the transaction.

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