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HOUSTON-In an off-market transaction, an affiliate of EPCO Inc. has purchased the 1.3-million-sf 1100 Louisiana from National Office Partners LP, which put the holding on the market in June 2004 and then pulled it. Today’s price is being kept under wraps, but five years ago it brought the highest per sf in the city in a $217.1-million deal.

The 55-story CBD high rise was the only unsold asset in a 10-city portfolio disposition by locally based Hines and CalPERS. In a previous GlobeSt.com interview, a Hines executive characterized the offers for 1100 Louisiana as “reasonably strong bids,” but said they weren’t in the “zone of what we wanted to sell for.” The property, which sits at the intersection of Louisiana and Lamar streets, is assessed at $115.37 million by Harris County.

In a press release about the purchase, Dan L. Duncan, EPCO’s chairman, says the high rise was chosen for its new headquarters because there is enough space for continued growth and it represented the “best investment value.” The energy firm, now located in the northwest submarket, will begin moving Downtown during the first half of 2006, pushing the multi-tenant building to 100% occupancy.

Under National Office Partners’ reign, there have been several upgrades to the high rise. “We’ve added parking, reworked graphics and way-finding and updated many of the corridors,” Mark Cover, Hines’ senior vice president, tells GlobeSt.com. Hines has a storied history with the high rise: developing it in 1980, selling it to Capital Guidance Associates IV in 1985 and then partnering with CalPERS to buy it back.

Steve Montgomery, Angus Hughes and David Chuoke with Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. in Houston represented EPCO. “When we were charged with finding a building to house the consolidated operations of the EPCO companies, 1100 Louisiana stood apart from its competitive set in its ability to accommodate EPCO’s long-term growth,” Montgomery says in the release.

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