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HOUSTON-A privately owned, oil and gas acquisition company has struck a seven-year deal for 96,803 sf after subleasing the lion’s share of the CBD office space for the past five years. The sublease with Ocean Energy Inc. is set to expire in December.

Under the new class A deal, Hilcorp Energy Co. took down an extra floor, totaling 23,803 sf, in the 847,207-sf Total Plaza at 1201 Louisiana St. Bob Cromwell, managing director of Moody Rambin Interests in Houston, says the new lease goes into effect in January 2007. Hilcorp will move into the extra headquarters space in the first quarter after an extensive finish-out.

“Hilcorp did look around,” Cromwell tells GlobeSt.com, “and I know they had two other options.” He represents the local building owner, RS Investments. Trey Strake, senior vice president in Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.’s Houston office, worked out the deal for Hilcorp.

Cromwell says convenience was a large factor in Hilcorp’s decision to stay. “It’s a pain to move. Our rates were competitive with everyone else’s,” he says. “I think it was more they didn’t want to go through the disruption of relocation when this space could be flexible for their needs.”

Total Plaza’s space is quoted at $19 per sf to $20 per sf. Cromwell says the Hilcorp package was right in the quoted range. The deal pushes occupancy in the 1970s-era office building to 88%, but that will bump to 95% in roughly 30 days with two deals poised to be closed, according to Cromwell. Earlier this year, Total Plaza was renamed from Louisiana Place when Total Petrochemicals USA Inc. relocated its headquarters to the 35-story building.

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