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HOUSTON-Within weeks of opening a local office, Stream Realty Partners LP has been tapped to oversee leasing for 5 Houston Center. The 580,000-sf, 27-floor high rise is 96% filled.

Don Henry managing director of asset management for Atlanta-based Wells Real Estate Funds Inc., says on-the-ground representation is important to the owner of the class A asset at 1401 McKinney St. “5 Houston is very well leased and well occupied,” he says. “There is no significant roll during the next couple of years. But when we own a property like 5 Houston with an incredible rent roll, we like to have a good leasing representative in place because you never know about tenants’ needs.”

Preston Young, Stream Realty’s co-managing partner, stresses that the stable occupancy is no excuse for rest. “We were hired to continue raising the bar on the building,” says Young, who will be working with Stream senior associate Paul Coonrod on the assignment.

5 Houston Center is “one of the strongest CBD buildings on line,” Young says. “The market there is continuing upwards. As leases roll, it continues to put upward pressure on market rent.”

Wells Real Estate Funds acquired the four-year-old 5 Houston Center from Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. in late 2005. Henry tells GlobeSt.com that Crescent had agreed to continue in the leasing roll until the new owners could make a long-term decision. Crescent remains as the on-site manager until the end of this year. “We’re certainly appreciative of them staying on,” Henry adds. He says the decision to hire Stream was based on its prior experience in Dallas with the firm.

Young contends Stream’s current relationships and Downtown base will go a long way toward helping the center maintain stabilization. A white-hot market also will work to the center’s advantage. “We have a lot of interest in the vacant space,” he says. “Right now, we’re just figuring out who can complement the building best. I think it’s possible we could see a leasing announcement occurring very soon.” And though the quoted rate is off limits, the weighted average for comparable space is $22.31 per sf in the Downtown market.

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