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HOUSTON-Having closed on the $8.05-million acquisition of the 1,181-space Fannin Garage, basketball player-turned real estate investor Hakeem Olajuwon is looking for other assets he can buy and hold long term. Olajuwon won the rights to acquire the 1982-constructed parking garage in a sealed-bid process.

With that deal put to bed, David Cook, executive vice president in Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.’s Houston office, says the former Houston Rockets player will soon close on land parcels in the southwest area as well. Cooke, who represents Olajuwon, teamed with C&W’s Ken Page to handle the city’s sale of the 1112 Clay St. parking garage.

The Fannin Garage is one block from the 700,000-sf Houston Pavilions, which broke ground in spring 2006. “Houston Pavilions will remove three blocks of surface parking from the market, which will build demand for additional parking,” Cook says. He adds that no renovations will be made to the garage.

Cook tells GlobeSt.com that the acquisition is an example of Olajuwon’s shifting investment strategy, which, in the past, was mainly speculative. “He’d by the prime location, then re-sell it and double his money,” the broker explains. Though Olajuwon has done well Downtown, Cook says that the common denominator of his typical investment properties is that they are primed to increase in value, most often in the path of development.

Olajuwon’s new strategy is to shift from speculative investment to long-term holds and long-term yield. Cooke says he isn’t picky about product type or location either. “He’s an opportunistic buyer,” he says. “He looks for the opportunity, for the prime property and moves on it. And, he has the cash to perform.”

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