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AUSTIN-Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. has sold its partnership stake for $211 per sf in a just-completed, 145,475-sf spec office project in the southwest submarket. The REIT and Champion Partners each own a 50% stake in the finished product, Parkway at Oak Hill.

Crescent has put a gag order on all sides of the deal, but the street still has some insight to offer: some historical, some part of the record and some anecdotal. Local sources say the buyer is International Capital Partners of Scottsdale, AZ.

According to its press release, the Fort Worth-based REIT reaped $12.47 million for its 90% share, which amounts to the equity percentage that Crescent kicked into the 22-acre spec project. The Dallas-based Champion, providing 10% of the equity, is developer and general partner of the two-building project at 4801 Southwest Pkwy.

The REIT’s early back-out yielded a $3-million net income gain, minus promoted interests and taxes, according to the release. The gain will be included in FFO, as adjusted, in its second-quarter report ending June 30, 2007.

Stream Realty Partners LP’s Austin team of Derek Land and Rachel Coulter will continue to lease the class A development, which is being paced through the landscaping punch list before it’s declared good to go. The Parkway at Oak Hill consists of an 86,412-sf building and a 59,376-sf sister, being marketed at $21 per sf.

In ordering the information lock-down, Crescent won’t even say if the partnership stake was marketed. Local sources, however, say it wasn’t or else they’d have bid on it because it’s not likely to stay empty for long.

Parkway at Oak Hill’s neighbors–the 37,800-sf Travis Oaks at 4635 Boston Lane and 77,500-sf twins, Lantana I and II at 7500 Rialto Blvd.–are fully leased. The 164,000-sf Overwatch Building at 5301 Southwest Pkwy. is under construction, but only its top floor, 40,000 sf, is available–and that’s on a sublease basis. The Parkway at Oak Hill, positioned one mile from Mopac Expressway, has direct access to Southwest Parkway and US Hwy. 290 West and sits close to more than three million sf of retail and restaurant space.

In a first-quarter report, Oxford Commercial’s research team of Ryan Kasten and Matt Levin calculated that the southwest submarket’s absorption fell into the red unlike Q4 2006 when it posted 146,977 sf of positive gain. Still, Q1 rents rose 1.2% or 30 cents per sf. Class A rents range from $15.50 per sf to $32.50 per sf, with the average factoring out to $27.49 per sf. The class A inventory of 4.94 million sf has a 5.2% direct vacancy and negligible sublease space of 25,878 sf.

In selling its stake in CC Parkway Austin LP, Crescent isn’t saying if its original intent was a merchant build play. “That’s always an option,” the REIT’s spokesman acknowledged to GlobeSt.com. “We are always evaluating what’s going on in the market, but it’s not a foregone conclusion before we start.”

Crescent’s official line hints that more such maneuvers could be in the works down the road. “I am pleased to once again demonstrate our strength and expertise as an office developer,” John C. Goff, the REIT’s vice chairman and CEO, says in the release. “Crescent’s proven development platform continues to deliver value to our shareholders and is an important aspect of our business going-forward.”

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