HOUSTON-In a move to close out a fund, Coast Range Investments LLC has sold the 844,207-sf Total Plaza to Brookfield Properties Corp. The sale price for the transaction isn’t being disclosed, but similar class A office buildings in the CBD are trading north of $200 per sf.

Tom Melody, vice chairman in Houston for CB Richard Ellis, says the San Francisco-based CR Commercial Property Fund III is closing out. With the 35-story Total Plaza at 1201 Louisiana St. now sold, there’s just one more to go–a 224,735-sf building at 801 Travis St. Melody and CBRE vice chairman Jack Fraker in Dallas are scheduled to close that deal for the seller within two months.

“The second reason for the sale is they’ve focused on land acquisition for the past couple of years as opposed to office and they’re trying to sell their office product,” Melody says. He tells GlobeSt.com that Coast Ridge has bought 7,000 acres near Albuquerque and 10,000 just outside Austin in the past 18 months.

Melody points out that Total Plaza’s upside potential lies in the 12% vacancy and steadily increasing CBD rents, which have jumped up $5 per sf to $10 per sf in the past year. “There are also good, institutional-quality tenants there,” he says, “and it’s my guess that internal growth alone will account for increased occupancy over the next 12 months.” Meanwhile, he says the tenant roster has no immediate roll. The 88%-leased asset’s top tenants are Total Petrochemicals USA Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd., Reliant Energy Inc., Eni Petroleum Co. Inc. and Hillcorp Energy Co.

The entire process, from initial offering to closing, took 120 days. Melody says the asset attracted a lot of interest. Ultimately, a previous relationship between the Toronto-based Brookfield and Coast Range sealed the deal as did the seller’s confidence in Brookfield’s ability to close.

“It was a smooth closing,” Melody adds. “It was important for the seller to do business with people they liked and trusted.” Brookfield will take on leasing and management, replacing local firm, Moody Rambin National Interests, which declined to comment on the assignment change.

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