HOUSTON-Transwestern’s Houston office has been retained by Houston Pavilions LP to oversee the leasing of a 200,000-sf class A office building that’s under construction in the CBD. The nine-story Pavilions Tower is part of the $190-million Houston Pavilions, a mix of retail, office and entertainment space.

Pavilions Tower, which broke ground earlier this year, will deliver in October 2008. The office building, with 23,000-sf floor plates, will be complemented by 360,000 sf of retail and entertainment space. The development, with an existing 480,000-sf parking garage, is bordered by Dallas, Polk, Main and Caroline streets.

In a previous GlobeSt.com article, the development partnership of Geoff Jones and William Denton had said CB Richard Ellis was lined up to prelease the office component. Neither the developers nor CBRE could be reached for comment prior to publication to discuss the plan change.

Greg Tilton, vice president of locally based Transwestern, tells GlobeSt.com that lease quotes for Pavilions Tower aren’t set in concrete, but the estimated rates range from $20 per sf to $25 per sf, triple net. “We’ll have to keep an eye on the market. The opening date is still so far off and it seems like every day the rates are changing,” adds Tilton, who is working with Transwestern’s senior vice president Eric Anderson on the assignment.

Tilton says that tightening office vacancies in the CBD–combined with the fact that hardly any new product is coming out of the ground–most likely will make Pavilions Tower fairly popular among potential tenants. He says the challenge is too few tenants realize there is an office component in the project.

“A lot of people are confused about this,” Tilton acknowledges. “They think it might be mixed-use, and could be mostly retail, but they don’t know much about the office side.” Transwestern’s goal is raise the level of awareness within brokerage and tenant circles through concentrated marketing efforts. “It’s tangible, it’s broken ground and people can see that progress is being made on this,” he adds. “Since it’s brand-new class A space, I anticipate we’ll get a lot of inquiries very quickly.”

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