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HOUSTON-In partnership with Pacific Coast Capital Partners LLC, Chase Merritt has acquired the 313,837-sf West Loop I and II as its inroad into the city. Similar assets in the city have traded for $180 per sf to $200 per sf.

The two-building complex in the Bellaire submarket fits into Chase Merritt’s strategy of acquiring assets in growth markets, keeping to a plan that it employed in Central Texas. “We’ve experienced success in key Texas markets already and are confident Houston will continue to be one of the nation’s preferred business locations,” Chad Horning, president and CEO of Newport Beach, CA-based Chase Merritt, says in a press release about the deal. Representatives from Chase Merritt and Pacific Coast Capital of El Segundo, CA could not be reached by press time.

The purchase consists of the 169,536-sf West Loop I at 6565 W. Loop South and 144,337-sf West Loop II at 6575 W. Loop South. The buildings are situated on 5.6 acres.

The eight-story West Loop I is 80.7% occupied while the seven-story West Loop II’s occupancy is 96%. Tenants include Argosy Shipping USA LP, Rand Group LLC and Countywide Home Loans Inc. The city’s average occupancy is 96%.

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP managing directors Robert Williamson and Jeffrey A. Hollinden and associate director Barbara Guffey represented the Houston-based seller, Lionstone Group. Chase Merritt’s in-house team handled its side of the bargaining, securing financing to make the close through Stamford, CT-based GE Capital Corp. David Baker with locally based Transwestern has been hired to lease and manage the 1980s-era complex.

In the 16 months, Chase Merritt has acquired 2.4 million sf in Austin and San Antonio. As previously reported on GlobeSt.com, the company is on a continuous search throughout Texas for potential investments. Its 2008 goal is to add two million sf, predominately in the Greater Houston market.

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