HOUSTON-When Younan Properties Inc. entered the Houston market in early summer, the plan was to acquire 3.5 million sf of office space by year’s end. The buyer has exceeded its goal via a year-end buy of a three-building portfolio totaling 420,410 sf in Greenspoint.

Zaya S. Younan, chairman and CEO of the Los Angeles-based investment group, is investing close to $35 million in the acquisition and renovation of Greenbriar Place and Bridgewood I and II, all next door to each other. Younan bought the portfolio from KBS Realty Advisors of Newport Beach, CA.

Younan says the three buildings will be an addendum to the 156,572-sf Northbelt Corporate Center at 2350 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. East, which he bought in July. The assets are less than three miles west of Northbelt Corporate Center. “Greenspoint is the last submarket to feel the recovery, but it’s starting to do well because of a lack of available space in other submarkets,” he says.

Greenbriar Place and Bridgewood II are 96% occupied while Bridgewood I is 87% leased. The 145,537-sf Greenbriar Place was built in 1982 at 650 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. East. Bridgewood I, totaling 134,277 sf, and Bridgewood II, with 140,596 sf, are located at 654 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. East and 652 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. East, respectively. Both buildings were developed in 1980. Darrell Betts, SVP with Grubb & Ellis Co. in Houston, marketed the portfolio for KBS.

To date, Younan has acquired four million sf in the region. He tells GlobeSt.com that he’s well ahead of his goal primarily due to two factors. He believes Houston has yet to hit the radar screen of many investors as a good place to put money, plus he was aided by the August fallout of the financial markets. “Since the subprime and credit crunch happened in August, building contracts fell through,” he says. “We were suddenly inundated with calls from owners and brokers, so we bought a significant amount of assets.”

Expect more of the same in 2008, Younan continues. He says the plan is to buy at least five million more sf in Greater Houston while targeting Dallas and Chicago for similar investments. “We want to be the largest landlord in the entire state of Texas,” he stresses. “We love it, we’ll invest in it.”

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