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HOUSTON-Wrapping up its first transaction of the New Year, Behringer Harvard REIT I Inc. has acquired the 143,000-sf Westway One from Dienna Nelson Augustine Co. The class A office building is launching REIT’s $1.1-billion acquisition plan for 2008.

Westway One is situated on nine acres at 11210 Equity Dr. in the 150-acre Westway Business Park on the city’s northwest side. The building, completed in November 2007, holds LEED Silver certification. Area experts point out LEED Silver-certified buildings can trade for $225 per sf to $250 per sf.

“Part of our desire through this whole acquisition process was to acquire a LEED-certified building,” Jim Fant, senior vice president for the Dallas-based Behringer Harvard, tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s our first LEED’s acquisition.”

Fant says another attractive factor is the building is 78% leased to three tenants, one of which is already planning to expand into more space. He can’t say who’s working a new deal. But the roster is made up of Natco Group Inc. as the lead tenant, Seadrill Americas Inc. and Petro Technics USA.

“The fact that this building is leased close to 80% by the time it was shell-completed is a great testament to the project, the market and Dienna Augustine’s success there,” Fant says. The Houston-based developer and Behringer Harvard worked out a direct deal. Jeffrey Hollinden managing director in Houston for Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, initially brought both sides together.

Fant says the Behringer fund holds its assets long-term, with Westway One anticipated for an eight- to 10-year hold. As the fund acquires one asset, it’s marketing another–the 171,091-sf Enclave on the Lake at 1255 Enclave Pkwy. in the Energy Corridor.

Fant says Behringer Harvard REIT I’s acquisition goal for 2008 will be $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion, with no particular allocation directed regionally. “Houston’s a major market and we intend to continue participating and looking for deals there,” Fant adds.

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