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PEARLAND, TX-Motivated by the lack of class A office space in the southern tier, a Houston-based development partnership is preparing to break ground on ZT Shadow Creek Business Center. Work begins in March on the $16-million, 80,000-sf first phase of the 7.5-acre development.

The two-building business center will be built at the intersection of Shadow Creek Parkway and Texas 288 in the 3,300-acre Shadow Creek Ranch subdivision. The co-developers are TAB Lonestar Holdings, an affiliate of ZT Properties USA, and Wallace Bajjali Development Partners LP.

Taseer Babar, ZT Properties’ CEO, says the goal is to get the first building close to fully leased before beginning construction on the second. “The second building will be a minimum of 80,000 sf, but could be as high as 100,000 sf, depending on the interest,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

A small retail component also could be in the mix, Babar continues. “We’ll have 1.2 acres remaining and it would be nice to have a restaurant pad site or something of that nature for the tenants,” he says.

According to Grubb & Ellis Co.’s fourth quarter 2007 report, the metro’s 77.6 million sf of class A office space is 8.6% vacant. In the southern tier, vacancy is roughly 7.2% in a 1.2-million-sf inventory.

Babar says depending how ZT Shadow Creek Business Center plays out, the company could develop more in the area. “We’re in there to build the only class A office space right now and to hopefully jump-start the corporate type of culture and movement you’re seeing in Sugar Land,” he says. “If our two buildings do well, we’d like to keep developing in the area.”

Ziegler Cooper Architects of Houston designed the business center. A general contractor has not been selected. BanDier Realty Partners LLC and CB Richard Ellis are teaming on preleasing the project.

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