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HOUSTON-BHP Billiton Petroleum’s 445,145-sf renewal, expansion and lease extension became a reality with one tenant giving back space and others relocating in Four Oaks Place. The company’s extra space will be ready to occupy in 30 to 60 days.

“We worked on this for a year and a half,” says Kevin C. Ray, senior director with Cushman & Wakefield of Texas, Inc. He and Louis B. Cushman, C&W’s vice chairman, negotiated the deal with owner, TIAA-CREF, and Transwestern Houston’s EVP Eric Anderson and J. David Baker for class A office space in Central Tower at 1330 Post Oak Blvd. and BHP Billiton Tower at 1360 Post Oak Blvd. Tenant finish-out has begun.

Ray says BHP Billiton had three years left on its lease when it signed the newly crafted stair-stepped deal, which goes into effect in the second quarter and runs through 2021. He tells GlobeSt.com that Aon Corp. gave back three floors in the 586,461-sf Central Tower to enable BHP Billiton’s expansion. Furthermore, tenants in the 498,071-sf BHP Billiton Tower agreed to relocate elsewhere so the company could have contiguous space. BHP Billiton’s lease bumps occupancy to 98% for the entire complex.

The tenant rep says BHP Billiton looked at other options, including a build to suit during the course of the decision-making process. However, he says running the numbers suggested that BHP Billiton would be better off staying in its current space and expanding in a complex with quoted rate of $20 per sf net.

Ray says another major challenge was trying to stay ahead of market conditions. “The market was moving so fast to a landlord’s market that we had an interesting time negotiating and holding while the market continued to jump like crazy,” he adds.

Cushman says the deal took so long to get settled because of the large number of moving parts. “This was a good landlord that was willing to work together with the tenant,” he says. “They all put in the time. All believed this could happen to make everyone happy and it turned out well.”

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