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HOUSTON-A pending vacancy prompted a New York City building owner to hand over the 327,325-sf office leasing assignment to Capstar Commercial Real Estate Services’ Houston office. The building’s sole tenant, Transocean Inc., will vacate the space in September 2009.Transocean signed a 10-year lease for the three-story building at 15375 Memorial in 1999, the same year that Lexington Realty Trust acquired the asset. Capstar Commercial vice president Brian McMackin says Transocean Inc., which completed a merger with Global Santa Fe Inc. earlier in the year, will move its operations into other buildings it leases.McMackin, who is teaming with Capstar Commercial vice president Clint Bawcom on the leasing side says Ziegler Cooper Architects in Houston has been retained by Lexington to help convert the class A building from a single-tenant use into a multi-tenant facility. “The majority of users in this area are larger users, and this building sets itself up well for a large user,” McMackin explains.He tells GlobeSt.com that, depending on Ziegler Cooper’s recommendations, upgrades on the mid-1980s building are likely. “Ziegler Cooper is evaluating everything from perimeter security, to pedestrian paths and landscaping,” he adds.McMackin says the 100,000-sf-plus floor plates won’t be carved into smaller offices. “We’d like to break this into three full-floor users,” he adds. “The way the building is set up, it makes more sense to have this for the larger tenants.” The ask is $19 per sf, net.The space is becoming available at a time during which office vacancy in the west Houston/Energy Corridor submarket is in single digits. Grubb & Ellis Co.’s Q1 2008 office market report notes that the submarket has a 16.9-million-sf inventory, with 1.4 million sf vacant and an 8.4% vacancy rate. Transwestern’s Q1 2008 market report indicates that out of a 22.3-million-sf inventory, 1.3 million sf is vacant and a 6.2% vacancy rate.

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