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HOUSTON-The US Census Bureau is gearing up to begin its 2010 count, taking down 11,946 sf in two locations. The mix of industrial and office space will be used for data accumulation and a workplace for the census takers.

The bureau has leased 5,269 sf for 27 months at the Plaza Park Business Center at 7509 S. Freeway in the city’s southern tier. The 6,677-sf balance is part of Westbelt Plaza at 1450 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. on the western side of the metro. The tenant is taking the Westbelt space for 28 months to house about 50 workers at peak operation. The move-in date is late summer.

Daniel Nixon Jr., senior vice president of leasing and redevelopment for Whitestone REIT, the local owner, says the Census Bureau required shell condition for its spaces. He says the owner also kicks in tenant improvements specific to the bureau requirements. The buildings’ quote lease rate is $12 per sf, triple net.

“Other requirements are that the space be close to a bus service, that there be adequate parking for people that drive and adequate services such as restaurants, banks and other amenities,” says Nixon, who represented the REIT in the lease transaction. Especially important is that the buildings offer access and operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Nixon tells GlobeSt.com that the leases bring occupancy to 84% in the 105,530-sf Plaza Park Business Center and 77% in the 65,619-sf Westbelt Plaza, both of which were built in the 1980s. Todd Phillips, senior associate with Chicago-based UGL Equis’ Dallas team represented the Census Bureau.

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