HOUSTON-After years of managing its Houston activity from a Dallas office, Industrial Developments Inc. has decided to hang out a local shingle. The company has set up shop in approximately 5,000 square feet at its Greenspoint Business Center on the north side.

Ben Newell, previously with IDI’s Dallas office, has taken the reigns in Houston, and will be responsible for leasing space at Greenspoint Business Center at 11710 N. Freeway and 51-101 Esplanade Blvd. Recent lease signings in the more than 365,000 square feet of space have included a 26,575-square-foot deal with Tejas Merla and a 61,194-square-foot transaction with Lindab Inc. IDI launched construction on the project’s three-building first phase in 2007, which was completed during 2008.

Company senior vice president and regional development officer Doug Johnson tells GlobeSt.com the Houston office was a necessity, given the interest in the finished product so far. “It’s hard to run a project that large there, from an office here,” Johnson comments. “This was a great opportunity for us to put a person on the ground, to put a face with the name, to have an IDI associate there to answer questions from brokers and tenants, and to market the property.”

Johnson says Newell is the sole person in the new office, but as Greenspoint Business Center picks up more tenants, more property managers could be brought on board. Newell will also scope out potential investment opportunities in the region.

“We’re looking at building acquisitions and acquisitions of land in different submarkets of Houston,” he adds. “We’d really like to expand our presence in the area.”