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Houston's 15 Biggest Deals of 2015, Part 1

“Resilient” may be the word to describe Houston commercial real estate in 2015. Free-falling oil prices dominated the headlines, but that didn’t stop investors and developers from setting new records and closing major deals. Here's Part 1 of Bisnow's top deals of 2015.

2200 Post Oak Sale Sets Pricing Record

A relative new kid on the block, the home of BBVA Compass opened in 2013 and traded hands in November. Corporacion Masaveu bought the 326k SF building from a JV of TRC Capital Partners, Stream Realty and L&B Realty Advisors for $172M. The transaction sets Houston’s new cost-per-SF record at over $527.

Apache Extends at Post Oak Central

Rather than decide about building new at BLVD Place, Apache Corp extended its lease on 524K SF at Post Oak Central through 2019. Cousins Properties has been sprucing up the campus in the hot Uptown submarket, and this lease is the biggest of the year.

Bay Area Business Park's Huge Groundbreaking

Principal Real Estate Investors and Stream Realty broke ground on 850k SF of new spec industrial space at Bay Area Business Park. This is Phase 2 of the park and it includes four buildings; Phase 1 opened in 2009 and is fully occupied. BABP is the closest industrial space to the Bayport Container Terminal. The deal is the largest industrial groundbreaking of 2015.

CenterPoint Properties' Massive Industrial Acquisitions

Chicago-based CenterPoint Properties more than doubled its Houston industrial holdings with the purchase of 27 buildings totaling 3.6M SF. The property is in nine different business parks, all strategically located near industrial infrastructure. Exeter Property Group was the seller.

Uptown Post Oak's High Price Tag

Uptown continues to be a steady submarket for investors. IMT Capital picked up Uptown Post Oak for $90.1M ($230k/unit) from Monogram Residential Trust. It was the highest-priced multifamily deal of the year, and the costliest per unit. IMT Residential operates six other properties around Houston; this is its first foray into Uptown, where it sees continuous rent growth. [HC]

Baybrook Mall Opens Huge Expansion

With the addition of 555k SF, Baybrook Mall is now one of the three largest malls in Houston. The expansion brings the total size to 1.7M SF and includes concepts like Star Cinema Grill and Dave & Buster's, plus 30 retailers. The team also added public green space, a trend that's growing in Houston. General Growth Properties pushed Hoar Construction for a November opening, despite record rainfall. No holiday shoppers disappointed to date.

MetroNational Hops Over I-10

While most new office construction came to a halt in 2015, Cemex is bucking the trend by building a new 240k SF Class-A office. MetroNational is retaining the company, relocating them from the current Memorial City location to a relatively landlocked site at the northwest corner of I-10 and Gessner. The deal is a double bold move—although Cemex is anchoring, there's 160k SF of spec office included. It's also the first time the developer (or much of any significant office) has headed north of the highway in Memorial City, and could spark more development along the north side of I-10.

Check out Part 2 of our biggest deals tomorrow!