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Houston's Most Patient Seller?

Houston Industrial

Developer JA Billipp Co principal Andy Billipp and HFF senior managing director Rusty Tamlyn have been discussing selling NorthPark Central Business Park for 23 years. This week, they finally took the leap. (After 23 years, it'll be hard for them to find something else to talk about.)


Rusty and Andy first had lunch to discuss selling NorthPark Central in 1991, when it consisted of only one building. Now it’s a three-building industrial portfolio totaling 219k SF; the final building delivered in 2001. They resurrected the idea again and revalued the assets in 2005 and 2007, and in 2013 they went to market when Andy’s son Peter was at HFF. (Now he’s at Avera developing new industrial.) Rusty tells us there were a number of leases rolling shortly thereafter, so potential owners didn’t bite at a price that made sense for the seller.


Andy’s team renewed all the tenants (the park is 100% full, and several of the users have been there for 15 years) and went back to the market late last year. ProLogis was the logical buyer—it owns many buildings surrounding NorthPark Central and had expressed a desire to increase its local portfolio through acquisitions and development. Sure enough, it snapped these buildings up, and the park is now dubbed ProLogis Park NorthPark.


Rusty (who handled the transaction with colleague Wesley Hightower as well as Andy and fellow JA Billipp principal Mark Witte) tells us it was still a tricky deal, thanks to a tough loan assumption. Although it only constituted one-quarter of the ticket price, it took three persistent HFF analysts (only one of whom is still there, so he’s the lucky one getting paid) six months to work through. Rusty says Houston industrial continues to be very sought after (he’s heard people call us the best industrial market on the planet), so he just wishes there was more product for sale to feed the hungry beast.