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Harris County Buys 20-Story Downtown Office Building For $26M

Harris County acquired a 20% occupied, foreclosed office building in Downtown Houston in an attempt to consolidate offices and save money on leases.

1010 Lamar St. in Houston

The county government bought the 20-story building at 1010 Lamar St. for $26M or about $86 per SF, Goodwin Advisors shared on LinkedIn

The building was initially put on the market by owner Younan Properties in 2018 after it refinanced the property, spent $7M on renovations and tenant improvements, and renamed it Lamar Plaza, according to CoStar News. At the time, it hoped to fetch a price in the mid $40M range.

Goodwin Advisors represented the lender that foreclosed on the building and took ownership of it, Goodwin’s Jason Presley and Evan Stone told CoStar. 

The sale of the 301K SF building, built in 1981, came with a 490-space parking garage building at 1111 Main St. that was once the Sakowitz department store, according to Realty News Report. 

The county intends to use Lamar Plaza as part of its plan to consolidate county offices and is asking for $9.5M to fund its first phase of renovations, CoStar reported, citing public agenda filings. 

While CoStar could not reach a Harris County representative for comment, the county’s 2021 purchase of 1111 Fannin St., across the street from Lamar Plaza, signifies that the two towers could be a central complex for government administration use.

“It was a 1980s vintage atrium office building in the center of a major city,” Presley told CoStar News. "You just have to find the right person it is relevant to.” 

Harris County Commissioners Court records indicate the deal was approved in September 2023 as part of an effort to consolidate offices, allowing the county to "discontinue some costly leases in and around downtown and save the County money it would otherwise have spent on constructing new facilities."

Officials had mulled building a new county facility near the intersection of U.S. Highway 290 and Interstate 610, but an $85M price tag as of four years ago led them to explore other options, reported.

Presley and Stone said that the building was 20% occupied at the time of sale, and CoStar reported that it was unclear whether those tenants would remain in the building.