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Nitya Capital Buys One Westchase Out Of Special Servicing


Nitya Capital purchased One Westchase Center in West Houston for an undisclosed sum, ending questions about the office building’s future amid the financial uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.

The sale of the 466K SF building follows the transfer of a $47M floating-rate loan secured by the property to special servicer LNR Partners last month. At the time of the transfer, ownership of the property appeared to still be in the hands of the sponsor of securitization, Investcorp US Real Estate LLC.

Investcorp acquired One Westchase Center in April 2013, then tried without success to sell the property the following year.

A pending maturity date and the effects of the pandemic were cited as the reasons for transitioning the property to the lender. One Westchase Center was valued at $85.2M in 2017, and the loan was current with the June payment, according to Trepp.

Houston-based Nitya Capital is a privately held real estate investment firm that owns and manages about $2B in real estate assets across the country. The company specializes in acquiring and managing workforce housing complexes, with the majority located in Texas.

At the end of 2019, One Westchase Center had an occupancy of 83%. Special servicer notes indicated the lease of one of the five largest tenants, MicroSeismic Inc., which occupied 30.3K SF, expired in March. Another top five tenant, Brown & Gay Engineers, had a 24.5K SF lease due to expire in February.

Occupancy has gone up to 85% since the end of the year, a source with knowledge of the property said. In addition, Brown & Gay Engineers’ lease now extends to 2028. MicroSeismic restructured its lease in early 2019, and that lease now has a 2027 expiration.

Like other cities, Houston’s office market has slowed in the wake of the pandemic. The city has also been grappling with a major energy downturn, which has contributed to softness in the sector.

Houston’s overall office market vacancy rate edged up to 22.5% in July, an increase of 90 basis points from the same time a year ago, according to NAI PartnersAugust snapshot report. Availability averaged 26.7%, up 60 basis points from a year prior.

UPDATE, AUG. 27, 3:15 P.M. CT: This story has been updated to reflect One Westchase Center’s new occupancy rate and tenant lease terms.