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Office Beat

Top 10 Best and Worst Office Markets for 2001


  1. Denver
  2. Boston
  3. Orange County, Calif.
  4. Sacramento, Calif.
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. Orlando, Fla.
  7. Atlanta
  8. Phoenix
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Seattle


  1. Detroit
  2. Louisville, Ky.
  3. Tulsa, Okla.
  4. Birmingham, Ala.
  5. Indianapolis
  6. Newark, N.J.
  7. Atlantic City, N.J.
  8. Kansas City, Kan./Mo.
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. Memphis, Tenn.

* Source: “Viewpoint 2001” study released by Integra Realty Resources

Denver is celebrating an all-new Rocky Mountain High. The city ranked as the No. 1 office market for 2001, according to New York-based Integra Realty Resources (IRR). The same could not be said for Detroit, however. The Motor City had the dubious distinction of ranking as the worst office market for 2001.

“Denver has fired back up after the recession the city had in the late 1980s,” said Kevin Nunnink, editor and chief of “Viewpoint 2001,” the study released by IRR. “The city has a lot going for it with the new ballpark and downtown construction occurring.”

Nunnink said Detroit has had a recent resurgence with downtown growth, especially with the new developments that are under way, but the city is still struggling with its image.

The results stem from a computer-generated analysis that took into account factors such as vacancy rates, forecast value changes and absorption figures.

First office high-rise in 10-plus years set for L.A. submarket

It's been more than 10 years, but the waiting is nearly over for those in Los Angeles in search of a new office tower. Construction is under way on Constellation Place, a new 704,000 sq. ft., 34-story, Class-A office tower that will be located in the Century City suburb of Los Angeles. Completion is slated for early 2003.

Urban Retail Properties Co. (property manager of Century City Shopping Center) is managing the project for Chicago-based JMB Realty Corp. Constellation Place has already attracted tenants such as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which is currently in negotiations to lease approximately 400,000 sq. ft. of space, and the aircraft leasing firm International Lease Finance Corp., which plans to occupy 150,000 sq. ft.

Two new Chicago twin-tower office projects in the works

ABN AMRO North America Inc., a subsidiary of Netherlands-based ABN AMRO Bank N.V., has announced plans to build ABN AMRO Plaza, a $500 million, 30-story, two-phased, twin-tower development. Located in Chicago's West Loop, the Phase I tower will offer nearly 1.3 million sq. ft. of Class-A office space, and a future Phase II tower is planned for an additional 1.2 million sq. ft. of space.

ABN AMRO is currently working with the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois to evaluate and potentially develop assistance programs for the development. The company is seeking assistance through programs such as the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) and is exploring a possible High Impact Business (HIB) designation.

Houston-based Hines has been selected as the program manager and locally based DeStefano and Partners as the architect. Construction on Phase I is scheduled to start later this year and is slated for completion in 2003.

The twin-tower project will allow ABN AMRO North America to consolidate the company's existing downtown facilities into a single facility, although the company's headquarters will remain at 135 S. LaSalle St.

In other Chicago office news, plans are on the drawing board for another twin-tower office development. The J. Paul Beitler Development Co. of Chicago, and TimesSquare Real Estate Investors, an affiliate of Philadelphia-based CIGNA Corp., plan to build 181 N. Clark.

Equity financing is being secured and provided by TimesSquare. The $225 million, 50-story twin-tower office high-rise will be located across the street from the State of Illinois Plaza in downtown Chicago.

The future 181 N. Clark twin-tower development will be approximately 1 million sq. ft., and feature 750,000 sq. ft. of Class-A office space, 250,000 sq. ft. of indoor parking and retail on the ground floor.

Construction is scheduled to start in the summer of 2001, with the first round of tenants taking occupancy in January 2003.

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Greenwich arranges largest office tower deal in Houston

New York-based The Greenwich Group International has put together the biggest office tower deal in more than a decade in Houston. Greenwich arranged the sale of 1100 Louisiana Street for $212 million, (a record $163 per sq. ft.) on behalf of the seller, Capital Guidance Corp. The 1.3 million sq. ft. property was purchased by National Office Partners, and a partnership between CalPERS and Hines.

The property, also known as PG&E Plaza, is located in the heart of Houston's CBD and is more than 98% leased. In addition to PG&E, tenants include Equiva, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Saloman Smith Barney.

Construction begins for new American Red Cross headquarters

Bethesda, Md.-based The Clark Construction Group Inc has started construction on a new 750,000 sq. ft. national headquarters for the American Red Cross. The building will be located at the intersection of 21st and E streets in northwest Washington, D.C. The 85,000 sq. ft. Red Cross Chapter House, the organization's previous headquarters, will be incorporated into the new structure, which will feature a 10-story office tower.

The new headquarters was designed by Washington, D.C.-based Shalom Baranes Associates. Completion of the project is slated for spring 2002. Upon completion, the existing historic structure will connect to the new 10-story addition by a skylit walkway.

National Center for Health Statistics ready for new headquarters

Not to be outdone by the American Red Cross, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is getting a new headquarters as well. Prince George's Metro Center (PGMC) will construct a new 200,000 sq. ft. building for the NCHS. The building will be located adjacent to Prince George's three existing buildings in Hyattsville, Md. The U.S. General Services Administration acted on behalf of NCHS and recently signed the lease of the entire building. Construction is expected to start this summer and is tentatively scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2002.

This building will bring PGMC to almost 1.4 million sq. ft. of commercial space in four buildings. Upon completion, NCHS will move its employees from Metro 3, one of the three existing buildings at Prince George. The current lease at that building has been extended until the new headquarters is complete.

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