Houston Office Space. Counsel Cut Costs On Houston Office Space,Houston,Texas

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 Houston Site Acquisitions. Need Houston Office Space ? We can help. Free Location Service Citywide.

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
Texas Lawyer
March 02, 2009
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The troubling news about the nation’s economy may really be a glimmer of good news for Texas firms looking to cut costs by renegotiating their office space leases or moving to new space.

“If you are in the position right now where you want to stay in the building and you want to extend your lease, this is a great time to go talk to your landlord about different terms,” says Jim Leary, executive director for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. “Some landlords are hurting, too, because they have overextended because they’ve bought new buildings over the past two or three years.”

Leary, who oversees Akin Gump’s leases from his office in Washington, D.C., says Akin Gump has been very active in recent years in managing its office space throughout its 13-office network.

“We have been actively doing this in good times and bad,” says Leary, who says the 913-lawyer firm has returned some space to landlords in recent years and is currently trying to sublease some excess space in a couple offices. He declines to identify those offices.

Akin Gump isn’t alone in seeing opportunity to cut real estate expenses, or to increase their space at better terms.

Miles Holsworth, executive director at Dallas-based Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, says the 710-lawyer firm began to evaluate its leases as a part of due diligence prior to the October 2007 merger of Texas firm Locke Liddell & Sapp and Lord Bissell & Brook of Chicago.

“We were really in front of what’s going to happen in the market,” Dallas-based Holsworth says.

Since the merger, the firm has made several office space adjustments that have cut costs, he says. That includes subleasing a floor at its Chicago office, and combining offices in Washington, D.C., into new space subleased from Sprint, he says. In New York City, the firm negotiated a lease in Three World Financial Center that had been previously occupied by Morgan & Finegan. On Feb. 2, Locke Lord announced that 33 lawyers from Morgan & Finnegan, including 13 partners, joined the firm.

Holsworth says the firm, which has offices in 13 cities, is “saving a lot of money” in rents over the past year-and-a-half because of the space adjustments.

Meanwhile, Holsworth says, the firm recently entered into a new long-term lease in JPMorgan Chase Tower in Houston that gives the firm new space for a conference room floor and the opportunity to build out the space in a way that standardizes offices to two sizes. Currently, there are about six different sizes of offices, he says. The new space takes up seven-and-a-half floors, compared to the current nine floors, but Holsworth says the floors are contiguous and the firm will use the space more efficiently once a build-out is complete later this year.

Some Subleasing

Renegotiating leases isn’t on the table at some Texas firms.

M. Lawrence “Larry” Hicks, administrative partner in Thompson & Knight in Dallas, says the firm is not trying to renegotiate its leases, but did take on additional space in Three Allen Center in Houston about six months ago. The firm has sublet that space, he says, but the firm intends to add lawyers in Houston and will fill it over time, he says.

“We are always looking for ways to save expenses, but we don’t have an abundance of excess space,” he says.

Kevin Richardson, office administrator in Houston for Jones Day, says the firm has exercised an option to take on an additional half floor at 717 Texas in Houston later this year. The firm is now housed on two floors in the building and is in the sixth year of a 15-year lease, he says.

Richardson says the firm negotiated the expansion more than a year ago.

John Strasburger, the partner in charge in Houston for Weil, Gotshal & Manges, says the firm redid its lease in the Bank of America Center in Houston in 2008 by extending it and renegotiating a blended rate for the longer term.

“We did it because it was a good time to do it. The interesting thing is, it’s kind of like housing prices, they never seem to go down in neighborhoods you want to live in. The same thing is true of Class A office space,” he says.

Strasburger says the firm may be able to capitalize at bit on the down economy in Austin when negotiating a new lease there, because the firm’s current lease in the Arboretum area is up in 2010.

Dan Butcher, managing partner of Strasburger & Price in Dallas, says the firm is looking at its leases, even though most have significant terms left on them. The firm has offices in Dallas, Houston, Austin and Frisco.

“We haven’t made any decision, but we are evaluating whether this is a good time to look at extending our leases and get a better rental or lease rate right now,” Butcher says.

He says the most likely action is subleasing some space in Frisco. The firm’s office is in Hall Office Park.

Tenant Retention

The opportunities for firms to have leverage over their landlords when negotiating new long-term leases varies from city to city in Texas, says Bob Cromwell, managing director of the office services division at Moody Rambin Interests in Houston.

He says the citywide office space vacancy rate in the Dallas area is around 20 percent, while it’s only about 12 percent in Houston. He believes that’s because Houston’s energy-based economy has not been as affected by the economic downtown. Cromwell says the Austin office market is “overbuilt” a bit, but San Antonio is “holding its own.”

Cromwell, who represents building owners, says while tenants believe rents should be going down because of the economy, those rates haven’t been affected much yet. He says rental rates have jumped 30 percent in Houston since the last economic downtown in 2001, and he doesn’t see landlords giving up those gains over the short term.

He says many tenants are negotiating one- or two-year leases because they are waiting to see where the market lands.

Theodore Brakatselos, president of Houston Site Acquisitions, who helps clients find office space, says landlords are being a little more aggressive at trying to retain tenants. However, he notes that there’s a “certain level of uncertainty in the market.”

He says some clients are wondering: “If we sit and wait, will we get a better deal?

Theodore Brakatselos is the President of Houston Site Acquisitions, a commercial real estate company. He has over 17 years of experience in commercial real estate and has represented a broad range of tenants and landlords over his career including star-up companies, publicly held companies, and overseeing portfolios for institutional landlords & investors. You can reach Theodore at 713-789-8700 or via the Web at www.hsaleasing.com

 Houston Office Space, Houston Industrial Space, Houston Warehouse Space, Houston Office Buildings, Houston Commercial Real Estate, Houston Tenant Representation, Houston Office Lease, Houston Office Leasing,Houston Warehouse Lease,Houston Commercial Real Estate Company,Houston Commercial Real Estate Broker

Tenant Representation | Commercial Tenant Representation

Houston Tenant Representation. Why use a Tenant Representation broker?

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Houston Site Acquisitions. Houston commercial real estate company. Need Space ? We can help. Free Location Service Citywide.

By Theodore Brakatselos, President of Houston Site Acquisitions
Houston Chronicle
March 4, 2009
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We frequently speak with tenants who are interested in obtaining information regarding a commercial property and who have expressed difficulty in getting a return call when attempting to gather market research. Tenants (companies) that are not working with a broker will call on leasing signs posted in front of a building. What the tenant might not realize is that the building’s leasing agent at times is not in a hurry to return the call sometimes due to the size of their requirement or that the space advertised as being available for lease actually is not available at all. Typically, the leasing sign will remain in front of a building regardless of whether or not space is available. We also have found tenants get exhausted spending time conducting research on Web sites that contain only listings belonging to one landlord or Web sites that are paid-advertisement directories that contain very limited or outdated listing information.

Presenting current market options is one of the most beneficial services a broker can offer to tenants in addition to evaluating options when they are faced with renewing an existing lease, relocating/leasing space in other buildings, and exploring ownership opportunities such as purchasing a facility. As an added benefit, a broker familiar with the entire city at times might present options in other areas to consider that might not be offered in their particular submarket or existing location.

One important factor to consider when selecting a broker to assist with leasing space is to select one who is free of any potential conflicts of interest. In other words, when leasing space it serves a tenant well to select a broker who is not working for several landlords as well as (you) the tenant.

Securing a business location is extremely important and typically is the second highest line item in terms of operating expenses when operating a business. Many tenants believe that they are able to handle their company’s real estate needs on their own. One example of how some tenants substantiate their ability to handle their business real estate affairs is by reflecting upon how many leases they have successfully negotiated over the years. Lease terms vary and may extend over a period ranging from one year to 15 years. If a tenant has negotiated five leases over the course of 15 years, imagine how many leases a leasing agent working for a landlord has negotiated in comparison over the course of just a few months. When thinking about this example it is easy to understand why negotiating on your own behalf might not be such a good idea.

Every broker over the years develops their own style and technique of working on assignments and interviewing a broker when making a decision regarding your commercial real-estate needs is a good first step. A lot of brokers work for tenants on a commission structure, which doesn’t involve an out-of-pocket fee being paid directly to then by a company using their services, because it ends up being paid by a landlord who splits the commission between your agent and his or simply remains with that landlord and just sweetens the pot for him at the end of the day.

Additionally, a good broker not only will save a company a lot of time and money by allowing tenants to concentrate on their core business during the course of a real-estate transaction, but also will help save on intangible assets such as the time and effort involved in successfully closing a commercial real estate transaction.

Theodore Brakatselos is the President of Houston Site Acquisitions, a commercial real estate company. He has over 17 years of experience in commercial real estate and has represented a broad range of tenants and landlords over his career including star-up companies, publicly held companies, and overseeing portfolios for institutional landlords & investors. You can reach Theodore at 713-789-8700 or via the Web at http://www.hsaleasing.com/ or TenantRepresentation.com.

 

Leasing Office Space in Houston,Texas

 

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Houston Site Acquisitions. Need Houston Office Space ? We can help. Free Location Service Citywide.

By Theodore Brakatselos, Principal of Houston Site Acquisitions
Houston Chronicle
March 18, 2009
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Companies typically have three different types of commercial real estate to consider when researching site selections to lease for their company: office space, industrial space and retail space.

Office space users typically choose an area of the city that is ideal for their client base and have normal business hours, usually 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and either are closed or have limited service over the weekend due to the hours of operation/hvac system of an office building. Office space users tend to have clients visit at their location and are more image conscious as a result. Having the right office environment is especially important in being able to recruit key employees for companies.

Industrial space users tend to choose locations that are accessible to main arteries of the city and that are capable of receiving and/or making large deliveries by trucks and/or rail service. Industrial buildings typically have tall clear heights, which allows stacking of inventory on pallets or rack systems. They also may have a minimal amount of office area to perform administrative tasks and oversee business.

Retail space users tend to pay the most attention to the exact location of their business. Retail businesses heavily rely on exposure in selecting a location coupled with the demographics of a specific area. Retailers have to typically decide whether they believe their concept is better suited in a small neighborhood shopping center, a lifestyle center, or in a large regional mall. A retail location is also best suited to accommodate tenants with high parking requirements. A common expression in retail is: “out of sight, out of mind, out of business.”

Theodore Brakatselos is the President of Houston Site Acquisitions, a commercial real estate company. He has over 17 years of experience in commercial real estate and has represented a broad range of tenants and landlords over his career including star-up companies, publicly held companies, and overseeing portfolios for institutional landlords & investors. You can reach Theodore at 713-789-8700 or via the Web at : hsaleasing.com .

 

Houston Office Space, Houston Industrial Space, Houston Warehouse Space, Houston Office Buildings, Houston Commercial Real Estate, Houston Tenant Representation, Houston Office Lease, Houston Office Leasing,Houston Warehouse Lease,Houston Commercial Real Estate Company,Houston Commercial Real Estate Broker