- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2003

HOUSTON (AP) — The “For Sale” sign is going up at Enron Corp.’s headquarters.

Granite Partners LLC, a New York real estate investment-banking firm, announced yesterday it has been hired to sell the 50-story glass tower at a time when top-notch office space in downtown Houston is cheap and plentiful.

Richard Rudd, senior managing director for Granite Partners’ Houston office, said he hopes to close a sale on the 1.2 million-square-foot building by December.

No firm price is being asked; Mr. Rudd said the firm will wait to see what people are willing to pay. The local county government values the building at $92.5 million.

Finding a buyer may be difficult. The downturn in the economy has hurt Houston businesses, including the energy sector, thus reducing the demand for pricey real estate.

“It’s real ugly,” said Richard Zigler, director of research for O’Connor & Associates, a Houston real estate and research firm. “It certainly does not seem like a good time to lease a million square feet.”

The company’s remaining 1,300 employees will move to a smaller office next year, a spokesman said.

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