The Lone Star College System of Real Estate Deals: 70 Percent Off Hewlett-Packard Surplus!

The Lone Star
College System’s $42.2 million purchase price for that chunk of the former Compaq campus it closed on last month turns out to be $100 million less than the amount it had offered to Hewlett-Packard for the property a year earlier, reports Wall Street Journal reporter Maura Webber Sadovi. A few more tidbits from her report on the second-largest office purchase in the U.S. so far this year (The auction of Boston’s 1.8 million-sq.-ft. Hancock Tower for $660 million in March was the biggest):

The $35-a-square-foot price Lone Star paid was below the $57 average paid for the few suburban Houston office properties sold in the first quarter of 2009 and a deep discount to the $145 per-square-foot suburban average in the year-earlier first quarter, according to Real Capital Analytics, a New York-based real-estate-research firm.

Expect to see administrators of the Lone Star College System (known until recently as the North Harris Montgomery Community College System) lounging around in some of the executive furniture HP threw into the deal at the last minute as well. How did they strike this bargain?


The college also was able to do the deal because it wasn’t forced to tap today’s largely frozen credit markets, which many traditional buyers must use. Rather, Lone Star used proceeds from a $420 million bond referendum for expansion efforts that was passed last year by voters in the area it serves.

Of course, most of the campus will be leased out to businesses:

Lone Star expects to spend about $12 million renovating the facility and ultimately plans to use about 40% of the space for educational purposes, including subleasing some of the space to several universities in the area. Lone Star intends to lease the remainder of the space to outside companies.

Photo of former HP building: Becky Lai (license)

2 Comment

  • WOW!!! 30% of peak value. NOW WE ARE GETTING THERE!!

    The John Hancock building (a landmark) went for 50% off peak value.

    I thought Houston real estate was “totally different?”

  • Right, someone’s loss is someone else’s gain.
    I’m stoked about this sale, however, as I feel community colleges are the (near-term) future of higher education in this country.