Shorenstein Properties announced it has closed on the purchase of 800 Bell Street, a 1.2 million square foot office tower in downtown Houston.  The seller was Exxon Mobil Corporation, which currently also occupies the building.  Shorenstein purchased the property for Shorenstein Realty Investors Ten, L.P., a fund formed in 2010 with $1.23 billion in committed capital.

Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but simultaneous with the purchase, which closed recently, ExxonMobil has leased back the entire building into 2015, when it plans to relocate the building’s occupants to a new corporate campus under construction north of Houston. Rudy Hubbard of Jones Lang LaSalle was the listing broker.

800 Bell covers two city blocks in Houston’s central business district.  The purchase includes a 45-story office tower and a seven-story parking garage.  The property was built in 1962 as the headquarters of Humble Oil & Refining Company, a predecessor to ExxonMobil.

Shorenstein plans to undertake significant improvements to the property after ExxonMobil’s departure.

Douglas Shorenstein, Chairman and CEO of Shorenstein Properties, said:  “This acquisition is in line with our strategy of buying vacancy in markets exhibiting strong current demand and future growth.  We purchased this property markedly below current replacement cost which gives us the opportunity, once the current user vacates, to employ all our company’s core skills – in capital transaction execution, redevelopment, leasing and operations – to increase the property’s value by establishing its long term position and further enhancing its reputation in the market.”