Enron develops downtown Houston office tower Natural gas and electricity conglomerate Enron has announced plans to develop a 40-story office tower in downtown Houston to accommodate the company's anticipated 20% to 30% growth in its workforce by 2001.

The 1.2 million sq. ft. building's tower design will be similar to the existing Enron Building, which is adjacent to the planned structure. The seven-story base will include four 55,000 sq. ft. trading floors, while the top 33 floors will be 25,000 sq. ft. each.

The building's ground floor will also include retail space and a 240-seat auditorium. Plans include a skywalk connection to the Enron Building, a food court and a 1,300-space garage. With a summer groundbreaking, Houston-based Hines will manage the project.

The company plans to relocate employees from 3 Allen Center where Enron leases about 500,000 sq. ft.

Walton Street Capital, National Office Partners invest in Miami Both Walton Street Capital LLC and National Office Partners, a joint venture between Hines and the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), announced March acquisitions in downtown Miami.

Walton STIC, an affiliate of Walton Street Capital, Chicago, bought SunTrust International Center for $57.3 million from The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. SunTrust International Center is a 31-story, 420,000 sq. ft. office building.

National Office Partners bought NationsBank Tower from Miami Tower Associates L.P. and Miami Retail Associates L.P. The 586,000 sq. ft., 47-story Class-A building is 90% leased.

NationsBank Tower is National Office Partners' fifth office acquisition in the past seven months, bringing the portfolio's value to $1.2 billion.

Teacher's Insurance buys Phoenix office building CB Richard Ellis negotiated the $37 million sale of the Biltmore Commerce Center in Phoenix, Ariz., to Teacher's Insurance & Annuity Association of New York.

Built in 1985, the 262,850 sq. ft. building is 99% occupied, with American Express occupying 53%. Spieker Properties, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based REIT, sold the property.

CommonWealth Partners buys Costa Mesa property Los Angeles-based CommonWealth Partners has purchased Two Town Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., from a joint venture of South Coast Plaza and Prudential Insurance Co. of America.

The 720,000 sq. ft. project is the second major acquisition by CWP in the past three months, bringing recent investments to more than $225 million.

Two Town Center includes twin 15-story office towers and a five-story office building.

CWP expects the property to be 96% occupied by next month and anticipates additional investments in 1999 through its partnership with CalPERS. CWP and CalPERS own and operate more than $500 million in Class-A office properties in the western United States.

MCI Building in St. Louis sells for $26.5 million New York-based White Plains LLC has purchased St. Louis' MCI Building for $26.5 million from The Realty Associates Fund III L.P. of Boston.

The 12-story, 248,651 sq. ft. Class-A building sits about 300 yards from the city's signature landmark, the Gateway Arch. The St. Louis office of CB Richard Ellis and its New York-based Investment Properties Group represented the seller.

Jones Lang LaSalle negotiates Washington, D.C., sale MGP Real Estate LLC of Rockville, Md., has purchased 1615 L St. N.W. in Washington, D.C., for $100 million from 1615 L Street Associates, a partnership of MetLife Realty and CT Washington Partners. Jones Lang LaSalle negotiated the sale for 1615 L Street Associates.

The 391,979 sq. ft. building was completed in 1984 and is 90% leased.

In one of the biggest deals over the past year, GVA Williams New York recently negotiated a 50-year, 1.6 million sq. ft. lease by New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority at 2 Broadway. GVA Williams represented building owner New York-based ZAR Realty in the transaction.