As recently as one year ago, many owners would have hesitated to put a property up for sale under such conditions. But lately investors have been bidding up prices of trophy properties.
"We feel this is an opportune time to test the market given the abundance of capital looking for core assets in top markets like Houston," Robert Merck, head of MetLife's real-estate investments, wrote in an e-mail. He confirmed that MetLife was selling a stake in the building, but he wouldn't say what size.
Partial sales are attractive strategies to landlords, partly because there is a lot of investor interest in trophy properties. Some office buildings in top markets are up over 40% in value by some measures since the market hit bottom in 2009.