A Rouse firm is sold to one run by LBJ's daughter Luci

BusinesSuites of Texas buys ExecuCentre unit

January 22, 2003|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

An Austin, Texas-based firm has purchased a subsidiary of the Rouse Co. that leases furnished business offices for as short a period as an hour, the companies said yesterday.

The Rouse subsidiary, ExecuCentre LLC, has four offices in Baltimore, Columbia and Owings Mills.

The buyer is BusinesSuites, a national provider of furnished offices with flexible leases. Before yesterday's acquisition, the company had 10 centers in Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston and Las Vegas. BusinesSuites said it has 170,000 square feet of office space in top-tier buildings.

The sale price was not disclosed.

BusinesSuites was founded in 1989 by Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson, and her husband, Ian J. Turpin. It has been in a growth mode in the last year, expanding from six to 14 locations.

The purchase makes BusinesSuites the largest office business center operator in Maryland, the company said.

"This acquisition ... allowed us to exceed our job growth target for 2002," said Johnson, BusinesSuites' chairman, in a statement. "We entered the Baltimore market with the acquisition of a single location in early 2002. The addition of the four ExecuCentre locations creates a meaningful base for East Coast operations and expansion."

John G. Jordan, president of BusinesSuites, said his company became familiar with Rouse last year when it leased space in a Rouse office building in Las Vegas. BusinesSuites approached Rouse about buying ExecuCentre, he said.

Jordan said the company would continue to look for new offices to buy. Most clients are local entrepreneurs as well as corporations that need a small presence in another city.

BusinesSuites will provide an address, a phone number for companies that need a minimal presence in an area. For companies that staff an office, the fees range from about $500 to $2,000 a month, depending on the services, size of the office and the city, Jordan said.

Rouse will continue to lease space in its buildings in Baltimore and in Las Vegas to BusinesSuites.

"We have had many suitors for the ExecuCentre business over the years," said Jody L. Clark, vice president and group director of property operations for Rouse.

"BusinesSuites' stability, integrity and track record gave us confidence that they could take the business to the next level and serve as a quality tenant in our properties," Clark said.

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