Greenway Plaza Becomes Largest LEED-Certified Office Campus in Texas13 May 2013, 2:31 pm
By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor
Crescent Real Estate Holdings’ 10-building office campus, Greenway Plaza, recently achieved LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, becoming the largest Texas office campus to earn this designation.
The master-planned business campus consists of an impressive 4.3 million square feet of Class A office space, and is home to The Shops at Greenway; located five miles southwest of downtown Houston, the 55-acre business park and mixed-use community also includes residential condominiums, a luxury hotel and an athletic/social club.
The office park’s commitment to the environment is easily noticeable due to its large lawns, trees and network of internal roadways connecting to underground parking, all helping establish the “green culture” of Greenway Plaza. The ease of access to major freeways and mass transportation adds commuting options for employees and visitors and another layer of environmental sensitivity, as do its biannual electronics collection events. Maintenance and operations are likewise consistent with the LEED program.
“Along with our energy-efficient and now completely LEED-certified 10 buildings, our office campus has plenty of green space, including the largest green roof in Texas covering underground parking. We also have the most convenient mass transportation options for customers,” said Cruse.
Crescent Real Estate Equities L.P.—the entity that manages and, through its affiliates, owns the Greenway Plaza office campus—was the one to seek LEED recognition for the property. Besides attesting to the property’s environmental commitment, the certification provides a significant business advantage to Class A commercial buildings, according to Bob Carlen, vice president of property management for Crescent.
“Crescent is committed to environmental sustainability and being a responsible environmental leader among existing office buildings,” Carlen said. “Conducting ourselves as good environmental stewards is the right thing to do for the environment. At the same time, environmental leadership and energy savings is a sound business practice that helps our customers reduce costs and improve their bottom line.”
Image via GreenwayPlaza.com
Booming Local Economy Draws Buyers to Houston Multifamily Properties29 Apr 2013, 4:40 am
With Houston’s booming economy expected to generate approximately 117,000 new jobs in 2013, possibly the most sizable gain since the 1980s, nearly all sectors of the local economy have been experiencing increased activity. The multifamily sector is no exception.
According to a recent Marcus & Millichap report, multifamily property sales in the Houston metro area rose 40 percent in 2012, exceeding the metro’s prior peak by a wide margin. First quarter data is incomplete due to a lag in reporting, but the running year-to-date count has already exceeded the total for the same period in 2012.
The 244-unit Armand Place is one of the multifamily properties to recently trade owners; the Clear Lake property has been purchased for an undisclosed amount, with Resource Real Estate Opportunity REIT, an entity sponsored by national real estate firm Resource Real Estate Inc., being the buyer.
Located in Clear Lake—one of the largest communities of Bay Area Houston—Armand Place consists of 20 buildings spread across 10 acres, and includes two swimming pools, a 24-hour fitness center, wood-burning fireplaces, parking and a shuttle service to the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Residents also benefit from a diverse local employment base that includes professionals in the aerospace, education, engineering, petrochemical and technology industries, and points of interest including the University of Houston-Clear Lake and the nearby Johnson Space Center.
Resource Real Estate Opportunity REIT plans to invest capital to improve individual units and common areas, upgrade the landscaping and establish a professional, on-site property management team.
Another Houston property to trade recently is the 168-unit Dover Pointe Apartments, acquired by a Texas partnership whose name was not disclosed. The property, located at 14445 Wallisville Road, commanded a list price of $5.4 million.
Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services represented the seller, which also wanted to remain unnamed but plans to enhance operations by repositioning the asset through modified renovations.
ExxonMobil Markets Sites Nationally as New Corporate Campus Proceeds17 Apr 2013, 6:06 pm
By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor
While working on what will soon become one of the largest corporate campuses in the world, ExxonMobil is apparently trying to minimize its office footprint throughout the country.
Just last week, the company hired Cassidy Turley to market its 117-acre corporate campus in Fairfax, Va., consisting of five buildings with 1.3 million square feet of Class A office space; underground parking structures totaling approximately 1 million square feet; and approximately 92 acres of undeveloped land. Since the company first announced the development of the new corporate campus in Houston, there were clear mentions of the fact that its goal is that of accommodating additional employees from the immediate area and from the company locations in Fairfax, VA and Akron, OH.
Now, Exxon Mobil is also listing the ExxonMobil Chemical Company Headquarters campus in Houston’s Energy Corridor. The property, which serves as headquarters for the company’s chemical division, will be marketed by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler. A sales team has already been set in place, with HFF’s senior managing director Robert Williamson and managing director Davis Adams leading it; the debt team will be led by senior managing director Wally Reid and director Colby Mueck.
In addition to 352,170 rentable square feet of improvements consisting of an office building and conference center, the ExxonMobil Chemical Co. campus—located at 13501 Katy Freeway—features 1,000 feet of frontage on Interstate 10 and 800 feet of frontage on Memorial Drive. The property is situated on approximately 35 acres in the heart of Houston’s Energy Corridor, adjacent to the BP America Headquarters, across Interstate 10 from both ConocoPhillips and Shell Oil’s North American Exploration and Productions headquarters, and within a mile of Mustang Engineering and Dow Chemical.
ExxonMobil will be grouping more of its divisions on the campus it started building in 2011 in The Woodlands, one hour from Houston; located on a 385-acre wooded site on company-owned land near the intersection of I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road, the ExxonMobil Houston Campus will accommodate approximately 10,000 employees and is being constructed to high standards of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Employees will move in phases as the buildings are constructed, beginning in early 2014. Full occupancy for Houston-based employees is expected by 2015.
Image courtesy of ExxonMobil website
Shorenstein Hires Transwestern to Lease 1.2 MSF Exxon Mobil Tower16 Apr 2013, 12:56 am
San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties L.L.C. has chosen Transwestern to serve as the exclusive leasing agent for 800 Bell—the 1.2 million-square-foot office tower in Houston’s Central Business District that the company acquired back in January.
The 45-story 800 Bell St. building, known as the ExxonMobil Tower, was built in 1962 as the headquarters of Humble Oil & Refining Co., a predecessor to ExxonMobil; at that time, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, at 606 feet. The property includes a seven-story parking garage covering two city blocks on the corner of Travis and Bell streets.
Current tenant ExxonMobil will vacate the building in 2015, when the development of its campus will be completed, giving Shorenstein the opportunity to deliver significant improvements to the property through an extensive redevelopment. The details of the redevelopment project have not yet been released.
For leasing, 800 Bell relies on its unique corporate identity on the Houston skyline and on the fact that it remains one of the largest blocks of contiguous space offered in Houston in more than 30 years.
“We are very excited about this unique opportunity,” said Transwestern’s Eric Anderson, executive vice president. “It is not very often that we can be a part of something as significant as enhancing the downtown Houston skyline. Shorenstein has a reputation for delivering successful signature redevelopment projects, such as Market Square in San Francisco, which includes the headquarters of Twitter, Yammer and One Kings Lane. We are excited to see what Shorenstein has in store for 800 Bell and downtown Houston.” Anderson, executive vice president David Baker and vice president Paul Wittorf will be in charge of marketing and leasing the property.
Image courtesy of Obskura via Flickr
$95M Terminal B Redevelopment Nearly Complete; Tenant Line-Up Revealed8 Apr 2013, 5:51 am
By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor
United Airlines recently unveiled the dining and retail line-up soon to be featured at the new Terminal B south concourse at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
The $95 million south concourse redevelopment—expected to open in mid-April—is a new 225,000-square-foot facility designed to accommodate United Express regional flights. The new space, nearly four times the size of the former south concourse, will feature modern and expanded gate-lounge areas; 17 food, beverage and retail concessions; and a spacious central passenger lounge with expansive tarmac views.
The tenant list is led by two new celebrity-chef venues. First-time airport concession 3rd Bar Oyster & Eating House is the creation of Houston native and celebrated chef Bryan Caswell and noted food and beverage director Bill Floyd—whose Midtown restaurant Reef was named the No. 1 seafood restaurant in the United States by Bon Appetit magazine in 2008. Another airport first is The Fruteria, developed by San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez, whose passion for Mexican street food has already caught the attention of Travel & Leisure, Southern Living and Bravo’s Top Chef.
Other new airport concessions include Texas icon Whataburger; Bullrito’s, also a Texas native, which will feature fresh Tex-Mex; and Barcuterie, which will offer cured meats and classic cheeses in an energetic bar setting.
The retail component does not fall far behind, as it also includes a variety of shopping options, among them the iStore Boutique, the first airport retail concept authorized to sell Apple devices, as well as a Relay store and beauty brand The Body Shop. Brookstone will also be present on-site with a highly interactive store that will offer the latest business and technology gear, tablet accessories, checkpoint-friendly luggage, travel pillows and blankets, as well as gifts. Other well-known retail stores include Ice Currency Exchange, Johnston & Murphy, Natalie’s Candy Jar and Nuance Duty Free.
With 15,000 square feet of concessions, the new space is 500 percent larger than the concession space in the previous south concourse facility.
Responsible for leasing and managing the concessions, as well as the food and beverage operations in the Terminal B south concourse, is Westfield, the company that also manages the concessions for Terminal E at Bush Intercontinental Airport.