Energy Companies Drive Blockbuster Office Deals
The one common denominator for the largest office deals in 2011 in the Houston marketplace whether a lease, investment sale or new development was they all involved a major energy company as the tenant. Year-over-year Houston employment growth in the Mining Sector (Oil & Gas) was up 12.83%. The strength of the energy sector was also evident in leasing activity in the West Houston/Energy Corridor submarket which posted over 600,000 square feet of positive absorption for the year through the 3rd quarter of 2011.
Here is a recap of the year’s biggest office real estate deals:
Shell renews huge downtown Houston leases
Shell Oil Co. renewed major leases commitments at One Shell Plaza and Two Shell Plaza in downtown Houston totaling nearly 1.3 million square feet in one of the largest U.S. office lease transactions of the year. Shell renewed 804,491 square feet of office space at One Shell Plaza and 471,934 square feet at Two Shell Plaza with the building owner, Hines.
Hess Tower sells for record price
Hess Tower in downtown Houston has sold for a record-breaking $442.5 million — breaking both records for highest dollar amount and highest price per-square-foot paid for an office building in Houston.
Chevron finalizes downtown Houston office tower purchase
Chevron USA acquired 1400 Smith, the downtown Houston the office building it previously leased from Brookfield Office Properties Inc. for $340 million. The energy company also owns the 40-story tower at 1500 Louisiana that is connected to 1400 Smith by a skybridge.
Exxon Campus Officially Announced
In June, Houston’s most anticipated commercial real estate announcement was officially disclosed as ExxonMobil acknowledged development of a new office campus in north Houston to consolidate employees currently working in a variety of locations in the Houston area.
BP recommits to Energy Corridor
BP signed a lease in July for nearly 245,000 square feet of office space in Three Eldridge Place to accommodate relocation of an unspecified number of employees to west Houston from the Chicago and San Francisco areas.