Headline News from the Houston Office Market
City of Houston Kicks Off Green Office Initiative
The city of Houston announced an initiative it hopes will make Houston’s office buildings more green. Mayor Annise Parker kicked-off the Green Office Challenge today by urging management districts, commercial property owners, managers and office tenants to make their businesses and operations greener. The Green Office Challenge helps participants achieve green strategies that will help reduce energy use, waste, water use while at the same time providing for some friendly competition along the way. Houston is ranked 8th in the country for the most Leed certified buildings and 6th by the EPA’s for the most Energy Star rated buildings.
Midway Plans to Resume Office Development at CityCentre
Despite a stagnant office leasing market, The Midway Companies announced it plans to add two office buildings to CityCentre, the west Houston mixed-use complex tucked into the southeast corner of I-10 and the Beltway. Jonathon Brinsden, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Houston-based developer says the company is close to reaching full occupancy in the project’s two existing office buildings. There’s one floor left, and two potential tenants are negotiating for the space. CityCentre, a $500 million real estate development built at the site of the old Town & Country Mall, includes two office buildings, a hotel, restaurants, shops, a health club, a movie theater, apartments and townhomes.
Skanska Closes on Galleria Land Tract for 19 story Office Tower
Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc. closed on a 2.3-acre tract at 3009 Post Oak Boulevard in the Galleria area for a new 19-story office building. The development site is bounded on the east by the West Loop, on the south by Hidalgo, on the west by Post Oak and on the north by the Hampton at Post Oak senior living facility. Construction of the 300,000-square-foot building on Post Oak will proceed on a speculative basis according to Michael Mair, Skanska’s executive vice president/regional manager in Houston. The development, which is expected to cost between $60 million and $90 million and is scheduled to open in 2012, will be 100 percent self-financed. Leasing will be handled in-house by Greg Mondshine, leasing director for Skanska USA.
Shell takes Trading Space at RRI Energy Plaza
Shell Oil Co. has leased approximately 300,000 square feet at RRI Energy Plaza taking over the former trading floor of Reliant Energy Inc. Shell’s trading operation will relocate from 250,000 square feet in Two Houston Center. This is the first of several decisions Shell will make concerning 2 million square feet of office space the company leases in downtown Houston.
Mustang Engineering Renews in Energy Corridor
Mustang Engineering has renewed its 248,872-square-foot at 17404 Katy Freeway in the Energy Corridor. The office building is also known as Ten West Corporate Center II is occupied entirely by Mustang Engineering. The Landlord, Black Forest Ventures LLC who is based in the Woodlands, acquired the building in August of this year.
Akers Solutions Decreases Houston Lease Obligations
Akers Solutions has signed a new office lease for 133,000 square feet at Pinnacle Westchase, located at 3010 Briarpark Drive. The Norwegian conglomerate will shed 118,000 square feet of space in November when it moves into Pinnacle Westchase, decreasing their Houston office space obligations by 27 percent. Following the relocation, Akers Solutions will have a total of 315,000 square feet in five area locations versus 433,000 square feet.