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Williams Tower near Houston’s Galleria mall plans lobby renovation

Williams Tower, a prominent office building in Houston’s Uptown/Galleria area, is set to undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation of its lobby.

Building permits issued by the city of Houston say that $3.1 million is expected to be spent to upgrade the tower’s entrance space.

Records filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation say the project will involve renovations to the existing lobby areas on the building’s first floor and part of an existing build-out on the second floor.

The remodel will affect 22,982 square feet in the 64-story, 238,406-square-foot building.

Williams Tower is located at 2800 Post Oak Blvd., near the intersection of West Alabama Street and Post Oak Boulevard.

The building permits were issued to Houston-based O’Donnell/Snider Construction. Houston’s Ziegler Cooper Architects is listed as the designer.

Williams Tower is owned by Houston-based Invesco. Rents in the building, which was built in 1983, start at $30 per square foot, according to a listing on Loopnet.com.

Houston Business Journal has reached out to Invesco, O’Donnell/Snider Construction and Ziegler Cooper Architects for comment.

Williams Tower was previously owned by Houston-based developer Hines, which also offices in the building. Hines announced last year that it plans to move out of Williams Tower once the company’s new 47-story, 1 million-square-foot downtown office tower is completed in 2021. The new tower will be known as Texas Tower and will be anchored by Hines and Vinson & Elkins.

The law firm signed a 16-year lease for 212,000 square feet over the top seven floors, and Hines will occupy 155,000 square feet across five floors in a 15-year lease

Hines is partnering on the Texas Tower project with Ivanhoé Cambridge, a Canada-based real estate investment company.

Williams Tower landed a marquee tenant last year, with the announcement that CBRE was moving its 300 Houston employees into 77,000 square feet in the building.

CBRE occupies the entire fifth floor of Williams Tower and portions of the second and fourth floors. CBRE’s new office is filled with a dozen different workplace options. There are huddle rooms, or small, semiprivate gathering rooms, and an open-concept lounge and collaboration areas, among others spaces.

CBRE also handles leasing for Williams Tower.

Landlord brings ‘people-first’ environment with office portfolio renovation

Austin-based CapRidge Partners revealed details about the upcoming renovation and rebranding of three recently acquired office buildings on the fringe of the exclusive Memorial Villages.

The portfolio, totaling 541,000 square feet, is about three miles west of the Galleria and just over four miles from Memorial City Mall. The 1616 S. Voss and 7500 San Felipe buildings will be rebranded as Memorial Tower I and Memorial Tower II, respectively, while nearby 6363 Woodway will be known as Woodway Tower.

“Now is the time for this portfolio to elevate its presence in the Memorial neighborhood, and we are thrilled to share the exciting changes,” Dan Terpening, director at CapRidge Partners, said in an announcement. “From extensive interior improvements to upgraded tenant amenity packages, the project will provide a connected, engaging and people-first environment for our tenants.”

CapRidge, which purchased the buildings from a partnership of Unilev Capital Corp. in March, tapped Stream Realty Partners to handle leasing and marketing of the project. Stream’s Craig McKenna and Matthew Asvestas have been tasked with finding tenants.

The location next to some of the Houston area’s most exclusive neighborhoods, such as Tanglewood and the Memorial Villages, is between two office submarkets, Asvestas said. It competes with the Memorial City submarket, which has an overall vacancy of 5.7 percent, and the Galleria submarket, where vacancy stands at 17.5 percent.

Construction is scheduled to begin in January and wrap up in the summer of 2020. The project team includes Abel Design Group as lead designer, Clark Condon as the landscape architect and O’Donnell/Snider Construction as the general contractor. The renovation budget was not disclosed.

Related: Galleria-area building owner leverages the lobby in renovation

The interiors will get new finishes and seating areas in the lobbies, enhanced amenities such as a different dining option each day from Fooda, and Avenue C market, updated restrooms and elevator cabs. An activity lawn for events is planned between the Memorial Tower buildings and shaded seating areas and outdoor meeting spaces are also envisioned.

The renovation is designed to create more areas for tenants to collaborate, whether for a makeshift meeting in the lobby or outdoors, Asvestas said.

The portfoliohas gained a few tenants since March according to Stream. The 1616 S. Voss building is 70 percent leased, 7500 San Felipe is 78 percent leased and 6363 Woodway is 88 percent leased.

CapRidge Partners, which invests in well-located office buildings that can be purchased below replacement cost in nine U.S. markets, has purchased 41 buildings since 2012. The company owns two other Houston office buildings: 12012 Wickchester and Briar Forest Crossing, at 1300 W. Sam Houston Parkway.

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Houston tech company to begin build-out of new Upper Kirby headquarters

Houston-based Pros Holdings Inc., one of the city’s largest technology companies, is preparing to begin construction on the build-out of its new headquarters in Upper Kirby.

Building permits issued by the city of Houston say that Pros Inc. (NYSE: PRO) plans to spend $12.4 million to complete the build-out of 10 floors at 3200 Kirby Drive, which is part of the mixed-use development known as Kirby Collection.

According to the permits, Pros Inc. plans to renovate floors four through 10, as well as floors two, 12 and 13.

The permits say that the build-out of floor four will include a dining facility, while floor five will have a lounge area and floor six will include a conference center.

The permits were issued to Houston-based O’Donnell/Snider Construction.

Houston Business Journal has reached out to Pros Inc. and O’Donnell/Snider Construction for additional comment.

Pros Inc. announced its plan to move its corporate headquarters into 118,000 square feet at 3200 Kirby last December, marking one of the largest office leases signed in 2018. The company employed around 580 people in Houston as of 2018 and is one of the city’s most prominent tech companies.

Last year, Pros Inc. was the sole software company to participate in a nine-company partnership to invest $25 million in the HX Venture Fund. The HX Venture Fund is dedicated to attracting more early-stage tech firms and venture capitalists to Houston.

Kirby Collection is composed of a 186,000-square-foot office building, which is fully leased; a luxury multifamily tower with 199 units; and 65,000 square feet of retail. The 1 million-square-foot, $125 million project was developed by New York-based Thor Equities and was in late 2017. E.E. Reed Construction was the general contractor for Kirby Collection. Richard Keating Architecture was the design architect, Dianna Wong Architecture + Design was the interior designer, and Houston-based Kirksey was the architect of record. Walter P Moore was the structural engineer, and Houston-based Wylie was the MEP engineer.

In addition to Pros Inc., Kirby Collection tenants include Moscow-based Lukoil, which signed a 5,900-square-foot lease in February 2018; Mississippi-based Hancock Whitney Bank; Houston-based Novum Energy Trading Inc.; and Jacksonville, Florida-based Regency Centers (NYSE: REG).

Pinstripes, a bistro, bowling and bocce chain, was the first retail tenant to sign on at Kirby Collection. The 33,830-square-foot venue opened in October.

Last November, Dakota, a new high-end restaurant and lounge, announced it was moving into the development.

Office tenants at Kirby Collection have access to a rooftop putting green and lounge, according to marketing materials for the building.

Photos: Look inside downtown Houston’s 2-story steakhouse opening this week

Guard and Grace is almost ready to open.

The long-awaited Houston outpost of Troy Guard’s popular Denver steakhouse will open Nov. 19. It’s the first venture outside of Denver for Guard’s Tag Restaurant Group.

Click through the slideshow above to see the completed Guard and Grace restaurant and some of the menu items it will offer.

The restaurant is located in a 15,000-square-foot “glass box” portion of Brookfield Properties’ recently transformed One Allen Center tower at 500 Dallas St. downtown.

The Houston Guard and Grace is nearly twice the size of the Denver location and spans two floors as well as a patio. Inside, the restaurant seats 236, with 188 in the main dining room, 36 at the full-service bars and 12 in the private “Board Room.” Upstairs, another private dining room seats 88 or can hold 120 for a cocktail reception. It can be divided up into three rooms, each with a television. The 4,000-square-foot patio won’t open until 2020.

Three kitchens, two for the main dining area and one for the private area, service the restaurant, and there are four bars, including one for the patio.

A temperature-controlled wine cellar will have wine lockers where guests can store their own bottles. The cellar will have capacity for 6,858 bottles.

The menu is set to include items like a filet mignon flight — with four ounces each of wagyu, prime and angus steak — a seafood tower and an extravagant fajita-style dish with wagyu, caviar and gold-speckled tortillas that costs $400, alongside more down-to-earth items like a prosciutto flight, fried quail and Alaskan black cod.

“The road to Guard and Grace has been a journey,” Guard said in previous press release. “This is such a special city not just for excellent dining, but for great chefs who have become friends and welcomed us so graciously. We feel so lucky to be this close to unveiling the project, and I can’t wait to introduce Houston to Guard and Grace.”

Nikki Guard serves as the co-owner and beverage director for Guard and Grace. Daniel Virola is the executive chef, and Andrew Ojeda is the general manager. The sommelier on staff is Lexey Davis Johnson.

Nick Hernandez and Crystal Allen of Transwestern’s Houston Retail Services Group represented Brookfield in the lease. Guard represented Tag Restaurant Group. Houston-based construction firm O’Donnell/Snider Construction built out the restaurant space, while Denver-based BOSS.architecture served as the architect and interior designer.

Initially, Guard and Grace’s hours will be Monday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. A lunch menu and social hour will debut Dec. 2. That lunch period will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday with the social hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

First look: Iconic downtown Houston tower slated for major remodel project

Heritage Plaza in downtown Houston will begin work next month on a massive remodel project that will touch some of the building’s key features.

The building, which is located at 1111 Bagby St., will undergo renovations to its exterior, main lobby, tenant conferencing areas and the sky lobby.

Click through the slideshow above to see renderings of what changes are planned.

The 53-story office tower offers 1.1 million square feet of office space that’s been touted as Class AA, as well as 28,535 square feet of retail space.

New York-based Brookfield Properties, which owns the building, said in a news release that the renovations will “enhance the volume and geometry of the space and focus on creating a clean and modern design using a brighter material palette with softer, lighter finishes.”

Among the biggest elements of Heritage Plaza that will change during the remodel will be the addition of a new glass curtain wall at the corner of Dallas and Brazos streets. Brookfield also plans to update the landscaping and paving in the building’s atrium.

The remodel plans also call for refinishing the main lobby and adding a new “social stair” with sitting areas.

On the 13th floor, the sky lobby will undergo an upgrade, which will create an unobstructed view of Buffalo Bayou Park.

The main and sky lobbies will also have new stone tile floors with bronze accents and updated furniture.

Tenants can also look forward to new boardroom-style conference spaces and collaborative seating areas in the sky lobby.

The building’s elevators will also see upgrades, including renovated cabs in the main lobby.

Brookfield said construction on the project will begin in October and is scheduled to be completed in December 2021. The company declined to comment on how much the renovations will cost.

Brookfield Properties has tapped Houston’s O’Donnell/Snider Construction to serve as general manager. Houston-based Kirksey Architecture is serving as architect.

Heritage Plaza is occupied by a number of well-known companies, including its largest tenant, EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG), whose headquarters occupies more than 350,000 square feet in the building.

The office tower is also home to accounting giant Deloitte, which recently launched its own renovation of the 204,210 square feet it leases in the building.

Meanwhile, Brookfield has also launched major renovations at several other downtown office towers it owns.

The three-skyscraper Allen Center office complex in downtown Houston is in the midst of a major renovation project that is scheduled to be completed next year. Brookfield’s “Reimagining of Allen Center” project has moved into its second phase, which includes renovating Two and Three Allen Center.

In July, Brookfield released new details about its plans for the Houston Center campus downtown, which is also undergoing an extensive renovation. Construction on Houston Center’s transformation began in February 2019 and is expected to be complete in late 2020.

In June, Brookfield announced renovations to Total Plaza, at 1201 Louisiana St., are expected to begin this summer and be complete in early 2020.

Houston midstream firm launches renovation at HQ in Allen Center downtown

Houston-based midstream giant Plains All American Pipeline LP (NYSE: PAA) is undertaking a $2.2 million renovation to its headquarters in Three Allen Center, according to city of Houston records.

Building permits issued by the city show that renovations will affect Suite 1400 of 333 Clay St. Plains All American’s website says its headquarters is located in Suite 1600.

The building permit was issued to Houston’s O’Donnell/Snider Construction. Additional details about the project were not immediately available. The Houston Business Journal has reached out to Plains All American and O’Donnell/Snider for comment.

The three-skyscraper Allen Center office complex in downtown Houston is in the midst of a major renovation project that is scheduled to be completed next year. The property is owned by New York-based Brookfield Properties (Nasdaq: BPY), which is represented by JLL (NYSE: JLL) for leasing.

Brookfield’s “Reimagining of Allen Center” project has moved into its second phase, which includes renovating Two and Three Allen Center.

Two Allen Center is set to receive a new two-story lobby, second-floor outdoor terrace and updated retail bays and tenant mix. Three Allen Center’s lobby also will be renovated, and the building will add a new shower and locker room to its fitness center. Both buildings’ elevator lobbies and elevator cabs will be renovated, and a new skybridge will connect the two towers.

Other portions of the Allen Center transformation include a new restaurant and a new hotel.

Dallas-based Morrison Dilworth + Walls and Houston-based PDR are the architects for the “Reimagining of Allen Center” project, and Houston-based Tellepsen Builders is the construction contractor.

Earlier this summer, financial services firm Jefferies LLC also began a nearly $6 million remodel of two suites in Three Allen Center. However, some companies are moving out of Allen Center amid the renovations, including law firm White & Case LLP and Houston-based EnVen Energy Corp., an independent oil and natural gas firm.

Meanwhile, Plains All American recently increased its earnings outlook for the rest of 2019. Driven by its strong infrastructure position in the U.S. pipeline market, Plains All American said earlier this month that it expects to generate $2.98 billion of adjusted EBITDA this year. That’s up from the company’s prior forecasts of $2.85 billion and $2.75 billion.

Plains All American garnered headlines in June, when Houston-based Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) announced it was moving forward with two previously proposed pipeline projects costing more than $1 billion each. At the time, Phillips 66 said it was entering in to a 50-50 joint venture with Plains All American to build the $2.5 billion Red Oak Pipeline system portion of the project.

Financial services firm launches $6M remodel, expansion in downtown Houston’s Allen Center

Financial services firm Jefferies LLC has begun construction on a nearly $6 million remodel of two suites in Three Allen Center.

Building permits issued by the city of Houston say that Jefferies plans renovations to suites 2400 and 2500 in the 50-story building. The building permit for suite 2400 estimated the cost of the remodel at $2.2 million. The one for suite 2500 was for $3.78 million in renovations.

The permits were issued to Houston-based general contractor O’Donnell/Snider Construction.

The renovations will involve a complete demolition and remodel of one and a half floors, about 40,000 square feet in total, a source close to the deal confirmed. Jefferies has requested high-end finishes, including an internal staircase connecting the two suites. The staircase will be made of stone and glass with bronze detailing. The renovations will expand Jefferies’ conference room capacity.

Houston’s PDR Corp. is serving as architect on the project, the source said. Construction crews began work on the space earlier this month. The space is expected to be delivered by the end of 2019.

Another source close to the deal said the need for additional space was driven by the recent success of Jefferies’ energy advisory practice.

Jefferies LLC is part of the Jefferies Financial Group, which merged with Leucadia National Corp. in 2012.

Three Allen Center is owned by New York-based Brookfield Properties, which is represented by JLL (NYSE: JLL) for leasing. Jefferies’ tenant adviser is Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK).

Meanwhile, the overall Allen Center complex is in the midst of an extensive renovation project. The second phase began in April and includes renovating Two and Three Allen Center.

The city of Houston recently issued a construction permit to Houston-based Tellepsen for a $600,000 remodel of the Three Allen Center Wellness Center. As the Houston Business Journal reported in March, the plans for the building include a new shower and locker facility. Three Allen Center is also slated to undergo lobby renovations and elevator improvements. The project also includes the addition of a skybridge connecting Two and Three Allen Center.

Phase two of the project is expected to be completed in late 2020.

Photos: Sky-high downtown Houston restaurant now open

Strato 550, a sky-high downtown lunch spot, is now open. The first Houston venture from Compass Group, a global hospitality and foodservice management firm based in the U.K., was announced in February and occupies the entire 43rd floor of 1415 Louisiana. Now, the restaurant is open to the public, serving cocktails and Mediterranean plates.

The name references the Latin root word for “level” or “layer” and the venue’s location 550 feet in the air, according to a press release, which claims Strato 550 will be Houston’s highest vantage point open to the public. The new venue replaces The 43rd Restaurant & Lounge, a lunch spot and cocktail lounge.

Click through the slideshow above for a look at Strato 550.

Strato 550 features both a restaurant and a conference center space. The restaurant offers seasonally driven, “approachable cuisine with a Mediterranean influence” and will focus on sourcing from Texas farms and purveyors, the release states. The restaurant will offer both à la carte and prix-fixe menus plus a wine list highlighting premier wine-making regions around the world.

Evan Parker was announced as the executive chef for Strato 550 in late April. Parker is best known for his work at Mélange Catering & Special Events in Houston but has also cooked in Austin and Portland, Oregon.

Separately, the conference center has four meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of up to 12 and can be expanded into the larger dining space. The conference center has its own customized menus and will follow a family-style format.

Strato 550 was designed by Houston-based Abel Design Group and features floor-to-ceiling windows, an open floor plan and “pops of color set against a soothing gray and white scheme,” per the release. The venue aims to create a refined, yet comfortable, setting. Houston-based O’Donnell/Snider Construction is the general contractor for the Strato 550 project.

The building, formerly known as Wedge International Tower, completed $10 million in upgrades and renovations in 2016. Upgrades included a new modern lobby with Italian stonework, a new entryway, elevator cabs and a main elevator lobby, plus a new hanging light display and updated outdoor signage. Ken R. Harry Associates, which was acquired by Abel Design in 2015, was the architect on the project.

The building was built in 1983 and previously renovated in 1993, according to Colvill Office Properties, the landlord brokerage. Houston-based The Wedge Group owns the building, and Houston-based Hines has provided property management and construction management since 2014, according to Hines’ website.

The restaurant will be open for lunch weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for cocktail hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Customized menus will be offered for groups and events.

HBJ’s 2019 Landmark Awards: Workplace Interior winner and finalists

Winner: Motiva, Levels 2 & 3
General Contractor: O’Donnell/Snider Construction

Architect: Kirksey Architecture

Structural Engineer: Cardno

MEP: I.A. Naman + Associates Inc.

Interior Designer: Kirksey Architecture

Motiva moved into two floors in the recently renovated One Allen Center in downtown. The company’s space includes accent walls with graphics that represent Motiva’s various business assets, as well as a new reception area and conferencing center for visitors that will expand the company’s brand and generate new business in Houston.

Prior to expanding onto levels two and three in One Allen Center, Motiva was already occupying four levels in One Allen, but those spaces were primarily designated for employees. This move was partially fueled by Motiva’s desire for space to show off their brand and host clients in visually appealing reception and conference areas.

Motiva will be adding a substantial number of jobs to the Houston market, per a company spokesperson.

Size: 26,000 square feet

Project value: Undisclosed

CBRE’s space was a consolidation of the company’s three Houston offices. It is entirely paperless, and it was designed with modern functionality in mind.
CBRE’s space was a consolidation of the company’s three Houston offices. It is entirely paperless, and it was designed with modern functionality in mind.

Finalist: CBRE Houston
Developer: CBRE

General Contractor: D.E. Harvey Builders

Architect: Gensler

Engineer: HOK

MEP: I.A. Naman & Associates Inc.

Interior Designer: Gensler

CBRE’s 77,000-square-foot space was a consolidation of the company’s three Houston offices. The office is entirely paperless, and it was designed with modern functionality in mind. Employees are free to choose to work in roughly 40 unique work settings, and a majority of the work settings in CBRE’s new office were specifically designed to foster socialization and collaboration. The office is also home to custom-crafted pieces by local artisans, including woodwork, metalwork and illustrations.

CBRE’s consolidation into Williams Tower was significant for the Uptown submarket, too. CBRE’s Houston office is the largest of the company’s “CBRE 360” — a designation given to the company’s paperless, open and renovated offices — locations in the world. The office is also equipped with Liquid Galaxy, which allows professionals to display satellite views of Houston and views from around the globe, as well as CBRE’s proprietary data, such as debt situations and area demographics.

Size: 77,695 square feet

Project value: Undisclosed

Abel Design Group renovated executive floors of America Tower at 2929 Allen Parkway for Musket Corp., which relocated from downtown Houston to America Tower.
Abel Design Group renovated executive floors of America Tower at 2929 Allen Parkway for Musket Corp., which relocated from downtown Houston to America Tower.

Finalist: Musket Corporation
Developer: Musket Corp.

General Contractor: Trademark Hitt

Architect: Abel Design Group

Engineer: Henderson Rogers Structural Engineers


Broker: Jackson Cooksey

Abel Design Group renovated executive floors of America Tower at 2929 Allen Parkway for Musket Corp., which relocated from downtown Houston to America Tower. The space had been vacant for years and was a relic of the ‘80s. Abel Design Group used design tools, mood boards and sketches to bring Musket Corp.’s vision for a modernized office space to life.

One of the space’s distinguishing features is an internal staircase that connects two floors. Musket Corp.’s space was designed to accommodate future growth.

Size: 37,000 square feet

Project value: Undisclosed

The Annex HTX is a coworking space that caters to freelancers, writers, designers, artists and other entrepreneurs, who can work and collaborate in a modern space.
The Annex HTX is a coworking space that caters to freelancers, writers, designers, artists and other entrepreneurs, who can work and collaborate in a modern space.

Finalist: The Annex HTX
Developer: Construction Concepts

General Contractor: Construction Concepts

Architect: AMC Design

MEP: AMC Design

Engineer: AMC Design

The Annex HTX is a new coworking community in east downtown. The space caters to freelancers, writers, designers, artists and other entrepreneurs, who can work and collaborate in a modern space. It was designed with industrial chic influences in mind, and all of the space’s finishes — from custom fabricated steel and railing to extensive millwork and laminates — were crafted by Construction Concepts’ in-house artisans.

Construction Concepts and The Annex HTX worked hand-in-hand in designing the space. The finished product is a revitalized industrial warehouse that’ll help growing businesses and creators thrive in the east downtown hub.

Size: 6,500 square feet

Project value: $700,000