HOUSTON – Houston-based Hines, the international real estate firm, is starting construction on a spec skyscraper in downtown Houston on “Block 69” at the corner of Main Street and Texas Avenue. The building, 609 Main Street, will be a 47-story, 1,050,000-square-foot office tower. Demonstrating a confidence in the economy, Hines is leading the way for spec office development in the nation. Hines is currently constructing River Point in Chicago and 7 Bryant Park in New York City – two major spec office towers.
“609 Main at Texas is a strategic follow-on to our success with BG Group Place,” says Hines President Jeff Hines. “We are thrilled to start construction on our second major office tower on Main Street, especially with our partner, CalPERS. We saw the trend coming several years ago when we purchased two key blocks of land on Main Street, and now our strategy has been confirmed with the start of this iconic new landmark.”
Site preparation, including the demolition of an existing abandoned building, will begin the first week of November. Excavation and foundation work will occur in March 2014, and after 36 months of construction, the building will be ready for occupancy, Hines says.
The Houston office market is exceptionally strong. Downtown Houston has Class A occupancy rates above 90 percent and the PM Realty Group reports downtown rents have gone up over 4 percent in the last year.
Earlier this year, Hines was marketing the building as a 41-story, 815,000 square foot office tower. But Hines increased the size of the project from 41 stories to 47 because the downtown market is exceptionally strong.
“We have already had significant leasing interest among all the sectors that fuel CBD development,” said Hines Senior Managing Director John Mooz. “This project will be a true ‘next-generation’ office building, utilizing best practices we’ve learned from our previous developments in Houston and around the world. While 609 Main at Texas is designed to house multiple firms, there is obviously a significant and prestigious opportunity for an anchor tenant, including options for large trading floors and outdoor space.”
The 609 Main building will be designed by Pickard Chilton, the same architecture firm that designed the nearby BG Group Place tower. The building is expected to have the highly acclaimed LEED Gold or Platinum rating for sustainability and energy efficiency, Hines says.
The building is being developed by Hines CalPERS Green development fund, a partnership with the Hines and CalPers, the nation’s largest pension fund.