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Hines Working on a $50M Deal to Buy Houston Chronicle’s Downtown Building

The Houston Chronicle building, 801 Texas Avenue in downtown Houston, is expected to be sold and demolished. Photo Credit: Ralph Bivins

The Houston Chronicle building, 801 Texas Avenue in downtown Houston, is expected to be sold and demolished. Photo Credit: Ralph Bivins

HOUSTON – Hines, which has developed more than a dozen projects in downtown Houston, has been negotiating a $50 million deal to acquire the Houston Chronicle property in downtown.

The newspaper’s facilities cover 99,184 square feet of land on two city blocks and would be an ideal platform for Hines to construct its next Houston skyscraper.

Hearst Corp., which owns the Chronicle, nation’s sixth largest newspaper, will relocate to the newspaper offices to the former Houston Post property on the Southwest Freeway near Loop 610 next year.

Hearst’s deal with Hines has not closed and it could still fall-through, but the Houston-based real estate development company is considering paying more than $50 million, perhaps as much as $55 million, for the Chronicle’s downtown property.

The Chronicle site includes a 10-story building, 801 Texas at Milam, and a 560-space parking garage at 710 Preston.

Currently, Hines is constructing a 48-story skyscraper only one block away from the Chronicle building. The new 1 million square-foot Hines building, 609 Main at Texas, is slated to be finished around the end of 2016. The 609 Main building is a speculative project for Hines and no tenants have been announced.

So Hines is not expected to immediately demolish the Chronicle building and proceed with another new tower. But the developer, founded by Gerald D. Hines in Houston in 1957, is a long-term player and it appears to be seeking to lock up a prime skyscraper development site for future years.

By Ralph Bivins

(Editor’s note: Realty News Report Editor Ralph Bivins formerly covered real estate for the Houston Chronicle.)

June 29, 2015

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