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Motiva Signs Major Lease in Downtown Houston, Gains Naming Rights

Motiva’s new space in Allen Center will have a green roof terrace.

HOUSTON – Motiva Enterprises has agreed to expand its headquarters offices in the One Allen Center tower, a 34-story building that will be renamed for Motiva,

With the new lease, Motiva, which is owned by the Saudi Aramco energy firm, will occupy 204,500-SF, more than 15 percent increase over its existing space.

One Allen Center, 500 Dallas, is a 1 million SF tower owned by Brookfield Property Partners. The Allen Center complex, located at the southwest corner of Smith and Dallas Streets, is comprised of three office buildings.

Brookfield is undertaking a major redevelopment of the Allen Center, which was completed decades ago.

Motiva Enterprises was represented in lease negotiations by Tim Relyea and Joe Peddie of Cushman & Wakefield. Brookfield was represented by John Pruitt, Bubba Harkins and Jessica Ochoa of JLL, along with Paul Frazier and Clint Bawcom of Brookfield.

The downtown office market has seen rising vacancies and a huge amount of sublease space. With new buildings being completed by Hines and Skanska, the competition is sharpened. The Class A buildings of the 1970s and 1980s are in danger of slipping into Class B status.

Landlords must choose between becoming Class B or making significant redevelopment efforts.

Brookfield is making major improvements to Allen Center to solidify the project’s place as one of downtown’s prime Class A projects. Brookfield, a publicly traded real estate giant, is spending $48.5 million to improve the seven-acre Allen Center. A skybridge is being torn down to open up the building to street-level retail and restaurant opportunities. The Office of James Burnett, a highly regarded landscape architecture firm, has been engaged to plan the park-like space at Allen Center.

Brookfield also purchased the 350-room DoubleTree Houston Hotel, a major “out-parcel” at 400 Dallas Street. The 20-story hotel is surrounded by Allen Center, so it was an important pick-up by Brookfield. The hotel will be upgraded and may be given a new upscale brand affiliation with the Hilton chain, such as a “Conrad” flag.

Brookfield’s redevelopment effort was a winner in 2016 of Realty News Report’s Legends of Real Estate Award for Redevelopment.

Brookfield is also improving Allen Center with its “Brookfield Arts” program to install public art in the project.

“The need to create unique and dynamic work spaces for the next generation of Downtown Houston employees is gaining momentum and Brookfield is thrilled to be at the forefront of that movement with the Allen Center renovation,” said Travis Overall, Executive Vice President and Head of the Texas Region for Brookfield. “Having Motiva Enterprises expand their headquarters at Allen Center further reaffirms this movement, as well as their commitment to our complex and Downtown Houston.”

The Motiva lease, which does not involve sublease space, is a positive  development for the downtown office market where the vacancy rate has been increasing.

“Aside from the naming of the building, Brookfield has worked with Motiva to deliver signature spaces, including a lobby reception center, a conference center floor, and a unique large private outdoor balcony.  Motiva Plaza supports our next exciting chapter as we expand our reach into new areas of growth and development,” said Travis Capps, Motiva’s vice president of strategy and business development.

June 28, 2017 Realty News Report Copyright 2017

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