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Gensler Moving Out of Pennzoil Place to 2 Houston Center

Rendering of 2 Houston Center planned by Brookfield Properties. Architecture: Gensler

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – The Gensler architecture firm has leased 45,000 SF in the 2 Houston Center building, which is getting a major redo by building owner Brookfield Properties.

Gensler will be moving out of  65,000 SF at Pennzoil Place, a transformative masterpiece developed by Gerald D. Hines in 1975.

Gensler was represented in lease negotiations by Tim Relyea of Cushman & Wakefield and Craig Beyer of CBRE. Brookfield Properties was represented by Doug Little, David Baker, Kelli Gault, and Jack Scharnberg of Transwestern, and Clint Bawcom and Bill Neeson of Brookfield Properties.

The move by Gensler follows another major lease in 2 Houston – last week it was announced Direct Energy  was moving out of Greenway Plaza and leasing 105,000 SF in 2 Houston.

Gensler has 288 employees in Houston and they will all move into Houston Center late in 2019.

Gensler is also designing the redevelopment of Houston Center, a 4.2 million SF downtown development acquired by Brookfield late in 2019 for $875 million. Houston Center, originally developed by Texas Eastern, three high-rise office towers and a 16-story office building atop 196,000+ square feet of retail.

 Gensler is designing its own space within 2 Houston Center, a 40-story, 1 million SF at 909 Fannin. “As our work, our clients and our Houston team grows and changes, so should our office,” said Co-Managing Director, Hunter Clayton. “The design and functionality will reflect a new generation of workspaces – one that fully represents our culture, our evolution and our craft as designers.”

 Gensler has maintain its offices in downtown Houston for 46 years. Gensler has designed a number of  large downtown projects including The Houston Ballet, the George R. Brown Master Plan, 1000 Main, Hess Tower, Capitol Tower and the rehabilitation of the Theater District Parking following Hurricane Harvey.

“Downtown Houston is and has always been our home,” said Co-Managing Director, Stephanie Burritt. “Our employees have enjoyed being surrounded and inspired by Houston’s unique urban fabric, and we want to continue that energy by bringing it into our new space.” Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 48 locations and more than 6,000 professionals across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas.

Travis Overall

In January 2019, Brookfield announced plans for a major redevelopment of Houston Center, including a new “arrival experience” along McKinney Street with a new central plaza and greenspace, monumental stair connection to landscaped terraces, two-story glass façade, and reclad skybridges to foster street-level restaurant and retail activity.  Clark Condon as the landscape architect and Harvey Builders as the contractor.  Completion is slated for late 2020.

Said Travis Overall, Executive Vice President and Head of the Texas Region for Brookfield Properties: “As the project architect on the recently announced Houston Center renovation, having Gensler office at 2 Houston Center speaks highly of the capital investment we are making in the project and in downtown. Upon completion, downtown’s largest asset will be a vibrant destination for tenants and visitors alike.”

Brookfield has a major presence in downtown Houston, also owning Allen Center and Heritage Plaza.

March 4, 2019 Realty News Report Copyright 2019


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