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Landmark Houston Skyscraper Renamed for the Fifth Time

The tower at 700 Louisiana Street was renamed TC Energy Center.

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – A distinctive downtown building has been renamed TC Energy Center – the fifth official name for the 56-story skyscraper since it was completed in 1983.

The 1.2 million SF building, 700 Louisiana, was developed by Hines and designed by Philip Johnson with John Burgee.

Most recently, the building was named Bank of America Center, but the bank relocated this summer. That opened the door for TC Energy to put its name on the monumental skyline masterpiece.

TC Energy, one of the continent’s largest providers of energy infrastructure including natural gas and oil pipelines, power generation and gas storage facilities, first occupied space in the building in mid-2013, and with a recent expansion now leases just over 300,000 SF.

The building’s owner, Houston-based M-M Properties, is performing a major redevelopment of the building. Phase I of a $20 million renovation is currently underway that will add an 8,000-SF white-table cloth dining establishment on the northwest corner of the lobby, and 10,000 SF of creative office space featuring views onto Jones Plaza. Phase II of the project will include a new tenant lounge and conference center, a lobby coffee bar and new mezzanine level collaborative workspaces under the dramatic cathedral ceilings.

Ken Moczulski, CEO of building owner M-M Properties, speaks at a building renaming event Tuesday. Photo credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report.

The massive first-floor banking lobby, which once had space for 35 tellers, is no longer useful as a bank, due to changes in the banking industry, said Ken Moczulski, CEO of M-M Properties, speaking at an applause-filled renaming ceremony in the building’s lobby Tuesday.

When the building opened 36 years ago, long before innovations like online banking existed, the building was (1) RepublicBank Center. Then as the institutional tenancy evolved, the building was renamed (2) NCNB Center and (3) NationsBank Center before becoming (4) Bank of America Center. In recent months, after the Bank of America moved to the new downtown Skanska building in June, the former RepublicBank Center has been known by just by its address, (5) 700 Louisiana.

The “TC Energy” lettering for the building will be installed over the weekend, said TC Energy’s Stan Chapman, Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Natural Gas Pipelines. The Calgary-based firm was formerly known as TransCanada, although a lot of its pipelines and other assets are located in the United States. Chapman said some additional TC Energy employees will be relocating to the downtown tower in the coming months.

“When we first put together a plan for TC Energy to relocate to the building we were able to demonstrate a path for growth that met the goals of both the tenant and and ownership. It is extremely gratifying to see the plan come to its full realization” said office leasing executive John Spafford of Madison Marquette.

Spafford and Madeline Gregory of Madison Marquette handle leasing for the office property, a red granite-clad tower with a gabled roof line that makes it one of the most recognizable buildings in the nation.

M-M’s redevelopment plan includes the re-opening and redevelopment of the old Western Union building and its communications infrastructure which has been encased, out of sight, behind granite walls since the building was constructed. This will provide restaurant space adjacent to the downtown theater district and performance halls.

Several significant downtown public improvements are underway near the building, said Bob Eury, president of Central Houston Inc., a nonprofit corporation formed to lead the planning and implementation of the redevelopment of Houston’s downtown.

Across the street from TC Energy Center, the Jones Plaza park is undergoing a major redevelopment, adding green space, gardens and a restaurant, Eury said. Houstonian Lynn Wyatt is giving $10 million for the effort and it will be renamed the Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts. The $29 million redevelopment will correct an unfortunate tile-coated redo from the 1990s that drew comparisons to a men’s room at a third-world bus station.

In addition, Eury noted that another new public attraction is coming soon – a new monument and statue of President Lyndon B. Johnson will be installed near the Federal Courthouse. Also, major improvements are planned for Bagby Street which runs on the western edge of downtown.

An east-west Metro Rail line runs beside the TC Energy Center, which sits on a block bounded by Louisiana, Capitol, Smith and Rusk streets.

Oct. 16, 2019 Realty News Report Copyright 2019

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