Brookfield Signs Downtown Tenants After Expensive Redo

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Macquarie Group, a financial services firm, renewed its 56,000-SF lease at One Allen Center, an office tower located at 500 Dallas Street in downtown Houston.

Travis Overall

“Macquarie’s decision to renew its lease and continue to call Allen Center home speaks highly of the recent capital improvements that have been made to the Allen Center campus and reconfirms our confidence that the robust amenities and retail offerings will continue to attract new tenants to the campus,” said Travis Overall, Executive Vice President and Head of the Texas Region for Brookfield Properties.

Allen Center has 3.2 million SF of office space, 50,000 SF of retail, a hotel and other amenities. Brookfield spent $48.5 million for the first phase redevelopment of Allen Center and subsequently spent over $100 million more in upgrades to other phases of Allen Center, the Houston Center complex and other downtown buildings. The company, a major player in downtown Houston, has never disclosed the full  price tag for its redevelopment program, but its downtown redevelopment budget has been significant.

Macquarie was represented in lease negotiations by Jon Lee, Josh Leibowitz, Craig Beyer, and Andrew Zeplain of CBRE. Brookfield Properties was represented by Bubba Harkins, Russell Hodges, and Jessica Ochoa of CBRE.

In addition to Macquarie, Sequent Energy Management LLC, North American Medical Services Holding Company and Control Risk shave signed leases with Brookfield Properties at the Allen Center campus. Sequent Energy Management LLC renewed their lease for 27,759 SF at Two Allen Center and was represented in the lease byRonnie Deyo and Beau Bellow of JLL.

Medical consulting firm North American Medical Services Holding Company, Inc.,signed a new lease at Two Allen Center, and Control Risks, a business management consulting group,signed a lease on 8,034 SF at Two Allen Center. Both North American Medical Services Holding Company, Inc. and Control Risks were represented by Candace Baggett and Brian LaFond of The Calibre Group. Brookfield Properties was represented by Bubba Harkins, Russell Hodges and Jessica Ochoa of CBRE.

Allen Center, covering several acres near the southwest corner of Smith and Dallas streets in downtown Houston, was built in the 1970s and 1980s. As new buildings are constructed the aging office inventory faces tougher competition. Building owners like Brookfield are faced with a choice – spend heavily to redevelop the buildings to meet the modern space demands of the Millennial generation – or let the buildings decline into Class B status. The first office tower in Allen Center was started almost 50 years ago. The two other main towers were added shortly thereafter.

In March 2021, Brookfield Properties delivered Phase II of the Reimagining of Allen Center, which focused on upgrades to Two and Three Allen Center. Renovations to Two Allen Center included a new two-story lobby, a second-floor outdoor terrace overlooking The Acre, and updated retail bays. Renovated elevator cabs, new air handling units, and light fixtures are now featured in both buildings. New, thermally efficient glass was installed on the first and second floors at Two and Three Allen Center, as well as the skybridge connection between the two buildings. Brookfield also acquired the adjacent DoubleTree hotel, redeveloped it and rebranded as “C. Baldwin” with affiliation in the Hilton Curio Collection.

The most significant improvement at Allen Center involved the removal of two barriers along Smith Street – a skybridge and exterior berms and old-school landscaping that was off-putting to pedestrians and passersby. It was all part of the urban fortress planning from decades ago when tunnels and skybridges ruled downtowns.

With landscaping designed by The Office of James Burnett, the outdoor space at Allen Center, which has been overlooked for years, became a highlight with the new greenspace.T he lawn is bordered by trees. Some trees were retained and 171 new trees were planted. There are table, chairs and open space for group activities or performances. Brookfield calls it “The Acre.”

Brookfield, in keeping with the market demand in the Post-Covid environment, also gained certification for health, safety and environmental awareness.  Brookfield Properties’ entire Downtown Houston office portfolio – Allen Center, Houston Center, Heritage Plaza, Total Plaza and 1600 Smith – received a GRESB 5-star rating and earned a WELL Health-Safety Rating by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).


July 7, 2022 Realty News Report Copyright 2022

Image: Courtesy of Brookfield Properties.

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File: Downtown Houston. Brookfield Signs Downtown Tenants After Expensive Redo. Allen Center.

File: Brookfield Signs Downtown Tenants, Macquarie. Sequent Energy Management

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