Downtown Houston’s Massive Redo

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – As part of one of downtown Houston’s largest redevelopment efforts ever, Brookfield Properties says it has completed its redo of the 4.2 million SF Houston Center campus.

Now deemed to be finished are the final two redevelopment projects in Houston Center – the 3 Houston Center office tower and a retail-oriented space now called The Highlight at Houston Center

“Through this significant investment to revitalize Houston Center, we have unlocked a new chapter for our central business district and set it up for a successful future for years to come,” said Travis Overall, Executive Vice President and Head of the Texas Region for Brookfield Properties.

Brookfield Properties has spent millions, a sum that may be approximately $300 million, to renovate Houston Center and its other office properties and hospitality locations in downtown Houston. As new office projects have been added to the market, landlords add amenities, upgrades and outdoor plazas to keep 40-year-old skyscrapers competitive.

Downtown Houston has a significant inventory of towers built in the early 1980s. To stay competitive, upgrades of aging office buildings are mandatory.

The Houston office market has struggled as tenant companies downsize their offices in the post-COVID era.  The office availability in downtown Houston was 28.7 percent in the first quarter of 2023, reports CBRE.

And downtown’s office supply is getting bigger amid the vacancy glut. Skanska is building the 375,000-SF 1550 on the Green office tower, although at 28 stories it is rather small.

A recent bright spot for the downtown office market was a lease secured by Brookfield Properties at 3 Houston Center, 1301 McKinney Street. MRC Global will occupy 50,000 SF at 3 Houston Center.

Brookfield Properties’ 9-acre downtown campus includes 2 Houston Center, 3 Houston Center, 4 Houston Center, LyondellBasell Tower, and The Highlight at Houston Center.

Brookfield Properties has displayed an unwavering commitment to downtown Houston with major renovations at Allen Center, in addition to Houston Center.

In February 2021, Brookfield completed the first phase of renovations to the four-building, mixed-use Houston Center campus. The comprehensive upgrades included an entirely new “arrival experience”  through a central plaza and greenspace along McKinney Street for 2 Houston Center and LyondellBasell Tower, offering seamless connection to the street-level and nearby attractions; renovation of the 2 Houston Center, LyondellBasell Tower, and 4 Houston Center lobbies, the addition of a three-story glass façade at 2 Houston Center; and an enhanced conference center at LyondellBasell Tower. Upgraded meeting facilities, re-clad sky bridges, and a world-class fitness center are among other amenities across the campus.

In the final phase of the Houston Center upgrades, Brookfield Properties enlisted architecture and design firm Gensler as the project architect for both 3 Houston Center and The Highlight at Houston Center, as well as landscape architecture firm Clark Condon & Associates. Construction was led by Harvey Builders.

“The reimagining of The Highlight and 3 Houston Center builds upon the successful redevelopment of the Houston Center campus by prioritizing the user experience,” said Dean Strombom,  Principal at Gensler Houston. “By continuing to follow key design principles that put people first, we create healthy and dynamic communities for work and life.”.

The Fifty-One Story 3 Houston Center

Renovations for 3 Houston Center focused on the property’s main lobby and included improved pedestrian circulation, new porcelain floors and marble wall coverings imported from Italy, energy-efficient lighting and ceiling upgrades, improvements to the existing conferencing facility, and refurbished elevator cabs. The space also features new modern furniture and art, including a commissioned piece by artist Brie Ruias installed in the lobby.

The Highlight at Houston Center (Formerly Known as The Shops at Houston Center. .. And before that, The Park Shops)

Located at 1200 McKinney Street, The Highlight at Houston Center offers 196,000 SF of dining, retail, and lifestyle services. Upgrades include a new multi-story entrance facing Discovery Green that drives traffic into the newly remodeled food court, a revamped shell of the center, improvements to the public spaces such as improved pedestrian circulation, and the addition of a second glass curtain wall.

The Highlight is home to a virtual reality gaming company, Immersive Gamebox, and is expected to include Puttshack, a tech-infused mini golf facility with food and drink.

April 6, 2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023


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Photo credit Shannon O’Hara. Courtesy of Brookfield Properties

File: Downtown Houston’s Massive Redo


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