HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – The 801 Travis building reports a spate of leasing activity in downtown Houston, a major submarket that has been recovering from bruising economic conditions related to the Covid pandemic.
In recent months, the 21-story 801 Travis tower has racked up 32,358 SF of leasing activity in the building, according to Lincoln Property Co., which oversees leasing at the property.
The newly signed tenants include a number of small energy firms that aren’t prepared to rapidly expand or pay the sky-high rents required to occupy space in one of the brand new towers in downtown. After all, it was only last year that the price of West Texas Intermediate crude fell below $1 a barrel on April 20, 2020 to a frightening low of a negative $37 a barrel, a 300 percent one-day decline the likes of which had never been seen before of since.
In recent months, oil prices have stabilized in the $65 to $70 a barrel range. Thousands of jobs have been created since the nightmarish economic devastation of the Covid outbreak. And many tenants are feeling a bit more confident about leasing office space.
Lincoln Property Co. vice president Virgil Hydes says Lincoln has made inroads with its tenants at 801 Travis by making improvements to the downtown property and being flexible with lease terms.
Some of the tenants, Hydes says, elected to reduce the size of their offices when they renewed leases due to uncertainty in the economy. Many Houston companies – large and small – have been delaying real estate decisions or reducing their footprint due to work-from-home policies.
But a key to recent leasing at 801 Travis has been some improvements to the 40-year-old building. The owners of the 222,000 SF building – a state of Illinois pension fund – have funded a number of upgrades, Hydes said. New conference rooms have been added along with a tenant lounge with free coffee.
“The ownership has been great to work with,” said Hydes, who worked with Vantage Cos. and the Rick McCord organization earlier in his career.
The building, located at the corner of Travis and Rusk, sits on the same block as the JW Marriott hotel, a redevelopment of the 105-year-old Samuel F. Carter building.
According to Lincoln Property Company, leasing activity at 801 Travis includes:
* Pedernales Petroleum GP, LLC renewed 1,461 SF
* Houston American Energy renewed 3,080 SF
* AlphaGraphics of Houston signed a new lease for 2,152 SF
* Cabello Hall Zinda, PLLC signed a new lease 3,112 SF
* Iskandia Energy Operating, Inc. renewed 4,286 SF
* North American Energy Standards Board, Inc renewed for 3,738 SF
* Estrada Hinojosa renewed for 1,771 SF
* Robert Half International renewed 7,694 SF
* Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard renewed 5,064 SF
According to the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center, Houston had an overall office vacancy rate of 22.8 percent in the second quarter.
Sept. 7, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021
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Exterior photo: 801 Travis. Photo credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report Copyright 2021
File: LPC. Downtown Point of Light.