From Kabul to Historic Downtown Houston – Another Construction Job and Another Corporate HQ for Space City

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – After constructing military bases, guard towers, barracks and bunkers in Afghanistan and other Middle East and North African nations as a contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Abie Musa is ready for a challenge in his old hometown – Houston, Texas.

The new Houston challenge: a very old brown brick building near the court house.

The 113-year-old building was first called The Paul Building, named after the building’s owner, Allen Paul.

About 100 years ago, it was renamed the Republic Building. Things were different on Houston streets then. There were Packards, Studebakers and Ford Model As rolling by. And other office buildings, which are long gone, stood near the Republic Building.

Republic Building
The historic Paul Building, on the corner of Preston and Fannin, is being restored. It is now known as the Republic Bulding.

Enter Abie Musa, a University of Houston graduate, who went on to big things as government contractor constructing military projects and other things around the world.

Musa is founder and CEO of the MVL Group, and affiliate of which, just acquired the historic Republic Building.

After a significant renovation, the Republic Building will become the corporate headquarters of MVL Corp., which also has offices in Beirut; the United Kingdom; Lansing, Mich.; and an 80-person office in Dubai, Musa said.

“As a former Houstonian of 15 years, it gives me personal satisfaction to invest in Houston’s iconic downtown, especially given the present economic environment. The historically important Republic Building, and its connection to the U.S. Government as the previous US District Court, is a fitting location for the headquarters for MVL Group’s core business as a U.S. Government contractor,” Musa said.

The historic Republic Building, 1018 Presto
The historic Republic Building, 1018 Preston in downtown Houston, has been sold.

The Republic Building, an eight-story, 19,850-SF office building is located across from the Harris County Courthouse in Downtown Houston.

The building, 1018 Preston Street at Fannin, will undergo a significant refurbishment.

“We will be immediately implementing a series of beautification projects such as replacing the missing cornice, artwork on the walled-up exterior sides of the building, and removing the entrance, as well as a complete overhaul of the HVAC system and elevator,” said Musa.

The HOK architecture firm is working on the redesign of the building, which will house MVL Group executives.

The seller, Republic Building TX LP, was represented by Scott Miller, David Cook and Jeff Peden of Cushman & Wakefield.

Veteran Houston real estate broker Fred Ghabriel of Bejjani & Associates represented MVL Group in the deal.

The building housed the United States District Court in 1910. At one time, it housed the YMCA for a time. It was admitted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Located on Block 45, it has the advantage of close proximity to the county court system, which is attractive to law firm tenants.

Another advantage for MVL, Musa said, are federal tax law changes made during Trump Administration that encouraged companies to repatriate to the U.S.

The Republic Building is about two blocks from the historic Market Square and the new Texas Tower, a 47-story office building under construction by Hines.

July 1, 2020 Realty News Report Copyright 2020


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