HOUSTON – Hughes Watters Askanase, a commercial law firm, has moved from Three Allen Center, 333 Clay Street, to Total Plaza, 1201 Louisiana Street, in downtown Houston.
The law firm leased 25,000 square feet on the 28th floor of the 35-story Total Plaza.
Kevin Kushner and Lucian Bukowski, both with CBRE’s Houston office, represented the law firm in the lease transaction. Clint Bawcom, Jon Dutton and Margaret Sigur represented landlord, Brookfield Office Properties.
“CBRE did an excellent job executing every aspect of our firm’s move – from assessing our specific office needs, site selection and financial analysis of prospective leases. They added huge value with their knowledge of the Houston office market and their familiarity with the building owners and property management companies,” HWA Partner Gary Gunn said. “Our new space gives us a competitive advantage that will positively affect all areas of our business including client service and recruitment of high-level prospects.”
“We knew the firm wanted to keep its relocation process minimally disruptive to its employees, so we sought out locations that were in close proximity to their current offices that also provided good economics, an efficient floor plan and access to transportation and parking,” Bukowski said. “I was really impressed with how quickly the HWA partners made the decision to concede their larger offices to achieve better efficiency and a layout that better served their employee’s needs.”
Although the new space is smaller than their previous space, HWA will be able to accommodate more lawyers and staff than it did in its old space by taking advantage of a modern layout designed by Kirksey Architecture. Moderate changes, such as shrinking the size of individual offices, providing more access to natural light, creating spaces that encourage collaboration and interaction and reducing storage and library space will give HWA the ability to grow into their space as needed.
HWA employs 24 attorneys and 72 full-time staff.
“HWA’s partners were focused on ensuring that everyone in the office would benefit from the new space. The result is a modern, bright, efficient space that everyone with the firm and the firm’s clients will enjoy,” Kushner said. “Law firms operate so much differently than they did ten (and in many cases even five) years ago. With this new lease, HWA will use the space to recruit talented lawyers and staff and continue its long history as a top mid-size law firm in Houston.”
“We have heard words like ’edgy, cool, and modern’ to describe our new space – and those are not words that are typically associated with law firm offices,” said Wayne Kitchens, co-managing partner of HWA. “Our staff, clients and friends of our firm are very happy with the ‘vibe,’ décor, and location of our new space. We can easily accommodate the addition of new attorneys and support staff as our firm pursues and achieves our strategic growth objectives for future years. Although this new space is slightly smaller than our previous space in Allen Center, Kirskey implemented a modern layout that fosters greater employee satisfaction by creating a comfortable and collaborative workplace.”
CBRE provided project management services, led by Erin Schultz and Ashley Ramos, which included vendor selection; budget management and timeline oversight to ensure the space was delivered on time and on budget.
Total Plaza is a Class-A, 843,533 square foot office building located in the heart of downtown Houston. The tower provides direct access to Allen Center, the Hyatt Regency Hotel as well as many dining and retail establishments. Total Plaza is also home to the Petroleum Club of Houston.
Hughes Watters Askanase focuses on representation of commercial and mortgage lenders, including banks and credit unions, business bankruptcy, business planning and strategy, default servicing, real estate and real estate finance, commercial and consumer financial services litigation, employment law, and wills and probate.
HWA’s Gary Gunn, who leads the firm’s Real Estate and Real Estate Finance Practice Area and the Commercial Finance Practice Area, was named a top-rated real estate attorney by Super Lawyers for the third consecutive year.