HOUSTON – The Energy Corridor office market of Houston, which has been sliding in recent months as prices for West Texas Intermediate crude fell sharply, has racked up some positive news.
IHI E&C, an engineering, procurement and construction company specializing in the energy, petrochemical, refining, chemical and natural gas industries , has leased 158,050 square feet in the new West Memorial Place II building.
Skanska USA Commercial Development is constructing the 385,000 square-foot building, which is now 41 percent leased.
IHI E&C will occupy space on floors three through eight of the new facility beginning in January 2017. This will be the first tenant for West Memorial Place II.
Currently under construction, West Memorial Place II reached the eighth level of the structure last week and will “top out” in October of this year. The building will be operational by the middle of 2016. Skanska is not only the developer but is also self-financing the project and serving as the construction manager. HOK is the architect. Skanska’s leasing team represented Skanska USA Commercial Development in the lease, and Mark O’Donnell of Savills Studley represented IHI E&C.
NAI Partners recently reported Houston has 7.7 million square feet of sublease space, a 61 percent increase over a year ago. Much of that sublease is in the Energy Corridor and west Houston.
Class A occupancy in the Energy Corridor, which was over 99 percent in 2013, has dipped to 92 percent.
“IHI E&C has grown significantly in recent years and expanded its Houston presence,” said Glyn Rodgers, IHI E&C president. “This dynamic, energy-efficient new space and prominent location on Memorial Drive will give our growing company flexibility for growth and superb visibility. Its location adjacent to green space and Terry Hershey Park and its world-class features reflect our commitment to our employees. We very much look forward to calling West Memorial Place our home for years to come.”
West Memorial Place II, located in the heart of Houston’s Energy Corridor, will be a 385,000 square-foot, 14-story office building, and will complete the West Memorial Place campus, joining West Memorial Place I, which is 331,000 square feet and opened for operation in February 2015. Both buildings are expected to achieve a LEED Platinum certification and will consume more than 30 percent less energy than typical baseline buildings. This will make West Memorial Place the first speculative LEED Platinum campus in Houston.
“From the building’s sustainable design to thoughtful land selection to first-class shared amenities, our team is working diligently to ensure future tenants have a flexible and health-focused workplace environment,” said Michael Mair, executive vice president and regional manager of Skanska USA Commercial Development in Houston