NRG Energy Signs Major Lease in Downtown

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Brookfield Properties has suffered a few hard knocks in recent years as corporate tenants such as LyondellBasell and the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm announced plans to move out of Brookfield’s downtown Houston buildings.

In a positive move, Brookfield has just smashed a grand slam home run in the downtown Houston office market.

Brookfield Properties announced Tuesday NRG Energy has leased 245,000 SF in 3 Houston Center in Brookfield’s Houston Center complex in downtown Houston.

The energy firm will occupy the top 10 floors in the 51-story 3 Houston tower, located at 1301 McKinney. The 3 Houston Center building was formerly known as Fulbright Tower before the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm announced in 2021 that is would be moving out of Houston Center and relocate to the new Skanska office tower.

Brookfield Properties has spent heavily – over $200 million by some estimates – to redevelop its downtown properties which include 4 million-SF Houston Center and the sizable Allen Center urban office park.

Landlords like Brookfield that have large office portfolios constructed in the 1970s and 1980s have been forced to launch extensive renovation programs to lure and retain tenants in a highly competitive office market.

For Brookfield, the NRG Energy lease – one of the largest office leases signed in recent years – represents a major win that will be highly appreciated.

“Brookfield Properties is thrilled to welcome NRG Energy to the newly reimagined 3 Houston Center,” said Travis Overall, Executive Vice President and Head of the Texas Region for Brookfield Properties. “We are already receiving positive feedback to the new experience created at the Houston Center campus and are confident that NRG’s decision to place their headquarters at 3 Houston Center underscores the important investments we’ve made in the campus and the value it brings to top companies. We look forward to the start of a long relationship with NRG.”

NRG Energy was represented in lease negotiations by Chris Oliver, Trey Strake, and David Guion of Cushman & Wakefield. Brookfield Properties was represented by Doug Little, Kelli Gault, Jack Scharnberg, and Parker Burkett of Transwestern.

NRG Energy’s office are currently located at 910 Louisiana, formerly known as One Shell Plaza, where the NRG power company had leased over 400,000 SF of prime office space about six years ago.

“With an anticipated move-in date of January 2026, NRG will occupy the top 10 floors of the building. The move stems from NRG’s intention to provide new amenities for our diverse workforce, such as enhanced parking, a free gym and convenient tunnel access. Over the next two years, we will spend time customizing the space to create fluid and collaborative workspaces to best meet our employees’ needs,” said Gin Kinney, NRG Senior Vice President, Head of Administration.

Brookfield Properties recently completed renovations across the entire Houston Center campus. Upgrades to 3 Houston Center focused on the building’s main lobby and featured 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 reimagined tenant experience also features new modern furniture and art, including a commissioned piece by artist Brie Ruias installed in the lobby.

In keeping with Brookfield Properties’ experience of blending its indoor and outdoor spaces, another key aspect of the reconfiguration of 3 Houston Center was the revitalization of the property’s second-floor outdoor patio space to create more seating areas to work, socialize or relax.

Brookfield Properties’ Houston Center includes:

LyondellBasell Tower – 46 stories; 1.1M SF at 1221 McKinney St.

2 Houston Center – 40 stories; 1M SF at 909 Fannin.

3 Houston Center (formerly Fulbright Tower) – 51 stories; 1.2M SF at 1301 McKinney.

4 Houston Center – 16 stories; 674,000 SF on Lamar Street

Highlight (formerly known as The Shops at Houston Center) – 3 stories; 196,000 SF of retail on McKinney Street.

In 2017, it was announced NRG had subleased 431,000 SF from Shell Oil in 910 Louisiana, a Hines building that was formerly known as One Shell Plaza. In the 2017 sublease, Shell was represented by Tim Relyea, Joe Peddie and Morgan Relyea Colt of Cushman & Wakefield. The sublease followed a $40 million redo of the building.

Oct ,3,  2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023

Photo courtesy of Brookfield Properties.


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