HOUSTON – (By Ralph Bivins, editor of Realty News Report) – Lou Cushman of Cushman & Wakefield, with more than 50 years of experience in the Houston office market, has seen more than his share of major transactions.
No deal was more important than the 250,000 SF build-to-suit lease for the headquarters of Pennzoil in 1974.
LISTEN to the Podcast: Lou Cushman, a guest on The Ralph Bivins Project – a Look Back (recorded in 2021)
The design was breathtaking for its time – twin trapezoidal towers with slanted tops and the structure was entirely wrapped in dark glass. While representing Pennzoil, Lou worked with Mr. Hines and architect Philip Johnson. In architectural circles, it’s called the first skyscraper in the post-modern era.
Pennzoil Place was developed by Gerald Hines building in downtown Houston and it changed everything.
New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable called Pennzoil Place the “Building of the Decade”. Pop artist Andy Warhol took Polaroid snapshots of these cool new towers.
With the building’s success, Hines proved that outstanding landmark architecture was good business for developers and tenants alike.
Soon, Lou was across the street from Pennzoil Place, putting together a deal on another new building, the 421,000-square-foot lease for the anchor tenant, Republic Bank.
The 56-story Republic Bank building was another skyline-changing masterpiece with the all-star lineup of Hines and the Philip Johnson/John Burgee architecture team. The building, with its red granite exterior and gabled roofline, is memorable even though it has changed names several times. Now called the TC Energy Center, the building remains a major landmark on the Houston skyline.
Louis B. “Lou” Cushman, vice chairman of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas, is celebrating the firm’s 51st anniversary in Space City. He opened the global company’s office in Houston in 1971 and it’s now one of the biggest commercial real estate firms in town.
A Pioneer in Innovation
Lou Cushman has been a part of a lot of innovation in Houston over the years – everything from influencing change in the prevailing commission structure to founding an organization called HOLBA (Houston Office Leasing Brokers Association.)
And the name Cushman & Wakefield? Well, the Cushman & Wakefield company was founded in New York City in 1917 by the late J. Clydesdale Cushman and the late Bernard Wakefield, Lou Cushman’s grandfather and great uncle, respectively.
Last May, Lou was the guest on a podcast – THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT.
Interview recorded in May 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2022
Headshot Image: Courtesy Cushman & Wakefield
File: Podcast: Ralph Bivins with Lou Cushman