Re-making Brookfield’s Downtown High-Rise Portfolio

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report)– The “Reimagining of Allen Center” – a multi-million dollar transformation of Brookfield Properties’ downtown office campus – is continuing.

Brookfield Properties is also spending heavily to upgrade its massive Houston Center office complex in downtown and other properties.

Renovating the urban office towers – adding amenities galore – is all part of an effort to keep its office buildings competitive, attracting tenant companies that need prime facilities for recruitment purposes.

It’s a corporate talent war. And the arsenal of weapons includes great buildings.

Overview of Two Allen Center (left) and Three Allen Center (right) in downtown Houston. image: Brookfield Properties

“Employees are a company’s most valuable asset. By being thoughtful in how we integrate tenant amenities into our developments, Brookfield Properties is helping our tenant partners continue to attract and retain top talent,” said Travis Overall, Executive Vice President and Head of the Texas Region for Brookfield Properties, a global owner of office buildings and commercial properties.

Downtown Houston is competitive among landlords. So Brookfield’s aggressive office renovation program is necessary to remain competitive in leasing and finding tenants.

Renovating Allen Center is sort of like keeping up with the Joneses. Or keeping up with the Hineses, or keeping up with the Skanskas – if you’re in the Houston office market. Forty year-old office towers that aren’t renovated substantially may soon slip into the dreaded Class B status.

At the Allen Center, which is located along Smith Street, Brookfield has already spent about $50 million to fix up the 1 million-SF One Allen Center building and its adjacent property creating a one-acre urban park, adding art and demolishing a fortress-like berm and a skybridge. Adjacent to its campus, Brookfield bought a tired DoubleTree hotel, renovated it and rebranded it as the C Baldwin Hotel and incorporated it into Allen Center.

So far, so good. Everybody’s wondering, though, if there will be a let-down on the home stretch. Can the Allen Center redevelopment be completed with the same verve?

The Phase Two of the Allen Center redevelopment which includes the Three Allen building, should be completed by the end of the year. It will definitely bring about a major upgrade in the so-called “tenant amenities” including conference rooms, fitness centers and facilities for people who want to ride bicycles to work.

BACKGROUND: Allen Center, located in the southwestern part of downtown, has 3.2 million SF of office space. The One Allen Center building, 500 Dallas Street, is a 34-story tower completed in 1972.  Two Allen Center, 1200 Smith Street, is a 36-story, 1 million-SF building completed in 1978. And Three Allen Center, 333 Clay St., is a 50-story, 1.2 million-SF tower that opened in 1980.

The new wellness facilities will be located in Three Allen. Open to all tenants, the wellness room will be outfitted with Peloton bikes, rowing machines, stretch mats, towel service and executive locker rooms and showers.

For cyclists: A new bike room on the first floor of Three Allen Center, will include end-of-trip facilities such as a bike-friendly street-level entrance, wall-mounted storage racks for up to 35 bikes, as well as access to servicing and repair tools.

For mothers: Allen Center, in partnership with Work & Mother, will open fully equipped lactation facilities with support resources in Three Allen Center. Anticipated to open in August 2020, Work & Mother will offer 10 private lactation rooms, with hands-free, hospital-grade equipment and workstations that enable occupants to continue working while they pump. The facility satisfies Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act Requirements for Nursing Mothers, which states that companies are required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, for employees to pump breast milk during the workday.

Conferencing: One Allen Center will have a conferencing center with a board room and expandable meeting space that can accommodate 185.

And there are upgraded lobbies, elevators and various other improvements.

Construction began in April 2019 and has an estimated completion in late 2020. The team includes Morrison Dilworth + Walls and PDR, the architects, and Tellepsen, the construction contractors.

“As evidenced through ongoing renovations at Allen Center, Houston Center, Heritage Plaza, and Total Plaza, Brookfield Properties is committed to creating amenity-rich environments for our tenants,” said Overall.

July 4, 2020 Realty News Report Copyright 2020

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Sean July 7, 2020 at 5:29 pm

About time! Thanks to Skanska & Hines for being the standard-bearers and upping the game in Houston!

Realty News Report July 7, 2020 at 6:36 pm

Well, Hines and Skanska have the advantage of being brand new buildings


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