Shell Leases New Tower in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – (Realty News Report) – The Shell USA energy firm has leased space in a new office tower under development in New Orleans – the first major office building constructed in the Big Easy since 1989.

Located along the banks of the Mississippi River, the new building will become the operations headquarters of Shell’s Gulf of Mexico activities which has over 800 New Orleans employees, in addition to 2,000 people who work offshore.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024.

“This (development) further solidifies the long standing and successful relationship between Louisiana and Shell,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “From traditional oil and gas exploration to the current clean energy transition, we are continuing to build on the strength of our partnership by creating more opportunities for economic development and growth that will benefit our people and bring a dynamic addition to the River District neighborhood of New Orleans.”

New Orleans’ first new office building in 34 years

The 142,000-SF tower is being developed in the new River District by a partnership of Cypress Equities and Lauricella Land Company.  Shell’s offices will cover about 135,000 SF and 7,000 SF will be set aside for ground-level retail.

Houston real estate brokers Tim Relyea and Joe Peddie of Cushman & Wakefield represented Shell in site selection and lease negotiations. Relyea and Peddie have worked with Shell on a number of occasions. A noted heavy-hitter in the Houston office market, Relyea has leased 60 million SF in his career with total aggregate rental of $47 billion.

Designed by Gensler, the new building will be equipped with the accoutrements and modern amenities that appeal to today’s office occupiers, such as floor-to-ceiling glass on the exterior, Relyea said. In keeping with the times, energy efficiency features will be loaded into the new office structure, including rooftop energy collection system, water efficient fixtures, window shading, efficient HVAC design and rainwater collection facilities.

The move comes with Shell’s departure from a NOLA landmark downtown skyscraper – One Shell Square, 701 Poydras.

The New Orleans tower is a virtual twin of One Shell Plaza, a travertine-wrapped skyscraper at 910 Louisiana in downtown Houston. Both buildings, which have been renamed, were developed in the early 1970s by Mr. Gerald D. Hines with architecture by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.  Shell moved out of the downtown Houston tower a few years ago, relocating to the Energy Corridor in West Houston. And now Shell prepares to move out of its twin tower in New Orleans.

The Shell building will be located on Convention Center Boulevard at the corner of Henderson and Euterpe streets within the 39-acre mixed-use neighborhood adjacent to the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

“With this announcement, the River District continues to position itself as a focal point not just for entertainment and residential uses, but for vibrant, sustainably accomplished office and commercial real estate space,” said developer Chris Maguire, CEO of Cypress Equities, on behalf of the Cypress Lauricella venture. “Shell, with its rich history in Louisiana, is just the type of anchor commercial tenant we had hoped for.”

Shell, formerly known as Shell Oil Company, has its U.S. headquarters in Houston. The parent company changed its name from “Royal Dutch Shell” to “Shell  plc” in 2021 and moved its global headquarters from the Netherlands to London.

Shell’s lease in New Orleans will run for 12 years, CoStar reported,

“Keeping our Gulf of Mexico Operations headquarters here in Louisiana for the long-term underscores Shell’s commitment to provide more and cleaner energy solutions in one of the best places in the world to do that,” said Colette Hirstius, Shell’s Senior Vice President for the Gulf of Mexico. “As the global demand for energy continues to grow, lower carbon oil and gas like that produced in the Gulf of Mexico will remain critical in ensuring a balanced energy transition.”


Oct. 4,  2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023

Rendering: courtesy  Cypress Equities. Lauricella Land Company

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