A New 17-Story Office Tower Just Like the Others in the Energy Corridor

Here’s a look at the design from Morris Architects for the new 17-story Energy Tower IV. Does it seem familiar? That’s because it’s going to be identical to 2 existing ones: Energy Towers II and III. Construction, reports the Houston Business Journal, is expected to start next month. Developed by Mac Haik Realty, the new tower is planned to be 450,000 sq. ft., bringing the total amount here in the Energy Plaza at Kirkwood and I-10 to more than 2 million sq. ft. of office space. Prime Property adds that the building will be open in 2014.

Rendering: Mac Haik Realty

23 Comment

  • Guess cookie-cutter also applies to mid-rise buildings now. Thought that would’ve only been in China.

  • These property owners aren’t looking to win any design awards. They figured out how to build three buildings, but only had to pay architects for one design. Plus, they saved the time to completion by skipping design time. If you’re looking to make money, that’s a winning proposition. Too bad for the rest of us they spend all their time looking at balance sheets and none looking at architectural elevations.

  • money moving west

  • This building is so boring and bland why even bother writing about it–this is the very definition of cheap–let’s design three cheap prefab glass boxes in the exact same way and throw them up when the market dictates, this may be good business but so are high density trailer parks and chemical plants

  • Mac should stick to car dealerships.

  • There is nothing wrong with this design. Swamplotters will complain about anything. Jeez.

  • Mac Haik: Renaissance Man. NFL player, car dealerships, Egg and I restaurants and now the first ever builder of tract highrise office buildings. I can’t blame energy corridor builders for lacking imagination. They are building for energy companies who are riding the shale boom. These companies are not looking to set up permanent corporate HQs, but want affordable, quality office space to use while they ride out the boom.

  • Since ya’ll are not putting up the money to build it and not going to pay the rent in the building by leasing it, ya’ll aren’t owed a say-so in what it looks like.

  • It’s simply good business practice to build identical boxes; studies show employees stay sharp by making them concentrate trying to figure out which bldg is theirs each morning. The same strategy is used in cubicle farms. The downside is suicide rates tend to rise over time…

  • Anyone know what’s going on with all the dirt moving across the highway from the BP complex?

  • @ Dana-X

    Yeah I’m sure the suicide rates of upper middle class engineers exceeds those of the general population, don’t let common sense or reality influence your comment.

  • If he had built four of these next to each other in a row, that’d be interesting. But the hotel kills the symmetry in a grotesque manner. It offends the senses.

    It’s my opinion that this will hurt the marketability of all three of the office buildings in terms of rental demand and cap rates.

    He should really build something different on this site, even if the differences are superficial.

  • @Niche: Tower III is 100% leased to Technip USA, Inc. And Tower III was built 100% on spec. I would love to see better architecture out there, but have to concede that the energy companies are not looking for glamour when they take up office space on I-10.

  • @ crosscreek..uh..I was joking. I use Swamplot sometimes to work on my stand-up material. That one might’ve been a little too subtle..I’ll probably scrap it…thanks!

  • three of these buildings are rented out indefinitely for the foreseeable future. the third one was snapped up quickly and thus the haphazard plan for quickly spitting out a 4th one.

    i could be concerned about the looks of these building, but they’re very nice inside and they look better than 80% of the other existing structures in this city. the fact that you would find it so offensive for a generic office building to go up, very similar to ones constructed all over the world at this moment, hints towards misplaced priorities.

    i offer an alternative view, anyone building a hallmark designed office space off a generic freeway feeder road is rather ignorant and deserves to have bone-thin margins jeopardizing his company and employees future.

  • @common–your comments are tiresome–we all have the right to be offended at such cheap crap being built on one of the most heavily traveled freeways in the county–just like if someone built a dump next to your house and on the other side a halfway house and across the street a brothel—I’m sure you’d say–oh well I could have bought the houses on either side and across the street–

  • Something to consider is that these buildings are built with energy effecient skin. the glass is specialty reflective glass and materials that keeps temperature down to save energy.

  • @Shannon, please define “cheap crap”. As opposed to what method of construction that “should” go in that area?

  • There are a lot of people on this site that really should get into the architectural business.
    Companies build what people want. If fancy brings in enough increase of rent or sales price to justify the extra cost, they’ll do it. If not, they won’t.
    Why would someone build something nicer than what people want? And by “what people want” I mean what their customers are willing to pay for?
    I’d love it if every buiding built was mind blowing and creative. However those come at a cost that *SOMEONE* has to pay. The homes we all live in COULD have been made nicer, but would we have bought them at a higher price? Likely “no” as higher price options already exist that we passed on.
    So we pass, every day, on options that are nicer than what we settle with for financial reasons. Why would a builder do anything different for a prospective customer?

  • I just hope they expand the drainage ditch/detention pond water feature. It’s a different take on the normal storm water catchment. I hope this is a trend going forward.
    It’s smart business to use the same design. And it’s not a bad style for feeder road office buildings.
    For those who complain about the lack of creativity, would you rather a car dealership instead? or how about some of those squat office buildings up in Greenspoint on Beltway 8?

  • I live in the area and I think it’s a big improvement on a used car lot. I would love to see the remaining car dealerships gradually moved away and a continuous strip of mid/high rises from Memorial City to Hwy 6. Now that would be a true “Energy Corridor”

  • I agree that these are perfectly nice buildings. They’re generic and highly-efficient and that’s okay. Nothing wrong with that. Its just that maybe one of them can still be generic and still be efficient, but be superficially different just in order to make them all look better.

  • Saying this is step up from a run down car dealership is high praise indeed