New 6 Houston Center Tower Will Put Another Notch in the Downtown Skyline

Proposed Design for 6 Houston Center Office Tower, on Block Surrounded by Walker, Caroline, Rusk, and San Jacinto Streets, Downtown Houston

Mimicking the pipe-wrench-jaw-like multistory balcony near the top of BG Group Place (seen in blocky form at right in the rendering above), there’ll a tree-toothed notch carved into the eastern edge of the top floors of the just-unveiled design for 6 Houston Center. But this new $250 million spec office tower won’t just be a little more roughly cut than its neighbor — it’ll be a bit shorter, too. The 30-story structure is planned for the block surrounded by Rusk, Walker, Caroline, and San Jacinto streets, directly north of the LyondellBasell Tower at 1 Houston Center, on what’s currently a surface parking lot.

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Proposed Design for 6 Houston Center Office Tower, on Block Surrounded by Walker, Caroline, Rusk, and San Jacinto Streets, Downtown Houston

A 9-level parking garage with a single underground floor will sit at the south end of the block and link to the taller 1 Houston Center (at left in the above rendering) with a 15-ft.-tall glass skybridge. A rooftop garden is planned for the garage top, which will connect to a “concierge floor” with a fitness center and conference rooms in the main building. There will be a coffee bar and a place to store bikes somewhere in the building, according to its developer, Crescent Real Estate Holdings.

Proposed Design for 6 Houston Center Office Tower, on Block Surrounded by Walker, Caroline, Rusk, and San Jacinto Streets, Downtown Houston

The building’s 35-ft.-tall lobby (above) will face north onto Rusk St. and the eastbound trains of the new East End and Southeast rail lines (below). The design from HKS Architects includes 10-ft.-tall office floors (mirroring a daylight-boosting move by BG Group Place) and 12-ft. ceilings on the top floors.

Proposed Design for 6 Houston Center Office Tower, on Block Surrounded by Walker, Caroline, Rusk, and San Jacinto Streets, Downtown Houston

Crescent’s CEO tells the Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff the company plans to begin construction this summer — whether or not it finds any tenants for the 300,000 sq. ft. of office space inside. Back in 2008, the company bagged out of plans for a different tower design on the same site, which it’s now owned for a decade.

Renderings: HKS Architects

Tree-Lined Sky Views

10 Comment

  • HKS should have to pay a fee to Pickard Chilton for ripping off it’s Mainplace design. Not a bad building, it’s like Mainplace’s (BG Group Place) shorter, less refined, homelier cousin, who’s always trying to copy (poorly) their more erudite, sophisiticated relative –this building will make almost no impact on the skyline anyway–on the wrong side of downtown, too short, and mostly hidden by much taller buildings –but it will work as a filler building –it’s a shame Houston place has continued with these short skyscrapers, instead of a real signature building –I get the reasoning, but still all this is underwhelming –

  • Houston Center*

  • I wonder if they’ll lease out that rooftop sky area for special events.

    I could have a helluva birthday party up there!

    “LaTasha’s Sky Soiree”

  • I am quite concerned that we could have too many office projects going forward in Downtown when compared to likely demand for office space there. Not saying that we shouldn’t be adding some, but Hines, Skanska, Crescent, and Shorenstein’s re-do of 800 Bell (over a million sq.ft., I’m assuming it will go multi-tenant) all in roughly the same time frame could dilute the market too much.

  • In this new Houston boom, as it relates to Downtown Houston, city leaders/developers are smart;: they’re filling in Downtown’s surface lots with fresh contemporary 20+ and 30+ floor towers while adding several 40+ and 50+ floor stunners. The end result is going to be a more dynamic bustling filled-in CBD featuring a bevy of new power towers creating a new Houston skyline that’s both overdue and timely as the city is now enjoying an extraordinary sustained boom.

    Once the development of the Dallas Street retail corridor gets underway to bring moderate to luxury retail to Downtown Houston, and once someone finally has the balls to finally build about 3 new signature buildings (i.e. Something maybe 85 floors or 92 floors…or Texas’ first 100 story tower…maybe for Occidental’s new world HQ coming to Houston), Downtown Houston will be on fire as it compliments Uptown…and will finally be the CBD worthy of the city’s 4th-largest city in America status. A booming economy is the new norm in Houston and Houston’s next evolution is amazing to watch and will probably be complete in 5 years…by then Houston’s 80′s, albeit stunning, Downtown and skyline will be re-made, as will most of the city.

  • @honest truth: your view is a bit naive and only sets you up for disappointment; Oxy’s hq move is essentially the executives and their support staff all of whom will be accommodated in their Greenway Plaza location they recently renewed. There’s really only one ‘tall’ building definitely going up and that’s the 47-story Hines project on Texas Ave. Chevron won’t choose to commit to theirs until after next year. The third and last 40+ story building that’s merely been talked about is Stream/Essex’s International Tower and they seem to be having trouble finding tenant commitments. The drivers of Houston’s boom is completely due to energy companies and (except Chevron) they’re all choosing to build in the Galleria-area or in the suburbs. For the skyline you’re dreaming of to take shape, Houston would have to have topographic and economic barriers to sprawl resulting in densities of business activity. That’s obviously not the case and, instead, the CBD is but one of a half dozen highrise areas all of which compete for the same tenants.

  • @ Honest Truth: Crack is whack.

  • @localplanner I think you have a good point. I know that oil majors are not the only driver in this cycle, but many big companies are projecting flat to decreasing spend over their projected budget cycle. It’s possible that Downtown may see a little lull over the next few years. If natural gas prices soften more, then the effect will be even more pronounced. And don’t forget to add to your calculations that the Exxon building will also be evacuated soon. We may be seeing a little bit of irrational exuberance in downtown construction.

  • @Planner: on the bright side, I’d rather have a glut of office space, than a glut of housing. It just doesn’t seem to carry with it the same social problems. Neither situation is good, but at least with an excess of offices you don’t see the deterioration and crime in neighborhoods that you do when housing goes bust.

  • @Frank_: I did mention the Exxon building – 800 Bell.