10/26/10 6:13pm

SOME PLANS IN THEIR WRENCH And who thought a building shaped like a pipe wrench wouldn’t attract a natural-gas firm as its lead tenant? Hines announced yesterday that UK-based BG Group will move its Houston offices from the Panhandle Energy Tower where Westheimer hits Alabama in the Galleria to MainPlace, the Pickard Chilton-designed spec building still under construction at 811 Main St. Downtown. The company will take over floors 29 through 34 in the 46-story tower, but may fill up more later. And it’s changing the building’s name — no, not to Pez Tower — but to BG Group Place. KPMG put dibs on the building’s top 4 floors more than 2 years ago. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Skyscraper Page user Johnme

07/15/10 10:57am

HELPING CEOS WITH THAT VISION THING The head of the giant monkey wrench is still under construction Downtown, but already Hines has lowered rents and begun looking for smaller-scale tenants at MainPlace, Nancy Sarnoff reports. And now . . . they’re staging it! “Hines has built out mock offices on three floors so prospective tenants can get a better idea of what their offices may look like. Depending on the audience, the models can make an impression. ‘If you bring over a CEO, it registers with them a little more,’ said Chrissy Wilson, vice president of leasing for Hines.” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Skyscraper Page user Johnme

12/24/08 11:08am

Hmmm . . . What’s going on in Houston real estate today? How about . . . the continuing construction of MainPlace! It’s the day before Christmas, and it’s still going on!

Scope out the scene yourself with the D.E. Harvey MainPlace webcam! Five-minute camera takeovers accepted.

07/29/08 10:28am

All hail MainPlace! All hail mighty MainPlace! Your towerishness is so . . . smooth and strong!

Videos of Hines’s new office tower at Main and Walker Downtown and its 10 lower molar-and-bicuspid trees are out. If you can’t hear the John-Williams-for-Real-Estate soundtrack, you’re missing half the fun.

When you’re done munching on popcorn and watching the movie above, be sure to catch the slightly more sober second feature, which includes actual information about the building.

07/10/08 1:12pm

MainPlace, Main and Rusk, Downtown Houston

The new MainPlace website features a bunch of snazzy new and revised rendered views of Hines’s 46-story Downtown office tower. Also included: plans of the building showing 2 street-level retail spaces — big enough maybe for a sushi restaurant plus a small postcard shop for tourists.

Promised to come soon on that website: videos. We hope they’ll play up some of the 1950s-era Japanese horror movie theming going on in a few of the new images.

After the jump: Plans! Sky Gardens! Shiny Glass! Run for your lives!


01/17/08 8:34am

The Former Hotel Montagu, Downtown Houston

Update: Photos and videos of the implosion are here.

Another Houston hotel implosion? So soon?

This one will be downtown, and everyone’s hoping it doesn’t make national news. But that doesn’t mean this weekend’s big bang won’t be another early-morning citywide block party. And so much to talk about since the last one!

Cherry Demolition crews have been chipping away at buildings on the block bounded by Main, Fannin, Rusk, and Walker since October, to make room for a 46-story pipe wrench. And everything is set for Dykon’s implosion of the 11-story Montagu Hotel (originally the Hotel Cotton, built in 1913) at the corner of Main and Rusk at 7 a.m. on Sunday, January 20th.

Streets will be shut down at least a block in each direction. But with the Crowne Plaza final-mystery-guest hullabaloo fresh in everyone’s memory, maybe this time there won’t be so much jockeying for the same “best” camera and video angles. Everyone spread out in a big circle, and send us your unique photos and videos. First person to spot anything fishy on the scene wins a special report on Inside Edition!

Photo of Hotel Montagu: Jeremey Barrett

10/03/07 7:43am

Postcard of Hotel Cotton, Now the Montagu Hotel, Downtown HoustonWhat a way to make up for yesterday! Finally, demolition permits are issued for more than a dozen addresses within the almost-full-block at Main and Rusk being offed to make way for Hines’s MainPlace downtown — including the historic 1912 Beatty-West Building, the 1940 former Bond Clothes store, and the 11-story Montagu Hotel, originally the 1913 Hotel Cotton. Plus: Way, way down Main St., the Droubi’s railroad car at Kirby Dr. finally leaves the station.

Our list of colorful names and addresses of stores-no-more, as usual, begin after the jump.


08/24/07 7:43pm

View of MainPlace, Hines’s Proposed 46-Story LEED Silver Office Building on Main Street in Downtown HoustonIt rises dramatically from the center of Downtown to face the morning sun. And the renderings sure make it look like a sleek, giant pipe wrench, the business end looking out over Houston’s industrial east side. Yep, there’s nothing the head office won’t be able to fix!

It’s MainPlace, a 46-story, one-million-square-foot green spec office tower, planned for most of the block surrounded by Fannin, Rusk, and Walker, at 811 Main.

The developer is the Hines CalPERS Green Fund, established by Hines and the California retirement fund to develop “sustainable” office buildings around the country. The core and shell, they promise, will be given a LEED-Silver rating by the USGBC. Don’t worry too much about all that, though: tenants will presumably be free to decorate their interiors with the usual endangered rainforest hardwoods and petroleum-based finishes.

That’s a five-story atrium up there on the 39th floor, facing a “sky garden.” Enjoy those trees in the rendering while you can; eventually, the engineers will start to think long and hard about hurricanes. More details and lots more zoomy pics, including closeups of that pipe-wrench jaw sky garden, after the jump.