12/14/16 12:45pm

BP MOVING ONSHORE HQ OUT OF HOUSTON, WAY FURTHER ONSHORE Helios Plaza, Energy Corridor, Houston, 77079BP announced today that it plans to move the main office for its onshore oil and gas branch to Denver at the start of 2018, starting with about 200 employees (compared to about 450 currently in the Houston office). The company announced late this summer that it was pulling its employees out of the WestLake 4 tower (about 7 years before that lease would’ve been up); that news was followed up a few days later with an announcement that BP would also sell off its LEED-platinum Helios Plaza building (pictured above), which it built in 2010 as a trading office. The plan at the time was to lease back space in Helios from the new owner; the rest of the company’s Energy Corridor employees will stay in the WestLake 1 office tower, which BP also owns. [BP Media Affairs via Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Helios Plaza at 201 Helios Way: BP

12/12/16 11:15am

Rendering of Heights Market, 7122 Old Katy Rd., Hempstead Industrial, Houston, 77055

7122 Old Katy Rd., Hempstead Industrial, Houston, 77055

Here’s a peek at what the old Delta Fastener warehouse at 7122 Old Katy Rd. might look like once Braun Enterprises gets done with it. The property — located just inside the W. Loop in that wedge of industrial parks hemmed in by I-10 and Hempstead Rd., west of Cottage Grove — was snagged by Braun at the end of November. A handful of renderings from Tipps Architecture (also behind the design for another of Braun’s not-in-its-namesake-neighborhood redevelopments) depict the 57,845-sq.-ft. warehouse done over in brown and bearing the label Heights Market.

The renderings show some new windows, large and small, sliced into exterior of the 1940s warehouse, and an existing loading dock redone as a cafeteria space:

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Changes for Delta
11/04/16 5:15pm

100 Main St. north of Franklin St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

A reader sends a few shots from the corner of Main and Franklin streets, where the family that owns La Colombe D’Or is now turning the 1890’s-or-so buildings at 104, 108, 110, and 114 Main into co-working space. The ground floor of the block (occupied in large part by the Bayou Lofts building) has seen some tenant movement too in the last few years; signage for bars Gossip Ultralounge, Barringer Lounge, and recently-opened Lilly & Bloom can all be spotted hanging out while exterior work is underway.

As for the Franklin side of the block: Next to watch-shop-turned-whiskey-bar Houston Watch Company, The Brit will be moving into what was once PI lounge at 911 Franklin; a bit further west, past newly-opened La Calle Tacos & Tortas, the space formerly holding that beer incubator that closed after a naked Twister incident is being prepped for bottle shop Craft Beer Cellar:

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Main St. Move-Ins
10/14/16 12:30pm

Rendering of Fairview District

Fairview + Mason renderingsAbove is an updated view of plans for the stretch of Fairview St. between Taft and Genesee being redeveloped by the owner of the redeveloped restaurant strip containing Cuchara and Max’s Wine Dive — a CBRE marketer announced that the project will be branded as the Fairview District, and will include 4 buildings of the mixed-office-retail-restaurant variety. In the center of the rendering above is a sleeker view of the 5-story bike-encrusted parking garage previously drawn up for the former site of Meteor Lounge (which sent its drag show over South Beach and shut off the showers for the last time over the summer). It’s unclear from this vantage whether the garage’s bicycle decor is still part of the plan for the area, but some bike lanes appear to be. The glassy structure on the far left looks to be the standalone structure planned for the parking lot next to Max’s Wine Dive (previously tagged as a dessert shop): CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Viewing Fairview District
10/12/16 1:15pm

COUSINS AND PARKWAY MERGER BETTING ALL AND NOTHING ON HOUSTON’S OFFICE SPACE MARKET 3555 Timmons Ln., Greenway Plaza, Houston, 77027 Last week’s merger between real estate investment trusts Cousins Properties and Parkway Properties still resulted in 2 companies, notes Ralph Bivins this morning: the freshly combined firms, keeping the Cousins name, have now moved all of their Houston office holdings (along with nothing else) into a separate trust. The sequestered Houston investments are inheriting the Parkway name (that’s New Parkway, to head off any confusion), as opposed to the originally announced HoustonCo. New Parkway’s properties add up to about 8.7 million sq. ft., including Greenway Plaza (which Cousins bought back in 2013) and 4 other properties in Upper Kirby, Uptown, Tanglewood, and Westchase. Here’s a chance to buy in, Bivins writes, “whether you believe the Houston office market has reached the bottom or not” — noting also that there’s “about 3 million sq. ft. of new buildings still under construction.” [Realty News Report; previously on SwamplotPhoto of 3555 Timmons Ln.: Unilev

09/20/16 3:15pm

SHELL’S DOWNTOWN OPERATIONS TO SHED OFFICES, SCURRY OVER TO LARGER WEST HOUSTON CAMPUSES One Shell Plaza Office Tower, 910 Louisiana St., Downtown HoustonMore than half a decade after the local fretting about it started, Shell has announced that it will leave One Shell Plaza, writes Cara Smith this morning. Moreover, the company will drop nearly all of its other Downtown holdings as well, including the previously announced removal of recently-ish acquired BG Group from BG Group Place. Smith writes that the only announced exception to the pullout is Shell’s trading group at 1000 Main; the rest of the company’s downtown workers will move by early 2017 into either the Technology Center at Hwy. 6 south of Richmond Ave. or into the company’s Woodcreek campus along I-10 (south of the Addicks reservoir). [HBJ; previously on SwamplotPhoto of One Shell Plaza: Antonio Foster-Azcunaga

08/26/16 5:45pm

Rendering of Tianqing Group/DC Partners Allen Pwky. Mixed Use Site, Allen Pkwy. at Gillette St., Fourth Ward, Houston, 77019

A look at what could be headed for the rest of that 10.5-acre Gillette St. former city park-slash-brownfield property comes from Tianqing Group, the Chinese firm involved with DC Partners’ recently announced mixed-use development at the site (to be funded via the EB-5 investment-for-greencards program). The northern 6 acres of the property (which at various points in its storied history has housed San Felipe Park, a SWAT substation, and the Gillette St. garbage incinerator) were sold to a then-unnamed investor last year, and DC Partners snagged the land in May.

The view above, displayed on Tianqing’s description page for the project, shows 3 highrises and 2 midrises in place at the edge of Fourth Ward, with the Downtown skyline visible in the distance to the right. Another of the renderings includes slightly clipped logo marks from both DC Partners and architecture firm Gensler; that rendering (below) provides a closer look at the towers from the west, as well as some green rooftop terraces:

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West of Downtown
08/16/16 12:15pm

Work at at 1916 Baldwin St., Midtown, Houston, 77002

Here’s the latest from the house-turned-law-office-space at 1916 Baldwin St., now getting worked over behind its previously-noticed TABC application notice. A few more details on what’s planned for the spot have since surfaced, as Phaedra Cook and Craig Masilow noted earlier this summer while writing about the ongoing legal whosamawhatsit of the newly-rotated nightclub formerly known as Gaslamp (about 2 minutes to the south by car). Cook and Masilow point out that the owner of the Baldwin space appears to be Gaslamp owner Ayman Jarrah’s brother, and that Jarrah himself is listed as the manager of the business moving in at the Baldwin address (referred to as Oakmont) in a TABC-nodding newspaper notice published in May.

A reader on the scene, meanwhile, notes the construction going on in and around the structure (above), including a 2-story something going up out back:

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Going by Oakmont
08/10/16 5:15pm

Former Mr. Peeples, 1911 Bagby St., Midtown, Houston, 7700
If you duck southwest under the Pierce Elevated from near the maybe-not-vacant-much-longer downtown Days Inn highrise (and maybe dodge a few exit ramps), you’ll find the logo of sparkle-happy steak and seafood house Mr. Peeples still peering coyly out from behind the greenery at 1911 Bagby St. — accompanied more recently by a less shy sign advertising the freed-up space’s availability, notes a reader. Landmark said in a press release when the spot closed in March that it would “emerge as an exciting new venue in the near future”; the informational signage from WLC Interests implies that that emergence may occur elsewhere, and that other folks may have a chance at the spot for less culinarily focused uses.

Here’s a shot of the place pre-glitzification (circa 2007) when it was a more conservatively decorated Boy Scouts office:

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Prepping for the Next Costume Change
07/28/16 3:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW GREENSPOINT COULD TURN OVER A NEW LEAF fig-leaves“A 50 percent occupancy rate created because a company moved a slew of employees to a shiny new corporate megacampus is a good thing.  . . . This is just a good composting of office space. The piles of old office space will turn into new low cost space that will hopefully attract some diversification for the Houston economy.” [Old School, commenting on Comment of the Day: Don’t Try To Lump All That Empty Houston Office Space Together] Illustration: Lulu

07/27/16 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: DON’T TRY TO LUMP ALL THAT EMPTY HOUSTON OFFICE SPACE TOGETHER Skyline“ . . . Worth mentioning that 50 percent [vacancy] in Greenspoint versus 26 percent in Houston as a whole tells me a much different story than the one they are telling: that the damage may be regional and dependent on location. I’m sure it’s down all over, but Houston is a big market. It’s irresponsible not to recognize regional differences in an article like this.” [MrEction, commenting on Levy Park’s Transformation; Moving On from the Bayport Cruise Terminal Boondoggle; previously on Swamplot] Illustration: Lulu

07/13/16 10:15am

EMPTY HOUSTON OFFICE SPACE HITS 20-YEAR HIGH WITH MORE IN THE PIPELINE 609 Main St., Downtown, Houston, 77002“The damage has been done,” writes Ralph Bivins this morning: although developers in the city have mostly stopped starting new office buildings, the past quarter “was the first time in 21 quarters that Houston had negative absorption, meaning more office space was emptied than filled.” And the office space availability rate, brushing up against 20 percent, is also higher than it has been at any time since 1995; real estate scrutinizer CBRE estimates that the rate could shoot past the 20-year record to 21 percent in 2017 as more sublease space hits the market (and more of the space already under construction, on the order of 4.2 million sq.ft., wraps up). [Realty News Report] Photo of 609 Main construction: Katherine Feser (bottom)

07/11/16 1:15pm

Tyler Flood site, 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, Houston Tyler Flood site, 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, HoustonMeanwhile, catty- corner across White St. from the beer-and-haircut-related happenings to the east, work on DWI lawyer and billboard enthusiast Tyler Flood’s 3-story cafe law firm retail center at 2019 Washington Ave. is also ramping up. A reader sends the above early-morning photo of recent stirrings on the long and long-empty lot between White and Henderson; a demo permit was issued for the narrow strip last Tuesday, with a building permit following hot on its heels 2 days later.

An 1,800-sq.-ft. ground floor retail spot (which Flood previously hoped would be inhabited by some sort of cafe) is currently listed for lease on LoopNet, along with some divisible office space. The listing includes a look at the most recent rendering for that building, which seems to have straightened up and gotten a little taller in places, compared to the 2014 design (also shown below):

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Making Preparations
06/29/16 1:00pm

Imperial Market, Sugar Land, TX 77478

Johnson Development, the company behind that sugar-company-themed master-planned community in Sugar Land, announced yesterday that it has officially handed over the land for the project’s refinery-centric Imperial Market mixed-use district to the folks who will develop it. The 26 acres freshly sold are along Oyster Creek just north of the crossing of Hwy. 90 (visible on the far left of the rendering above, which faces south). That’s Kempner St. running directly alongside the proposed development and crossing the creek as well; a pair of former railroad bridges currently upstream of Kempner are shown replaced with car and pedestrian bridges respectively.

Plans for the development incorporate structures from out-of-use former facilities of the Imperial Sugar Company. The refinery’s silos (instead of becoming an art space) are marked to host a couple of fast-casual restaurants; the 1925 char house, where huge quantities of carefully burned animal bones were once used to whiten and filter cane sugar syrup, will become a boutique hotel. Both structures are more prominently visible in the southeast-facing view below — the boxy brick char house appears to the left of the single-pour-concrete silos:

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Refining Sugar Land Master Plans
06/01/16 1:45pm

Design for convertible sitting  and standing conference table from MaRS

First order of business at all future meetings around Motile: achieve full consensus on table height. The rendering above from Mayfield and Ragni Studio shows the Houston architecture and design firm’s plan for an adjustable conference table, allowing working teams to alternate at will between sitting and standing (so long as they can unanimously agree on exactly when to do so). The table is headed for this summer’s NeoCon design trade show, where it’s in the running for a HiP award; if you like the idea, the trade show’s online voting system appears to still be operational (though the voting period appears to have formally ended yesterday).

Renderings: MaRS

Table the Motion