Where Houston’s Building Offices

Where’s all the new office space in Houston? Here, reports Metrostudy’s David Jarvis. The lemming-like red dots cramming together on the Beltway and Katy Fwy. out toward the Grand Parkway denote locations that are already under construction, totaling 12.5 million square feet of new office space. The green dots denote planned locations that would add 6 million more. The ExxonMobil campus up near the Woodlands, reports Jarvis, accounts for almost half of the new construction.

Map: Metro Study Report

13 Comment

  • Also 851,000 sf of proposed space at the corner of Main and Texas.

  • No zoning is definitely the way to go, right? Sprawl, sprawl, sprawl.

  • No zoning is definitely the way to go. Look at Dallas, Austin, or San Antonio. Office buildings get built in the suburbs one way or the other. Zoning only provides a mechanism for somebody’s favorite nephew or somebody else’s well-funded political consultant to make a bunch of money selling access to variances.

    By comparison, Houston has by far the largest downtown area and vastly outperforms Dallas in terms of occupancy rate. Houston also has more of its urban office submarkets clustered within a smaller geographic area, as well as the nation’s largest concentration of hospitals. All without zoning.

  • Looks like they are building office space where the well off people live.

  • Variances are a travesty.

  • Hines’ new tower is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential office towers downtown. There’s also Linbeck’s Market Square tower, Skanska’s Capital Tower, and Brookfield’s 5 Allen Center along I-45. If we are lucky though a couple of those will break ground in the next year or two. That’s in addition to Chevron’s new downtown tower that they should unveil pretty soon. Add that with residential and hotel developments, downtown could be dotted with cranes pretty soon.

  • I agree with Niche that zoning is really not the panacea people think it is. Everyone thinks it’ll help protect them from unwanted development, when in reality it can help SPUR unwanted development. It essentially takes power o of the hands of neighbors and puts it in the hands of a few urban planners and zoning board members.
    That said, it is frustrating that the Southwest Freeway corridor, at least begween 610 and Beltway 8 seems to be stuck in neutral. Of course there’s not a lot of open space for new buildings here, but it sure would be nice if we could get tenants in some of the vacant office buildings. The area has a lot going for it:access to Downtown and Uptown, and Sugar Land, is just as good or better than it is in the Energy Corridor. The buildings are older, but they are equal in quality to older buildings elsewhere in town. Lease rates are reasonable…. It’s really just the bad reputation of “Southwest” Houston that’s keeping people away.

  • And you can look at big Northern cities like Philadelphia, where every miniscule suburb has its own office buildings. There’s simply no way to avoid low-cost office buildings from being built in the suburbs and to prevent edge cities.

  • ZAW, it’s in neutral because of the demographics.

  • Oh please. Houston is a big mess. Lack of zoning and (the really relevant word) PLANNING have been more of an obstacle to development in Houston. Remember that the lightening fast growth of suburban areas like the Woodlands and Sugar Land have come under the jack booted thugary of zoning and planning. Downtown Houston and Midtown are still dotted with dead and dying buildings. Why? Because there is no planning. If you want to build out where it is cheaper, go ahead. No worries about the traffic, proximity to residential neighborhoods. Just ditch your office downtown and plop a new office building where ever you like. And when the City sees a massive influx of new residents inside the loop needing mutlifamily rentals, we develop 30+ acres of prime real estate inside the loop with a net gain of maybe 150 multi-family units. How did that happen? No planning. Do whatever you want. Residents will deal with the consequences. To developers all the spoils.

  • Old School, there would be No Spoils if a developer built something people did not want. You make it sound like developers build out of spite, on the contrary, they’re happy to build what people actually want vs. what the government tells them that they should have.

  • The “Energy Corridor” will eventually be called the “Energy Horrordor” just like Greenspoint went Gunspoint. Lots of apartments along it, older suburban homes, and office buildings being built to attract the next corporation that wants in on the “scene”. It’s the Washington Avenue for businesses, and the party will just move elsewhere eventually.

  • Brian, I’m pretty sure you haven’t been to the Energy Corridor with remarks like that. Perhaps you’re thinking of EaDo.