Changing Houston

New downtown skyscraper is set to rise: 47-story tower aims to be an iconic Houston landmark

New downtown skyscraper is set to rise: 47 stories on Main for Hines

Hines Tower
Courtesy of Hines

Houston-based Hines, the international real estate firm, will begin work on downtown Houston’s next major skyscraper on Nov. 1.

The building, 609 Main at Texas, will be a 47-story, 1,050,000-square-foot office tower at the corner of Main and Texas streets, with direct access on the Main Street rail line. The site is known as “Block 69.”

 Two years ago Hines completed the BG Group Place office tower on Main Street and that building is now 96 percent leased. 

Site preparation, including the demolition of an existing abandoned building, will begin the first week of November. Excavation and foundation work will occur in March 2014, and after 36 months of construction, the building will be ready for occupancy, Hines says. (CultureMap first reported on the project back on March 14.)

The Houston office market is exceptionally strong. Two years ago Hines completed the BG Group Place office tower on Main Street and that building is now 96 percent leased.

“609 Main at Texas is a strategic follow-on to our success with BG Group Place,” Hines president Jeff Hines says. “We are thrilled to start construction on our second major office tower on Main Street, especially with our partner, CalPERS. We saw the trend coming several years ago when we purchased two key blocks of land on Main Street, and now our strategy has been confirmed with the start of this iconic new landmark.”

Hines is starting the new tower without an anchor tenant being signed, making the tower what developers call a “spec” project.

“We have already had significant leasing interest among all the sectors that fuel CBD development,” Hines senior managing director John Mooz says. “This project will be a true ‘next-generation’ office building, utilizing best practices we’ve learned from our previous developments in Houston and around the world. While 609 Main at Texas is designed to house multiple firms, there is obviously a significant and prestigious opportunity for an anchor tenant, including options for large trading floors and outdoor space.”  

The 609 Main building will be designed by Pickard Chilton, the same architecture firm that designed the nearby BG Group Place tower. The building is expected to have the highly acclaimed LEED Gold or Platinum rating for sustainability and energy efficiency, Hines says.

The building is being developed by Hines CalPERS Green development fund, a partnership with the Hines and CalPers, the nation’s largest pension fund.

The office market is downtown Houston has occupancy rates above 90 percent and, the PM Realty Group reports downtown rents have gone up more than four percent in the last year.