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Tearing down Houston history: Iconic wedding venue to be demolished for new office building

New St. James office tower
A rendering of the new St. James office tower. Courtesy rendering
The Courtyard on St. James wedding setup
Just one of hundreds of wedding setups at The Courtyard on St. James The Courtyard on St. James/Facebook
New St. James office tower
The Courtyard on St. James wedding setup

The Courtyard on St. James Place, a venue for hundreds of wedding receptions and other memorable family events, will be demolished and replaced with a new office building.

The cozy events center claims on its website that its lush courtyard is “one of the city's most photographed locations” in Houston because so many wedding pictures have been snapped there. The building is just northwest of the Galleria, at 1885 St. James Place, east of Chimney Rock Road and south of San Felipe Street.

 Although the building will be torn down, the memories for the many brides and grooms that celebrated there over the years will remain. 

When the Courtyard on St. James is torn down, a 13-story office building will be developed by 1885 St. James Place Partners, as owner, and Nelson Murphree Legacy Partners as developer.

Although the building will be torn down, the memories for the many brides and grooms that celebrated there over the years will remain.

Consider this testimonial on the Courtyard’s website: “We would like to thank the staff at the Courtyard that was working the night of our wedding. Numerous compliments have been received on the wonderful service they provided. …

"The venue looked perfect and was exactly what we dreamed of for our wedding day. We are left with countless wonderful memories.
 God bless you always, Paul and Jessica.”

A phone call to the events center number of Wednesday prompted a recording saying the phone number was not in service. The 23,000-square-foot events center was recently sold to the developers of the new office development, according to the Cushman & Wakefield real estate firm.

The new building will be a 135,000-square-foot office tower, described as a “boutique” building because it is not large, although it will have top quality finishes.

Construction is expected to kickoff in the first quarter of 2014 with building completion slated for early 2015. Houston-based Jackson & Ryan is the project architect and Tellepsen Builders is the general contractor.

“This is a boutique building that will offer luxury build-outs to tenants looking for an exclusive address,” said office leasing agent Chris Dekker of Jones Lang LaSalle, which also has industry veteran Chrissy Wilson assigned to handle leasing of the new building.

The area, which is just north of Westheimer, is seeing a revival with lesser commercial buildings being torn down to be replaced by new development.

Houston apartment magnate Marvy Finger is constructing an apartment project adjacent to the Courtyard on St. James site. Finger is widely respected for his proven ability to identify parts of Houston that have upside potential.

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