A really big deal
Downtown Houston has some more bragging rights.
The nation’s biggest office lease to be signed since the fall of 2008 has been signed by KBR, the engineering and construction giant, according to the landlord, Brookfield Properties. KBR leased 1.2 million square feet of space, roughly equivalent to a 50-story building.
KBR had been close to leaving downtown and had advanced plans for building a massive corporate campus in Katy. But KBR opted to stay in downtown’s Cullen Center complex, where it has been for 20 years.
So KBR renewed its long-term lease in the KBR Tower and the 500 Jefferson building and leased an additional 234,000 square feet in both buildings.
Veteran Houston office brokers Dan Bellow and Mike Boehler of Jones Lang LaSalle engineered the huge lease in conjunction with Paul Layne and Paul Frazier of Brookfield Properties.
The landlord, Brookfield Properties, which owns the KBR Tower and many other significant properties around the nation, said the KBR lease is an indicator that the commercial real estate business is pulling out of the doldrums.
"Successfully completing an office transaction of this size – involving a significant expansion – speaks to the increase in tenant activity we are beginning to see around our major markets,” said Dennis Friedrich, president of Brookfield Properties’ U.S. Commercial Operations.