HTX Real Estate 2013
A New Work Playground

Move over Google? New high-tech, 22-story Galleria office tower is packed full of employee perks

Move over Google? New high-tech Galleria tower is packed with perks

19 BBVA Compass Plaza Houston ribbon cutting June 2013
Artwork by established and emerging artists from around the world adorns the interior of the building as part of BBVA Compass’ commitment to foster the arts in the communities where it operates. This is one piece of artwork on the 19th floor of BBVA Compass Plaza.  Photo by © Eric Kayne
167 BBVA Compass Plaza Houston ribbon cutting June 2013
BBVA Compass Plaza is located at 2200 Post Oak Boulevard, the first tower to go up in the Galleria area in 30 years. Photo by © Eric Kayne
328 BBVA Compass Plaza Houston ribbon cutting June 2013
At the ribbon-cutting, from left: Troy Lindsey, director of real estate, procurement and services, BBVA Compass; Preston Young, regional managing partner, Stream Realty Partners; Steve Lerner, CEO, Real Estate Group, The Redstone Companies; Francisco González, chairman, BBVA; Manolo Sánchez, CEO and president, BBVA Compass; and Jim Heslop, chief HR executive, BBVA Compass Photo by © Eric Kayne
142 BBVA Compass Plaza Houston ribbon cutting June 2013
BBVA Compass Plaza has an on-site fitness center. Photo by © Eric Kayne
150 BBVA Compass Plaza Houston ribbon cutting June 2013
A Volkswagen Beetle decorated with more than 2 million colorful glass beads by Mexico’s Huichol Indians is now on display in the tower’s branch. The art car is on loan from Mexico City’s Museo de Arte Popular through the end of June. Photo by © Eric Kayne
19 BBVA Compass Plaza Houston ribbon cutting June 2013
167 BBVA Compass Plaza Houston ribbon cutting June 2013
328 BBVA Compass Plaza Houston ribbon cutting June 2013
142 BBVA Compass Plaza Houston ribbon cutting June 2013
150 BBVA Compass Plaza Houston ribbon cutting June 2013

Following almost 20 years of dreaming and nearly two years of construction, developers from the Redstone Companies and Stream Realty Partners joined BBVA executives to celebrate the official opening of BBVA Compass Plaza at 2200 Post Oak with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday. 

The 22-story office tower is the first new construction in the Galleria area in over three decades. It has come a long way since CultureMap got a sneak peek of the construction last April, when the touted floor-to-ceiling windows and open-concept work spaces were just an abstraction.

But Andrés Fernández Cueto, senior vice president and senior architect at BBVA Compass, pointed out those features and more during a during a media tour that showcased the workplace mobility and client- and employee-transparency that the new BBVA Compass United States headquarters affords.

 Employees have the freedom to work on any floor or in any space — even the cafeteria, which serves inexpensive, healthy cuisine. 

"Collaboration is key," explained Cueto, pointing to technologically-adaptable conference rooms that can accommodate as few as four people and as many as 200; multiple open lounge areas on each floor; walls that can be completely reconfigured over a weekend to accommodate shifts in departments; and rows of mostly-unassigned desks, each outfitted with dual monitors and WiFi-enabled office phones.

Employees have the freedom to work on any floor or in any space — even the cafeteria, which serves inexpensive, healthy cuisine, or the first-floor gym, where many of the state-of-the-art fitness machines are Internet-equipped. Plus, they enjoy some of the best views in the city. 

It has been a month since three Houston branch buildings merged to share the eight floors and 185,000 square feet of the BBVA Compass Plaza, but Cueto and Troy Lindsey, who heads the real estate and procurement group for BBVA Compass, said that all 825 employees are quickly adapting to this new type of work environment. 

"It's going over quite well," Lindsey enthused, even in the CEO suite upstairs, where there is the same focus on collaboration, mobility and flexibility. 

Other corporate tenants signed up to lease in the Class A office structure include Turkish Airlines, Worldwide Machinery, Osaka Gas and WindAcre Partnership, along with local chefs John Sheely and Hugo Ortega, who have started build-out on high-profile downstairs restaurants.