Real Estate Rumblings
A new 50-story skyscraper is rising in downtown Houston: Oil giant makes use of old YMCA space
Chevron U.S.A., calling Houston “the epicenter” of the world’s energy industry, has announced plans to construct a 50-story skyscraper in downtown Houston on Louisiana Street, not far from the landmark Hyatt Regency Hotel.
The 1.7 million-square-foot building will be located at 1600 Louisiana Street at Pease. Chevron is creating an urban campus in downtown, with its two other buildings there at 1500 Louisiana and 1400 Smith. About two years ago Chevron paid $340 million to buy the 1400 Smith tower, which was once the home of Enron.
It also bought and demolished the historic building that was home to the Downtown YMCA, much to the dismay of many preservationists. Of course, as CultureMap previously reported, office building teardowns are emerging as the new trend in Houston.
There have been rumors for years that Chevron would move its headquarters to Houston, because of the massive talent pool and corporate energy infrastructure in Houston.
The downtown office market is exceptional tight. The prime “Class A” space in downtown has a vacancy rate of only 7.6 percent, according to the CBRE real estate firm.
“This announcement underscores Chevron’s long-term commitment to Houston and its role as the epicenter of the global energy industry,” said Bereket Haregot, president of Chevron’s Business and Real Estate Services division. “Houston plays a vital and growing role in Chevron’s global business.
"The new building and expanded urban campus will provide a first-rate work environment for our employees and help us remain the employer of choice.”
There have been rumors for years that Chevron would move its headquarters to Houston, because of the massive talent pool and corporate energy infrastructure in Houston. But Chevron tamped down the rumor Wednesday with a press release stating: “The headquarters of Chevron Corp., the parent company of Chevron U.S.A., will remain in California, where they have been located for more than 130 years.”
Chevron said its “final investment decision” would be made in the second quarter of 2014. “Groundbreaking will follow final investment decision, and occupancy is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016,” Chevron said in its press release.
The building is being designed by the HOK architecture firm.
Chevron employs approximately 9,000 employees and contractors in Houston, where nine of its businesses are headquartered. In addition to its downtown buildings, the company has locations in Bellaire and the Westchase District.