Chevron Expands Downtown Presence with $340M Purchase

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor Chevron Corp., the California-based oil giant, has successfully closed the deal on 1400 Smith St. —also known as Four Allen Center—for a reported $340 million. Chevron has been the sole tenant of the 50-story building for [...]

Chevron Corp., the California-based oil giant, has successfully closed the deal on 1400 Smith St. —also known as Four Allen Center—for a reported $340 million. Chevron has been the sole tenant of the 50-story building for nearly five years, starting in 2006, when previous owner Brookfield Office Properties purchased it for nearly $120 million. At the time, Brookfield leased the whole building to Chevron; the deal was said to be the largest lease transaction in the United States in more than five years.

The 1.3 million-square-foot property is the former Enron building, whose 1500 Louisiana—right next to Four Allen Center—was also purchased by Chevron in 2004. Besides the sleek, oval-shaped skyscrapers that are connected by a pedestrian sky ring, Chevron also owns a small parking lot and a small building across from 1500 Louisiana, and plans on buying the former YMCA site.

When Brookfield put 1400 Smith up for sale, real estate experts estimated that it could sell for a record price of $380 million, but the press release that followed the sale on June 24 put an end to the rumors.

Chevron has also renewed its 311,000-square-foot lease at the nearby Continental Center I, at 1600 Smith St., also owned by Brookfield.

Also making headlines this week, Toll Brothers Inc. has acquired key acreage in the Katy area, with plans of developing 305 home lots. Seller Moody-Simons Partners planned a 340-unit community called Silver Oak on the 180 acres of land, but this was in the mid-2000s, and the land still lies raw. Toll Brothers plans on changing that, with construction set to start at the end of the year. The development will keep its name, and will consist of luxury homes of sizes ranging from 3,000 to 5,500 square feet, with a starting price of $400,000.