Direct Energy Leases 106 KSF in Houston for New HQ

The energy retailer is set to occupy two floors at 2 Houston Center. CBRE negotiated the deal on behalf of the tenant.
Houston Center
Houston Center

Direct Energy LP has signed a 105,578-square-foot office lease at Brookfield Properties’ 2 Houston Center, a Class A office building in downtown Houston. The North American retailer of energy and energy services will move its corporate headquarters here in 2021, where it will take space on the sixth and seventh floors, as well as space on P1.

“Houston enjoys a diversified economy and offers an attractive business climate that continues to attract new companies to downtown, such as Direct Energy,” Travis Overall, Brookfield Properties’ executive vice president & head of the Texas Region, told Commercial Property Executive. “We were able to offer Direct Energy a space that is unique to downtown. (The property’s) large floor plates have garnered significant interest from the market because of the efficiencies they provide to tenants who are focused on maximizing collaboration and creating more opportunities for employee interaction.”

Located at 909 Fannin St., Houston Center spans 6.5 blocks and is the largest property in the city’s central business district. The property is comprised of four office structures and a 200,000-square-foot retail component. Construction on Houston Center began originally in 1974 and was developed over a 10-year period ending in 1984. 

According to Overall, Direct Energy’s move to Houston Center reinforces the vitality of the downtown submarket and the company’s desire for a collaborative workplace that offered plenty of amenities for employees and guests.

The area surrounding Houston Center has changed remarkably since the project was first developed in the 1970s and 1980s,” Overall said. “With the rise of major public and private investments, the Houston Center campus has become the core of downtown Houston.” 

Ambitious renovation plan

2 Houston Center
Rendering of 2 Houston Center

Brookfield acquired the four-building office campus for $875 million in late 2017, and at the time of acquisition, it was one of Houston’s largest office deals ever.

The company just started a major upgrade of the property. Brookfield’s plans include adding a new arrival experience along McKinney Street, with a new central plaza and greenspace, monumental stair connection to landscaped terraces, two-story glass facade, and reclad sky bridges to foster street-level restaurant and retail activity.

“When we acquired Houston Center, we knew that significant improvements would need to be made to attract and retain the best tenants in the market,” Overall said. “Brookfield’s vision for Houston Center is focused on creating a more welcoming environment and providing enhanced amenity offerings that will appeal to a diverse audience—tenants, visitors, and neighbors.”

CBRE’s team of Brandon Clarke, Paul Penland, Ryan Roth, Josh O’Rear and Mark Reilly represented Direct Energy in the lease. Doug Little, David Baker, Kelli Gault, and Jack Scharnberg of Transwestern and Clint Bawcom of Brookfield Properties represented the owner.

Images courtesy of Brookfield Properties