Ernst & Young Expands 5 Houston Center Lease

The global professional services company will occupy more than 120,000 square feet of office space in the 27-story downtown building.

Ernst & Young LLP has leased 120,827 square feet at 5 Houston Center, a 580,000-square-foot, Class A office tower in Houston from landlord Spear Street Capital. The relocation and extension will see EY move from its current home in the building at 1401 McKinney St. on floors 11 to 14 up to floors 21 to 25.

EY recognized that locating in a dynamic, walkable neighborhood is a key differentiator in recruiting and retaining top young talent,” Tyler Garrett, Transwestern’s vice president, told Commercial Property Executive. “With new developments surrounding the property, 5 Houston Center delivers on all of those key factors. Interest has been strong throughout the building.”

By relocating and extending its lease within the 27-story building, completed in 2001, EY was able to build out newer, progressive space that meets its current design standards earlier than they would have been had they waited to make a decision.

Transwestern represented the landlord in the lease agreement. CBRE’s Vice Chairman Glenn Dyke, Vice Chairman Sanford Criner and Vice President Jeff Cairns represented the tenant.

Amenity-rich property

According to Garrett, a lease like this was important to the building for several reasons. “It validates the plan that has been put in place by ownership to deliver upgraded amenities and public spaces that appeal to tenants like EY that are always competing for top talent within their industry,” he said.

The new amenities include a newly opened fitness center, complete with Peloton bikes and abundant natural light, a coffee bar under construction in the sky lobby that will be using coffee beans roasted less than a mile away from the building and a new tenant lounge on the ninth floor that will serve as a differentiated meeting point within the building.

The property is located approximately 1 mile from interstates 10, 45 and 69, and is connected to the neighboring Fulbright and Hess Towers via enclosed walkways from the second floor.

The Four Seasons Hotel is just two blocks away, as are numerous dining and shopping options at The Shops at Houston Center. It’s also within walking distance of Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center and George R. Brown Convention Center.

“The neighborhood was impactful to the overall decision,” Garrett said. “EY has a younger workforce, and the entertainment, restaurants and green space on the east side of downtown have been and continue to be appealing to companies like EY.”

In January, Jackson Walker leased 77,015 square feet of office space at 5 Houston Center, which included a renewal of 74,094 square feet and an expansion of 2,921 square feet in the office tower.

The building is LEED Gold and has a tenant roster that includes BOK Financial and McKinsey & Co. With EY’s new lease agreement, the property is 65 percent occupied, with approximately 150,000 square feet available.

Images courtesy of Transwestern