Hess Signs Lease for 845,000-SF Houston Tower

Energy titan Hess Corp. has signed a long-term lease to occupy the entire 844,800-square-foot Discovery Tower office building in Downtown Houston, a 29-story property currently being developed by Trammell Crow Co. and Principal Real Estate Investors.Financial details were not disclosed on the lease or the construction of the building, but HoustonArchitecture.info put the price tag on the building construction at $300 million. Located at 1501 McKinney St., the tower (pictured) will be customized to accommodate Hess, including several design modifications to maximize flexibility, long term growth and desire for employee amenities. Discovery Tower will be the first LEED Gold certified office building constructed in Houston’s Central Business District. The building will be renamed Hess Tower in honor of Hess Corp.’s significant occupancy commitment, Jon Pepper, vice president of Hess, told CPN. Construction began in March and the building is expected to be completed in summer 2010. Hess will relocate from Allen Center and occupy Hess Tower in its entirety in 2011. Given the stage of construction, Hess was able to customize various aspects of the building, including floorplates and ceiling heights to address specific space requirements. “This is a larger space than we had. We’ll be moving from One Allen Center, where we have our global exploration headquarters, into the new building,” Pepper told CPN. “We have another leased floor in Downtown Houston where overflow activities have moved and our Houston operation has grown substantially. We have outgrown our space and our lease was nearing expiration. We looked at staying in our current building and other options in Downtown Houston and we decided Discovery Tower was the best fit for us.” Hess Tower is the fifth project–and second in Houston–built under the national office development program established by Trammell Crow and Principal Real Estate Investors in 2006. The program is focused on the development of $750 million to $1 billion of new, Class A office buildings in markets throughout the United States. Hess was represented in the lease deal by vice chairman Tim Relyea of Cushman & Wakefield Inc. Senior vice president John Pruitt and senior associate Cody Armbrister with CB Richard Ellis Inc. represented Trammell Crow and Principal. New York-based Hess Corporation is a global integrated energy company engaged in the exploration, production, purchase, transportation and sale of crude oil and natural gas, as well as the production and sale of refined petroleum products.