Houston Area Experiencing Growth in Office Buildings, Retail

Development envelopes northwest; more growth planned along Texas 249


A section of Texas 249 between Louetta and Cypresswood roads is a hot spot for development with several office buildings popping up along that stretch of road, and an explosion of retail sites in The Vintage master-planned community.

Four area developers talked about their ongoing and future development plans at a Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce luncheon Nov. 15.

Three of the four companies represented, Transwestern, Pennington Commercial Real Estate and V&W Partners, are involved with projects on Texas 249. Richmond Partners LLC is expanding a medical campus at Northgate Forest Drive and FM 1960.

Technology park

David Lee, senior vice president with Transwestern, said vacant Class A office space was once a rarity on Houston's northwest side. Now it is in abundance.

Transwestern provides leasing and property management services for Chasewood Technology Park, which is located off Chasewood Park Drive and Texas 249 south of Hewlett Packard's northwest campus.

Dallas-based GenCap Partners owns the Chasewood Technology Park complex, which was developed in the 1980s and 1990s.

The complex has three existing office buildings and a fourth under construction. Lee said the company was about to sign a letter of intent to build a hotel on 25 acres fronting Texas 249 near Cypress Creek.

Plans include the construction of two additional office buildings, Chasewood 5 and 6, near that hotel site.

Renovations

Next door to Chasewood Technology Park, four out of eight former Hewlett-Packard office buildings are being renovated.

Transwestern will also manage and lease The Centre at Cypress Creek complex, which will feature 650,000-plus square feet of Class A office space.

Four other former Hewlett-Packard office buildings in the same complex have also been vacated.

Lee said the new development in the area, and in the Houston region, is exciting. He said the energy, technology and health care markets are booming. The Houston Port Authority's pending Bayport project, which includes a cruise terminal, and the Panama Canal expansion project will bring another wave of business to the region in the next several years.

"But there are some clouds on the horizon," Lee said.

With the new office space in Chasewood Technology Park, and eight vacant office buildings next door, there is now a lot of office space to fill.

"We need some big things to happen in the area, some big tenants to move in," Lee said.

Chasewood Crossing

With a 90,000-square-foot office building fully leased at the corner of Cutten and Cypresswood roads, local developer Don Hand recently launched another Class A office building project off Texas 249 near the Cypresswood intersection.

Brenda Pennington, of Pennington Commercial Real Estate, said the six-story Chasewood Crossing building is under construction next to Lowe's, and office space will be ready for tenant build-out in February.

"We have several proposals out to oil and gas and technology support companies," Pennington said. "There are so many people who live out here who are tired of driving downtown to work. The most common thing I hear (after a local lease is signed) is `I am so glad to have my life back.' "

Pennington said local residents and businesses benefit from local amenities, such as the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts opening in March on Cypresswood Drive and community groups, such as the Renaissance 1960 revitalization organization.

"This truly is the best place to live and work," Pennington said.

The Vintage

Several sections of the 630-acre The Vintage development, located on former Hewlett-Packard property at the southwest corner of Texas 249 and Louetta Road, are under development and additional plans are in the works, said David Nussbaum, project director for V&W Partners, a joint venture between the Kickerillo Cos. and Mischer Investments.

"We are working our way through the vacant land pretty quickly," Nussbaum said.

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