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Real Estate Bisnow
The largest commercial real estate publication in the United States.
January 4, 2011 
TOP 11 OF 2011

2011 was a roller coaster of a year, but looking back, we found quite a few peaks to celebrate. Remember any of these big hot deals?
Two Shell Plaza
We had to wait until December to get this whopper: Shell renewed 1.2M SF with Hines at One and Two Shell Plaza, the largest office space lease in the world last year. The lease expires in 2025 at which time Shell will have been a tenant for more than 55 years. (We love a story filled with big, impressive numbers… it's why we read math textbooks for fun.) Hines’ Chrissy Wilson repped the landlord with colleague Charles Elder and tells us it took 850 days to move from the first draft of the lease to execution. In that time, some of Shell’s culture and preferences changed. But she says a fantastic team—Cushman & Wakefield’s Tim Relyea and Joe Peddie represented the tenant and Baker Botts and Bracewell provided legal counsel—made it easier.
Brookfield Mini HOU
Tina Araujo
In February, the Dynamo broke ground on its stadium (recently dubbed the BBVA Compass Stadium) in EaDo. We snapped East Downtown Management District’s Tina Araujo on the stadium’s site in April 2010 when it locked down financing. The 22,000-seat, 340k SF stadium will be completed in May and is spurring other activity in the area. (Everybody wants to be near when the Dynamo take on rival FC Dallas for the coveted El Capitan cannon.) Take the Promenade being developed by the Sister Cities of Houston, which will include six blocks of new businesses and parks. Thompson & Knight’s Alfie Meyerson, who worked on the Dynamo deal, tells us he hopes the stadium will be an economic driver similar to Minute Maid Park and will continue revitalization in the warehouse district downtown.
Texans' map of the US
Houston is leading the nation in job creation (take that Sioux City!), and that’s spurring leases and investment sales in the Bayou City. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Dec. 5 report, the Houston metro recorded the largest year-over-year employment increase in the US, adding nearly 80,000 jobs. We also have the second-highest year-over-year percentage increase at 3.1% (only behind San Jose, Calif. at 3.2%). That means we’ve now recovered every job lost in the recession. In 2012, the Greater Houston Partnership predicts we’ll add almost 85,000 jobs.
Mike Brown
After months of secrecy, ExxonMobil launched construction of its campus in North Houston. Besides being a massive undertaking (although total SF is still under wraps, the 385-acre campus will include a landmark Energy Center, numerous low-rise office buildings, a lab, conference and training centers, and childcare and wellness centers), the project is drawing attention to the area. Already, Springwoods Village is under construction adjacent to Exxon, and we’ve heard musings about North Houston becoming the next Energy Corridor. Check out this video by Exxon’s Mike Brown for more info on the campus, which will be completed in 2015.
John Talhelm
Jacobson Warehouse Co snagged the largest local industrial lease of the year: 436k SF at Interport Distribution Center. Above, we snagged a photo of landlord rep JLL’s John Talhelm, who tells us the lease took up 10% of the availability in the Southeast submarket. According to Stream Realty’s Kyle Valentine, Justin Robinson, and Matteson Hamilton, big new leases (as opposed to renewals) really kicked into gear in 2011. The team closed major deals with Forum Energy (253k SF at Guhn Distribution Center) and K&K Express (144k SF at the Hardy Distribution Center) and repped tenant Mahindra USA in nabbing 135k SF at Satsuma Distribution Center. The gentlemen say Houston’s industrial market saw 4M SF of positive absorption, knocking vacancy to 5.3% from 5.7% in 2010.
3009 Post Oak
After nearly 30 years without office construction in the Galleria, two projects broke ground last year: Redstone/Stream’s 2200 Post Oak and Skanska’s 3009 Post Oak (pictured). Stream locked in a 150k SF lease with BBVA Compass to kick off construction of 312k SF 2200 Post Oak in July. That’s only one phase of three eventually planned on the site. And 300k SF 2200 Post Oak broke ground in December with no preleasing.
Check us out Friday for the exciting conclusion. Naturally, next we'll be looking at 2012. Got a prediction? Send it to Catie Brubaker, catie@bisnow.com.
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