Behind the Deal: KPMG Centre’s Rebranding & Rebirth
KPMG Centre has a new name--717 Harwood--and is getting a new look. It’s all part of the owner’s strategy to reposition the 34-story tower and capitalize on Downtown’s revitalization.
Since taking over ownership of the building in March, Austin-based World Class Capital Group has inked three leases with Southern California companies to take 330k SF of the 844k SF tower. Active Network signed a 130k SF lease for 12 years; Omnitracs took 100k SF. Another new tenant, Lanyon, moved its corporate HQ into four floors for another 100k SF. World Class Capital Group COO Sheena Paul tells us the firms match WCC’s goal of turning the tower into a haven for tech companies. The lobby is in the midst of a renovation and a former bank lobby is being transformed into a new restaurant. Sheena tells us WCC is in negotiations with several potential restaurants for that space. The leasing team of Transwestern managing director Duane Henley and SVP Nathan Durham tell us the restaurant faces the street and will have fantastic opportunities for patio dining. The hope is to have a restaurant in place by summer.
Perhaps the biggest improvement to the building is a new 20k SF community workspace on the second floor (designed by Gensler). Powered with WiFi, the space will have large conference and training rooms, multifunctional board rooms, private meeting rooms, and space to relax with your laptop or chat with neighbors. It’s a great amenity for the tenants who don’t have that kind of space on their floors and will encourage the kind of organic idea sharing and innovation that doesn't happen in your typical office building, Sheena tells us. The lobby and second-floor space should be ready by the end of February.
Duane (here in the empty restaurant space) says the building has many pluses, with the location and views being in the center of the CBD and just one block from the Arts District. There’s an attached garage with a climate-controlled walkway and a 24-Hour Fitness facility on top of the garage. Sheena tells us the building will also host an open house this spring to view the new second-floor space, which will also display works of art from emerging artists from Dallas and New York.
This July, KPMG will vacate its space to make its new home at KPMG Plaza at Hall Arts. That space, on levels 28 to 34, will free up more than 200k SF. There’s another 154k SF spread out across seven floors. Duane says spaces like Lanyon (pictured) demonstrate the creativity and modern feel that can be achieved in the building. Designed by BOKA Powell (which also did the Omnitracs space), the firm wanted a space that accommodates its growing Millennial workforce featuring sustainable materials, a loft-style open design, and alternative workspaces such as cushioned cubbies and walking desks with built-in treadmills. Click here to see a slideshow of the Lanyon offices.