The Next Big Houston Office Market Is...
When Vista Cos/Amstar first built offices in LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch in ’07, there weren't many others nearby. But it blazed the way—18 office buildings are under construction or planned in Katy, and it's rapidly becoming its own office submarket.
Transwestern VP Louann Pereira (who handles office leasing at LaCenterra with SVP Paul Wittorf) says office tenant activity in Katy is pretty broad-based, a sign it's becoming a full submarket instead of a niche play. LaCenterra is getting a lot of financial services activity, and oil and gas firms are looking at the area. (They're often drawn to value office plays like Grandway West--Insite has five office buildings totaling 780k SF planned in the area.) Katy’s also starting to steal users from the Energy Corridor and Westchase. The draw: the delivery of the Grand Parkway, the multitude of execs who live in Katy and Sugar Land, often cheaper rents and incentives from the Katy EDC.
Six office buildings are under construction in Katy totaling 700k SF, and 12 buildings aggregating 1.5M SF are in planning. LaCenterra, which offers Grand Parkway frontage and signage (that’s suddenly a significant appeal, says Louann) is also upping its office game and targeting larger tenants, with a 125k SF office tower planned to break ground in Q2 ’15 (rendered here). It’ll be the fourth and final phase of LaCenterra, and Louann tells us its 25k SF floorplates will appeal to larger users. (Or small users who like to stretch their legs.)
LaCenterra’s first phase of office—90k SF—leased up very quickly and Phase 3 (36k SF) delivered Nov. 1 with 43% pre-leased to Regus and Cook Realty Group. (In this recent construction photo, Phase 3 is the white roof.) Notably, the phase’s 36k SF of retail includes Katy’s first Trader Joe’s. CBRE’s Elliott Hirshfeld and Mike Kay repped Regus, and Keller Williams’ Les Stretch repped Cook.