Downtown Redevelopment Craze Spreads To Allen Center
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With over 8M SF of office space on the market downtown, many building owners see now as the time to begin redevelopment. Esperson, 708 & 712 Main, 600 Jefferson and now Allen Center are all part of the revitalization craze sweeping Downtown.
City council member Robert Gallegos sees the slew of office redevelopment as part of the overall strategy to revitalize Houston’s core urban district. The Downtown Living Initiative tax incentive—a program that awards $15k per unit in tax rebates to developers who create homes or multifamily projects—has been very successful at attracting developers Downtown. The fervor isn't just limited to multifamily. A plethora of new hotels and some offices are also in the pipeline. With so many developments going on Downtown there's increasing pressure for older buildings to stay competitive.
To that end, Brookfield executives and city officials gathered for the groundbreaking of a $48.5M redevelopment of the iconic '70s-era Allen Center into a beautiful modern performance space in the heart of Downtown. The vision aims to make the property a destination for more than just work, offering a mix of new amenities catering to active professionals moving Downtown. The signature piece will be the complete reimagining of the exterior landscaped space between One and Two Allen Center. The new design removes the skybridge closest to Smith Street and the berm under it, reconfiguring the space as a one-acre tree-lined lawn stretching from Smith to the western skybridge.
The performance venue is envisioned at the western bridge, taking advantage of the lawn as a large gathering space. Smaller-scale nooks with furniture are tucked away among trees along the lawn to emphasize the intended active nature of the project. Arts Brookfield, the cultural arm of Brookfield, will animate the space with world-class art installations and performances.
A major part of Allen Center’s redevelopment will be the addition of a co-working space, another hallmark of a modern office. With buildings all around Houston adding their own co-working space, Central Houston president Bob Eury says it won't be long before a major co-working space provider opens in Houston.
Construction is set to begin in June. The design was a creation of Dallas-based Morrison Dilworth + Walls while the landscaping architect is the Houston-based Office of James Burnett. D.E. Harvey Builders will execute the plans. Disturbance from construction will be kept low. Commercial Gateway’s latest March data shows Allen Center has a combined 265k SF on the market with an additional 200k SF of sublease space listed.
Hear more about this project and other Downtown activity at Bisnow's Future of Downtown event May 25 at the Hilton Americas!