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Breaking Down Houston's Sublease Overload

As the price of oil hovers around $30/barrel, Houston’s energy-dependent companies are turning to the sublease market to unload the massive square footage they picked up when oil was raking in the dough. As of Feb. 23, Houston has 8.6M SF of sublease availability, an increase of 76% since year-end 2014. With data from Transwestern, we pulled out the biggest blocks and the heaviest-hit submarkets. 

Energy Corridor


Sublease space: 2.2M SF

Increase from YE 2014: 1.3M SF or 155%

Largest Block: 242k SF

Sublessor: Conoco

Listed: March 2015



Sublease space: 1.9M SF

Increase from YE 2014: 741k SF or 65%

Largest Block: 350k SF

Sublessor: Shell

Listed: February 2016

Shell Oil, one of Houston’s marquee firms, put its 350k SF block in One Shell Plaza on the market last week with Cushman & Wakefield.



Sublease space: 1.2M SF

Increase from YE 2014: 902k SF or 291%

Largest Block: 252k SF

Sublessor: Phillips 66

Listed: June 2015

Westchase has increased its sublease offerings a whopping 291% since the first half of 2015.  This was underlined when Apache Corp offered 98k SF for sublease at its One Briarlake Plaza facility in January.



Sublease space: 846k SF

Increase from YE 2014: 414k SF or 96%

Largest Block: 160k SF

Sublessor: BHP Billiton

Listed: February 2016

Adding to the pain, Marathon Oil just put 81k SF on the market.

Greenspoint/North Belt


Sublease space: 623k SF

Increase from YE 2014: 8k SF or 1%

Largest Block: 204k SF

Sublessor: Noble Energy

Listed: 2012