North Houston District 2016 Top Deals Include Amazon and More

Online retail giant Amazon is among the businesses moving into the North Houston District’s more than 20 million-square-feet of office, retail and industrial space. A key player in the region’s economy, the District’s growth is showcased by an ever-expanding corporate family of local and multi-national companies.

Amazon Construction 

Seattle-based Amazon is constructing a 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Pinto Business Park at the southwest corner of Interstate 45 and the North Sam Houston Parkway. Construction is underway, with operations projected to begin in the third quarter of this year. The warehouse and distribution space, with a total investment of more than $130 million, will occupy nearly 10 percent of the 970-acre Pinto Business Park.

In addition to more than 1,000 new, full-time jobs, the facility also could provide part-time temporary and seasonal jobs. It is estimated the center could have an annual economic impact of $172.9 million.

Purchases and Leases Strong Overall 

Purchases and leases continued to be robust, with many businesses deciding to make the District their home. In total, CoStar reports show more than 140 leases and more than 30 sales in the Greenspoint submarket in 2016.

Highlights include:

Lowe’s leased 159,913-square-feet at the Prologis Greens Parkway facility, which was reported as the top industrial lease in the second quarter by CBRE research.

Porsche of North Houston, owned by Houston-based Indigo Auto Group, is relocating to the District and expanding its dealership. The new 64,000-square-foot facility will allow the dealership to expand to 26 from 8 service bays and will be adjacent to Indigo’s existing Lamborghini Houston and IndiGO Classic Cars dealerships. The 5-acre facility is scheduled to open in June.

Industrial Property Trust purchased a 190,565-square-foot industrial building at 302 West Road. The building is fully leased to Victory Packaging.

Hass Holdings purchased the West Road Collection neighborhood shopping center for $15 million. The 65,798-square-foot center at the northwest corner of West Road and Interstate 45 is 98 percent leased with Best Buy as the main tenant.

Bureau Veritas, a global company in testing, inspection and certification services headquartered in France, leased 44,000-square-feet at Greenspoint Park.

Vantiv, a leading payment processing company headquartered in Cincinnati, leased 41,000-square-feet at the Reserve at Greens Crossing. Vantiv is the second-largest merchant acquirer and the largest PIN debit acquirer based on number of transactions in the U.S.

White Oak Energy, an engineering based company that acquires and operates oil producing properties in the Gulf Coast region of Texas and Louisiana, leased 22,000-square-feet at 16945 Northchase Drive. With this move, the company upgraded to Class A office space and expanded by 40 percent.

Rapid Laser has leased 11,516-square-feet at Hardy Properties at Intercontinental, located at 15503 West Hardy Road.

Bargain Storage, which located its newest 631-unit facility at 12555 Northborough Drive, opened for business in October 2016.

Opportunities for Companies Seeking Headquarters

Significant investments continue to be made in the area’s office projects. Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) is investing roughly $2.8 million worth of renovations at 396 West Greens Road, one of several buildings previously occupied by Exxon Mobil. The 189,000-square-foot, 36-year-old building will be spruced up and modernized. Renovations should wrap up in February, and potential tenants have already expressed interest in floor plans ranging from 5,000-square-feet to 80,000-square-feet.

In 2016, Northwestern Mutual took ownership of the six-building, 2.1 million-square-foot office complex that was another long-time home for Exxon Mobil. Previous owner, General Motors Pension Fund, invested millions in upgrades, adding a 7,000-square-foot fitness facility and state-of-the-art conference center. Northwestern Mutual has engaged Transwestern to market and lease the project. Transwestern has more than 100,000-square-feet of new transactions in the works.

“The premier location offers the largest block of Class A office space in a campus environment in all of Texas,” said Michelle Wogan, Transwestern’s executive vice president in charge of the project. “Many tenants are seeking a relocation to this campus due to its close proximity to the airport, ability to get almost anywhere in Houston in less than 30 minutes, residential communities within close proximity, connection to the Hilton and retail amenities, wireless access and other conveniences that corporate tenants look for in today’s environment.”

For more information on the North Houston District’s development activity, go to www.northhouston.org or call 281-874-2131.

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