Cheniere Energy will move its global headquarters to a new office skyscraper in Houston

Cheniere Energy, the liquefied natural gas company, is moving its global headquarters to one of the newest downtown office skyscrapers in one of the Central Business District’s biggest commercial real estate deals this year.

Cheniere Energy has leased 151,490 square feet of office space and approximately 16,700 square feet of outdoor space at 845 Texas Avenue. The business will move next year from 700 Milam to Pennzoil Place.

Cheniere Energy is among five new office tenants who recently signed on for Texas Tower, the 47-story tower being developed by Houston-based real estate company Hines and Canadian real estate company Ivanhoé Cambridge. Designed by Connecticut-based architecture firm Pelli Clarke & Partners, the skyline-changing 1.2 million-square-foot tower opened in December and already has about 70 rentals, Hines said.

Cheniere’s move is part of an ongoing trend toward quality in which companies move to newer office buildings that often have improved sustainability features and other updated building benefits such as modern designs, more outdoor space, restaurants and high-tech conference centers. While the flight-to-quality trend was well established before the pandemic, it has become even more pronounced among companies looking to entice employees back to the office, including Cheniere.

“Companies absolutely must seek out differentiated, hyper-amenity, quality locations if they are to bring all of their employees back,” said John Mooz, Hines’ senior managing director. (This theme) keeps coming back. We have just signed five leases and everyone has said so.

Cheniere was drawn to the Texas Tower in part because of the building’s LEED Platinum designation, the highest level attainable in the US Green Building Council’s popular sustainability rating system.

“Our new Texas Tower headquarters reflects our company culture, with LEED-certified efficiency, vibrant green spaces that inspire innovation, and modern workspaces where teamwork can thrive,” said Jack. Fusco, chief executive of Cheniere, in a statement. “Over the years and through the pandemic, Cheniere has remained committed to maintaining a presence in downtown Houston that provides the best working environment for our team.”

Cheniere has 550 employees working downtown, along with a varying number of contractors, Michael Dove, Cheniere’s senior vice president, said in an email. The move comes as the company continues to expand its operations along the Gulf Coast.

Cheniere is moving from the north tower of Pennzoil Place, the iconic downtown office tower. There, Cheniere occupies 188,100 square feet on floors 16 through 24, said Tyler Garrett, senior vice president at Transwestern, which leads the tower’s leasing.

The company maintains a full-time, in-person work schedule, bucking the trend of hybrid and remote work policies that have developed during the pandemic, especially among larger downtown employers.

“We believe our teams collaborate and innovate better when we are together. Texas Tower will be a great home for Cheniere employees and teams, as collaborative space has been incorporated throughout the design,” said Dove. “Also, it doesn’t hurt that we have a lot of Astros fans who like to walk to games.”

More than 60% of Hines office tenants had returned to the in-person office in some capacity, Hines said in May. That percentage has continued to rise, though fewer office workers are coming into the office during the summer vacation season and companies continue to employ a mix of in-person and hybrid work policies, Mooz said Monday. ..

The rise in remote work has thrown more uncertainty into an already challenging office market in Houston, where about 27% of office space was available for rent in the first quarter of 2022, according to data from real estate firm Transwestern. About 32% of office space was available in the central business district.

Despite Houston’s chronically high vacancy rates, new office buildings are still attracting tenants. Other new leases at Texas Tower include a 10,412 square foot lease from Chicago Title and a 4,748 square foot office for Charter Title Company, two real estate title companies affiliated with Fidelity National Financial.

Hines has also rented an entire floor from an undisclosed commercial company that is expected to move next year. Singapore-based commercial company Trafigura has signed on for 31,000 square feet in the building, according to local property sources and data from commercial property data firm CoStar. Trafigura currently has about a full floor of space at 5 Houston Center with a lease expiring next year, according to building sources.

Recently, the law firm Novak Druce also moved into the Texas Tower in a 9,500 square foot suite, joining the law firms of Vinson & Elkins, McGuire Woods and DLA Piper as well as what will become the headquarters of Hines. in the tower. Chicago-based hospitality company What If Syndicate is also bringing its wood-fired restaurant called Etta and another eatery called Café Sophie to the build, though no timetable has been released for restaurants they might add. at the lure of the tower.

“As the corporate world embraces new ways of working and what that means for their business, we truly believe that a highly-appointed workplace is the key to collaboration, engagement, attracting and retaining talent and that’s what Texas Tower truly embodies,” said Charlie Musgrave. , Vice President, Office Leasing at Ivanhoé Cambridge.

For recent office contracts, Michael Anderson of Cushman and Wakefield represented Hines and Ivanhoé Cambridge in lease negotiations. Chris Oliver, Trey Strake, David Guion with Cushman and Wakefield represented Cheniere Energy. Don King with JLL and Erik Ozolins with Orion Realty represented Chicago Title. Chip Horne of Cushman and Wakefield and Ryan Tiernan of Orion Realty represented Charter Title. Savills’ Mark O’Donnell represented Novak Druce. Bryant Lach with JLL represented the trading company.

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