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609 Main at Texas: Hines Next Downtown Tower

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Yes and no.  The people who re-did it did not find tenants.  But they did sell it.  It was purchased by the Episcopal Health Foundation.  They plan to move their offices into the upper floors (may have already moved in).

 

The first floor and mezzanine have been leased to Christ Church Cathedral. It will house the Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer.

 

I have nothing against prayer (in fact I'm all for it), but if ground floor space is being leased to a prayer center, either that is one lucrative prayer center or one weak leasing market. Probably the latter.

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I have nothing against prayer (in fact I'm all for it), but if ground floor space is being leased to a prayer center, either that is one lucrative prayer center or one weak leasing market. Probably the latter.

 

Well, Christ Church is right across the street...

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^^^ we have stated it once, we have stated it a thousand times, this is going to be one GORGEOUS tower!


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Well, Christ Church is right across the street...

 

That doesn't really affect the economics of ground floor retail space. For a normal retail rent, the tenant needs a certain amount of revenue from retail sales in order to provide a reasonable profit after subtracting rent, operating expenses, overhead. Prayer obviously doesn't bring in any money (at least not directly), so for ground floor retail space to be used as a prayer center, the rent must be much lower than the rent you can get from, say, a sub shop or café or pizzeria.

 

The church I suppose has some motivation to pay for a space close to their campus, but typically I think you'd put your prayer center in an upper floor where rent is cheaper and there is more solitude anyway. (Aside: isn't the "prayer center" traditionally the church itself?) This seems like it was just there for the taking at a bargain basement rate, sort of like the Good Will center or City Annex offices where there used to be a grocery store at your local shopping center.

 

tl;dr - Institutional users in retail spaces does not indicate a healthy retail market. Hopefully when downtown's population doubles in a few years we stop seeing this.

Edited by H-Town Man

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That doesn't really affect the economics of ground floor retail space. For a normal retail rent, the tenant needs a certain amount of revenue from retail sales in order to provide a reasonable profit after subtracting rent, operating expenses, overhead. Prayer obviously doesn't bring in any money (at least not directly), so for ground floor retail space to be used as a prayer center, the rent must be much lower than the rent you can get from, say, a sub shop or café or pizzeria.

 

The church I suppose has some motivation to pay for a space close to their campus, but typically I think you'd put your prayer center in an upper floor where rent is cheaper and there is more solitude anyway. (Aside: isn't the "prayer center" traditionally the church itself?) This seems like it was just there for the taking at a bargain basement rate, sort of like the Good Will center or City Annex offices where there used to be a grocery store at your local shopping center.

 

tl;dr - Institutional users in retail spaces does not indicate a healthy retail market. Hopefully when downtown's population doubles in a few years we stop seeing this.

 

It is hardly news to anyone that the downtown street level retail market is not particularly strong. 

 

Having said that, this particular transaction tells us literally nothing about the "market."  The landlord is a nonprofit foundation.  The tenant is a closely-related nonprofit entity.

 

And, FWIW, the church indeed wanted street-level, street-front space for this facility.  They very specifically did not want it hidden away in the upper levels of the large church complex.  They want a very visible outreach to and engagement with the downtown community, especially the thousands of new residents coming soon.

 

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It is hardly news to anyone that the downtown street level retail market is not particularly strong. 

 

Having said that, this particular transaction tells us literally nothing about the "market."  The landlord is a nonprofit foundation.  The tenant is a closely-related nonprofit entity.

 

And, FWIW, the church indeed wanted street-level, street-front space for this facility.  They very specifically did not want it hidden away in the upper levels of the large church complex.  They want a very visible outreach to and engagement with the downtown community, especially the thousands of new residents coming soon.

 

 

Nonsense, any transaction tells you something about the market. I don't care if the landlord is the Archbishop of Canterbury, if they can get $30/SF leasing the space to a coffee shop or something else that would tastefully complement the upstairs office use and the church campus, they would in a second, and then all the Episcopalians would have a nice hangout to go to on the way from the prayer center (wherever it ended up) to the office and vice versa.

 

And obviously the church wanted the street-level space if it was there for the taking, although I would be interested in seeing whatever quotes you've read that tell you that they "very specifically" rejected a location in the upper levels. I would bet strongly however that they did not want it so bad as to pay a retail-level rent for it, which tells you that retail tenants were uninterested... which tells you something about the market.

Edited by H-Town Man

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It appears 609 is 20 some feet taller than the 240 foot garage across the street. This means they are approximately 1/3rd the way up. This is going to be one tall building.

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On ground floor retail, the old site for the tower was a McDonald's, which was demolished for a skyscraper that never came to be. They even had supposedly signed a lease. Could a McDonald's be a tenant for 609 Main??

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I seriously doubt Hines would lease GFR to a McDonalds.. They have standards. From what I've heard a Walgreens wanted to open in the base of one of their office towers awhile back (before Page/ moved their offices into the space) and they said no.

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I seriously doubt Hines would lease GFR to a McDonalds.. They have standards. From what I've heard a Walgreens wanted to open in the base of one of their office towers awhile back (before Page/ moved their offices into the space) and they said no.

At least we have a rumor for a first tenant.

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On ground floor retail, the old site for the tower was a McDonald's, which was demolished for a skyscraper that never came to be. They even had supposedly signed a lease. Could a McDonald's be a tenant for 609 Main??

 

Highly doubtful that Hines would honor any agreement made ca. 2004 between McDonald's and Tracy Suttles' Shamrock.

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I seriously doubt Hines would lease GFR to a McDonalds.. They have standards. From what I've heard a Walgreens wanted to open in the base of one of their office towers awhile back (before Page/ moved their offices into the space) and they said no.

 

Would make sense for there to be a Walgreen's - just a few blocks away is that CVS, and Walgreen's and CVS like to be as close to each other as possible 

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They were anchoring the northern tower crane for a jump, counted 6 new vertical sections on the ground.

 

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Looks like Google Maps might have done a recent update. You can now see this project and several others currently under construction. 

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Looks like Google Maps might have done a recent update. You can now see this project and several others currently under construction.

Not me! I use the progress at US 290 and Beltway 8 to check if anythings new. The frontage roads should have overpasses, and they don't.

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Not me! I use the progress at US 290 and Beltway 8 to check if anythings new. The frontage roads should have overpasses, and they don't.

Not all of Houston is captured in one "flyover" or however it's done. It's a big city...

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