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Two Shell Plaza Renovations

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Just got this press release


DOWNTOWN HOUSTON LANDMARK SLATED FOR

MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR RENOVATION

 

Two Shell Plaza to be Strategically Repositioned

 

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(HOUSTON) - Hines, the international real estate firm, announced today that it will oversee a multi-million-dollar modernization and repositioning of Two Shell Plaza in the epicenter of downtown Houston.  The property, which is located on the block bounded by Louisiana, Milam,  Rusk, and Walker streets, will move its main entrance to Louisiana from Walker, and will be renamed 811 Louisiana. This classic tower is poised to be re-launched with a new look, a new entrance, lobby and an updated, modern aesthetic that will differentiate it from its taller sister, One Shell Plaza.

Originally designed by the legendary Bruce Graham of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 26-story, 565,538-square-foot office building contains 17 office levels (two subterranean) and 12 parking levels.  It sits at a prime crossroads of Houston's extensive tunnel system that links the property to other major downtown office buildings as well as a variety of restaurants, shops and amenities. 811 Louisiana offers highly efficient floor plates, a superior parking ratio for downtown buildings, several blocks of contiguous space, as well as naming rights potential.

811 Louisiana has undergone several major modernizations in its four-decade history.  The property underwent a complete upgrade of its mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in the early 90s and, just last year, Hines completed a $20 million capital upgrade to the building's infrastructure that restored it to current Class A standards for downtown office buildings.  Key elements of the work included: a new energy management system; elevator updates; new boilers and chillers; electrical riser replacement; exterior stone replacement; and new energy-efficient floor-to-ceiling dual-pane window and frame replacement on all office levels. 

811 Louisiana is extremely energy efficient as is evidenced by consecutive years of ENERGY STAR® labels and its LEED® Gold certification.  As part of the building's LEED certification, 70 percent of the materials from the renovation will be recycled.    Large 30,000-square-foot floor plates allow for flexible space planning.  The building contains ample visitor and tenant parking for 1,000 cars, with a ratio of 2.0 spaces per 1,000 square feet leased.  On site security is provided 24-7.

Starting in early April, Hines will oversee the expansion and renovation of the building's lobby as well as the first four floors of the building's façade, starting at the street level.  The new design envisioned by Page architects, will draw on the structure's classic, modern lines, respecting the building's architectural heritage while projecting a contemporary image.  Balfour Beatty is the general contractor and construction is expected to be complete by April of 2015.

Page's design calls for the building's lower façade to be re-clad in Virginia Mist granite, an elegant dark natural stone that contrasts with the existing travertine above.  Slot windows will complement the existing architecture, and the new exterior will be highlighted by a continuous band of LED light.  A recessed glass wall at ground level will draw pedestrians into the newly renovated lobby.  Metal louver canopies will provide shading for passersby and signify the new corner entry to 811 Louisiana.

The expanded lobby space will include a lounge area for informal tenant meetings.  Gray Aquasol quartzite will take the place of the white Travertine-clad walls, with accents of black Concordia to tie in the new exterior cladding and provide a backdrop for tenant identity signage.  Wood veneer walls will distinguish the elevator lobbies, and backlit glass doors will brighten the space.  The building's 12 elevator cabs will get a fresh new look with fully updated interiors.  The lobby's trademark gold-leaf ceilings will revert to Skidmore's original pure white concept and will feature LED lighting.  Textured glass feature walls and a light installation above the escalators will draw traffic from the tunnels and mark the arrival to the ultra-modern 811 Louisiana.

Hines Senior Property Manager Jon Cogdill said, "We have been committed to downtown Houston since the founding of the firm more than five decades ago.  Having managed 811 Louisiana since its inception, we are pleased to be on the team that ownership has assembled to re-launch the property into the upper tier of Class A buildings in the CBD."

 

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The article and press release seem to be silent about the restaurant that currently occupies that corner...  I hope this doesn't result in the loss of ground floor retail. 

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Excellent color choice for the bottom floors. I'm happy its a tiny renovation to the Facade, major updates in the interior, and keeping most of the original look of the building.

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The restaurant that was on the southwest corner has been gone for a couple months now, and wasn't any great loss.  Somewhat overpriced, relentlessly mediocre Chinese food with truly awful service.  It's a wonder it remained around as long as it did.  

 

Hines has apparently recently discovered The Lobby Experience.  601 Travis (formerly Chase Center) also had some ground floor retail removed in favor of a significantly enlarged lobby, complete with seating.  BG was built that way from the start.

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The company name sign in the rendering is "Sinnombre Energy" which means "without a name" in Spanish.  The overreaction crowd would determine that means Shell's gone

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The company name sign in the rendering is "Sinnombre Energy" which means "without a name" in Spanish.  The overreaction crowd would determine that means Shell's gone

 

We already know (and the change of the name of the building re-confirms) that Shell is essentially gone from this building.  But that's pretty funny on the architect's part.

 

Edited by Houston19514

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We already know (and the change of the name of the building re-confirms) that Shell is essentially gone from this building. But that's pretty funny on the architect's part.

So Shell is indeed following Exxons lead in moving to the middle of nowhere?

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So Shell is indeed following Exxons lead in moving to the middle of nowhere?

Demographic center of houston = middle of nowhere

Got it.

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Ah, I didn't read the article until now. New thread created for Two Shell Plaza.

 

Yea, just give it some time.... the Allen Center facelift announcement is coming soon.  ;)

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Demographic center of houston = middle of nowhere

Got it.

I may be wrong but I was under the impression shell was moving up north.

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Yeah, somewhere between Spring and The Woodlands is nowhere near the "demographic center of Houston." And if its Camp Strake then that's actually outside the Houston metro area (I believe.)

 

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Yeah, somewhere between Spring and The Woodlands is nowhere near the "demographic center of Houston." And if its Camp Strake then that's actually outside the Houston metro area (I believe.)

 

No.  Camp Strake is not outside the Houston metro area.   

 

I think he (swtsig) was referring to the actual Shell campus in the Energy Corridor, not the imaginary one up north.

Edited by Houston19514

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I think Houston should be ready to buy these parc of land .. and place them in the incetive zone of Res development if these projects fall thou... Downtown Houston is trying to do something and I for one am sick of these companies buying land and sitting on them for decades.. while they twitle their thumps.. Ither crap or get off the pot but never again should we let these companies treat Houston like the red headed step child. hindering our developlemt till they decided to grace us with their presence.. Buy the land and place it under a residental tax incetive program

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Even the Energy Corridor is well west of the city's demographic center. Even if you pretend that nothing exists east of Downtown, the Energy Corridor would still not be the demographic center.

 

I wonder if, after they finish filling in greenfields between Spring and The Woodlands, the area between The Woodlands and Conroe will be next. I suppose it probably won't even take that long. 

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I definitely have mixed feelings about this remodeling.  In general I am convinced that any major remodeling destroys both architectural integrity and the long-term economic value of the property.  Try to find me one good example of a major remodeling that ultimately wasn't regretted (read the 806 Main thread)*.  And in this case, the refacing is covering up the sole architecturally interesting component of the existing facade, the lower-floor windows sized to give the impression of arches.  

 

That said, this isn't a case I would probably want to put a stake in the ground about, or chain myself to the doors to prevent.  Even with the arched windows Two Shell has always verged on total anonymity downtown.  I'm not sure anyone would ever really call it out as a prime example of the 1967 - 1972 style of bland semi-brutalist office buildings.  That isn't my favorite style to begin with.  

 

 

* Offhand list of regrettable downtown "modernizations":

Lamar Hotel

West Building

C&I Building

Kirby Building

806 Main

Krupp & Tuffley Building (Main at Walker)

Block across Main from Gulf Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I definitely have mixed feelings about this remodeling. In general I am convinced that any major remodeling destroys both architectural integrity and the long-term economic value of the property. Try to find me one good example of a major remodeling that ultimately wasn't regretted (read the 806 Main thread)*. And in this case, the refacing is covering up the sole architecturally interesting component of the existing facade, the lower-floor windows sized to give the impression of arches.

That said, this isn't a case I would probably want to put a stake in the ground about, or chain myself to the doors to prevent. Even with the arched windows Two Shell has always verged on total anonymity downtown. I'm not sure anyone would ever really call it out as a prime example of the 1967 - 1972 style of bland semi-brutalist office buildings. That isn't my favorite style to begin with.

* Offhand list of regrettable downtown "modernizations":

Lamar Hotel

West Building

C&I Building

Kirby Building

806 Main

Krupp & Tuffley Building (Main at Walker)

Block across Main from Gulf Building

Didn't the old Bank of the Southwest building have a renovation like this on it's lower floors at one point? They look kind of non-50's.

I'd add the Bender/San Jacinto Hotel to your list, and maybe the Chronicle building.

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Didn't the old Bank of the Southwest building have a renovation like this on it's lower floors at one point? They look kind of non-50's.

I'd add the Bender/San Jacinto Hotel to your list, and maybe the Chronicle building.

 

The Bank of the Southwest building was facelifted I think in the 1990s.  At least it was minor compared to some of these.

 

Definitely the Chronicle.  The Bender/San Jacinto building is an interesting case.  It was more than just a refacing like the others on the list.  The original structure was not only refaced, but it was more than doubled in size and re-purposed from a hotel to an office building. 

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Although I love glass and metal cladding as an update, I am so glad they are keeping a sense of history with this one.

 

Where does one detect the sense of history?  The more I look at the rendering the more it reminds me of black shoes paired with white socks.

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Where does one detect the sense of history?  The more I look at the rendering the more it reminds me of black shoes paired with white socks.

At least the entire facade isn't going to be blue glass. This bottom floor renovation works with the color of the building. Not quite as fabulous as the Tenneco Building lobby redo, but still modern. 

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Posted this in another thread, but it probably belongs here...

 

I don't understand how Shell signed a lease for 1.3 million sf of space downtown in 2011, and then decides now that they don't need 357k of it.

 

A couple of interesting statements from an article in 2012:

 

Today, Shell’s downtown offices occupy space at One Shell, Two Shell, Pennzoil Place and Two Houston Center, but by 2014 the company will be in One Shell, Two Shell and 1000 Main. Shell is working towards modernizing its workplace, to allow for greater collaboration and less isolation of employees. The company expects the size of the staff to stay the same, but the workflow and interaction will become more efficient.

 

“Following a very detailed analysis of options available within downtown and in suburban areas, a renewal at One and Two Shell most closely matched our business needs and employee experience we wanted to create,” says Jeri A. Ballard, vice president of global real estate strategy & portfolio for Royal Dutch Shell. “This included access to amenities, public transportation options, minimized commute time, economics and total carbon footprint of the location.” Ballard adds that no other part of town offers the depth of amenities found downtown.

 

“We did evaluate constructing a new building in the Houston central business district, but the One and Two Shell options most closely meet our needs,” says Ballard. “Hines will be going through a major base building modernization of One and Two Shell, which will ensure that they will remain class A buildings for years to come.”

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I think Houston should be ready to buy these parc of land .. and place them in the incetive zone of Res development if these projects fall thou... Downtown Houston is trying to do something and I for one am sick of these companies buying land and sitting on them for decades.. while they twitle their thumps.. Ither crap or get off the pot but never again should we let these companies treat Houston like the red headed step child. hindering our developlemt till they decided to grace us with their presence.. Buy the land and place it under a residental tax incetive program

 

what in god's name are you harpnig about? Houston is currently the number one city for real estate investment and development. more companies are relocating here than almost any other city in the country. and do you know why? b/c of these companies who "buy and sit on [land] for decades while twitling their thumps(?)". get a grip.

 

Even the Energy Corridor is well west of the city's demographic center. Even if you pretend that nothing exists east of Downtown, the Energy Corridor would still not be the demographic center.

 

I wonder if, after they finish filling in greenfields between Spring and The Woodlands, the area between The Woodlands and Conroe will be next. I suppose it probably won't even take that long. 

 

you are wrong. 

 

Demographic center of Houston is at I-10 and Silber

 

moving out towards i-10 and the beltway.

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what in god's name are you harpnig about? Houston is currently the number one city for real estate investment and development. more companies are relocating here than almost any other city in the country. and do you know why? b/c of these companies who "buy and sit on [land] for decades while twitling their thumps(?)". get a grip.

 

 

 

 

 

I was being half serious and half joking dude.. second if you cant reply with a little more respect then dont reply at all

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To be honest, Houston has been a red-headed step child historically for a number of reasons. 

Edited by kdog08

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Balfour Beatty? Hmmf. I would have picked someone else, like a Linbeck or a Bellows, but Hines can choose whoever they want. I'm sure the finished product will be good enough for most folks.

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Balfour Beatty? Hmmf. I would have picked someone else, like a Linbeck or a Bellows, but Hines can choose whoever they want. I'm sure the finished product will be good enough for most folks.

 

I'll bet Hines will be relieved to get this news.  ;-)

 

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Yikes! Looks just awful and it doesn't even match the building. Should have left the classic stone cladding alone. Not every tower needs to look like it's sitting on top of a parking garage podium because essentially that's what this looks like now, albeit poorly done.

Edited by intencity77
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