A rendering of 5555 San Felipe
Similar to other major cities across the country, Houston’s office market was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Now, however, things are looking up as signs point to employees returning to the office and improving leasing activity.
As the Houston economy revives, companies are resuming their searches to find the best office space — one that offers the type of modern design and amenities that get employees excited about returning to the office. Some companies may think this means searching for the newest high-rise, but they can find what they are looking for in an established, iconic building in Houston’s West Loop/Galleria submarket.
5555 San Felipe, formerly known as the Marathon Oil Tower, was built in 1983 and stands as a well-known feature in the heart of Tanglewood and the Galleria submarket, Houston’s original live, work and play environment. In May, M-M Properties and CBRE announced the completion of a $15M interior renovation project that transforms the tower into a hospitality-inspired workspace aimed at today’s tenants.
A rendering of a common area at 5555 San Felipe
“The building has been meticulously maintained for decades since it was originally commissioned as a global corporate headquarters facility,” CBRE Executive Vice President John Spafford said. “The building has already established its iconic stature and landmark status, and the opportunity to reposition and transform the project into a modern, sustainable and innovative workspace was very attractive to M-M Properties.”
The renovations to this 41-story Class-A building include an active lobby lounge designed to serve as the social hub of the building, with coffee service, collaborative seating, co-working space, WiFi and a 4K media wall. The lobby lounge incorporates curated art pieces such as a Houston-themed digital/textile wall tapestry by Detroit-based Margo Wolowiec and Les Colombes, an original porcelain flock of origami-style doves created by German artist Michael Pendry.
A rendering of Cafe 5555
M-M Properties installed Cafe5555, a food-hall style café, on the ground floor, featuring healthy dine-in or takeaway food options from FLIK Hospitality, which also offers a catering and event planning service. 5555 includes a fully staffed, resort-style fitness center with a variety of machines, bikes and free weight equipment, lockers, showers and sauna facilities. Personal training, health and wellness assessments, and group and individual fitness classes are provided by FIT5555.
Flexible workspace is in high demand as companies rethink how much office space they need coming out of the pandemic. Serendipity Labs, a flexible workplace provider in Houston, has leased 28K SF and occupies the entire 20th floor of the building. It offers private offices, team rooms and flexible on-demand spaces for overflow, conferences and temporary projects.
Looking ahead, M-M Properties plans to add a full-service restaurant and bar, a programmable activity lawn and valet parking, with connectivity to the building and to the neighborhood.
A rendering of a common area at 5555 San Felipe
Along with its amenities, Spafford said, the building has several sustainable features. It has achieved LEED Gold certification as well as the WELL Health and Safety Rating from the International WELL Building Institute, one of the first buildings in Houston to achieve this status. IWBI honors buildings that are working to improve individuals’ health and overall in-building experience through design.
“The focus on providing a healthy and safe environment for tenants and their employees has never been more critical,” Spafford said. “5555 San Felipe provides the ultimate vertical campus, with optionality for food choices, workspace configurations and collaborative areas, health and wellness facilities, and green space.”
The building’s San Felipe and Yorktown location provides access to all major freeways and is near a variety of restaurants, shops and hotels. 5555 San Felipe is currently offering a unique corporate headquarters opportunity with approximately 540K SF of contiguous space available on floors 21-41, the top half of the building, with unmatched views. 5555 can accommodate spaces for multi-floor, single floor or smaller tenants, and available suites are ready for occupancy.
The transformation of the building is already showing results. Nearly 50K SF of new leases have been executed in the past 60 days, highlighted by a 35K SF lease with WaterBridge Holdings, a midstream water management company relocating from West Houston. Other leases include real estate investment firm KM Realty, consulting firm RSK UK and accounting firm Blakely & Weeks-Thome.
“We are extremely pleased with the activity and look forward to securing a new namesake tenant,” Spafford said.
This article was produced in collaboration between M-M Properties and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.
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