Iconic downtown Houston office tower renamed TC Energy Center
One of Houston’s most recognizable skyscrapers has a new name. The 56-story postmodern building at 700 Louisiana is now called TC Energy Center after its lead tenant, pipeline, power generation and gas storage company TC Energy Corp.
TC Energy occupies more than 300,000 square feet, roughly 25 percent, of the 1.25 million-square-foot building. The renaming was announced last week by building owner M-M Properties and Calgary, Alberta-based TC Energy, with representatives from Central Houston and the leasing teams at Madison Marquette and JLL on hand.
“We are over 8,000 strong, with over 3,600 U.S. employees and in-house contractors working across assets in 40 states,” Stan Chapman, TC Energy’s executive vice president and head of U.S. natural gas pipelines, said in a statement. “Over 1,000 members of our U.S. workforce are based in Houston and the majority are located in our U.S. headquarters — the TC Energy Center.”
Designed by architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee and developed by Hines in 1983 as RepublicBank Center, the building was most recently known as Bank of America Center. Its previous namesake tenant moved in June to consolidate its downtown operations to the new building at 800 Capitol, now called Bank of America Tower. The bank vacated 168,000 square feet at 700 Louisiana, including an expansive banking hall with 35 teller spots.
Louisiana Street is also home to Kinder Morgan, Enterprise Products Partners and Targa Resources.
The renaming comes six months after TC Energy changed its name from TransCanada to better reflect the scope of its operations across North America and growth in the U.S. The company says it transports about 25 percent of U.S. gas demand across 31,000 miles of pipeline and operates about 10 percent of U.S. natural gas storage. It is expanding its network to supply oil to refining markets in the Midwest and Gulf Coast.
TC Energy has been a tenant in the tower since mid-2013.
In TC Energy’s latest expansion at 700 Louisiana, the company leased another 40,000 square feet of former BofA space on floors 8 and 13. That gives it offices on floors seven through 16 and takes the building’s occupancy to 80 percent.
Terms were not disclosed, but asking rents for Class A space in downtown average $44 per square foot, according to Madison Marquette. The rate compares with $35 per square foot for the Houston area overall.
TC Energy, which will soon relocate 50 employees from Sage Plaza near the Galleria to downtown, doubled in size with the acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group in 2016, Chapman said at the event last week.
“The growth has been astronomical,” he said. “It’s largely been led by the infrastructure that we’ve been adding in the U.S. over the past couple of years that’s really transformed our U.S. business.”
Tenants at TC Energy Center will get new amenities in the coming years.
The building was built around an existing Western Union structure near Capitol Street, and the first phase of a $20 million renovation program will bring a white-tablecloth restaurant and 10,000 square feet of creative offices to the space. They will have views of Jones Plaza, which will be transformed into a green civic lawn with performance space and a restaurant starting next year.
The next phase of the renovations will add a tenant lounge and conference center, a lobby coffee bar and collaborative workspaces in the mezzanine above the former Bank of America lobby.
“It’s a beautiful banking hall, but we just don’t need it,” said Ken Moczulski, CEO of Houston-based M-M Properties.
As companies exit Class A buildings for new buildings such as Bank of America Tower and the upcoming Texas Tower, landlords are making redefining renovations to older buildings such as Allen Center, Houston Center and 700 Louisiana.
“Tenants continue to change they way they office,” said Jason Presley, a senior vice president with CBRE. “You’re going to see existing buildings continue to renovate.”