Hess Tower Sale Could Set New Record

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor As the brand new Hess Tower hits the market; speculation has it that the tower could set a new record for the Houston commercial market. Real estate experts estimate that the 29-story building could fetch as [...]

As the brand new Hess Tower hits the market; speculation has it that the tower could set a new record for the Houston commercial market. Real estate experts estimate that the 29-story building could fetch as much as $444 million—or $525 per square foot—for developer and owner Trammell Crow Co.

Located in the eastern entertainment section of the Central Business District, the Hess Tower sits adjacent to Discovery Green, Houston’s $122 million, 12-acre downtown park, offering unobstructed views and pedestrian access to the park and surrounding amenities such as the Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park, George R. Brown convention center and Hilton Americas Hotel. Two skybridges connect the 844,763-square-foot tower to its garage and to 5 Houston Center.

Construction on the office building began in March 2008, and by January 2009 it had already landed a major lease; global integrated energy company Hess Corp. signed a long-term lease to occupy the entire 844,763-square-foot building at 1501 McKinney St. Previously unveiled as a 30-story, 871,000-square-foot building, the tower has been customized to accommodate Hess Corp., including several design modifications to maximize flexibility, achieve long-term growth and provide for employee amenities. The building was also renamed in honor of the anchor tenant’s significant occupancy commitment, having initially been named Discovery Tower. Hess recently moved into the new tower, vacating the space it was leasing in Allen Center.

If estimates are accurate, the LEED Gold-certified Hess Tower would break both the record for total sales price, currently held by downtown’s Bank of America Center ($367 million), and the record per square foot, held by another Trammell Crow building, Energy Center Two ($306 per square foot).