Skanska to build 28-story office building in downtown Houston

Skanska to build 28-story office building in downtown Houston
1550 on the Green Image : Courtesy of Skanska

Skanska announced that it has signed a 15-year lease with the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP for its planned office tower development in downtown Houston.

Once complete, the site located at 1550 Lamar Street will be a 28-story, 375,000-square-foot Class-A office building adjacent to Discovery Green and close to Bank of America Tower which Skanska developed and sold in 2019.

The company purchased the land parcel for $55 million in October 2019.

The law firm, which has more than more than 175 lawyers in its Houston office, will rent 32 percent of the total space as the anchor tenant.

”As part of its long-term lease agreement, the firm’s Houston office expects to relocate in 2024 and acquire naming rights upon occupancy,” said Skanska in a press release.

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“As an organization that prides itself on building what matters to our communities, our team, made up of Houstonians, has been working alongside local stakeholders to develop a plan and a building that will transform this side of downtown Houston while still meeting the needs of the city,” said Matt Damborsky, Executive Vice President for Skanska USA Commercial Development’s Houston market. “At 1550 on the Green, we look forward to welcoming Norton Rose Fulbright and creating a transformational development that embraces the surrounding greenery and the culture of downtown Houston.”

“Norton Rose Fulbright takes great pride in being part of the fabric of downtown Houston for more than a century,” said Carter Crow, Partner-in-Charge of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Houston office. “We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to our move into this modern and energizing space, where we will continue to provide first-class service to our clients and give back to this community that is so important to us.”

Located on the city block bound by La Branch, Lamar, Crawford and Dallas Streets, 1550 on the Green will be a part of a three-block master plan by Skanska and is being designed to achieve LEED® Platinum certification. The building will feature extra-wide pedestrian zones with a canopy of trees, two tenant-exclusive outdoor roof terraces located on the 12th and 20th floors, and wide views of the surrounding greenery, allowing tenants to experience the benefits of nature both inside and outside the building.

The project is being designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, marking the internationally renowned firm’s first project in Texas. BIG’s design of the project at 1550 Lamar Street embraces Skanska’s tenant-first approach, focusing on sustainability and tenant wellness in their design throughout the building. From the 8-level parking garage with natural ventilation to the 10’ and 12’ ceilings with floor to ceiling vision glass, the building is not only designed to increase energy efficiency but also provide a healthier experience for its tenants.

On the ground floor, tenants and guests will have access to 7,000 square-feet of ground floor retail as well as a dramatic lobby presence with touchless security turnstiles, app-based guest registration and destination dispatch elevators to create seamless movement for tenants throughout the building. The building’s distinctive side core design and floor plates, ranging from 16,000 – 26,000-square-feet, maximizes daylight and connection to the outdoors, providing Norton Rose Fulbright with an airy, flexible office environment.

Michael Hsu has been tapped to design the interior amenity spaces, which include a fully-equipped fitness center, rooftop event space and terrace on level 28, and community spaces throughout the property. Between the adjacent park and surrounding neighborhood and the many spaces throughout the site, tenants will have a truly unique experience.

1550 on the Green will occupy one of the three parcels alongside the premier downtown destination that is Discovery Green, the downtown public park of nearly 12 acres that opened in 2008. The block will be transformed into a distinguished district known as Discovery West and consist of 3.5 acres of mixed-use development full of restaurants, retail and lush green space.

Skanska and BIG completed the master plan for Discovery West in early 2020. The companies worked alongside key local leaders from Central Houston, Inc., Discovery Green, Bike Houston, the Kinder Foundation as well as several brokers to envision a compelling mixed-use development that prioritizes walkability, community and world-class architecture. CBRE’s Jon Lee represents the tenant in the lease transaction.

Since 2009, Skanska USA Commercial Development has invested more than $2 billion in office and multi-family projects, developing headquarters for top national and international companies. Specifically in Houston, with the development of Bank of America Tower, West Memorial Place I and II, and the future Discovery West, Skanska has played a crucial role in growing Houston’s office market and will soon add multifamily to their Houston portfolio.