Real Estate

Phillips 66 offers sneak peak into new HQ

Phillips 66 offers sneak peak into new HQ

Phillips 66 celebrated the grand opening of its new world headquarters with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Chairman & CEO Greg Garland.

By the Numbers
The 1.1 million-square-foot building has two towers connected by a sky bridge. In addition to traditional office space, the buildings have 275 conference rooms and other collaborative working space. A total of 2,200 employees will be moving to the new cutting-edge facility. They will have access to 2700 parking spaces, two courtyards, a putting green, soccer field, sport court and running track. Other amenities include a cafeteria, coffee shop, two credit unions, wellness center and medical and dental offices. The company broke ground for the towers in December 2013 and employees will move-in during July. More coverage is available at the Houston Business Journal [caption id="attachment_5650" align="alignnone" width="598"] Phillips 66 Chairman and CEO Greg Garland[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5651" align="alignnone" width="603"] The Phillips 66 campus is located at 2331 CityWest Boulevard, immediately west of Beltway 8 and north of Westheimer.[/caption]

Choice Land Offered in Northern Westchase District

Choice Land Offered in Northern Westchase District

One of Westchase District’s most prime parcels is on the market. located near the District’s northern boundary, just south of Deerwood Drive along 631 feet of frontage road along the West Sam Houston Tollway, sits 24.5 acres for sale. The site is next to the Walnut Bend neighborhood and is just up Beltway 8 from the new Phillips 66 world headquarters. [caption id="attachment_5643" align="alignright" width="300"] 400 W. Sam Houston Pkwy.[/caption] Once home to Dow Chemical’s campus, the land has been cleared for redevelopment. The property, located at 400 West Sam Houston Parkway, is represented by Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and is already drawing interest. "With its unmatched proximity to Buffalo Bayou and Beltway 8, and surrounded by great neighbors, it is an incredible location for developing a beautiful corporate campus," said Jim Murphy, Westchase District general manager. "The right buyer will be purchasing a real gem." For details, please call Brandi McDonald, 713-490-9951 More at: The Houston Business Journal Swamplot

Doing What Your Mother Used to Do for You

Doing What Your Mother Used to Do for You

The Heights at Westchase, the District’s newest luxury apartment community, opened in November 2015 and already is ahead of leasing expectations. So what is attracting residents to the seven-building, 265-unit community? Nicki Trinidad, community director thinks it’s due in part to the “signature white glove services” offered. Both Trinidad and assistant community director Kristy McLocklin live on property, in part because of the services. “Not only do I love the amenities, but it’s nice that I can simply take the elevator down to ‘commute’ to work,” McLocklin said.

Complimentary Conveniences

[caption id="attachment_5639" align="alignright" width="300"] A Life of Luxury and Clean Linens: Wash, dry and fold laundry service is available three days per week at The Heights at Westchase.[/caption] For busy residents rushing out the door in the mornings to face their morning commute , the Heights features a complimentary grab-and-go breakfast and coffee bar Monday through Friday from 6 to 9 a.m. which serves muffins, yogurt, granola, cereal, pastries and fresh fruit. The rest of the day, the bar features a variety of candy for indulging a sweet tooth. In what might be the best service of all, the apartment community also offers drop-off wash, dry and fold laundry service, Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays – all at no extra charge.

Concierge Comforts

For extra fees, residents can enjoy valet dry cleaning service that picks up at their front doors. Those who would rather skip cleaning their apartment can take advantage of housekeeping services ($45 for a one-bedroom and $65 for a two-bedroom unit). “Our housekeeper will mop, dust, and wipe down kitchen and bathroom,” McLocklin said, “and if you leave out fresh linens, she’ll even change out your bedsheets.” Valet trash removal service is picked up Sunday through Thursday. The Heights’ state-of-the-art fitness center offers cardio theater treadmills and elliptical machines which allow users to change the running terrain and track their stats. The center also offers complimentary sweat towels, bottled water and granola bars. Outdoor amenities include a fire pit, two outdoor kitchens and Westchase District’s only swim up bar.

Superlatives from Our Staff

With all these amenities catering to busy young business professionals, the community has attracted two staff members from Westchase District’s project team to sign leases. Both Louis Jullien, projects director and Lauren Cullins, projects manager moved into The Heights at Westchase this spring and have been impressed with the conveniences offered. “My wife, Christy, and I love it,” said Jullien. “I’m especially enjoying the short commute. I’m only a block away from our office building, so on a nice day I can walk to work.” “The breakfast bar is the best,” Cullens said. “It gives me more free time in the mornings to sleep in. I can’t wait to enjoy the swimming pool this summer with my nieces and nephew.” Trinidad and her staff are currently leasing one- and two-bedroom floor plans. For more information, call 832-940-7070 or visit heightsatwestchase.com.

Twice as Nice: Apartments Open Phase 2

Twice as Nice: Apartments Open Phase 2

Old World Style, New World Luxury: Clockwise from top left: One-bedroom study units are spacious and modern; Portico at West 8 features a mix of Spanish, Mediterranean and Texan architecture; the new community room offers residents a place to lounge; a swimming pool is at the center of this enclosed courtyard with barrel tile roofs and stucco siding.


In Italy, the word “portico” simply means “porch” – but in Westchase District, the word is associated with luxury multifamily living. Since 2008, Portico at West 8, located at 3003 Seagler Road, has treated its residents to an eclectic mix of Spanish-Mediterranean-Texan architecture and Class A amenities. Recently the community more than doubled in size, adding 296 units to its existing 230. The expansion of the four-story, mid-rise community is the fruition of a master plan years in the making.
Extended drumroll
The community’s owner, Richfield Real Estate Corporation, always intended for there to be two phases to the project, even building a shared parking lot with 2,300 spaces. Following the financial crisis of 2009, the second phase of Portico temporarily was put on hold. “For a while, we had what was arguably the most spacious parking garage in Houston,” said Daniel Calderon, community manager. In 2013, Richfield broke ground on Portico’s second phase, adding an additional 296 units to its existing 230 at an unhurried pace. “For the staff, it felt like an extended drumroll as we anticipated the Phase 2 opening,” Calderon said. “Now that we’re finally here, we’re excited to fill up the new units.”
A twist of the old and new
Portico at West 8 features such architectural elements as articulated roof lines, wrought iron railings and arched entryways. “Each building is constructed in curved street patterns to reinforce a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere,” said Calderon. “It’s all meant to feel more like an old world neighborhood.” That old-world charm is balanced by modern touches in Phase 2’s design. “There’s LED lighting, granite countertops, wood flooring, two-tone paint schemes and ceramic tile backsplashes,” Calderon said. “The two-bedroom units now have garden tubs in both bathrooms, the one-bedroom studies are more spacious and we’ve redesigned the washers and dryers to be in the bathrooms rather than in the hallways.”
Amenities for residents and guests
A new community room – available for parties and meetings – complements the leasing office lounge, where the staff hosts monthly brunches, movie nights, and arts and crafts sessions. Residents also have access to Starbucks coffee and a juice bar all day long. “Also, we offer a limited number of guest suites for short-term stays,” Calderon said. “We manage it like a hotel. It’s a great amenity for residents’ relatives and friends who are in town for holidays or a brief visit.” Calderon and his staff are currently leasing one- and two-bedroom floor plans between 870 to 1,300 square feet. For more information, call 713-781-9628 or visit porticoatwest8.com.

Hotels Positioning for Upturn

Hotels Positioning for Upturn

Major Makeover: The lobby at the Houston Marriott Westchase recently underwent a complete transformation as part of a $20 million renovation of the hotel.


Since 2014, Westchase District’s hotel market has grown by nine percent, adding 303 new rooms, mostly limited service/extended stay brands. That construction boom has slowed, but as the industry rides out a dip before the 2017 Super Bowl comes to town, managers at older properties are staying competitive by renovating their rooms and meeting spaces. The upgrades position Westchase District as an attractive place for travelers staying for business or pleasure.
Timing Transformations
Houston’s hotel market was down by about nine percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to industry tracker Source Strategies, Inc. In the hospitality world, the best time to renovate is when things are slow. “That way when the market bounces back, you’re on top with fresh-looking product,” said hotel development consultant David Parker. “The challenge is that profits are down, so hotels must have good cash management to time it just right.” Harry Greenblatt, general manager of the Houston Marriott Westchase, agreed. The Marriott, built in 1980, is in the middle of a $20 million renovation, a project that began this April and will finish in October. “It’s been about 11 years since the hotel underwent a full-blown remodel of all guest rooms and public spaces,” he said. “Now is the perfect time for us to do this.”
Full Service Refurbishes
Greenblatt said the Marriott is gutting every one of its rooms down to studs and concrete and replacing everything with Marriott’s latest room package, featuring brand new furnishings, fixtures, beds and bathrooms. Sixty rooms will have walk-in showers. Each floor takes about four weeks to complete, with crews working from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. All guest rooms will be remodeled completely by the end of September. Conference rooms, hallways, elevator interiors, pool decking and even the buffet area will be redone, as well as the rebranding of the concierge lounge as the M Club. “It’s an exclusive space for gold and platinum elite Marriott rewards members with premiere services where guests can work, enjoy a bite, recharge and connect,” Greenblatt said. “The rooms provide a variety of seating options to relax or work and the club has a dedicated host, including a concierge.” Parker, whose Westchase District-based DP Consulting focuses on hotel market studies and feasibility assessments, said full service hotels such as the Marriott Westchase and the Hilton Houston Westchase are too expensive for most hotel developers to build, so these brands are able to stay relevant as long as their rooms and meeting spaces are up-to-date. “In newer limited service and extended stay brands, guestrooms are squeezed smaller in favor of larger social-gathering-style lobbies,” he said. “Full service hotels still offer more spacious rooms and conference or convention areas.” The Marriott is not the only Westchase District hotel with a fresh look. Since 2012 the Hilton Houston Westchase, 9999 Westheimer, has seen more incremental renovations, resulting in another total transformation. “Everything in the hotel has been touched, from finishes, furniture and flooring, even the hotel’s cooling towers,” said Judy Orlando, Hilton Houston Westchase’s general manager. “Our 13,000 square feet of meeting space has better and more efficient lighting as well as the latest conferencing technology. We understand that there are expectations from millennial-age travelers and we want to always be relevant in customers’ minds.” [caption id="attachment_5627" align="alignright" width="365"] Waking up on the Bright Side: Opened in 2007, the LaQuinta Inn & Suites at 10850 Harwin Drive underwent extensive renovations earlier this year, including new decor in its 83 guest rooms.[/caption] On the limited service hotel side, the La Quinta Inn & Suites, located at 10850 Harwin Drive, recently completed extensive renovations and is looking pretty snazzy. “New décor throughout the hotel and our 83 rooms will completely enhance our guests’ experiences,” said Yolanda Brown, general manager. “We have a brighter and more polished contemporary look and feel, even faster high-speed internet and new flat-panel TVs with 30 channels of HD programming.” Residence Inn by Marriott, an extended stay hotel located at 9965 Westheimer, has plans for major renovations in 2017, but got a head start on them when some rooms received flood damage from heavy rains in April. Greenblatt said he’s confident the current market lag is only temporary. “This is my fourth downturn in 27 years in the hotel business,” he said. “Am I concerned? Yes. Am I worried? No. I’ve seen this before and I know that we’ll be coming back stronger than ever.”

Amenities and Access Drive Leasing Decisions

Amenities and Access Drive Leasing Decisions

Top names in commercial real estate gathered to discuss the “Future of Westchase District” at the biennial event sponsored by Bisnow and hosted by Parkway Properties at its Westchase District campus – the four building, 1.4 million square foot CityWestPlace. The event was moderated by Westchase District General Manager Jim Murphy who led off the discussion by asking what amenities tenants are looking for these days. “We used to push restaurants,” said Philip Schneidau of Woodbranch Management in referring to the kinds of amenities his leasing team would promote when showing his properties. “Now its parks, trails, apartment communities…that’s what tenants are asking for. Fitness centers are also important. Instead of having one down the street, tenants want one in the office building.” Phillips 66 upped the ante on office building amenities when it opened its 1.1 million square foot corporate headquarters in Westchase District. According to Greg Cardwell, Manager of Real Estate Services, they built a soccer pitch and 1/5 mile running track atop the employee parking garage. The campus also has a putting green, full-size gym and fitness center, medical and dental facilities, a shoe shine stand, dry cleaners, meditation room and nursing mother rooms. It’s all about the mental and physical well-being of the company’s 2,200 on-site employees, said Cardwell. Scott Arnoldy, managing partner of Triten Real Estate Partners, said access was the key to signing Lockton to a 120,000 square foot lease in the new building his company is developing at 3657 Briarpark Drive. Even in this boutique-style building, amenities are important and Arnoldy has found new ways to differentiate his building. It will include “shower suites” rather than locker rooms will offer a more upscale dining experience, rather than a deli/café for tenants.