Source: Houston Business Journal
Six months after listing a whopping 350,000 square feet of downtown office space on the sublease market, Houston-based Shell Oil Co. is completely vacating its namesake downtown tower.
Shell Oil, the U.S. arm of the Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A, RDS-B), announced Sept. 20 it will vacate One Shell Plaza and move those employees to the company's campuses in west Houston. Roughly 3,400 employees will move from the Central Business District to Shell's Woodcreek campus and its Shell Technology Center, the spokesperson said. The employees will move in the first quarter 2017.
Only employees in Shell's trading and supply division at 1000 Main will remain downtown. It's unclear how much additional space at One Shell Plaza will be added to the sublease market.
It's also unclear if the vacancy will prompt a name change of One Shell Plaza. Houston-based Hines manages One Shell Plaza and couldn't be reached for comment. In 2014, shortly after Shell vacated 400,000 square feet at 811 Louisiana– then known as Two Shell Plaza – Hines renamed and renovated the 26-story tower with a new look, a new entrance, lobby and updated aesthetics.
The decision to vacate One Shell Plaza was made "in an effort to meet the ever-changing market conditions and optimize resources for future opportunities," the Shell spokesperson said.
"Shell values our position and presence in the Houston area – for our ongoing business, offshore and onshore training needs, and long-time relationships in the community. Houston also remains critical to our core business; it’s where we have much of our expertise, including engineering and operations support, as well two technology/research centers," the spokesperson said.
In addition to the 350,000 square feet at One Shell Plaza, Shell also has 299,257 square feet at BG Group Place on the sublease market. BG is vacating its namesake building after being acquired by Shell in February.
Cara covers commercial real estate and construction for the Houston Business Journal. Follow her on Twitter for more.