Howard Hughes Corp. acquires office towers and developable land in The Woodlands from Occidental
THE WOODLANDS, TX – The Howard Hughes Corporation® (NYSE:HHC) announced today the acquisition of two Class AAA office towers, warehouse space and developable land in The Woodlands®, Texas, from Occidental (NYSE: OXY), providing The Howard Hughes Corporation with highly sought-after, premium office space that will enable The Howard Hughes Corporation to meet ongoing demand in the market. The acquisition increases The Howard Hughes Corporation’s office portfolio within the award-winning master planned community (MPC) by approximately 50%, and reinforces The Howard Hughes Corporation’s standing as the community’s steward and largest stakeholder.
The $565 million transaction also includes the acquisition of Occidental’s Century Park campus in the West Houston Energy Corridor—a 63-acre, 1.3-million-square-foot campus with 17 office buildings—which The Howard Hughes Corporation will immediately remarket, in line with its recently announced commitment to sell non-core properties and to focus resources into the growth of its core business of MPCs.
In The Woodlands, The Howard Hughes Corporation’s acquisition includes the two Class AAA towers rebranded as The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway, which total approximately 1.4 million square feet of office space, and a 125,000-square-foot warehouse. The acquisition also includes 9.3 acres of prime, developable land located in The Woodlands Town Center® bordering The Woodlands Waterway® and fronting Interstate 45 North, providing the opportunity for meaningful future commercial development in the heart of The Woodlands.
“The Howard Hughes Corporation is defined by a steadfast commitment to our master planned communities, which across the country are consistently ranked among the best places to live, work and discover, allowing leading corporations to attract and retain today’s top talent,” said Paul Layne, Chief Executive Officer of The Howard Hughes Corporation. “This acquisition of Class AAA office space in The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway, as well as the additional property in The Woodlands, further expands our existing portfolio in this market where our 2.5-million-square-feet office portfolio is currently 94% leased, allowing us to respond to the growing need for premium office space as companies are looking to relocate and expand within The Woodlands.”
Occidental will continue its presence at The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway, and will lease back 100% of the larger, approximately 808,000-square-foot tower at 1201 Lake Robbins Drive and 100% of the warehouse for 13 years.
“The sale of office complexes in the Houston Energy Corridor and The Woodlands is part of our plan to divest non-core assets and continue to improve the strength of our balance sheet,” said Occidental President and CEO Vicki Hollub. “It was important to us, and many of our employees, to maintain a presence in The Woodlands and we are pleased to have signed a 13-year lease to remain in the community.”
The Howard Hughes Corporation will also be growing its own presence in The Woodlands, relocating its corporate headquarters into the approximately 595,000-square-foot tower at 9950 Woodloch Forest Drive. “We unequivocally believe that The Woodlands is the greatest destination in Texas for any company seeking to relocate or grow, and we look forward to contributing to the continued expansion of the business community as we relocate our headquarters from Dallas to The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway,” said Mr. Layne.
“These iconic towers have long been a beacon at the entry to The Woodlands Town Center and The Howard Hughes Corporation is extremely proud to bring them into our portfolio,” said Jim Carman, President, Houston Region for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “The Woodlands offers a vibrant lifestyle, a strong workforce, highly-acclaimed schools, and unparalleled amenities including hiking trails, parks, and open spaces while focusing on health and wellness.”
The Woodlands, Bridgeland® and The Woodlands Hills® are the award-winning MPCs in Texas which help comprise the core of The Howard Hughes Corporation’s portfolio. Located in Cypress, Bridgeland is the #1 top-selling MPC in the Greater Houston area as ranked by Metrostudy, and #11 in the nation as ranked by RCLCO. The Woodlands Hills, located 13 miles north of The Woodlands in Conroe and Willis, Texas, is one of the newest MPCs in the Greater Houston area and is the first bespoke MPC of The Howard Hughes Corporation, built on the company’s guiding principles of expert placemaking.
Occidental was represented in the sale by Brandon Clarke, Executive Vice President, Jared Chua, Senior Vice President, and Steve Hesse, Vice Chairman, for CBRE.