Shell renews 1 million-plus-ft² lease in Hines' first high-rise office building (US)

The Houston office of Hines, the international real estate firm, has announced that Shell has executed a lease renewal at One Shell Plaza for 804,491 ft² (approx. 75,000 m²) and at Two Shell Plaza for 471,934 ft² (approx. 44,000 m²), for a total of 1,222,425 ft².

One Shell Plaza

One Shell Plaza.

Two Shell Plaza

Two Shell Plaza.

This transaction represents the largest office space lease in the world this year, according to CoStar and Cushman & Wakefield. The 15-year lease term commences retroactively on January 1, 2011 and expires in 2025, at which time Shell will have been a tenant for more than 55 years.

Cushman & Wakefield Vice Chairman Tim Relyea and Executive Vice President Joe Peddie represented Shell in the transaction, while Senior Vice President Charles Elder and Vice President Chrissy Wilson of Hines represented the owner, the Hines US Core Office Fund.

This renewal represents the culmination of Shell's downtown space-consolidation plan, and a commitment to keep a major presence in Houston's CBD. In West Houston, Hines continues to work with Shell to expand its Woodcreek and Westhollow campuses.

Shell Plaza is a 2 million-ft², two-building class-A office property that has been continuously owned, managed and leased by Hines since it was originally developed by the firm in 1970.

Designed by renowned architect Bruce Graham with the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 50-story One Shell Plaza was the first major high-rise project by Hines. It was developed as the North American headquarters for the Royal Dutch Shell Company, which relocated to Houston from New York City in 1970, and occupied 650,000 ft² in the building as it was nearing completion.

Clad in Roman travertine marble, One Shell Plaza remains the tallest lightweight concrete structure in the world. The 26-story sister building, Two Shell Plaza consists of office, retail and parking. Both properties were acquired by the Hines US Core Office Fund in 2004.

The original Shell lease was signed by Shell Oil Company and Hines Founder and Chairman Gerald Hines himself in 1967, which enabled his firm to get the financing and proceed with construction. He signed the lease renewal in 1990, and as a continuation of this tradition, he personally signed the current lease renewal.

In 1990, Shell's lease was renewed for an additional 25-year term. Based on the strength of Shell's credit, the Shell Plaza buildings were refinanced, and a substantial portion of the proceeds were invested back into the buildings in the form of major capital improvements that updated them to then-current Class A standards. Work performed include

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