With latest building renovation, Midtown becoming the office market for Millennials

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A Midtown building built in 1955 will be restored to have office, ground-floor retail, and rooftop event space right as the submarket is undergoing a rebirth of its own.

The Greensheet building at 2601 Main St. was sold to Houston’s PLC Capital Corp. for an undisclosed price. PLC Capital plans to renovate the building’s facade, entry lobby and common areas.

Renovations should kick off in mid-July and wrap up in September. The building has 10,000 square feet of ground-level retail space that Brent Friedman, president of PLC Capital, hopes to split between a restaurant user and another retail user. Greensheet Inc. occupies the second and third floors of the building, leaving the 12,000-square-foot fourth floor open for leasing. The building’s fifth floor, a 2,000-square-foot air-conditioned penthouse space with rooftop access, could be used for an event-venue user. PLC Capital has already been approached by two event-venue users, Friedman said, even though he hasn’t started marketing the building yet.

“We’re working (with) mid-century modern architecture, so we’ll embrace that,” Friedman said of the building. “We want to replace existing entryway trim and glass with a cooler, period-specific entrance.”

Friedman said he wasn’t immediately wooed by Midtown as an office market, but was struck by its ability to attract and retain Millennials. Among other things, he said a recent visit to Tampa’s Hyde Park Village, a revitalized historic neighborhood that’s attracted both Millennials and office users, made him realize that Houston is lacking in that area.

“If you were coming in town to intern at an oil company, your exposure to Houston was pretty crappy,” Friedman said. “You’re somewhere not surrounded by other young professionals. Midtown has clearly become the area that’s dense with young professionals.”

Midtown has historically been built on retailers and restaurateurs. But recently, it’s been capturing the attention of office developers and tenants, including Houston’s Powers Brown Architecture, which just became the first office tenant in a 280,000-square-foot building undergoing a massive renovation in Midtown. The architecture firm spent nearly 20 years in Houston’s Central Business District. Its leader, Jeffrey Brown, said the firm was attracted to Midtown because of its amenities, including lunch and happy hour options within walking distance from the office.

“Everything my Millennial team wants to have is already in place,” Brown, founding partner and design principal at Powers Brown, told the Houston Business Journal of the firm’s move from downtown to Midtown.

Cara Smith
Houston Business Journal

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