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Real Estate / High-Rises

Hines Unveils a New Skyline-Changing Tower Downtown

48-Story Skyscraper Shuns the Flat Top

BY // 05.18.17

While there are numerous elements of note in Hines’ spanking new 609 Main at Texas office tower, developer Gerald D. Hines would like for you to look at the roof line. “Tell them about the top of the building, why it’s not a flat top!” he cajoled Jon Pickard as the architect talked about the structure during a VIP reception, held just before the 48-story skyscraper’s grand opening celebration.

“Well, we thought that a flat top gets a little bit lost in the skyline,” Picard explained. “If we could create a silhouette that is memorable, then wherever you are. . . you see that slope, then you know the building.”

Hines chimed in, “It creates an identity.”

The 609 Main at Texas profile is said to be evocative of a faceted diamond and designed with a nod to Hines’ Pennzoil Place, the twin trapezoidal towers contrived with starchitects Philip Johnson and John Burgee, a project which re-envisioned the Houston skyline.

Fans of Hines and the new office tower are baptizing the structure a game changer in office design and none would agree more than Hines and Pickard Chilton’s Pickard.

Both were front and center for the official opening celebration of the building that is Hines’ 21st ground-up development in downtown Houston. The firm’s launch into the Houston skyline began in 1971 with the opening of One Shell Plaza.

Holiday Gifting

  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Nocturne Studio
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Casa di Lino
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings

By the numbers alone, the building is impressive: 1.05 million square feet, 7,000 square foot fitness center, 8,500 square foot conference center, a signature six-story arched window overlooking Main Street, a vast rooftop garden on the 12th floor, and leasing today at close to 60 percent. Further, 609 Main is the first multi-tenant building in the city with under-floor air and one of only two such buildings in the country.

The champagne flowed and toasts were generous when Pickard, Hines and John Mooz, Hines senior managing director who oversaw the project, welcomed VIP guests to the early reception in the Hines southwest region offices on the 44th floor.

By the numbers alone, the building is impressive: 1.05 million square feet, 7,000 square foot fitness center, 8,500 square foot conference center, a signature six-story arched window overlooking Main Street.

“The building’s design was specifically intended to promote and encourage collaborative collisions, as we call them, with colleagues in our many hospitality-inspired environments,” Mooz said.

609 Main at Texas

With close to 60 percent leased on the heels of the oil bust, the building, according to Mooz, represents Hines’ solid approach to development. Quoting a familiar Hines thesis, he said, “When you commit to build a superior building in a great location, it will hold its value better in the tough times and exceed return expectations in the good ones . . . Jerry Hines was proven right once again.”

United Airlines is consolidating its Houston offices in the building and will have exclusive access to the verdant 12th floor garden, another special feature, built atop the parking garage.

Fully engaged and energetic at age 91, Hines told the small gathering, “Starting with One Shell and then Pennzoil, we feel a responsibility to Houston to refine the product with each new development. I’m very proud of the new icon for Houston both architecturally and functionally. Much as Philip Johnson and Bruce Graham and others helped us define our firm in the early years, John Picard is one of the great architects collaborating with us on what the future of office space should be.”

Of working together, Pickard said, “The Hines leadership team didn’t just want another office building. What we’re creating is an environment to empower the folks that live and work in this building to do their best.”

Home, chic home.

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