By Jeff Jeffrey – Reporter, Houston Business Journal
Build-out of JLL’s new Houston HQ nears completion
Crews overseen by Houston-based O’Donnell/Snider Construction have been working for the past three months to build out the top three floors in 200 Park Place at 4200 Westheimer Road. JLL Houston President Dan Bellow said the company’s plan is to move into the new space around Labor Day.
“The design is all about collaboration,” Bellow said. “Our new offices will have a hospitality feel, so when you enter, you get the same kind of welcome that you’d find in a high-end hotel. There are plenty of places to sit down and have a conversation or places where you can go to have a meeting.”
When the build-out is complete, JLL will occupy 81,990 square feet on three floors of the new 15-story, 210,000-square-foot 200 Park Place office tower. JLL hired the Houston office of St. Louis-based HOK to design the build-out, and documents filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation say the project is expected to cost $8 million.
JLL’s offices at 200 Park Place will be connected by a three-story staircase, which Bellow said will help bring JLL’s employees together more efficiently.
The firm will consolidate its offices at 5 Riverway, 9 Greenway Plaza and 1400 Post Oak Blvd. into 200 Park Place.
“Living in three offices is painful,” Bellow said. “All of our business units are fully integrated and interact with one another all the time. Our coming together is going to have a tremendous effect on our ability to work together for the benefit of our clients.”
Giving employees the ability to get together and collaborate took on increased importance in the wake of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, Bellow said.
“If you want your company to have any sort of mojo, you need to bring people together,” Bellow said. “There are some things you just can’t do over Zoom.”
The company’s new offices at 200 Park Place will actually be smaller than the 98,000 square feet it currently occupies in its three Houston locations. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, Bellow said.
“We were able to reduce our footprint by consolidating common functions like reception,” Bellow said. “That’s something I think you’ll see a lot of companies doing. Companies like new, good Class A space that has efficient floor plates. With a more efficient floor plate, you can reduce your footprint, even if you’re growing like we are.”
JLL certainly is growing.
Last month, the company announced that it landed a 19-person team from Dallas-based CBRE, which includes some of the city’s top tenant representation professionals.
The team was founded over 25 years ago and includes five of the past 10 NAIOP Houston Office Brokers of the Year and one Industrial Broker of the Year among its 17 licensed professionals.
Among the real estate experts joining JLL are Charles Gordon, the leader of the team and former CBRE vice chairman, and Brandon Clarke. They tied for No. 4 on the Houston Business Journal’s 2020 Heavy Hitters List of top office tenant representatives, based on their gross dollar volume of $328.23 million each in 2019.
Bellow said his employees are looking forward to being able to collaborate together. But it’s not just the company’s new office space that will encourage employees to get together more frequently.
“The building comes with some tremendous amenities,” Bellow said. “There’s an outdoor patio that employees can use, and there are a number of restaurants within walking distance. The walkability of the location is really great for us.”
More than anything, Bellow said he’s looking forward to the new sense of normalcy the office will provide.
While JLL has been back in its current offices since last May, even at limited capacity for a time, Bellow said it has still felt like a disruption because many of the company’s meetings have been held virtually, simply because not all of the employees were in one location. Starting fresh with a single, highly polished space will help the company feel more connected, he said.
“It’s about getting back to normal,” Bellow said. “Being able to collaborate is such an important part of the business. That’s where the innovation and the creativity come in. There’s just no substitute for it.”
Jeff Jeffrey -Reported, Houston Business Journal
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