BBVA to consolidate offices in new building on Post Oak
BBVA Compass will build a 380,000-square-foot corporate office building at 2200 Post Oak Blvd.
With this building, the bank will centralize operations currently operating out of four offices in the Houston area. BBVA Compass’ local executives and staff will occupy approximately 150,000 square feet of the building. The company has several real estate operations in the area because in the last few years, Spanish financial firm BBVA has acquired four US banks — Compass Bank, State National Bank, Texas State Bank and LNB, formerly Laredo National Bank.
In addition to the corporate office building, BBVA Compass will also relocate its Op and Tech center located on Port West Drive just west of downtown Houston to a new facility being renovated. BBVA Compass is also scouting for locations in Birmingham and Dallas to combine its operations in those areas.
Houston-based Redstone Real Estate is the developer of the project. Manhattan Construction has been brought on to manage the overall build. BBVA Compass expects to begin occupancy of the building by the end of the first quarter of 2013. The official ground breaking for the space is scheduled to take place in May.
The new tower under construction on Post Oak Boulevard has reached 17 stories and developers say it will top out this summer.
When the 22-story building is completed next year, BBVA Compass will move about 800 of its employees into 175,000 square feet — just over half the building. The property will be named after the bank.
The first floor will house two restaurants. Local restaurateurs will operate new concepts there, but they won’t be announced until the end of this year, said Preston Young of Stream Realty, which is developing the property with the Redstone Cos.
When the project broke ground last year, the developers said the 6.5-acre site was also being designed to house a luxury hotel and possibly a residential tower. Those plans have been altered and now call for another office building along with the hotel.
BBVA Compass opened the doors of its new digs on Wednesday at 2200 Post Oak Blvd.
Employees who work there do so in an entirely open floor plan. Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled phones allow workers to move across the building, which includes multiple spaces to work, from informal collaboration areas to private rooms.
“When BBVA decided to come to the U.S., we knew there were opportunities to make our mark, and this new building is a very emphatic mark,” BBVA chairman and CEO Francisco Gonzalez said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “It’s a great example of our will to continue growing in the U.S. market.”
A total of 825 BBVA Compass employees will occupy 185,000 square feet on eight floors in the 318,000-square-foot building, which includes a branch on the first floor.
BBVA Compass is the U.S. unit of BBVA, a Spanish-based financial services firm that operates in 32 countries. BBVA Compass has 688 branches throughout its Sunbelt footprint.
The tower, BBVA Compass Plaza, was developed by the Redstone Cos. and Stream Realty Partners. It has LEED Gold certification.
After BBVA Compass Plaza, which opened at 2200 Post Oak Blvd. in April 2013, was purchased by a Spain-based private investor, HBJ caught up with one of the developers to talk about plans for a second phase nearby.
Preston Young, regional managing partner for Dallas-based Stream, said the sale showed that interest from outside investors is still strong in Houston despite low oil prices
Still, he said the fundamentals of the market mean the phase two office tower proposed for 2100 Post Oak Blvd. is on hold for now. According to TRC Capital Partners' website, the proposed project would include 343,000 square feet of high-end office and retail space on 29 floors.
"Last year, we made the decision to put pencils down on that project for the time being. Not only would it be difficult to achieve financing for a spec office project right now, the fundamentals aren’t right," Young said.
"A similar thing happened with phase one," Young added. "We originally had plans in 2007 to push the ball forward on development, but the Great Recession put the project on hold for 18 to 24 months, and we broke ground in 2011. Right now, we’re in wait-and-see approach with phase two."