Brookfield scores 245K lease at renovated 3 Houston Center  

NRG Energy will move HQ to downtown tower in 2026

Brookfield Scores 245K Lease At Downtown Houston Site
NRG's Mauricio Gutierrez with 1301 McKinney Street (LinkedIn, Google Maps, Getty)

Brookfield Properties has tallied a big win with an energy company leasing a large chunk of space at a newly renovated tower in downtown Houston.

NRG Energy will occupy about 245,000 square feet on the top 10 floors of Brookfields’ 3 Houston Center at 1301 McKinney Street, the Houston Business Journal reported.  

NRG will make the move in 2025, shifting from its current headquarters at a nearby tower formerly known as One Shell Plaza. NRG subleased about 400,000 square feet of space from the building’s then-namesake tenant in 2019.

Cushman & Wakefield brokers Chris Oliver, Trey Strake and David Guion represented NRG in lease negotiations, while Transwestern’s Doug Little, Kelli Gault, Jack Scharnberg and Parker Burkett represented Brookfield. 

Brookfield’s complete overhaul of the 4.2 million-square-foot Houston Center campus, which started in 2019 and was completed earlier this year, is beginning to pay off. NRG’s lease signing highlights how companies are favoring newly built or renovated office space to overcome the pandemic-fueled remote work era and lure employees back to the office.

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“The move (to 3 Houston Center) stems from NRG’s intention to provide new amenities for our diverse workforce, such as enhanced parking, a free gym and convenient tunnel access,” NRG’s Gin Kinney told the outlet.

NRG Energy has been making strategic moves in recent years, including consolidating its headquarters in Houston and acquiring Direct Energy from Centrica PLC. However, the company has also faced criticism for its $5.2 billion acquisition of Vivint Smart Home, with activist investor Elliott Investment Management LP calling it one of the worst deals in the power and utilities sector in the past decade. Elliott, which manages funds that hold a more than 13 percent interest in NRG, has advocated for a new CEO to replace Mauricio Gutierrez.

—Quinn Donoghue

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