Zieben plots office/resi tower in Uptown, offering tenant ownership

Boutique offices will cater to downsizing companies

Zieben Plots Mixed-Use Tower in Uptown Houston

A photo illustration of ZG Companies’ Lee Zieben with development site at at 11 Riverway Drive (Getty, ZG Companies)

Zieben Group is cooking up the next high-rise in Houston’s Uptown/Galleria area. 

The local firm aims to build a 33-story mixed-use tower next to Memorial Park, with plans to start construction in January, the Houston Business Journal reported

Spanning nearly 618,000 square feet, Woodway Tower’s first five floors will be dedicated to boutique office spaces, followed by 11 residential floors with about 125 apartments. The top floor will feature two restaurants with views of Memorial Park and downtown Houston. A tenants’ penthouse suite will also be part of the development.

The development is expected to cost about $100 million, almost $162 per square foot, with Zieben seeking tenant investors who will receive a share of rental income. A lender will be chosen once the project reaches over 50 percent pre-leasing.

Zieben Group, headquartered at 1980 Post Oak Boulevard, plans to move its offices to the tower upon completion. The firm bought the 1.04-acre development site in 2021 from attorney Nomaan Husain for roughly $900,000. 

Zieben Group CEO Lee Zieben believes smaller boutique offices will attract tenants in the era of remote work, which has prompted a slew of companies to scale back their footprints. The downsizing trend contributed to a vacancy rate of 25 percent in Houston last quarter, according to Partners Real Estate.

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“Boutique space — what I mean by that is … law firms and family offices and insurance companies, smaller footprints that want high-end space — that actually is doing fairly well,” Zieben told the outlet.

CBRE’s Lucian Bukowski will handle leasing. The top floor will have shared dining spaces with a central lobby and outdoor areas for drinks with city views.

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The tenants’ penthouse suite, below the restaurants, will serve as a communal area, featuring meeting spaces, a large kitchen, a small library, a game room and patios.

Zieben Group’s other projects include an affordable apartment complex on the Greenspoint Mall property, and the Hardy Yards Apartment Homes on the Near Northside. The company’s multifamily portfolio has expanded to 23 properties across six states.

—Quinn Donoghue