An historic building's renovation on Washington Avenue will officially bring coworking space to the growing corridor for the first time.
An undisclosed tenant signed a seven-year lease for just over 8,000 square feet at 1919 Washington Ave. for a coworking concept, Baker Katz's Lunden McGill told the Houston Business Journal. McGill leases the building on behalf of the owners.
The coworking space won't target a specific industry, McGill said, and it will be the first coworking concept from the tenant. He said the space's branding and logo signage will be installed on the side of the building at the second level and the space should be up and running near the end of the year.
Baker Katz and Houston's Braun Enterprises bought the 17,000-square-foot building at 1919 Washington Ave. in September 2016 in a joint venture. The historic property is also home to Julep, a popular cocktail bar and Gulf Coast restaurant.
While Braun is best known for its inner Loop renovation projects, the deal is a deviation from Baker Katz's main book of business; the brokerage mostly focuses on developing and leasing retail projects in Houston's suburban markets.
"We’re 99.9 percent a retail development company, and it’s so rare for us to play in any kind of office space. And then, to take the jump to be accommodating an out- of-the-box office (tenant) is really a leap for us," McGill said. "That being said, everyone that we trust in the office market is so bullish on coworking (space)."
This 8,000-square-foot lease brings the building's occupancy to 100 percent. Back in 2017, the HBJ reported an availability of 12,905 square feet in the building. At the time, Baker Katz was marketing the roughly 5,000-square-foot space that belonged to Washington Gym, but the gym recently renewed its lease for three years, McGill said.
Baker Katz has two other properties in the Heights area: a shopping center at Shepherd Drive and Interstate 610, and a retail center at Yale Street and 19th Street.
Braun Enterprises is underway on a major project for the Heights. In June, the company acquired the historic Heights waterworks property and plans to turn the property into a collection of four freestanding restaurants, a new 5,000-square-foot retail building and a lawn area.
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