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Citgo's new locations in Houston

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I'm sorry i didn't post this sooner

Jan. 31, 2004, 6:47PM

Citgo's short list for new digs includes Enron south tower


Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

The former Enron Center South building has a good chance of landing Citgo Corp. if the energy company decides to leave Tulsa and move its headquarters to Houston.

The 40-story, 1.2-million-square-foot tower was built with the intention of being the new headquarters of Enron. But Enron ended up in bankruptcy, and the tower sits virtually vacant.

Citgo has been weighing the merits of staying in Oklahoma or moving to Houston, and both cities are courting the firm.

Antonio Rivero, executive vice president of Citgo, said a company official toured the former Enron Center South building at 1500 Louisiana.

"He made some very positive comments regarding this building," Rivero said.

Rivero said the firm has considered three other Houston buildings: the 64-story Williams Tower in the Galleria area, the Aspen Technology building in west Houston and a BMC Software building on the West Belt.

Citgo needs between 250,000 and 300,000 square feet of office space, and there aren't a lot of buildings that can accommodate a tenant of that size.

Being downtown would place Citgo amid towers housing Exxon Mobil, ChevronTexaco and Shell. Another lure is that downtown's office space is getting cheaper.

The average rent for Class A space, top-quality offices, was $23.05 per square foot at the end of 2003, down from $25.38 per square foot at the end of 2002, CRBE/Trione & Gordon reported.

The Class A downtown vacancy rate has gone from 3.25 percent at the end of 2001 to 19 percent at the end of 2003.

Citgo may not be the only major oil company looking around downtown. ChevronTexaco is evaluating its office space usage, a spokesman for the firm said.

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Chevron bought the Enron South Tower at 1500 Louisiana in March 2004. They originally planned to house 3,700 Houston employees and have space for 500 out of town employees in the 1.2 million sf tower. But, the recent acquisition of Unocal has brought the number of employees up to over 5,000. It is believed that Chevron will need an additional 500,000 - 700,000 sf of space. Rumors are circulating now that Chevron will buy the other former Enron building at 1400 Smith because it has a large amount of avalible space (1.27 million sf) and will allow them to have employees in a centralized space. The two buildings are connected by a sky ring.

Houston Business Journal: Second Enron tower beckons as Chevron hunts for space

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