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By Laura Landsbaum

Innovative and highly amenitized offices in The Woodlands are one of the core pillars of the Live, Work, Play, Learn and Pray plan that laid the foundation for this still growing master planned community 50 years after grand opening. Founder George Mitchell’s original vision called for a vibrant town center and 1.5 jobs per household, a feat that has been achieved by Howard Hughes today.

The majority of office space in The Woodlands has been built within the last 20 years and is primarily Class A or Class A+. Howard Hughes vice president for strategic investments Patrick Stites notes that 73 percent of the Howard Hughes owned and managed office space in The Woodlands is Class A/A+.

Typically, in most major cities, the average age of the office buildings is much older and there is not an outsized amount of newer construction Class A+ product. To have 73 percent of the total office space rated at Class A/A+ is a coup for The Woodlands.

“We have seen a true flight to quality,” Stites says. “Our high-end amenities, including fitness centers and conference spaces, allows companies to maintain talent and bring employees back to the work place.”

Having an office where talented people want to show up is turning out to be more crucial than ever in a post-pandemic world. Remote working may be part of many innovative companies’ new reality, but it is unlikely to be all remote work. An office — particularly a good one in a desirable location that actually helps draw talent — as a culture hub and culture builder is more vital than ever.

The innovative office spaces in The Woodlands helps make this possible.

Soaring to 31 and 32 stories, The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway are prominently located at the entrance of The Waterway Square District, offering modern design, state-of-the-art amenities and superior access to Interstate 45.

In 2020, Howard Hughes bought The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway. These 31 and 32-story towers boast some truly outstanding amenities that top companies expect these days. Amenities include a rooftop terrace, two-story fitness center, state-of-the-art conference rooms, Bluestone Lane cafe and a concierge program for tenants.

Setting The Woodlands’ Office Spaces Apart

What sets certain office buildings apart from others are often the extras that are consistent with a sustainability focus, including items that make employees healthier (clean indoor air) and encourage healthy lifestyles. The Woodlands Towers offer bike storage for employees that choose to commute to work on two wheels — with shower facilities available onsite too.

This healthy focus extends to fitness centers, an amenity that sets some of The Woodlands’ office buildings apart from the crowd. At The Woodlands Towers that means an indoor basketball court and pickleball courts, providing additional incentives for workers to return to the office.

The Woodlands Towers even have a rooftop garden pavilion, complete with landscaping and trees, allowing employees to hold meetings outdoor even at work. Conference centers, data centers and lounge spaces are available in many of The Woodlands’ Class A/A+ office buildings.

The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway includes a sprawling rooftop terrace that allows employees to meet and work outside.

All these amenities — this office innovation in The Woodlands — have kept occupancy rates high in this community. Much higher than the office occupancy rates in Houston. The overall quality of life in The Woodlands, in addition to innovative office buildings, are drawing more companies here.

“We are at about a 10 percent vacancy rate — with very limited availability to accommodate larger multi-floor users,” Stites says. 

New office buildings are being planned in The Woodlands so they are ready when the market demands, Stites notes. You can bet that future offices will continue to have the high-end amenities that employees covet and employers have come to expect in The Woodlands.


Many thanks to The Woodlands 50th Anniversary Sponsors:

FOUNDING – Howard Hughes

PRODUCER – The Woodlands Township

LEGACY – Woodforest National Bank

HERITAGE – Waste Connections Inc.

GOLD – Entergy Texas, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital

SILVER – SVN/JBeard Real Estate, The John Cooper School