Brookfield Properties is about to begin a significant renovation at Houston Center, the four-building mixed-use complex in downtown the developer purchased last year. And as part of the renovation, Brookfield has committed to the principles of the Construction Career Collaborative, or C3, focused on the financial security, health and well-being of craft workers.
“Brookfield has partnered and enrolled the redevelopment project in the Construction Career Collaborative (C3) initiative - a non-profit collaboration of owners, contractors, specialty contractors, industry associations and design professions with the mission of developing a safe, skilled and sustainable craft workforce in commercial construction for the Houston region,” Brookfield said in news release issued this past week.
"As a C3 project, all construction workers involved will be employees, not independent subcontractors, and receive hourly pay with overtime and worker’s compensation insurance coverage,” the firm said. "Additionally, the workforce will be required to have Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety credentials and will be provided with on-going safety and craft training.”
“We welcome Brookfield as a C3 Owner and know that their dedication to providing a construction team of safe, skilled craft workers will ensure the type of finished office, retail space and streetscape that Brookfield brings to its tenants across the country and around the globe,” said Chuck Gremillion, Executive Director of C3.
Gremillion has said many times that C3 is a free market solution to the workforce challenges faced by the construction industry.
“A skilled craftsperson delivers more work in less time with less rework,” Gremillion has said in speeches, arguing that the increased value of the person’s work will boost demand for their services. “We believe that will inflate wages naturally, as it should,” he said. “As craft wages grow, we will attract young people to the industry.”
“We want to attract people to an industry where someone is taught how to be successful, can go out and be successful, and create demand for their services," Gremillion said.
The renovations at Houston Center will include the following:
- The 1.2 million-square-foot Fulbright Tower
- The 1.1 million-square-foot LyondellBasell Tower
- The 1 million-square-foot 2 Houston Center
- The 674,000-square-foot 4 Houston Center
- 196,000 square feet of retail space at The Shops at Houston Center
“Brookfield Properties’ approach is predicated on our distinctive Placemaking vision creating successful mixed-use environments offering experiential destinations for today’s office worker, consumers, and visitors alike,” said Travis Overall, Executive Vice President and Head of the Texas Region for Brookfield.
“Together with our design teams at Gensler and Clark Condon, Houston Center will be a best-in-class destination,” Overall said. “The capital investment we are making in Houston Center is reflective of the confidence we have in downtown and in Houston as a whole.”
“The fact that Brookfield owns the properties on both sides of McKinney has given our design team the unique opportunity to incorporate the street into an expansive and seamless plaza,” said Gensler Principal Dean Strombom. “Building on the pedestrian-friendly and program-rich environment of nearby Discovery Green, this new district will be an energized place for Houston Center office users during the day, and for the public on nights and weekends.”
Houston Center was purchased by Brookfield in 2017 for $875 million. It was the largest office investment deal to close in Houston that year, according to JLL.