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Greenway Plaza

Coordinates: 29°43′58″N 95°25′54″W / 29.7327°N 95.4318°W / 29.7327; -95.4318
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Greenway Plaza
Business district of Houston
Skyline of Greenway Plaza looking north
Skyline of Greenway Plaza looking north
Coordinates: 29°43′58″N 95°25′54″W / 29.7327°N 95.4318°W / 29.7327; -95.4318
Country United States
State Texas
CountyHarris County
City Houston
 • Super neighborhood7.7 km2 (2.97 sq mi)
 • Business campus21 ha (52 acres)
 • Total21,120
 • Density2,746/km2 (7,111/sq mi)
 For the Greenway / Upper Kirby Area Super Neighborhood as defined by the City of Houston
ZIP Code
Area codes281, 346, 713, 832
A typical street sign in Greenway Plaza

Greenway Plaza is a business district located along Interstate 69 (U.S. Highway 59) within the Interstate 610 loop in southwestern Houston, Texas, 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Downtown and 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Uptown. The district is located immediately west of Upper Kirby, north of West University Place, and south of River Oaks.

First envisioned in the late 1960s by local developer Kenneth L. Schnitzer,[1] Greenway Plaza has evolved into one of Greater Houston's largest employment centers, with over 4.4 million square feet (410,000 m2) of office space on a 52-acre (21-hectare) campus.[2] Noted for its expansive green spaces and consistent modernist architectural style, Greenway Plaza is widely considered a pioneering example of mixed-use development in the United States.[1][2][3] The campus's ten office towers are connected by an extensive system of air-conditioned skyways, tunnels, and underground parking garages.[2]

Greenway Plaza contains Lakewood Church, a nondenominational Christian church, which hosts one of the largest congregations in the United States. Lakewood's main campus, a venue originally known as "The Summit" and later "Compaq Center," is the former home of the Houston Rockets, a professional basketball team, as well as other sporting teams, concerts, and events.[4] Lakewood Church purchased the property in 2005.[4]

The Greenway Plaza development is part of a larger neighborhood, Greenway/Upper Kirby, which covers a 2.97-square-mile (7.7 km2) area roughly enclosed by Westheimer Road to the north, Bissonnet Street to the south, Uptown Houston to the west, and Shepherd Drive to the east.[5] In 2015, Greenway/Upper Kirby had an estimated population of 21,120 and a population density of 7,111/sq mi.[5]


Kenneth L. Schnitzer, the chairperson of the Century Development Corporation,[6] envisioned Greenway Plaza, which became the first mixed-use development in Houston.[7]

Century took realtors from outlying towns around Houston and had them buy individual parcels for very inexpensive prices while trying not to attract attention. One homeowner found out about the plan and asked to have the house sold for $350,000. At the time it was a lot of money for a house that was small. The company paid the money so it could secure the tract the house sat on. The grand opening took place in 1973. Schnitzer said that Greenway Plaza would become a "second downtown".[6] Bill Schadewald of the Houston Press said that Greenway Plaza, which housed office towers, retail operations, a basketball arena, a movie theater, and a hotel, "defined the multiuse concept in an original "Edge City"".[6]

In 1970, the M. W. Kellogg Company had moved its headquarters from New York to Houston. After Kellogg moved its operations into Greenway Plaza, initially Kellogg occupied half of 3 Greenway Plaza and staffed the half with fewer than 600 employees. When the energy industry expanded worldwide, Kellogg occupied all of 3 Greenway Plaza and space in an adjacent building. Kellogg's lease on July 1, 1991 was up for renewal; if Kellogg had renewed the lease, its rent payment would have increased. Instead Kellogg decided to swap office space with its parent company, Dresser Industries. Dresser took over a part of Kellogg's lease and renamed 3 Greenway Plaza to the Dresser Tower. After the swap Dresser occupied 163,000 sq ft (15,100 m2) of space on eight floors, while Kellogg continued to lease six floors in the building. In exchange Kellogg took space formerly held by Dresser at the M. W. Kellogg Tower in the Cullen Center in Downtown Houston. The swap satisfied Dresser's need for less space.[8]

Around 1996 T Mobile leased space in 2 Greenway Plaza.[9]

Circa 2003 the Houston Rockets moved out of what was the Compaq Center, and that building became the Lakewood Church Central Campus. Nancy Sarnoff of the Houston Chronicle wrote that the adjacent Greenway Plaza became "sleepy" as a result of this change, and that in 2017 Greenway Plaza had a lack of activity during nighttime periods despite its heavy activity during the day; therefore, according to Sarnoff, Greenway Plaza "feels like downtown Houston did 10 or 20 years ago".[10]

In 2004 Crescent attempted to sell a 50% equity position in both Greenway Plaza and Houston Center. During that year, El Paso Corp., a major tenant with 912,000 sq ft (84,700 m2) in Greenway Plaza, announced that it was vacating the property and moving its personnel to its Downtown Houston headquarters. A Houston Business Journal article stated that El Paso was expected to sublease the space until 2014, when its lease will expire.[11]

In 2005 the internet service provider Internet America had offices in Greenway Plaza.[12]

During the afternoon of Monday July 29, 2013, Cousins Properties, a company based in Atlanta, announced that it was buying the entire Greenway Plaza complex and a Downtown Fort Worth office tower. Nancy Sarnoff of the Houston Chronicle stated that Cousins was expected to pay $1.1 billion in cash.[13] By 2017 the owner was Parkway Inc., which planned to renovate Greenway Plaza.[10]

In July 2017 T-Mobile announced it was moving to the T-Mobile Tower, formerly the River Oaks Tower. That same month Occidental Petroleum announced it was vacating its space, and it put its space for sale.[9]


Commercial office buildings[edit]

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston at Suite 2012 of 11 Greenway Plaza
Building Opening date[2] Tenants Footnotes
One Greenway Plaza 1969 Buckeye Partners (HQ) [14]
Two Greenway Plaza 1969 [15]
Three Greenway Plaza 1971
Four Greenway Plaza 1975 [16][17]
Five Greenway Plaza 1973 Occidental Petroleum
Eight Greenway Plaza 1980
Nine Greenway Plaza 1978 [18][19]
Eleven Greenway Plaza 1979 [20][21][22][23]
Twelve Greenway Plaza 1981
3800 Buffalo Speedway 1975 Amerigroup [26]

Retail tenants[edit]

  • 12 Greenway Plaza
  • The Hub at Greenway Plaza (formerly The Shops at Greenway) which first opened in 1973[28]
    • Greenway Coffee
    • burger-chan
    • The Rice Box
    • Feges BBQ
    • Nestlé Toll House Cafe
    • Antone's
    • Alonti Cafe
    • Texas Chicken Express
    • Lulu's
    • Cilantro's
    • Michael Saldana Salon
    • Flower Delivery Houston
    • Greenway Newsstand & Convenience Store
    • Energy One Credit Union

Prior to January 1, 2008, Landmark Theatres operated the Landmark Greenway, an "arthouse" theater inside 5 Greenway. Landmark's lease expired and the Greenway Plaza did not renew the lease. December 31, 2007 was the final day of operation for the theater.[29] As of 2016 it will be replaced by a fitness area.[28]

At one time the building housed Rao's Maremma Ristorante.[30]

Other buildings[edit]



  1. ^ a b Hershey, Robert D. Jr. (1999-11-03). "Kenneth L. Schnitzer, 70, Dies; Innovative Houston Developer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  2. ^ a b c d "Greenway Plaza ahead of its time while being timeless". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  3. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy (2017-05-15). "A Greenway for the Future". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  4. ^ a b Hlavaty, Craig (2015-11-12). "Houston building formerly known as The Summit turns 40 this month". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  5. ^ a b "Super Neighborhood Resource Assessment – Greenway / Upper Kirby" (PDF). City of Houston. August 2014. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  6. ^ a b c Schadewald, Bill. "Looking back ‘Then and Now’ at 40 years of Houston business." Houston Business Journal. Friday December 24, 2010. 1. Retrieved on September 13, 2011.
  7. ^ "Crescent Celebrates Greenway Plaza's 40th Anniversary by Honoring Customer Loyalty." Business Wire. June 9, 2007. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
  8. ^ Stuart, Lettice. "REAL ESTATE; A Big Swap Of Offices In Houston." The New York Times. Wednesday May 15, 1991.
  9. ^ a b Sarnoff, Nancy (2017-07-10). "Greenway Plaza tenants make moves". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  10. ^ a b Sarnoff, Nancy (2017-05-12). "Greenway Plaza sees upgrades essential in competitive market". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  11. ^ Dawson, Jennifer. "Crescent trophies on sales block." Houston Business Journal. Friday May 21, 2004. Retrieved on May 10, 2009.
  12. ^ Azevedo, Mary Ann. "Internet America's Dallas presence dwindles." Dallas Business Journal. Friday October 28, 2005. Retrieved on September 25, 2009.
  13. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy. "Greenway Plaza selling to Atlanta company." Houston Chronicle. Monday July 29, 2013. Retrieved on July 31, 2013.
  14. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2013-11-28 at the Wayback Machine." Buckeye Partners. Retrieved on November 8, 2013. "One Greenway Plaza • Suite 600 • Houston, Texas 77046"
  15. ^ "CompuBank Home Page." CompuBank. Retrieved on July 25, 2010.
  16. ^ "Parker Drilling". Archived from the original on 2010-09-18.
  17. ^ "Oxy | Contact Us". Archived from the original on 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  18. ^ "Company Information Archived 2010-06-15 at the Wayback Machine." Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. Retrieved on August 23, 2010. "MOEX USA Corporation 9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1220, Houston, Texas 77046, USA" and "MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC 9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1220, Houston, Texas 77046, USA"
  19. ^ Real estate transactions
  20. ^ "Contact." FlightAware. Retrieved on April 1, 2019.
  21. ^ "PBK – Contact Us". Archived from the original on 2012-12-30. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
  22. ^ Home page. Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Houston.
  23. ^ "Invesco downsizes at Greenway Plaza." Houston Business Journal. November 22, 2010. Retrieved on May 31, 2016.
  24. ^ "Houston Chamber Re-Invents Itself after 61 years with a New Image" (Archive). Houston Metropolitan Chamber. January 7, 2011. Retrieved on April 23, 2014.
  25. ^ Additional Expansions & Relocations
  26. ^ Amerigroup Inks Deal at Greenway Plaza
  27. ^ "Retail Directory Archived 2010-03-30 at the Wayback Machine." Greenway Plaza. Retrieved on April 24, 2010.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g Sarnoff, Nancy. "Greenway Plaza ahead of its time while being timeless." Houston Chronicle. Thursday May 26, 2016. Retrieved on May 31, 2016.
  29. ^ Leahy, Jennifer and Lisa Gray. "Houston's landmark Greenway Theatre to close." Houston Chronicle. December 25, 2007. Retrieved on April 23, 2010.
  30. ^ Staff. "Around Houston" (). Houston Chronicle. Thursday March 26, 1992. Houston 7. Retrieved on February 4, 2012.
  31. ^ "Poe Elementary School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 13, 2016.
  32. ^ "Lanier Middle School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 13, 2016.
  33. ^ "Lamar High School Attendance Zone Archived 2015-05-13 at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 13, 2016.
  34. ^ "Will Rogers Elementary Attendance Zone Archived March 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 16, 2010.
  35. ^ "Greenway Theatre". www.landmarktheatres.com. Archived from the original on 21 June 2003. Retrieved 11 January 2022.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]