Howard Hughes Corporation
|Traded as||NYSE: HHC|
|Industry||Real Estate, Development|
The Howard Hughes Corporation (NYSE: HHC), co-founded by Howard R. Hughes, Sr. in 1913, is a major real estate development and management company based in Dallas, Texas. Later sold to the Rouse Company, it became a separate company again in 2010, as a spinoff of General Growth Properties (GGP). At that point, HHC assumed ownership of all of the GGPs planned developments, including Columbia, Maryland, one of the country's original master planned communities; The Woodlands, Texas; and The Shops at Summerlin Centre.
The company dates to 1909 when Howard Hughes, Sr. received two patents for his revolutionary oil well drilling bits. Incorporated as the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company in 1913 owned by Walter Sharp and Hughes. It retained that name until 1915 when Hughes became the sole owner and renamed the company Hughes Tool Company.
Formation as Summa Corporation
Originally known as Summa Corporation, The Howard Hughes Corporation was formed in 1972 when the oil tools business of Hughes Tool Company, then owned by Howard Hughes, Jr., was floated on the New York Stock Exchange under the Hughes Tool name. This forced the remaining businesses of the "original" Hughes Tool to adopt a new corporate name - Summa. The name "Summa", Latin for "higher", was adopted without the approval of Hughes himself, who preferred to keep his own name on the business and suggested HRH Properties – for Hughes Resorts and Hotels, and also his own initials – but his executives paid no attention.
Company refocused on real estate
Following the death of Howard Hughes Jr. in 1976 at age 70, most of Summa's remaining business were sold off. Howard Hughes had amassed vast holdings of undeveloped land both in Las Vegas and in the desert surrounding the city that had gone unutilized during his lifetime. His successors at Summa refocused the company on real estate development, selling all noncore business holdings.
Holdings sold off were:
- Hughes Nevada Mining (sold off in 1977)
- KLAS Inc. (holding company for the Las Vegas CBS affiliate, sold to the founders of the The Weather Channel in 1979)
- Hughes Air Corporation (holding company for Hughes Air West; sold to Republic Airlines in 1979)
- Hughes Helicopters Inc. (sold to McDonnell-Douglas in 1984 and renamed McDonnell-Douglas Helicopters)
- Hughes Sports Network (a production company specializing in the broadcast of sporting events, sold in the mid-1980s).
Summa also owned a wide array of hotels and casinos, primarily in Las Vegas, that constituted the bulk of Summa's business in the 1970s.
Hotels and casinos formerly owned by Summa
- Desert Inn Hotel and Casino (demolished in 2001, replaced by Wynn Las Vegas Resort and Casino)
- Sands Hotel and Casino (demolished in 1996, replaced by The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino)
- The Landmark Hotel and Casino (demolished in 1993 to expand parking lot of Las Vegas Convention Center)
- Castaways hotel and casino (demolished in 1987, replaced by the Mirage Casino and Treasure island casino)
- Silver Slipper (demolished in 1986 to expand parking lot of Frontier Hotel and Casino)
- Frontier Hotel and Casino (demolished in November, 2007, to make way for construction of a new resort that will resemble the Plaza Hotel in New York City)
- Xanadu Princess Hotel (Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas)
- Britannia Beach Hotel (Paradise Island, Bahamas) - now the Coral Towers Hotel at Atlantis Paradise Island
- Harold's Club in Reno, Nevada
Company renamed and sold off
Hughes' heirs eventually renamed the company in his honor, Summa became The Howard Hughes Corporation in 1994. Hughes' heirs sold the company to The Rouse Company in 1996, and the company survived as a Rouse subsidiary. Rouse was acquired by General Growth Properties in 2004. Hughes' heirs, primarily the Lummis family, continue to hold an equity interest in Summerlin, a giant planned residential community being built in stages by The Howard Hughes Corporation on the Las Vegas outskirts.
GGP filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Upon exiting bankruptcy, GGP spun off The Howard Hughes Corporation as a public company on November 9, 2010. GGP stockholders received 0.098344 shares of The Howard Hughes Corporation common stock for every 1 share of GGP common stock held. The new company, controlled by hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, received GGP assets including Summerlin, air rights to the Fashion Show Mall, the South Street Seaport, and The Woodlands master planned community.
The Howard Hughes Corporation's current projects are Summerlin, a massive master planned community that houses over 80,000 residents and will eventually house 160,000; Summerlin Centre, a mixed-use town center for Summerlin, and Fashion Show, a giant retail center in downtown Las Vegas currently undergoing a major redevelopment. Included in its properties under the GGP reorganization is the mixed-use Town Center of Columbia, Maryland, for which a world-class redevelopment plan was recently approved that incorporates modern environmental and smart growth principles.
Most of The Howard Hughes Corporation's past projects have been business parks in the Las Vegas area, including The Crossings, The Canyons, The Plazas, Corporate Pointe, and Hughes Center. It also owns Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport in New York City, which had been developed by Rouse.
- "General Growth Properties Plan Of Reorganization Confirmed By Court" (Press release). General Growth Properties. October 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- Vassiliou, Marius (2009). Historical dictionary of the petroleum industry. Scarecrow Press. p. 665. ISBN 978-0-8108-5993-7.
- Bruce Bledsoe (2010-10-18). "Harolds Club". The Online Nevada Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- "General Growth Properties Completes Spinoff of The Howard Hughes Corporation" (Press release). General Growth Properties. November 9, 2010.
- "The Howard Hughes Corporation". The Howard Hughes Corporation. Retrieved 2009-12-07.