March 14, 2017
“Quite frankly, if you had quality product and quality ownership, 2016 didn’t turn out to be too bad,” said JLL Senior Vice President and HOLBA Landlord Representative of the Year Chrissy Wilson, during a recent interview.
“Not too bad” is a bit of an understatement for the veteran leasing agent who capped off 2016 with a 378,000-square-foot office lease in Springwoods Village for HP’s new corporate campus, having also completed a 326,000-square-foot deal at CityPlace II earlier in the year.
In a downturn where Houston’s office market saw total leasing activity lag behind its ten-year quarterly average in seven of eight quarters and total vacancy rates increase for eight consecutive quarters, Chrissy completed both of the city’s largest office deals, helping her earn the HOLBA Landlord Representative of the Year award on Feb. 28.
Chrissy got her start in commercial real estate through a temp position in a Hines downtown construction office, after moving to Houston in 1980. The position was meant to be a temporary solution until she figured out her next career move.
She hasn’t stepped away from the industry since.
Fast forward more than 35 years and many of Houston’s largest office deals have Chrissy’s name attached to them. One of the most notable was the 1.2 million-square-foot renewal of One Shell Plaza, which took approximately three years of negotiations to complete. She’s also weathered some historic economic cycles over the course of her career. The challenges of 2016, therefore, were not new to Chrissy.
“If you think about 2016’s office market, I think people were somewhat polarized because they did not know if we had reached bottom yet,” she said.
As for the office market today, Chrissy has seen increased activity and an increased level of optimism.
“I do feel good about 2017, just based upon the amount of activity we’ve seen. I think people are walking around with a little more lightness in their step and more of a smile on their face,” she said.
As for Springwoods Village, the location of 2016’s biggest deals, she anticipates the area to continue to see high levels of activity and interest. According to Chrissy, the commitments of major corporations over the last few years have validated the area as an exceptional location for office users. The quality of product, the amenity base and its location near the critical juncture of the Grand Parkway, Interstate 45 and the Hardy Toll Road, make the Springwoods Village area all the more attractive to users.
“We are certainly optimistic about the interest we have had,” she said. “We have very smart and talented people in our business, which makes it a lot of fun. It also keeps the bar set very high for service. I predict it’s going to be a great year.”