[Episcopal Diocese of Texas] The Episcopal Health Foundation has purchased property for its new offices at 500 Fannin in Downtown Houston, Elena Marks, president and CEO of the foundation announced. The foundation plans to occupy the property this summer.
The decision to purchase the space was made after a thorough study of alternatives, said foundation treasurer Bob Biehl. “In nine years we would have spent about the same amount on a lease,” he explained, “and we will have the additional asset of the building.”
The four-story, 1932 Art Deco-style building was renovated to LEED Gold standards. A portion of the building will be leased out and the foundation will occupy 10,000 square feet on the top two floors of the 25,000 square foot building.
One of the benefits is the office’s proximity to the Diocesan Center of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas on the next block and Christ Church Cathedral, directly across the street. “The location will allow us to continue to build a close relationship with the diocese and all of our parishes,” Marks said. “Our new building also offers the opportunity for shared use in the future as well as expanded space for ministry.”
Biehl said that building additional floors onto the existing Diocesan Center and parking lot would have cost more than $11 million as compared with less than $9 million for this building. “After some months of inquiry, visits to alternate sites and inspections, 500 Fannin was a clear choice,” he said. “Building ownership is preferable to leasing over the long term and the break even analysis bears that out. There is the added benefit of the proximity to both the cathedral and to the Diocesan Center and the potential for utilizing the space between all three entities for our mutual benefit.”