Port Houston Plans Office Relocation to Historic Fifth Ward
A June 2023 photo shows Phase 1 building construction of the East River development is nearing completion. Photo courtesy of Midway's East River.
Port Houston, one of Houston’s primary economic engines, has just announced the planned relocation of its administrative office to Houston’s Fifth Ward in the emerging East River mixed-use development.
The move will bring Port Houston’s staff straight to the heart of one of the many neighboring communities that are an integral part of the port’s history. The new facility will be located on the banks of Buffalo Bayou, at the intersection of Jensen Drive and Clinton Drive, just 1.5 miles downstream from Allen’s Landing, named after brothers August C. and John K. Allen. In 1836 the Allen brothers had a vision of Houston as the commercial center of the Gulf Coast. Early trade along Buffalo Bayou eventually led to the Houston Ship Channel as we know it today – the number one waterway in the nation, which supports more than 1.35 million Texas jobs.
“It was important to us to remain close to the ship channel we serve,” said the chairman of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority, Ric Campo. “Part of the appeal of the property at East River is being able to contribute to the continued growth of the local community. It’s thrilling to see the expansion of businesses and green spaces in the area, and we are happy to be a part of it.”
Port Houston will be one of many businesses in Midway’s 150-acre East River mixed-use development. Additional offices, retail, and residential will also be in this area, helping contribute to the continued growth of the historic Fifth Ward and East End communities. Additional potential benefits to area residents include public park space, bike trails, recreational facilities, and job opportunities.
“This announcement shows great insight on behalf of Port Houston, given everything taking place at the East River development, as well as the improvements Buffalo Bayou Partnership is making from downtown Houston to the turning basin. It’s an excellent move, and we’re happy to have Port Houston join the Fifth Ward community,” said Rev. Harvey Clemons Jr., a leader in the Fifth Ward neighborhood. Rev. Harvey Clemons Jr. has been at the helm of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church since 1983, and is a native Houstonian reared in the Fifth Ward community.
Working with Houston-based real estate company Midway, Port Houston’s building will include six floors of office space encompassing 96,000 square feet and a linked 300-space parking garage. Port Houston staff located in this office will include government relations, public relations, community relations, legal, accounting, business equity, economic development, human resources and others. Port Houston is expected to move to the site in the summer of 2025.
“We are thrilled to announce the move of Port Houston’s administrative office staff to a new location. This strategic decision has been made to accommodate our growing needs as an organization which has long supported the Houston Ship Channel as its local advocate. In addition to being the local sponsor of this federal waterway, we also oversee Houston’s public marine terminals which serve America’s number one city and state in exports,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston. “This location takes us back to our original roots where the Houston Ship Channel began, while also providing our staff with a collaborative environment and a modern workspace that all Houstonians can be proud of; the ideal place to house the administrative offices serving our nation’s largest waterway.”
For more than 50 years, Midway has been a trusted provider of various properties in the region, including office spaces, mixed-used destinations, institutional sites, and master-planned residential communities. “Port Houston has been a driving force in Houston’s success since its inception, and its value as an economic catalyst and community partner are as critical as ever,” said Larry Sloan, Executive Vice President, Investments & Development at Midway. “We are proud to partner on the development of their new headquarters at East River and look forward to delivering an innovative new office environment that is uniquely suited to Port Houston’s current needs, while attracting and retaining a new generation of talent in the years to come.”
Port Houston’s current administrative building, located at the Turning Basin Terminal, is expected to be demolished to accommodate cargo operations at City Docks near the intersection of the Highway 225 and the 610 Loop.