Greenway Plaza: Excellence From The Start

By Tanner Johnston

Since 1969, Greenway Plaza has been a fixture in the Houston commercial real estate market. Throughout the campus’ long tenure as a sought-after real estate business hub, ownership (GWP Nine LLC) and property management’s commitment to quality in everything they do has remained unchanged. And, they use their BOMA 360 designation to prove it.

When the BOMA 360 program launched in the summer of 2009, Matt Kent, managing director at Parkway Properties, saw the importance of being one of the very first program designees. Greenway Plaza had already earned its LEED certification, but Kent knew BOMA 360 would further position Greenway Plaza on the cutting edge of commercial property management. His goal was simple yet ambitious: achieve the designation for all 12 buildings, including the central plant that provides chilled water for air-conditioning to the entire campus.

“For us, the BOMA 360 designation’s focus on the specifics of excellent building operations was particularly meaningful,” says Kent. “People in Houston already respected the BOMA brand, so when they saw that BOMA 360 logo in our buildings, they understood how high we set the bar.”

Over the years, the BOMA 360 designation has become synonymous with dedication to both quality operations and improvement of the status quo, and Greenway Plaza embodies those ideals. The management team set a goal to make their property stand out against its competition, and they achieved that goal when it became part of the first-ever class of BOMA 360 designees. Greenway Plaza has maintained an extremely high occupancy rate of about 95 percent, and Kent attributes that stability, in part, to the team’s commitment to maintaining the property’s BOMA 360 designation.

For Kent, the answer to why he and his team prioritized maintaining the BOMA 360 designations for all 12 of the Greenway Plaza buildings was obvious: “For us, renewing our designation was the perfect way to benchmark how we were performing. It was great to have an objective third party confirm how we were doing and where we could be improving.”

While Kent oversees the entire campus and manages the full 30-person property management team, it’s the property managers themselves that keep each of the buildings running smoothly. Take Patti Davis, for example. Davis is the senior property manager for Phase II of Greenway Plaza, which is comprised of buildings Eight, Nine, Eleven and Twelve.

Key to her strategy for keeping her piece of Greenway Plaza running smoothly, she says, is effective communication. “We want to maintain the same standard of quality operations that the rest of the campus upholds and that means making sure everyone is on the same page.”

Life safety and security is one of the six criteria areas of the BOMA 360 application, and it’s no surprise that Davis’ buildings hit a near perfect score in this area. Phase II recently experienced a flash flood just before tenants were getting ready to leave for the day. Timing was critical, and Davis and her team were able to assess the situation quickly and alert tenants of their plans to close floodgates at certain entry points.

On its 10th birthday, BOMA 360 is still finding ways to innovate. With a brand new set of criteria in 2020, “BOMA 360 2.0” will usher in the next generation of excellence in property management, and Greenway Plaza is ready to embrace the change.

This article was originally published in the July/August issue of BOMA Magazine