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As part of its green plan, the 30-story building, being placedon a full city block, will be outfitted with 10 rooftop turbines togenerate electricity, a first in the city. Gensler designed thehigh rise, which will be ready for occupancy in 2010. GilbaneBuilding Co. of Providence, RI is the general contractor.

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Aaron Thielhorn, principal of development and investment withTrammell Crow in Houston, says there's more to the project thanLEED certification as important as that is. He points out that itslocation at 1501 McKinney St. beside the city's 12-acre,$122-million Discovery Green park will have a significant impact onthe entertainment district.

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"The reason why we're doing this is because the Downtown marketis strong," Thielhorn says. "It's a great building in a greatlocation and we think there'll be a major impact to the area thereon the east side." CB Richard Ellis is preleasing the project.

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Thielhorn acknowledges that developing the 30-story building and10-story parking garage offers challenges. On the sustainabilityside, a little more effort has gone into planning a structurethat's efficient and tenant-friendly. "We're trying to make surethe building has enough transparency to maximize views into thepark," he tells GlobeSt.com, "and landscaping to make a smoothtransition point from the park to the building. We're trying tolook at the neighborhood and figure out the best way to capitalizeon the location."

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Discovery Tower is the second project in Houston for TCC and DesMoines-based Principal's national office developmentprogram. It's also the largest of the JV's five projects todate. Thielhorn says that, at this time, TCC and Principal haveenough with Discovery Tower and the 630,000-SF Energy Center Iand II along Katy Freeway on the far west side, which iscurrently under construction. "There are no more projects pendingwith Principal right now," he adds. "They're obviously very bullishon Houston and like this economy. But, right now the focus is onthese two projects."

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