Business and political leaders gather for public unveiling of BBVA Compass Plaza

- It's the first high-rise to go up in Houston's Galleria area in 30 years

- Building showcases energy-efficient systems, open and collaborative workspaces

Jun 13, 2013, 07:00 ET from BBVA Compass

HOUSTON, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BBVA Chairman and CEO Francisco Gonzalez on Wednesday officially opened BBVA Compass Plaza, the first tower to go up in the Galleria area in 30 years.

"When BBVA decided to come to the U.S., we knew there were opportunities to make our mark, and this new building is a very emphatic mark," Gonzalez said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the tower with local business and political leaders. "It's a great example of our will to continue growing in the U.S. market."

BBVA Compass is the U.S. unit of BBVA, a global financial services group operating in 32 countries. BBVA has been building its presence in the U.S. since 2005, and BBVA Compass now has 688 branches throughout its Sunbelt footprint.

The more than 800 guests at Wednesday's grand opening ceremony were treated to performances by two quartets from the Houston Symphony Orchestra, which the bank sponsors, and an evening light display atop the tower.

The new BBVA Compass offices at 2200 Post Oak Blvd. incorporate an open workspace design, replacing offices and cubicles to encourage collaboration. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled phones allow employees to work in a variety of settings — in informal collaboration areas or private rooms, for example.

"The open environment embodies our core values of simplicity and transparency," said Manolo Sanchez, BBVA Compass CEO and president. "This is an innovative workplace where we value collaborative workspace more than wood-paneled offices."

A total of 825 BBVA Compass employees will occupy 185,000 square feet on eight floors of the building, which includes a flagship bank branch and innovation lab. It also has an on-site fitness center, a cafeteria offering healthy food options and floor-to-ceiling windows.

BBVA Compass Plaza, jointly developed by The Redstone Companies and Stream Realty Partners, received a LEED Gold certification, a global recognition of an environmentally friendly building made with sustainable materials. The 318,000-square-foot property was constructed with green materials, from recycled carpets to organic paints. Teleconferencing technology and a variety of meeting spaces also reduce the need for employees to travel, minimizing the bank's carbon footprint.  

During the construction of the 22-story building, waste was diverted away from landfills by recycling products. BBVA Compass also reduced the environmental impact of the building through efficient water- and energy-consumption systems and by utilizing green cleaning products.

Artwork by established and emerging artists from around the world adorns the interior of the building as part of BBVA Compass' commitment to foster the arts in the communities where it operates.

A Volkswagen Beetle decorated with more than 2 million colorful glass beads by Mexico's Huichol Indians is now on display in the tower's branch. The art car is on loan from Mexico City's Museo de Arte Popular through the end of June. Twenty pieces of art from BBVA's collection in Madrid also are on loan to the bank.

The culinary arts also will be represented in the tower, with two new restaurant concepts — Chef John Sheely's Osteria Mazzantini and Chef Hugo Ortega's Caracol.

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About BBVA Group
BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) (MAD: BBVA). BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, is the largest financial institution in Mexico, and has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt region of the United States. Its diversified business is geared toward high-growth markets and relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies best practices. More information about the BBVA Group can be found at

About BBVA Compass BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 688 branches, including 352 in Texas, 90 in Alabama, 78 in Arizona, 64 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 21 in New Mexico. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading Small Business Administration lenders and ranked third in American Banker's 2012 reputation study of the leading 30 banks in the U.S. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at

Editor's Note: BBVA Compass is a trade name of Compass Bank.