Real Estate Leasing Property Highlight: Washington Building 2021 Leasing


In this month’s leasing property highlight, we’ll be taking a look at:

    • The historic significance and architectural highlights of one of the most in-demand commercial properties for rent in Galveston, the Washington Building
    • The unique features that make the Washington Building such an excellent fit for a broad range of small businesses
    • Some outstanding options for individuals searching for office space for rent in Galveston

For more than a century, the Washington Building – in its numerous incarnations – has been a fixture in the history of downtown Galveston.  Counted among the most well-known hotels in the region during its heyday, the building is now a prime piece of commercial real estate.

The four-story building is impossible to miss, holding court on the corner of 23rd and Mechanic Street.  It’s a popular leasing property for a wide variety of local businesses and organizations, the historic structure has a story that dates back generations. And while its past as a local landmark hotel that survived the Great Galveston Storm of 1900 is certainly notable, the Washington Building also has a bright future ahead.

The History of the Washington Building in Galveston, TX

Many local history enthusiasts consider the present building to be the second incarnation of the original Washington Hotel (first called the Caravansary Hotel), which was built at the corner of Mechanic and 21st Street during the 1830s building boom. Although not much is known about the structure, Galveston history does tell us that it sadly burned down just a few decades later.

Constructed in the early 1870s, the 60-room structure was originally named the Cosmopolitan Hotel. When it was renamed the Washington Hotel in 1877, some believed that it was in an effort to recapture the success of the then-destroyed original.

After passing through the hands of a few owners, the Washington Building was challenged by the fierce winds and rains of the disastrous Great Galveston Storm of 1900. Even though it was able to stand strong in the face of natural disasters, the building fell on hard times throughout the twentieth century.

In 1982, Cynthia and George Mitchell of Mitchell Historic Properties purchased the property. When a fire swept the Strand National Historic Landmark District in 1983, the damage was significant. However, by 1987, the Mitchells completed an extensive renovation and restored the Washington Building to its former glory. 

A True Landmark of Local Architecture

The Greek Revival architecture was a flawless fit for what was known as the “Galveston style,” honoring the traditional elements of bygone eras. For dedicated followers of the city’s most famous examples of architecture, it’s easy to see that the creators of the Washington Building drew significant inspiration from the Hendley Building (the oldest standing commercial building in the city).

Although it appears to be constructed from stone, the structure was actually made from brick that was specifically stuccoed for a stone-like appearance. Cast-iron columns provide interior support as well as eye-catching beauty, while an understated outdoor canopy shades passerby below.

Galveston Office Space for Rent in the Historic Strand District

For small business owners searching for offices in historic Galveston, nothing can quite compare to a space in the Strand District. A bustling hub for locals and tourists alike, the district is home to many of the best restaurants, shops, and attractions in the city. Throughout the year, a number of Galveston events draw visitors to the area, supplying a consistent flow of foot traffic for businesses.

The Washington Building is just steps from Historic Strand street and the Galveston Arts Center, and minutes away from Pier 21. Plenty of parking is provided, including spots in a nearby parking garage. Both business tenants and their clients enjoy the benefit of a convenient, central location.

While the structure itself is historic, the amenities are decidedly modern. Mitchell Historic Properties completed renovations in 2015, updating both the aesthetics and the functionality of the building as a whole.

Central heating and air conditioning, 24-hour controlled access, waiting areas, and reception desks, a shared kitchen space and conference room, and other features offer everything you need for daily operations. Ample natural lighting and high ceilings accentuate the open-style floor plans, while a balcony and large windows provide gorgeous views of the green space below. 

Suites for rent in the Washington Building

It’s no surprise that Galveston commercial spaces are in high demand, particularly those in historic sites such as the Washington Building. As a result, the availability of offices for rent is always shifting, so we invite you to contact us directly for the most up-to-date information.

Currently, available offices in the Washington Building include several fully built-out executive suites on the third floor, ranging from 324-563 square feet. Lease terms are negotiable, and rates can be requested from our commercial leasing team. 

As a tenant, your neighbors in the building will include the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Mills Shirley law firm, both of which are the oldest organizations of their kind in the state of Texas. One of the newest businesses to join the Washington Building is The Garden Thai Cuisine, an excellently-rated restaurant on the first floor. Any business that joins those currently operating on the property will be in wonderful company.

Find More Galveston Commercial Real Estate from Mitchell Historic Properties

For years, Mitchell Historic Properties has managed a variety of residential and commercial real estate properties in Galveston, TX. Our retail, restaurant, and office spaces are an ideal balance of historic charm and modern convenience, all boasting the benefit of a location in the city’s Strand District.

If you’d like to have the opportunity to grow your business in one of the beloved historic properties in Galveston, we invite you to search our commercial real estate listings for options to suit your needs. Whether you find the perfect fit today or secure a spot on a waiting list, our team is confident that you will be able to locate a space that exceeds your expectations.

For more information about commercial real estate properties for rent in Galveston, as well as details on the price of specific listings available, please call today and speak with the Mitchell Historic Properties team anytime.