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Business and political leaders gathered for public unveiling of the BBVA Compass Plaza which could be one of the most innovative and green office buildings in existence today. The new spectacular tower sits at 2200 Post Oak Blvd., in the heart of the Galleria, and what is likely to become a key center of business activity in the coming years.The 22-story tower has 318,000 square feet and the environmentally friendly structure includes the use of green cleaning products, organic paints, a recycling program,efficient water-and energy-consumption systems and even recycled carpets and furniture. The building is the first LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building in the Galleria to receive a gold status which is the second highest rating awarded.

BBVA Chairman and CEO Francisco González today 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,” González 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.

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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. This is one of the pieces on display on the 19th floor of BBVA Compass Plaza.

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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.

“The open environment embodies our core values of simplicity and transparency,” said Manolo Sánchez, 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,features 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. 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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(left to right)Troy Lindsey, (director of real estate, procurement and services, BBVA Compass); Preston Young (regional managing partner,
Stream Realty Partners); Steve Lerner (CEO, Real Estate Group, The Redstone Companies); Francisco González (chairman and CEO, BBVA); Manolo Sánchez (CEO and president, BBVA Compass); Jim Heslop (chief human resources executive, BBVA Compass)

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 www.bbva.com.

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 www.bbvacompass.com.

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BBVA Chairman and CEO Francisco González on Wednesday officially opened BBVA Compass Plaza, the first tower to go up in the Galleria area in 30 years.