Mark O

Mark O'Donnell

Vice Chairman, Director, Southwest Region Lead
Savills Studley - Houston
+1 713 237 5509

Industry Specialities

Service Specialities


Professional Expertise

Mark has over 23 years of experience representing some of the largest users of corporate office space including public, private companies and law firms. The majority of his assignments for large corporate tenants include the development of a strategic plan that studies all the possible implications associated with potential transactions available to them (various relocation options including build to suit, lease, own, non-traditional lease options, lease renewal or restructure options). These plans are geared to uncover the impact of each transaction on business priorities such as human resource concerns and financial goals. Prior to engaging into any transaction his clients are fully informed as to all possible solutions and the resulting implications.

Transactions that Mark has structured for his clients have resulted in putting them in the most competitive position possible. Many of his transactions have set new standards as to lowest cost impact to the tenant and forged new ground with regard to lease flexibility and risk protection. Any large user considering evaluating its space requirement will at a minimum put themselves in a position of understanding more about what might be the best for their organization by discussing their real estate situation with Mark. He challenges his clients to take a deeper look at the implications of their real estate than what they might otherwise consider.

Mark was appointed to the board of directors of Savills Studley in January of 2016 and in that role and as a Branch Manager of the Houston Office, Mark provides strategic direction and leadership for the firm.

His clients include 10 of the 200 largest law firms in the nation, three of the country’s largest utilities (and their parent companies), several oil and gas corporations and many global engineering firms. In 2008, Mark completed a 247,000-SF headquarters lease transaction in Dallas for TXU Energy Retail; in 2009 he handled the largest lease in Fort Worth (205,000 SF) for Oncor Electric Delivery; in 2010 he completed the largest lease in Austin for Norton Rose Fulbright and in New Orleans for Jones Walker and the second largest lease in Houston—a 387,000-SF lease for Invesco and a 227,000 SF lease restructure for Amec Paragon; in 2013 he completed a 581,000-SF lease for Statoil and 566,000-SF lease for Bechtel in Houston; in 2014 he completed the largest law firm transaction of the year in Houston on behalf of Gardere Wynne Sewell and in 2015, Mark completed a 160,000-SF anchor tenant lease in the LEED platinum certified West Memorial Place II for IHI E&C’s headquarters.

Activities & Achievements

In 2015, Mark received NAIOP’s coveted, “Office Broker of the Year” award; he had previously been awarded the organization’s “Deal of the Year” award in 2013. Mark serves on Savills Studley’s Law Firm Practice Group which meets frequently to discuss space related issues and solutions for law firms and to publish The Legal Tenant. Mark is consistently recognized as a commercial real estate “Heavy Hitter” by the Houston Business Journal and is often referenced as an expert in his field by many local and national publications. His many community activities include serving on the capital campaign committee for St. Francis School’s Annual Fund; involvement in The Dad’s Club at St. Francis School; involvement with Ambassadors for Texas Children’s Hospital; serving on the Board of Directors of the Men’s Golf Association at Champions Golf Club; serving on the real estate committee for St. Francis School; and coaching of youth sports at Post Oak Little League, Post Oak YMCA and Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association. Mark recently volunteered time towards the construction of new homes in support of Habitat for Humanity. In addition, Mark previously served on the development committee for the Houston Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) and was a member/contributor to the World Health & Golf Association, which supports the First Tee program and Texas Medical Center’s research and immunization registry. He also previously served on the board of directors and is a past treasurer and secretary of the Houston Office Leasing Brokers Association (HOLBA).


Mark earned his Bachelor of Arts in government from University of Texas at Austin.

Transaction Volume

25 million SF


Meet Mark's Team

W. Derrell Curry
Executive Vice President, Co-Branch Manager


David J. Providenti
Vice Chairman, Director


Kelly Givens
Vice Chairman, Corporate Services Group, Director


Jennifer Jordan
Managing Director


Tripp Pruet
Assistant Director


Case Studies

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