So far, ExxonMobil hasn’t revealed any specific information about the new 389-acre North American headquarters just south of The Woodlands it’s apparently already begun sitework on. According to reports, all contractors working on plans for the enormous campus have been ordered to keep their work on the project secret. The new campus is meant to bring together somewhere between 15,000 and 17,000 employees now working in various locations around the Houston area and in Virginia. But documents submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers provide some detail on the plans for an enormous office park near the Harris County-Montgomery County border. The site is bounded by Spring Creek to the north, I-45 to the east, and the proposed 1,800-acre mixed-use development called Springwoods Village to the west and south. The plans were submitted by Palmetto Transoceanic, a mysterious entity that has been viewed as a proxy for the oil company in this area.
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The plans, prepared by environmental consultants for the project, show the outlines of more than 2 dozen Z-shaped buildings and 4 giant parking garages arrayed in four quadrants within the outline of a large ring road. The plans were submitted to the Corps as part of a request for approval to fill 4,888 linear feet of waterways on the site that currently drain into Spring Creek and mitigate impacts on less than acre of wetlands. (According to the public notice posted by the Corps in January, the organization’s “preliminary review” indicates that no environmental impact statement will be necessary for the project.)
The boundaries of the campus mesh perfectly with an area left empty in the announced plans for Springwoods Village, marked here with a big red question mark. According to both sets of plans, the developments will be separated by 2 new roads — one called Springwoods Village Parkway, connecting to I-45, and the other called Holzworth Road, which would separate the new campus from the proposed 150-acre Springwoods Nature Preserve to the west. A segment of the Grand Parkway is planned to intersect with I-45 directly south of Springwoods Village.
In January, the Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff reported seeing architectural plans for the campus, which she said included “20 office buildings with 3 million square feet, a wellness center, laboratory and multiple parking garages.” But those plans have not been published. The plans submitted to the Corps, divided into quadrants, focus more on the locations of headwaters and wetlands:
A Swamplot reader who lives in a development directly across I-45 from the site notes that “a major logging effort” appears to be taking place across the freeway, with “dump trucks galore” going in and out.
Are you an area resident or interested party interested in submitting comments on the plans submitted to the Corps? Sorry, you’re too late — the comment period closed on February 17th, after a month of “public notice.” The project is also subject to approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. But if you’re waiting for that organization to post information about its public comment period, don’t hold your breath; according to the Corps’s public notice, the same period served as public comment period for the TCEQ too.
- Public Notice (PDF) [US Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District]
- Exxon Mobil is considering a move [Houston Chronicle]
- Previously on Swamplot: How Springwoods Village Will Earn Its Lunch Money, and other Secrets of the Great ExxonMobil Frontiers, Who’s Behind Springwoods Village, Anyway?, Is Springwoods Village the New Exxon Mobil Eco-City?, Spawn of the Grand Parkway: Huge New Woodlands-Like Development, Just South of The Woodlands