ExxonMobil’s Brookhollow Campus Trades Hands; A Bigger Central Market on Westheimer


Photo of Smith Street: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool


17 Comment

  • “About 63 percent of homes in Harris County will see increased home values between 2015 and 2016”

  • Houston is bound to pass Chicago soon and possibly L.A. in this century as Chicago, despite strict gun control, is violent and highly taxed and L.A. is running on the same unsustainable tracks.

  • Directly behind the Exxon Mobil campus is a stream that feeds into white bayou that cuts through the heights. Fidelis, who bought that property, is known for using grandfathering to avoid putting in adequate water detention. They are going to elevate and concrete that property and all the water is going into white oak bayou, flooding out that heights. Y’all need to organize and fight these people to force them to keep their water on their own property by requiring a pond or underground water detention. Also, permeable concrete with access to the water table for their parking lot will be good. Fidelis will fight like hell so they don’t have to do anything. Then they will beg for federal anti-flooding subsidies that will never come.

    Circle your wagons.

  • *white oak bayou, not white bayou

  • @Dana-X

    Comparing metro-area populations, a much more representative statistic, Houston still lags behind even Dallas, and has no real chance of ever catching up to LA and is decades away from Chicago. The actual city of Chicago has been “land-locked” by other cities for a while now, so it can’t keep annexing land and has been relatively dense for a while. The only way to increase population is to increase density. Taking a look at the whole region represents a much better way to look at desire or popularity to live somewhere.

    And if we’re going to talk about unsustainable, Houston is facing a huge budget deficit this year as business move out of the city in droves to relocate their headquarters in nearby cities with friendlier taxes (e.g. Woodlands), adding a double whammy of using CoH resources while removing tax base. This has been something that has slowly been coming to fruition over the last 10 years or so, making it a hard process to reverse.

    Metro Area Populations:
    NYC – 20.2 million
    LA – 13.1 million
    Chicago – 9.7 million
    Dallas – 7.1 million
    Houston – 6.3 million
    Washington DC – 6.0 million

  • This native Houstonian says Houston will be larger than Chicago in the same way that San Antonio is larger than Dallas.

  • But Dana-X, if the company is moving out of the COH isn’t it similarly no longer using the COH resources? Isn’t that the point of moving out?

  • @ metroarea, Dallas-Fort Worth’s metro area is larger than Houston’s. Subtract Fort Worth along with its MSA and Dallas’ metro has 2 million less than Houston’s.

  • Good to know the Chicago Tribune comments section is just as bad as the Chronicle’s…

    @Dana-X Remember, winters in Chicago are brutal. LA’s nice year ’round. Unless SoCal faces a water crisis this century, no way Houston population surpasses LA.

  • @Joel What’s so funny about that statement? We’re halfway through the year and are still seeing consistent increases in prices in the central pricing brackets (150-350ish range). It’s not unreasonable to think that we finish the year up for many houses

  • MrEction, I’m only keeping an eye on 77006 / 77019. I understand that the 63% of properties increasing in value are probably mostly those still catching up from the past few years due to limits on increases, but right now it’s very easy to find properties listing at or below 2015 appraisals. It’s the humorous situation of values still going up while the overall market goes down.

  • @bill_b

    True, but DFW is the full metro area. That’s like saying take away Galveston, Clearlake, etc. and Houston isn’t is big as Dallas. It’s semantics. More interestingly is that right now Austin and San Antonio are separate metro areas. I bet in 50 years that it’s not, and it’s one giant metro area similar to San Francisco/San Jose metro area and that it will be very much an equal in size to DFW/HTX metro areas. Even more worryingly for Houston (and Dallas to and extent) is that this SAATX metro would be much more diversified than HTX and arguably DFW too.

  • @metroarea
    bill_b is exactly right. “Dallas'” so-called metro is misleading because it is comprised of 2 historical metro areas, whereas Greater Houston has always been one. In an effort to better compete with metros like Greater Houston, several years ago Dallas’ congressional delegation got Ft. Worth to go along with trying to get the US govt to combine the Ft Worth-Arlington-Euless metro area with the Dallas-Irving-Plano metro area to create a hybrid called a Metroplex (DFW)…a new designation, which is not a typical metro, and is pretty much all of north Texas to almost Oklahoma (it’s quite a stretch, indeed). Other metroplexes are Tampa-St Pete, Minneapolis-St Paul, Baltimore-Washington, etc. Hence, Dallas-Ft Worth. That’s why Dallas likes to speak in terms of ‘metro’ vs city because it makes them feel as if they have something over Houston, and gives them a fake bragging right. But they get pissed when you remind them that their ‘metro’ is the product of 2 combined metros vs Greater Houston, which has always been a ‘Lone Star.’ The Dallas-Irving-Plano MSA (Dallas) is about 4M, but when you add the Ft Worth-Arlington MSA to it, and everything for miles between and all around it, you get about 7.1M. Greater Houston by itself is about 6.5M (nearly 4.5M just in Harris County).

  • What real difference does it make whether DFW or Houston has more people? Does anyone really “win” in one of these nonsensical comparisons? Both regions face the same obstacles–pollution, decaying infrastructure, changing demographics, congestion etc……..Maybe one region gets more congressional representation but then again based on the morons involved in that arena, that ain’t necessarily a good thing.

  • You are on the right track Joel. HCAD’s “appraisal” values are a joke. Same holds true in Fort Bend County. I have been researching this topic for several years. I actually offered testimony to the Senate Committee on Property Tax Reform & Relief a few weeks ago. The entire property tax system has morphed into a cesspool of fraud and manipulation, where local officials violate USPAP appraisal standards and moderately qualified (or in many cases seriously incompetent) bureaucrats toe the line for the taxing entities in an effort to hit the numbers and keep the tax revenue coming in.

    In Texas we have a two tiered system that benefits wealthy and commercial property owners who can afford to go to trial in district court, while most homeowners are left holding the bag. The dirty little secret is that the CAD knows they are outgunned by big business when they go to trial, so the CAD folds 99 percent of the time before the actual trial. They simply dont’ have the budget to fight that many cases in court all the way to trial. Your average homeowner does not have an account in excess of $1million, so the numbers on tax savings don’t justify the expense of going all the way to trial for a 5-10 percent reduction in value. Anyone (many of our elected officials) who suggests that we don’t have a two-tiered property tax system simply isn’t looking.
    This is what the appraisal scam looks like with a real-world example in Harris County…

  • @Joel Well yeah, those markets are definitely slowing down. You could add a few zip codes from the heights to the “slip and slide” list as well. But other areas are still going fairly strong.

  • Ugghhhh! The cheese log blog is back