How the Oil Bust is Dragging Texas Behind; The Exxon Unicorns of North Houston


Photo of Washington Ave: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool


4 Comment

  • Re Exxon Unicorns: $370,000+ to live way out in Conroe? That’s optimistic.

  • I wonder if in the 80s there were stories about Exxon unicorns failing to move to Greenspoint.

    Exxon building a new campus is 2 for 2 in predicting a major oil bust.

  • The Exxon campus was a big deal but was certainly over-hyped. Most of their employees already lived in Houston and were especially concentrated in north Houston, so there was little immediate incentive for them to buy a new home. There was an influx of employees from elsewhere, yes, but not everybody made the move, some were hired from within Houston, and others won’t want to settle in for the long term, not immediately. The campus by itself wasn’t destined to be a game-changing event.
    The bigger impacts will occur with knock-on effects very gradually over a long period of time, as other companies and services consolidate around the campus, as vacant office space elsewhere gets back-filled, and as there is turnover among campus employees. It is a gradual and self-reinforcing process. With consideration to that and also to Houston’s development cycle, it could easily take a decade or two for the impact to be fully realized.
    Of course, framing the issue that way doesn’t play very well in anybody’s offering memorandum. That time horizon is mostly irrelevant.

  • The neighborhoods immediately adjacent to ExxonMobil’s campus are way overpriced. $500K for a patio home with nothing around it? $800K+ for a large single family home with no amenities nearby? Developers were greedy and some have been burned. You can’t blame ExxonMobil or its employees for that. Most of them already lived in Houston. Perhaps when Springwoods Villages get built out you can start to justify the price? Even then, I’m not so sure.