From a high-flying source come these fascinating close-up aerial views of the massive ExxonMobil campus just north of the intersection of I-45 and the now-building-to-suit Grand Parkway in the northern reaches of the city of Houston. The campus is still under construction but also partly occupied. The pix were taken late last month; the first of an expected total of 17,000 workersbegan moving into almost-complete structures back in April.
The photo at top shows the Pickard Chilton-designed “Energy Center” meant to serve as the campus gateway, as well as house a reception area, training and conference facilities, and a restaurant. When construction is complete, the scaffolding will come down and visitors will be able walk underneath the suspended 4-story glass block hovering at center in the photo above.
This week, Stream Realty will start adding this 6-story building to its all-natural, LEED-aspiring office park in The Woodlands. The spec 154,213-sq.-ft Reserve at Sierra Pines II, to be located at 1585 Sawdust Rd., will join its larger predecessor, the 175,000-sq.-ft. building sold more than a year ago for about $40 million to the REIT CapLease. Houston Business Journal’s Shaina Zucker adds that this new building, a brisk 1.5-mile walk north of the ExxonMobil campus, is planned to include “a jogging trail” and a “heavily landscaped Zen garden.”
Stream has a few other projects in the hopper: There’s that curvaceous 41-story International Tower that Stream (along with Essex) has proposed to build on that block south of Market Square Park, and there’s that more straightforward 25-story office building just off Washington and Waugh.
Count ‘em: That’s a 9-building office park proposed to go in near the Walmart and Splashtown in Spring, south of the ExxonMobil campus. Finial Group is developing — that is, clearing the trees away from a 13-acre parcel just behind all that freeway retail at Whitewood and Louetta Rd.
This flag-flying 12-story tower planned for the under-development Block 10 West Office Park might end up hiding the renovations underway on the former Great Indoors, which you can see peeking out in the distance in the rendering above.Real Estate Bisnow’s Catie Dixon reports that Hicks Ventures is building out the out-of-business big box into a 2-story, 245,000-sq.-ft. spec office building. Plans include the construction of a 5-level parking garage behind the new building and a 6-level garage between it and this proposed I-10-facing tower.
Here’s an aerial view of the park and its neighbors:
COMMENT OF THE DAY: HEADING FOR POINTS GREENER “Unless I’m missing something, the whole thing seems like an egregious example of waste. You build Greenspoint 30 years ago and then for various reasons it’s no longer ideal, so do you improve it? Revamp it? No, you abandon it all and clear a new forest ten miles north for your new office park. And all the smaller companies that clustered around you there do likewise. And Greenspoint with its hundreds of acres of concrete just sits there like damaged goods.
So what happens in thirty years when Springwoods Village is no longer ideal, when the new wears off? Do you improve it and make it work, or do you jump another ten miles north where there’s another waiting forest and build your new campus there?
The irony is that I’m sure these buildings will be LEED-whatever certified and Exxon will tout itself as a great steward, but any environmentalist will tell you that the real way to conserve is to adapt & reuse, not just wantonly abandon & throw away.” [Mike, commenting on The Next Springwoods Village Rumor]
COMBINED ITALIAN WINERY AND PIPING PRODUCTS PLANT OPENING IN WESTLAND BUSINESS PARK What could better symbolize this city’s international sophistication and industriousness than the construction of an Italian winery in a Houston business park off West Rd. and Eldridge? Easy: Putting the winery inside a 60,000 sq.-ft. pipe-machining plant in said business park. Stefano Farina brand Chianti, Barolo, barbaresco, and prosecco will be fermented and bottled in a 5,000-sq.-ft. winery with its own separate cooling and ventilation systems after the dual facilities open, likely in March. Grape juice will be shipped there from the Farina Group’s wineries in Tuscany and Piedmont. Meanwhile, next door, the same company’s ITEX Piping Products plant will produce stainless steel flanges, stud bolts, nipples, swages and various piping products for Houston-area oil and gas businesses — from steel forged in the company’s Western European plants. [Houston Business Journal] Photo: Stefano Farina
There’s simply too much local entertainment value packed into this 10-minute video promoting Generation Park, a proposed 3000-acre office-campus development that’s gonna grow just like the Texas Medical Center, except it’s real close to the airport and Summerwood and Fall Creek and the Ship Channel, on land where McCord Development has planted thousands of trees over the years, and it’s responsible- or renewable-energy companies they’re looking to fill it out, not nonprofit hospitals. Here’s the company’s plan of the site, ideally located between Lake Houston and Beltway 8:
That floating central portion of the new gateway “Energy Center” planned for the entrance to ExxonMobil’s just-acknowledged new office campusin Spring only looks like it’s touching down after an outer-space tour of possible new energy sources. Or is the structure’s “Look, Ma, no feet” stance meant to communicate the company’s attitude toward whatever stuff might be lurking on the ground — or below it? The welcome center, which will include a reception area, training and conference facilities, and a formal restaurant, “has been designed to represent the ExxonMobil brand for the long term,” an internal company memo declares. Well, hello up there!
The campus was planned and designed by New Haven architects Pickard Chilton, with local firms PDR and the Houston office of Gensler. Hargreaves Associates created the landscape plan. More images of buildings now under construction by Gilbane and Harvey on the company’s 385-acre campus near the intersection of I-45, the Hardy Toll Rd., and the likely path of the future Grand Parkway loop road: