THE APARTMENTS THAT WANT EXXONMOBIL PASSAGE Here’s a rendering of the complex Alliance Residential has just started building north of the ExxonMobil campus. The 3-story, 341-unit building will be located on 1615 Sawdust Rd. — which the developer appears to hope might be used as a kind of driveway for that big new campus in the pines to the southeast: “Alliance said there are plans to extend Sawdust, which will provide an avenue leading directly to the . . . campus without getting on Interstate 45,” reports the Houston Business Journal. “However, this portion of the project is still in the planning stage and is waiting for funding from the city.” Alliance is also building the midrise Broadstone 3800 complex at the corner of Alabama and Main. [Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Alliance Residential Co.
Here are some new renderings of the spaces between the buildings on the ExxonMobil campus under construction in Springwoods Village. The Houston Business Journal’s Shaina Zucker reports that the 20 or so office buildings that will constitute the 385-acre campus will be organized around “a central three-acre commons” much like the one, designed by Houston firm PDR, shown here. The commons, explains Zucker, is “modeled after great public squares found in Europe and the U.S.”
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Plans for what is to come to the master-planned, eco-minded Springwoods Village were revealed yesterday; this rendering shows the Town Center, to be located in this 1,800-acre development near the Grand Pkwy. and I-45, just a few miles south of the new ExxonMobil campus. What’s gonna be here? At first, anyway? 250 apartments — with ground-floor retail; 100,000 sq. ft. of other retail; a hotel; office space (including the brand-new Southwestern Energy HQ); stranded kayakers; and a bunch of hiking trails that encircle the Town Lake.
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Here it is, the new corporate headquarters that Southwestern Energy is building for itself in Springwoods Village, just south of the new corporate headquarters that ExxonMobil is building for itself. Construction, reports Fuel Fix, began this week. Speculation about the building began in April, though, when a film-noir-ish black-and-white version of this rendering was leaked via HAIF. It appears that the only difference — you know, besides the Oz-like transformation to the realism of color — is the addition of Southwestern Energy signage, including that little formulaic icon to the left. The 10-story building and 7-story garage, where the company will consolidate about 1,000 Houston employees, will occupy 25.6 acres alongside I-45 and should be ready to go in 2014.
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A poster on HAIF has leaked this rendering that might show what Southwestern Energy is planning to build to consolidate its employees in Springwoods Village. It was first reported to be a 10-story office building on 22 acres at I-45 and the future Grand Pkwy., just south of the ExxonMobil campus.
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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]
SOUTHWESTERN ENERGY DEFINITELY MOVING INTO EXXONMOBIL’S ORBIT A report today confirms what a reader told Swamplot yesterday — that Southwestern Energy plans to build a 10-story office building in Springwoods Village, the new eco-themed community being carved out of a forested area just south of the new ExxonMobil corporate campus at the intersection of I-45 North and the future Grand Parkway. An additional lot for expansion is being preserved on an adjacent site. Reporter Emily Wilkinson guesses that Southwestern could be the mystery company that bought up 22 acres of Springwoods Village last year. [Houston Business Journal] Map: Springwoods Village
THE NEXT SPRINGWOODS VILLAGE RUMOR “Just got off the phone with a Southwestern Energy employee and they announced they are building a new building. The building will be located on 45 near the Exxon Mobil campus. I remember a previous article stating something about there being more office buildings built in the Springwoods development. This is where I surmise it will be. It will be 10-stories high with room for expansion on an adjacent site. Completion date is set for 2014.” [Swamplot inbox] Map: Springwoods Village
COMMENT OF THE DAY: SPRINGWOODS VILLAGE WAS A LONG TIME COMING “So Exxon’s development of Kingwood lacked the office space and subsequent development of Greenspoint lacked the neighborhood? Finally combining the two?
Houston: Stamped out by Exxon, one experiment at a time.” [iMidget, commenting on Comment of the Day: Big Oil Town]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: BIG OIL TOWN Has anyone dubbed ‘Exxonville’ for Springwoods Village yet? If not, I want to take credit . . . Sounds like Utopia . . . I hope Oil and Gas continues to be strong in the near future . . . policy in current and future government administrations can play a big part in that. On that note, I would be hesitant to move in to a community that has the potential for government to have such a large and direct influence on. Imagine massive layoffs due to changes in policy . . . Not saying that all households will be linked to ExxonMobil . . . but I am sure it will be packaged to be the ideal choice to work at the new campus . . .” [J.R., commenting on Headlines: Christian Louboutin Boutique for Houston; Illegal Dumpers Caught on Camera]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT SPRINGWOODS VILLAGE HOTELS WILL HAVE GOING FOR THEM “these hotels will kill it. even WITHOUT the exxon HQ there, hotels in the Woodlands area are underserved, try finding a room on a weekend night @ the pavilion. it’s about $150 to stay @ marriott/hilton/nothing special spots. and you must stay there, or be that guy with a real job who drives 30 miles drunk from the Jimmy Buffett concert.
they will have that rarified air of both business travel monday-friday + just about any weekend packed. it won’t be anything architecturally or intellectually inspired, but it will be a runaway success.” [HTX Rez, commenting on Closest Hotel to ExxonMobil, from Scratch]
CLOSEST HOTEL TO EXXONMOBIL, FROM SCRATCH Has it been your lifelong dream to develop a quaint little hotel in the town center of a brand-new 1,800-acre “eco-themed” community in the shadows of the formerly woodsy new suburban-style corporate campus of the
world’s largest oil company world’s largest publicly traded oil company? All righty, then: Now’s your chance! CDC Houston announced today that it’s looking for proposals from would-be developers of the very first hotel in Springwoods Village, on a site “in walking or shuttle distance” of ExxonMobil’s humongous new office hub, currently under construction just west of where I-45 spits out the Hardy Toll Rd. The Houston subsidiary of New York real estate firm Coventry Development Corp. plans to reach a total of 1,400 hotel rooms in Springwoods Village eventually. [Previously on Swamplot] Map: Springwoods Village
COMMENT OF THE DAY: TRACKING THE RUMORED JACKIE O-EXXONMOBIL CAMPUS CONNECTION “The property and Coventry Development Co. are owned by the Aristotle Onassis Estate. Onassis blew thru Houston in 1960 and bought this tract known as Chrimerene, the Gulf Fwy land developed into Baybrook and a motel which is now vacant land on South Main at Greenbriar.” [charles zeller, commenting on Who’s Behind Springwoods Village, Anyway?]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: FEELING THE ENERGY ALL AROUND HOUSTON “I see nothing wrong with XOM making the move to the Woodlands area. It now creates a third energy corridor in the Houston metro area, and a different environment in which to recruit. CBD has Chevron, BG, Shell, El Paso, Enterprise, etc. Woodlands now will have Anadarko & XOM. BP and service companies are located on the west side. Now you have can have real options on living close to where you work — and the type of lifestyle that you want.” [DJ, commenting on Urban Escape: An ExxonMobil Video Tour and Explanation for Its Enormous New Houston Forest Campus]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: EXXONMOBIL’S NEW PINE-FRESH SCENT “. . . And about those trees. Those are shit trees. I know because I grew up around them, they’re second growth pines that shed pine needles half the year, and disgorge nasty pollen for weeks. They’re not Sequoias. They’re not the original Big Thicket and old growth pine and cypress species. I hate those pine trees.” [Scott Bodenheimer, commenting on Urban Escape: An ExxonMobil Video Tour and Explanation for Its Enormous New Houston Forest Campus]