10/24/12 11:07pm

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]

07/17/12 11:42pm

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]

07/17/12 12:20pm

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

11/15/11 10:29pm

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?]

11/10/11 11:33pm

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]

11/09/11 10:24pm

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]

11/07/11 10:35am

Yes, ExxonMobil “values the environment.” That’s why the company is building this 385-acre pedestrian-friendly campus with an “urban vibe” — in the middle of the forest 20 miles north of Houston.

Video: ExxonMobil, via Loren Steffy

06/13/11 9:46am

FULL SPEED AHEAD ON THE GRAND PARKWAY, WITH EXXONMOBIL AT 12 O’CLOCK A 12.1-mile segment of Houston’s newest and largest ring road, connecting the new ExxonMobil campus to the Tomball Parkway — and eventually to Katy — should be open by 2015, says the executive director of the Grand Parkway Association. TxDOT should start acquiring rights of way along Segment F-2 between Hwy. 249 and I-45 later this year, and construction will likely begin within 2 years, David Gornet tells Nancy Sarnoff. [Houston Chronicle; more info]

06/09/11 11:14pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: YOU GO TO WORK WITH THE SPRAWL YOU HAVE, NOT THE CITY YOU MIGHT WANT OR WISH TO HAVE AT A LATER TIME “. . . The ExxonMobil development is right in between The Woodlands and Spring. Residents of these communities would cut 30-80 minutes off their round trip commute by working at the new facility versus going downtown. That is a very significant reduction in smog forming vehicle emissions. If a business doesn’t need to be in Houston’s central business district, then it is actually better to have them build closer to the work force than to cram more people on the highway for longer commutes. You can’t beat sprawl that is already here. The best you can do is mitigate it by creating smaller city centers in places like The Woodlands, Sugar Land and Clear Lake.” [Old school, commenting on Comment of the Day: ExxonMobil Takes the Forest]

06/08/11 11:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: EXXONMOBIL TAKES THE FOREST “[It’s] awesome, but I thought the era of building suburban office campuses was close to gone. Not anymore, I guess. Just goes to show that there is still plenty a land for Houston to sprawl, and this illustrates no signs of slowing down. God that third outerbelt is just going to catalyze more of this crap (albeit ExxonMobil’s campus is pretty crap). I mean, if ExxonMobil really wanted to, they could’ve revitalized an entire swath of area in one of many industrial parts of Houston. No, but instead of utilizing an area that could be purposeful, they chose to destroy the environment. Yeah, Houston’s forests in the north are what keeps the area looking bad, but just a few more decades of this, and there will be nothing left to conceal this disgusting sprawl.” [Carlos, commenting on Welcome to the Land of ExxonMobil: A Tour of the Company’s New North Houston Campus]

06/07/11 2:03pm

That floating central portion of the new gateway “Energy Center” planned for the entrance to ExxonMobil’s just-acknowledged new office campus in 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:


06/07/11 9:24am

An email sent out early this morning to all U.S.-based ExxonMobil employees provides the first acknowledgment by the company’s management of what’s been a remarkably open secret: that the oil giant is building a giant new office campus south of The Woodlands. Actually, the email simply announces that the company is “proceeding with construction” of the project — a fact that should have been apparent to anyone who’s explored a Google map of the area recently, or driven past the small army of construction cranes visible from behind a mask of trees on the western edge of I-45 near the start of the Hardy Toll Rd. and the likely path of the Grand Parkway. (The reader photo shown above dates from several weeks ago.)


05/05/11 2:20pm

While thousands of ExxonMobil employees wait patiently to hear confirmation from the oil giant’s tight-lipped management about their rumored “possible” consolidation in a brand-new enormous office campus just south of The Woodlands, aerial photos that show work proceeding on the site have shown up in an update to Google Maps. The photo update appears to be relatively recent; it shows a level of clear-cutting similar to what was evident in the images leaked to Swamplot last month, which dated from March 12:


04/20/11 4:42pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: EXXONMOBIL OFFICE PARK CONSTRUCTION REPORT “On [my way] in to work this morning, driving south on 45 and going over the Rayford/Sawdust bridge, I could clearly see a crane poking out above the trees in the Exxon campus area.” [Jessie M, commenting on Aerial Views of ExxonMobil’s New Sprawling, Top Secret Houston Headquarters]

04/15/11 8:55am

What’s been going on deep in this pine forest north of Houston, behind the fencing and security guards, where all those trucks have been driving in and out for months? A whole lot of logging at least, it looks like. While ExxonMobil continues to tell its employees that no decisions have yet been made about whether to consolidate approximately 17,000 of them from Houston and Virginia into a new 3 million sq. ft. office campus just south of The Woodlands, contractors working for the company have been stripping what looks like thousands of trees from its 359-acre property and preparing the site for construction of as many as 2 dozen office buildings, 4 enormous parking garages, and several other structures. These aerial photos of the site sent to Swamplot are dated March 12th.