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  1. http://newyorkrealestate.citybizlist.com/yourcitybiznews/detail.aspx?id=95828 guessing something near the proposed intermodal transist station (or whatever its called).
  2. 4 buildings that were originally part of the wooded HP Campus in northwest Harris County on 249 are going to be redeveloped into corporate office buildings as part of a $100M, 44.5 acre project headed up by Macfarlan Capital Partners and Buchanan Street Partners. It is being marketed as the largest block of office space available for a corporate campus in Houston. The project, to be named the Centre at Cypress Creek will include: 3 interconnected 4-story office buildings and 1 computer manufacturing facility 630,000 sq ft of space 4 Parking Garages Complete in 2008 http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/5020331.html *This may have been the portion that UH was hoping to buy before having to postpone their plans for a NW Harris County campus.
  3. According to HBJ, the Lone Star College system plans to implode two former Compaq buildings in their University Park campus. The implosion will be on September 18th and will take up to six weeks of cleanup. Lone Star cites the need for more green space as the reason for the demolition. Does anyone know which buildings in particular are being imploded? HBJ doesn't really specify. HBJ link
  4. Possible action on part of the HP/Compaq campus involving Lone Star College: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/6367464.html
  5. Anybody heard anything about what is going on here? What will HP be building in Hockley? -------------------------------------------- http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories.../27/story4.html Hewlett-Packard Co. has acquired 97 acres near the small town of Hockley for a $250 million facility that will be 18 miles from the firm
  6. Posting this for all of our HP people. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5775047.html HP to buy Texas-based EDS for $12.6 billion in cash NEW YORK
  7. I didn't consider how truly large the whole HP Corridor is. It goes by different names, predominately either the "HP Area" or "Lakewood Forest". There are some 10,000+ homes in this area just along Louetta (south of 249). Zoned to 4 different High Schools (Cy-Creek, Cy-Fair, Cy-Woods, Tomball). Though I live in the area and have grown up in the general vicinity, I never really explored it until recently. While its all pretty nice, there are some hidden gems. There are some really great neighborhoods throughout. From Lakewood Forest (which is the largest) to Lakewood Crossing, Longwood, Lakewood Glen, Lakewood Glen Trails, Lakewood Oaks Estates, Quail Forest (Lakewood XX??), Hunter's Valley (aka Hunterwood on HAR), Villaggio, Gettysburg, and Windcrest Falls... The older neighborhoods IMO are a good buy. They just don't make them like that anymore with the big lots and the big trees. Beyond Louetta, you could probably include the neighborhoods along Spring Cypress like Lakewood Trails, Village Creek, Northpointe Forest, Rock Creek, Indian Trails, Stablewood Farms, Stable Gate, the Reserve on Cypress Creek, the Settlement on Cypress Creek, etc (adding another 3-4000 homes). You could certainly add the neighborhoods along Cypresswood like Norchester and Mandolin, further on back like Lakewood Trails, Lakewood West and Tuscany. (adding another 2-3000 homes). Lots of great homes probably some 17,000-20,000 (double that if you include the other side of 249), zoned to great schools, in a beautifully wooded environment with parks and other amenities. Still not done exploring, but this is a great little corridor.
  8. July 20, 2006, 5:04PM Concerns put UH's satellite on back burner Lawmakers and neighbor schools question need for northwest campus By MATTHEW TRESAUGUE Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle The University of Houston has been forced to delay plans for a satellite campus in the growing northwest suburbs because of concerns that the new competition could cripple neighboring universities. The proposed campus would provide upper-level and graduate courses on property now owned by Hewlett-Packard Corp., with a projected enrollment of more than 5,000 students by 2012. The university has agreed to buy the former Compaq Computers site for nearly $39 million. UH's push across town has irked some state lawmakers and administrators at Prairie View A&M and Sam Houston State universities, which offer similar academic programs near the proposed location at Hwy 290 and Barker Cypress. The complaints have prompted the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to postpone a vote scheduled for today. By delaying official action, the board informally instructed UH administrators to hold off buying the property. Before the board approves the expansion plans, several questions must be addressed, said Ray Grasshoff, the body's spokesman. For example, it's unclear whether the northwest suburbs need the proposed campus. A big source of discomfort among educators and lawmakers is the lack of analysis about how the UH campus would affect enrollments for existing programs. "I don't want to criticize access and opportunity to higher education, which the University of Houston says it is proposing," said George Wright, Prairie View A&M's president. "But I want us to be aware of the implications." UH leaders want an answer from the board by September, fearful that a longer wait would jeopardize the deal with Hewlett-Packard. The university plans to buy the property with state bond money, which requires the board's approval. Modeled after satellites The 47-acre site includes three office buildings, a manufacturing facility and four parking garages. The university intends to renovate two buildings for academic use and lease the remaining space for university-related purposes in time for the spring 2007 semester. The proposal calls for 44 degree programs in "high-demand disciplines," including business, education and engineering. Administrators plan to assign the equivalent of 90 full-time faculty members, including a dean, to the campus. There is no intent to create a free-standing university, officials said. Rather the campus would be modeled after UH's smaller satellites at Cinco Ranch and Sugar Land, which combined to enroll more than 3,000 students last semester. Two years ago, the university's governing board identified northwest Houston as the next place for expansion because of the region's surging population. About 1.4 million reside in the area, up from about 875,000 in 1990, a 60 percent increase. What's more, the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District is the third-largest in the state, and the two-year Cy-Fair College, which opened in 2002, already has more than 9,000 students. "This area is a huge area, and we're delighted with the opportunity for more upper-level courses within a quick driving distance," said Darcy Mingoia, president of the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce, which has endorsed UH's plan. Not everyone is so sanguine. Administrators at nearby universities are questioning the need for the new campus, as state funding is becoming scarcer. "This is a very expensive proposal, and there has been no sort of analysis about the need for an additional campus," said Charles Matthews, chancellor of the Texas State University System, which includes Sam Houston State. "I don't believe there is a problem with access." About 40 percent of the 2,500 students who attend Sam Houston State's satellite in The Woodlands commute from the area surrounding UH's proposed campus, Matthews said. It's a 22-mile drive between campuses. Within four miles of the proposed campus, Prairie View A&M operates a satellite, offering eight master's and doctoral programs in business, education, engineering and psychology with plans for more. UH has proposed to offer many of the same programs. Civil rights may be factor Overall, Prairie View A&M draws nearly 40 percent of its 8,000 students from northwest Houston. Another campus could adversely affect the historically black institution's enrollment and, therefore, its income, said Wright, the university's president. Wright said UH's proposal would undermine state and federal civil rights agreements of the past 25 years that called for Texas to strengthen and enhance facilities and academic programs at Prairie View A&M. Those agreements pointed to northwest Houston as the best place for Prairie View A&M to expand and diversify. "Given the anticipated population growth of Houston, there are probably enough students for everyone," Wright said. "But we are still, in many ways, an emerging institution, and we need time to grow." Several black lawmakers, including state Sen. Rodney Ellis and state Reps. Garnet Coleman and Senfronia Thompson, all Democrats from Houston, wrote to the coordinating board, expressing similar concerns. Donald Foss, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at UH, said he intends to meet with Wright "to find ways for Prairie View to thrive and serve the region." At the same time, Foss is not overly concerned about duplication because of the increasing demand for programs. He said the proximity to Sam Houston State's satellite should not be an issue because the area between the two campuses is densely populated, noting UH's main campus is about the same distance from UH-Clear Lake.
  9. New complex for HP means 140 more jobs County will provide partial tax abatement By BILL MURPHY Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Hewlett-Packard plans to add 140 high-tech and professional jobs at a $430 million data center complex that will be built in northwest Houston, the company told county officials Tuesday. Commissioners Court voted to grant HP a tax abatement on part of the property after the company laid out some of its plans for the facility. The abatement will cut HP's taxes in half on a portion of the data center's value
  10. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hewlett Packard puts 462 acres on the market By Kent Demaret , Managing Editor, HCN, 12/22/04 Deep, deep in the sonorous, brushy forest - one of the last such untouched patches of land in the northwest area of the county - the sounds and sights of the march of developments now break up nature's solitude. The musty aroma of decaying leaves that carpet the spongy wooded area is the primary backdrop of the more than 500 acres located 20 miles northwest of downtown Houston. It is laced with evergreen, then a slight whiff of startled skunk who let loose the protective shield several nights before, perhaps at a coyote who slithered through the brush too closely. The muffled, surflike sound of traffic from nearby Highway 249 can be detected, sometimes with a whiff of exhaust from the engines that managed to remain intact in a slight breeze. Brush burns somewhere. The grumble of bulldozers, a mile or more away toward the East, comes and goes as they claw and rip through the rich loam, making the land flat for expansions of apartment projects in the Cutten Road, Cypresswood region. Deer have been reported in a vigilant freeze as they pick up unaccustomed noises while they drink from the murky waters of Cypress Creek, the borderline to the south. A possum scuttles through the natural ground debris, making only a hushed whisper in passing. Slender loblolly pines wave; oaks, with some branches serving as a platform for glistening mistletoe, hold a sturdy stance against the decades of their lives. Dappled sycamores can be spotted even from the northern boundary of the forest, Louetta. Holly grows in all directions, branches drooping with their loads of bright red berries. Though the land has yet to be sold, the brokerage agency handling the pending megabuck sale expects a "feeding frenzy" of possible buyers soon, and the main pipes for supplying water to the area have been delivered and await their trenches alongside Louetta. They are so hefty that a large child could walk through them without stooping. The land was bought many years ago, under the rapidly expanding old Compaq regime, when the computer business seemed to never stop an astonishing growth. The "old" Compaq, second only to the inventor of the PC computer, IBM, had located its facilities nearby, on the Western edge of Highway 249, and the business was then so unstoppable that officials gobbled up additional land on the other side of the highway, planning for future expansion. But as all are reminded now and then, times change. The giant IBM is no longer in the PC business. It sold out for $1.75 billion. To a Chinese firm. Compaq tumbled from the top spot as computer ownership became saturated, and vigorous competitors ate into sales. Dell, begun only shortly before as a one-man, from-the-dormitory operation, selling made-to-order computers from parts available as off-the-shelf items from a variety of manufacturers of the individual portions of computers, exploded into first place. And Compaq and all its holdings were sold out to Hewlett-Packard, which made big money from printers, but wanted to expand computer operations. When the high-tech bubble burst at the turn of the millennium, computer firms took another hit. And as Hewlett-Packard examined all its holdings, it found some of the land originally bought by Compaq for torpedoed expansion was proving to be more of a drain on the company treasury than an asset. The only thing produced by empty land is a yearly tax bill. Hewlett-Packard had discovered a no-brainer drain: trim as much as possible from such company holdings, relieving the money flyaway and adding the sales prices to the bottom line. A few weeks ago HP sold 168 acres to Kickerillo homes, where up-scale homebuilding is beginning. That project is more-or-less across Louetta, near Highway 249, from another packet of land - a bit more than 462 acres. Hewlett-Packard also owns another 79 acres of land in the vicinity, but is holding onto ownership for possible company expansion in the future. The 462 acres is now for sale through the firm of Cushman and Wakefield at $2.18 per square foot. (No, they won't just sell a few feet.) Doing the math, with 43,560 square feet in an acre, the jolting price is $94,960 per acre - or $43,890,881 for the package, which also includes a small fraction of an acre. A bountiful addition to the bottom-line, indeed. (Before Compaq, land could be had in the area for around $5,000 an acre.) Kickerillo is "interested," but has made no decision pending a study of assorted business aspects (how much they have, could borrow, and what they would build, and where - since a portion is under federally protected mandates for environmental reasons, and after the total cost is calculated, how long it would take to get it all done, pay all costs, and make a profit, comparing the profit with the risk-free profit that can be made with investments in no-risk federal notes, bonds and bills.) The brokerage spokesman who predicted a "feeding frenzy" now that the land has been listed for sale, says it will all be a "boon to the community," with high end housing and retail establishments, perhaps even a large new mall operation. The demographic projections indicate that by the year 2008, only a few ticks away as such matters are measured, almost 85,000 people will live within a three-mile radius of the land - with a median household income of $84,000 (half the population will have a higher income, half will be lower). South of Louetta, Highway 249 will carry 119,000 cars per day. HP, expecting no problem finding a buyer for the property, is unwilling to make specific promises to those who now live in the area, but hopes they find some comfort and assurance in a promise that they will not be engaging in a grab-the-money-and-run sales engagement. "We are going through a very careful selection process," says an HP spokesperson. "It has been well though out, and will be very mindful of our corporate responsibility to the community." Nevertheless, some residents have become alarmed at their vision of a clear-cut. "I know we can't stop development," says Lisa Marshall, a young mother who lives in the area, "but I hope that we can get the buyers to agree to a more natural result that preserves at least some of the look and feel of this nature preserve. We have a lot of wildlife in there, and they'll have no place to go if it all becomes homes and such. And it could look terrible. I'd like to see them do something like the 'campus' that Compaq did with their buildings, where they preserved a lot of the woodsy feel. That, or maybe like The Woodlands. It will be awful if it ends up as all jammed-together homes and retail outlets and signs." Jennifer Lorenz, executive director of Legacy Land Trust, says she has also been working hard to get a similar decision out of the sellers, who can be empowered to make such demands of any eventual buyers by terms of the sales contract. Lorenz says the non-profit Legacy organization already oversees about 3,000 acres in Texas that have been guaranteed to remain environmentally safe for perpetuity in such "land preservation" agreements. "This is a whole, functioning ecosystem," says Lorenz, and we must be able to guarantee some sort of buffer zone for the future. There are also flood problems along Cypress Creek to consider. More rooftops and concrete means runoff will be speeded up, and others areas that are now safe may flood as a result if it isn't done exactly right." Lorenz says about 200 area homeowners have been in contact with her with such concerns. She says that ideally the developers would set aside about 900 acres out of the total for land preservation. But so far, she adds, she has been unable to get a positive result from either the real estate brokers or Hewlett-Packard.
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