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Occidental Petroleum Site Purchased By Midway


Houston19514

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Earlier this year, there was a news item that Occidental (Oxy) was in talks to buy Conoco's (now ConocoPhillips) old headquarters on Katy Freeway. More recently the business media has reported that Oxy has put all of their Greenway Plaza space up for sublease and that the space will be available when Oxy moves to a "a newly constructed, owned property to the west.”

 

Of course, not a single business reporter in this town has managed to discover or, so as we know, even inquire about, WHERE Oxy is building their new headquarters, how big it might be, who is the architect, etc etc.  Has anyone heard anything?

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Occidental Petroleum has its eyes on the 62-acre campus on N. Dairy Ashford off I-10 that ConocoPhillips has been planning to vacate since last year. In an email to Oxy employees, CEO Vicki Hollub said the company had found “a unique opportunity to acquire an office campus with the space and amenities to create a more modern work environment.” Oxy arrived in Greenway Plaza a few years after ConocoPhillips set up shop in its then-newly-built Dairy Ashford complex during the early 80s. Renovations made over the Conoco campus — pictured above — in 2008, but last year, the oil giant announced it’d be taking off for the 22-story Energy Center 4 building it had leased on the other side of I-10. The highrise neighbors the 2-stories-shorter Energy Center 3 tower, where employees of Conoco’s Lower 48 business unit are already stationed

 

http://swamplot.com/oxy-in-talks-to-buy-conocophillips-campus/2018-03-28/

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3 minutes ago, htownbro said:

Occidental Petroleum has its eyes on the 62-acre campus on N. Dairy Ashford off I-10 that ConocoPhillips has been planning to vacate since last year. In an email to Oxy employees, CEO Vicki Hollub said the company had found “a unique opportunity to acquire an office campus with the space and amenities to create a more modern work environment.” Oxy arrived in Greenway Plaza a few years after ConocoPhillips set up shop in its then-newly-built Dairy Ashford complex during the early 80s. Renovations made over the Conoco campus — pictured above — in 2008, but last year, the oil giant announced it’d be taking off for the 22-story Energy Center 4 building it had leased on the other side of I-10. The highrise neighbors the 2-stories-shorter Energy Center 3 tower, where employees of Conoco’s Lower 48 business unit are already stationed

 

http://swamplot.com/oxy-in-talks-to-buy-conocophillips-campus/2018-03-28/

 

That's the "earlier this year" news I referenced above.  Since then, Oxy has announced they are putting their Greenway Plaza space up for sublease and that they will be moving to a "newly-constructed... property to the west."  That excludes the former Conoco headquarters. 

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2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

That's the "earlier this year" news I referenced above.  Since then, Oxy has announced they are putting their Greenway Plaza space up for sublease and that they will be moving to a "newly-constructed... property to the west."  That excludes the former Conoco headquarters. 

 

where is the article you are referencing 'newly constructed'?

 

I find it very hard to believe Oxy would build more office in the WEST of all places, when there is literally space available EVERYWHERE... They are probably just renovating.

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1 hour ago, Avossos said:

 

where is the article you are referencing 'newly constructed'?

 

I find it very hard to believe Oxy would build more office in the WEST of all places, when there is literally space available EVERYWHERE... They are probably just renovating.

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/07/09/occidental-petroleum-putting-greenway-plaza-space.amp.html

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That “most of their employees live in the suburbs” line is such a generalization. Maybe most of their employees do live in the suburbs, yes, but suburbs can be 30, 40, 50 miles apart, on the other side of the city from each other. You can’t tell me when Exxon upped stakes and left Downtown for the The Woodlands that all of their then suburban employees were residing in The Woodlands? No! of course not. Some lived in Katy, others in Clear Lake, Pearland, Baytown or Sugar Land. Being Downtown or at least inside the Loop provides for a central location for ALL suburban employees ringing around the metro area. So yes, large HQ’s moving out to a far flung suburb is lame and inconvenient. Besides most large cities aren’t doing the suburban HQ campuses much anymore as they’ve become rather passé. 

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Nice job completely ignoring my other point. To add to this, outside of our little HAIF bubble a lot of people really don't like having to work downtown, in fact I know a lot of people that would would much rather work on a larger suburban corporate campus than deal with downtown everyday.  

Edited by jmitch94
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1 hour ago, jmitch94 said:

Nice job completely ignoring my other point. To add to this, outside of our little HAIF bubble a lot of people really don't like having to work downtown, in fact I know a lot of people that would would much rather work on a larger suburban corporate campus than deal with downtown everyday.  

Yeah, that’s most likely because said people prefer to live in the suburbs and not have to commute, rather than living ITL or living in the suburbs and commuting. 

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17 hours ago, BeerNut said:

 

Don't forget work from home.

 you're right I forgot 

 

new list:

  1. Office within a 5 minute walk but not in your house
  2. work from home
  3. close by (aka in suburb near you)
  4. downtown or other central location
  5. suburb faraway
  6. Dallas
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On 8/3/2018 at 10:37 PM, Elseed said:

Any company building their HQ out of the loop is lame. It really shows how out of touch they are.

 

Where else would you find enough space for 10,000 employees, lab space, meeting space, and higher security? The security aspects of a suburban campus for high profile companies are attractive, since there is more access control, and it's easier to keep threats away from the structures.

 

On 8/4/2018 at 10:43 AM, intencity77 said:

That “most of their employees live in the suburbs” line is such a generalization. Maybe most of their employees do live in the suburbs, yes, but suburbs can be 30, 40, 50 miles apart, on the other side of the city from each other. You can’t tell me when Exxon upped stakes and left Downtown for the The Woodlands that all of their then suburban employees were residing in The Woodlands? No! of course not. Some lived in Katy, others in Clear Lake, Pearland, Baytown or Sugar Land. Being Downtown or at least inside the Loop provides for a central location for ALL suburban employees ringing around the metro area. So yes, large HQ’s moving out to a far flung suburb is lame and inconvenient. Besides most large cities aren’t doing the suburban HQ campuses much anymore as they’ve become rather passé. 

 

Folks I know who work for Exxon told me that there was a survey that showed something like 70-80% of the employees lived North of I-10, with the largest number in the Northern suburbs. That implies shorter commutes for a large number of them, and against traffic commutes for others, reducing overall traffic impact by spreading the vehicle load across more lanes.

 

Suburban campuses aren't passe in a place like Houston where there is abundant land. Why be beholden to Downtown real estate interests when the economics of a suburban campus work in your favor? Moving North of Houston also reduces the impact of storms on business continuity and repair costs.

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This topic is brought up a lot in my office. I am currently in the Uptown area. The majority of those that live in suburbs live in Katy. Those in Katy want to have the office in the Energy Corridor. Those in the loop want it to stay where it is. And those in the other parts of the city aren't as vocal. Polls have been done to see if people want to move to Energy Corridor or up 290 to split to the Katy/Woodland difference. The loop wins for now and more so with younger workers, who make up the majority of the office. The big negative that management sees with a suburban location is it kills recruiting for people living anywhere but the loop and that one suburb. A central location helps bring in the most talent from throughout the metroplex. 

 

People in the loop are more willing to go to a suburb just because it is against traffic but from what I can tell in a larger office is that going to suburb to make one group happy makes that majority unhappy. It is hard enough to commute from Clear Lake to the Galleria. But it is much worse to do Clear Lake to Katy.

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On 8/6/2018 at 11:09 AM, Ross said:

 

Where else would you find enough space for 10,000 employees, lab space, meeting space, and higher security? The security aspects of a suburban campus for high profile companies are attractive, since there is more access control, and it's easier to keep threats away from the structures.

 

 

Folks I know who work for Exxon told me that there was a survey that showed something like 70-80% of the employees lived North of I-10, with the largest number in the Northern suburbs. That implies shorter commutes for a large number of them, and against traffic commutes for others, reducing overall traffic impact by spreading the vehicle load across more lanes.

 

Suburban campuses aren't passe in a place like Houston where there is abundant land. Why be beholden to Downtown real estate interests when the economics of a suburban campus work in your favor? Moving North of Houston also reduces the impact of storms on business continuity and repair costs.

 

All I got to say is this. If this city and the companies in it want to be looked at in better light and be attractive to other companies and prospective employees, then they need to start catering more towards younger talent and to the people who want to live in a city. Downtown and the loop is booming, and no bright, eager young upstart is particularly excited about working in Katy, Texas or The Woodlands. Houston is becoming denser and its becoming more attractive to everyone. Especially the young upstarts. Look at how expensive New York is. Yet hundreds of thousands of eager bright minds flock there every year. Why? Not just because of the salary but because its in a lively city. I understand the mantra for years about Houston was, “you don’t move here for its beauty but for a job”, well my friend that mantra is changing as we speak. If you really want to attract bright young and WISE OLD minds you need to have lively city, great public transit, and more company HQ’s in the city or very close to it. There is still plenty of space to build on in the city. There are still empty lots downtown, Midtown, EaDo. So I call bullshit when these multi-billion dollar companies say that they don’t have enough space to invest in the city. Also, the City of Houston needs to get a task force together to keep these mofos in the loop, particularly downtown or certain segments of the city are going to be hurt economically if these HQ’s move. If these companies are committed to the future they need to stay in the loop, particularly Downtown. Otherwise, they are going to lose out on great talent that will take their ideas and money elsewhere. Also, I’ve known people who’ve lived in different suburbs but commute to the loop for work and most of them are older. I’ve heard from many of them that they like the fact their company is in the loop. The reason being, that they like doing stuff in the loop after work and its just generally more exciting.

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I have a bias because I live in the city, but I’d agree that, all other variables being equal, a corporate office downtown would be a much bigger draw for young talent.  There is a vibrancy downtown that is simply lacking in the suburbs.  The benefit is probably impossible to quantify, but it’s real.

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14 minutes ago, Timoric said:

What percentage of oil company and related industries office workers are young talent? And at good salaries how long until they want to have kids and discover the lack of basic infrastructure (a decent grocery store) and decide five years of that was great but now I want something else and Pearland, the Woodlands, or Katy are better for that?

The city has plenty of infrastructure (i.e. grocery stores).  I’d submit that people choose the suburbs for the cheaper cost of living and schools.

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Many older people in the petrochemical and oil industry don’t want to live or work anywhere near downtown. I currently work for a company in Westchase. I tell people all the time that working downtown is much better, they look at me like I’m from Mars. All they know about the inner loop is what they see on the few weekends when they visit. They sit in traffic on Westpark for hours every week and complain about “downtown traffic”. 

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1 minute ago, jgriff said:

Many older people in the petrochemical and oil industry don’t want to live or work anywhere near downtown. I currently work for a company in Westchase. I tell people all the time that working downtown is much better, they look at me like I’m from Mars. All they know about the inner loop is what they see on the few weekends when they visit. They sit in traffic on Westpark for hours every week and complain about “downtown traffic”. 

Probably true.  But the traffic in sugarkatywood is actually quite epic too.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Timoric said:

I was thinking of downtown, when my fiance lived in DC near GWU we had to walk 10 blocks to buy any produce, that memory is applied to DT Houston, 45 minutes for a banana is no good

 

I drive to Randall's and back for a banana - 10 minutes roundtrip max on the weekends.

 

Of course I can still walk, but this is downtown houston - you can drive still

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11 hours ago, MarathonMan said:

The city has plenty of infrastructure (i.e. grocery stores).  I’d submit that people choose the suburbs for the cheaper cost of living and schools.

Definitely the schools. When we lived in the 'burbs we had access to excellent schools and had a wonderful house in a great neighborhood for much less than the cost of living "in town" and paying private school tuition. My commute wasn't terrible usually - 45-60 minutes to cover 35 miles - but could balloon up to 90 minutes + if there was an accident, etc.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I worked with a guy whose dad worked for Exxon and lived in Clear Lake who was going to have to work at the new Exxon campus and he was seriously thinking about retiring early since he only had a few years left anyway. And talked with a gentleman whose wife was going to have to transfer there but they lived in the Heights, I asked if they were moving up there and he said hell no.

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On 8/5/2018 at 8:43 AM, cspwal said:

 you're right I forgot 

 

new list:

  1. Office within a 5 minute walk but not in your house
  2. work from home
  3. close by (aka in suburb near you)
  4. downtown or other central location
  5. suburb faraway
  6. Dallas

This ^^^ 

 

My Dad for example.

He lives in Sugarland.

Absolutely hates driving to downtown.

But would work downtown in a heartbeat if the other option was to commute or move to or near The Woodlands.

 

Moving from another city to a suburban location  in Houston is ok I guess. There are always good affordable housing stock that workers would move to. But like the poster said, moving established workers from a central area to a more polarized location of the metro is extremely lame. How would you like an extra 45 minutes added to your commute?

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Commuting sucks, but it happens everywhere there are concentrated jobs.  The tradeoffs are fairly well established, you pay in money or time for any upside to your living situation.  If you can tolerate downsides that other people won't, for whatever reason, you can enjoy some bargains.  

 

 

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  • The title was changed to Occidental Petroleum Site Purchased By Midway
  • The title was changed to 2
3 hours ago, BEES?! said:

I didn’t see a topic on this, but looks like Midway purchased the 68 acres in total (former conoco phillips campus) from Howard Hughes in December.


Here’s a link

 

It’s not too far from CityCentre along I-10. 
 

so, hype time?

That's interesting.  Not sure it's hype time yet, but certainly something to keep an eye on.  What would Midway likely build there?

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