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ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company Technical Training Center

Project: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company Technical Training Center, Houston

Client ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company

Architect: PageSoutherlandPage

Contractor: D.E. Harvey

Consultants: Shen Milsom Wilke (av/acoustics); ASA Consulting Engineers (structrual); ARCADIS (civil); The Office of James Burnett (landscape); Sunland Engineering (traffic); HBC/Terracon (soils); Bridges International (roofing); Moisture Technology Corp. (curtain wall)

Photographer: Tim Griffiths

portexxon1T.jpg

Floor Plan The design of the ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company Technical Training Center, completed in May 2004, blends the old with the new. The two-story 98,000-sf facility responds to the materials and horizontality of the existing Buffalo Speedway campus, but applies a new combination of forms and material relationships. The new building's design becomes more creative as it moves away from its junction with the 1950s-era McKie and Kamrath building, notable for its strips of brick, glass and shading devices. The new facility's facade steps toward the street in a series of layers composed of Central Texas limestone, glass, and brick. Another material - a canted curved metal panel - is introduced to represent ExxonMobil's innovative technology. The facility houses a grand lobby and gallery, classrooms of various sizes, two large areas for breakout sessions, as well as support and office spaces for training staff. The terrazzo floor in the lobby is an abstract pattern representing fluvial systems studied within the training center. Classrooms are equipped for the latest media, and a visualization classroom takes advantage of a large projection screen that can be configured in several ways, including as four sides of a cube. Parking for approximately 458 cars is provided adjacent to the training facility. The project distinguishes itself by covering a wide range of subject matter, from the tactile nature of oil field hardware and geologic material to the virtual world of computer models and simulations. All elements combine to create a training tool which will serve thousands of students annually from around the world who are involved in ExxonMobil's exploration, development, production, and research enterprises.

--Courtney Mahaffey

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New rendering on Transwestern's website. https://transwestern.com/property/the-ro-00  

https://www.loopnet.com/Listing/3120-Buffalo-Speedway-Houston-TX/17591132/    

Two more construction trailers are arriving as we speak!   And worth noting on the new rendering compared to the one Luminare posted back in early November; the building heights and designs 

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When 610 north was closed last weekend I rerouted down Buffalo Speedway and I think I was next to this building for about 30 minutes. :( but it did make me wonder what it was. From my vantage I never saw a sign. I think they did a good job of making the new structure follow the old structures lines.

I was also late for my salsa class. grrr

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ExxonMobil has a number of buildings on Buffalo Speedway, and I think none of them are marked with signs. Most are near Richmond.

Yeah, oddly enough Exxon's technology sector was trying to recruit me a few years ago and they kept refering to this campus and I just had no idea what they were talking about because I lived in the area (Buffalo Spdwy and Bissonnet) and had never seen a Exxon sign.

How stealthy the evil empire is...

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  • 9 years later...

This site, combined with the vacant building and parking lot at the NW corner of Buffalo Speedway and Richmond, have the potential to be developed into something really great.  He is right when he says this tract is one of the largest and most desirable in-fill locations left in Houston.   

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I hope someone keeps it and puts it to good use. It's a very nice mid-century modern building. The addition by Page Southerland Page isn't that bad either.

 

The dad of a kid on my son's baseball team last year works in that building. He said it's pretty grim on the inside. No light, because the windows are high on the walls, which also means there's no view, and the typical 50's layout that's a real pain these days.

 

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Too bad St Johns grabbed all the land across the street. It could've been a great new dense development.

It will be dense development, depending on what "dense" is. St. John's currently has some major expansion going on at its campus.

 

The disappearance of this building and the Shell lab in Bellaire mark the passing of an era. Kind of like the closure of the HAL-PC club. :(

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A family member once witnessed the Exxon maintenance folks clearing out a space, so it could be remodeled. One the executives was walking by the dumpster on the way out, stopped and peered inside, then joked to another saying "Well, there goes another load of research!".

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http://swamplot.com/new-owner-of-exxons-buffalo-spdwy-research-campus-knocking-out-exterior-defenses-this-week/2017-02-28/

 

New Owner of Exxon’s Buffalo Spdwy. Research Campus Knocking Out Exterior Defenses This Week

 

PIECES OF THE fencing surrounding the MacKie and Kamrath-designedExxonMobil Upstream Research facility on Buffalo Spdwy. were spotted sprawled out on the grass yesterday along the campus perimeter after being plucked from their stations; more barriers are getting yanked up this morning, as seen in the second shot above. The property (which appears to have been transferred to the nonprofit Exxon Foundation in 2015 after the oil giant’s plans to offload the site were announced) was  sold this month to an entity directing its mail to real estate investment and development firm Spear Street Capital. A couple of readers report that other major shuffling around and cleaning out appear to have been going on at the facility for at least the last few weeks, with vehicles bearing the Precision Demolition logo making periodic guest appearances on the scene.

 

3102-buffalo-spdwy-6.jpg

 

3102-buffalo-spdwy-4.jpg

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2 hours ago, ArtNsf said:

and so we say "good riddance" to another bit of history, not necessarily all that great of a history IMHO...

You didn't like the building, or you didn't like the former owner? The building was blah to me, but the research done there, as told to me by people in the know was pretty amazing.

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Solid design. Looks like that's at the corner of Buffalo Speedway and W Alabama. Maybe that's a parking garage north west side? Given how large this property is, there's definitely more to it than this. The shaded structures to the south are probably TBD. 

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1 hour ago, LBC2HTX said:

Solid design. Looks like that's at the corner of Buffalo Speedway and W Alabama. Maybe that's a parking garage north west side? Given how large this property is, there's definitely more to it than this. The shaded structures to the south are probably TBD. 

 

This was my thinking as well. The perspective indicates that this phase will start on Buffalo Speedway and W Alabama. The project as it looks now definitely makes it one the more interesting developments in this town right next to Gillette. 

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I'm guessing that "The RO" stands for "The River Oaks". 

 

While Greenway Plaza doesn't have official boundaries, I consider this apart of it. What's more is that Greenway Plaza and Upper Kirby are increasingly merging into each other due to all these developments. 

 

A mixed use use with multiple high rises at the intersection of 59/Kirby will go a long way in blending the two clusters together. Hopefully the plans for that site are still there to eventually happen. 

Edited by Sellanious Caesar
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Parkway does not include Twenty Greenway Plaza as apart of the Greenway campus. I'm always confused.  Where are buildings 13 - 19?  CBRE has Twenty Greenway Plaza, is that why Parkway does not mention it?

http://www.greenwayplaza.com/

http://www.greenwayplaza.pky.com/property-info-greenway

 

E7Ltau9.jpg

 

I'd also personally include the newly built 3737 Buffalo Speedway.  It's a Class-A office building down the street from the campus.

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I do like this rendering. Maybe I'm too picky but the single word "apart" means separate or different from as in "Keep those two dogs apart; they do not get along." If Twitter1 is asking if the development is a part (a constituent of) Greenway Plaza I would say no. It is interesting that Twitter1 put quotes around "apart." Maybe he or she was just baiting someone like me, a grammar obsessive/compulsive. :)

 

I also share confusion about which buildings are and are not a part of Greenway Plaza. The residential towers west of Timmons have the 77046 zip code and I was told at one time that Phoenix tower was not a part of GP but was apart from it. :huh:

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22 minutes ago, SkylineView said:

Other GWP buildings (when originally numbered) include(d) the two condo's, the Koch building, and stuff all the way down to Wesleyan @ 59.

 

LINK

 Thanks for posting that link, Skyline. I do remember that map. The Kock building was known as Innova at one time. I know that there have been different property managers of GWP over the years and perhaps a sale or two. Maybe that is what accounts for some buildings no longer being included in the development. At any rate, the proposed development at Alabama and Buffalo Speedway looks really great. I hope it is realized much the way it appears in the rendering.

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On 2/24/2018 at 1:39 PM, Specwriter said:

I do like this rendering. Maybe I'm too picky but the single word "apart" means separate or different from as in "Keep those two dogs apart; they do not get along." If Twitter1 is asking if the development is a part (a constituent of) Greenway Plaza I would say no. It is interesting that Twitter1 put quotes around "apart." Maybe he or she was just baiting someone like me, a grammar obsessive/compulsive. :)

 

I also share confusion about which buildings are and are not a part of Greenway Plaza. The residential towers west of Timmons have the 77046 zip code and I was told at one time that Phoenix tower was not a part of GP but was apart from it. :huh:

 

Maybe the best answer is that it's in the Greenway area.

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To break ground in 2019, Per HBJ Article this morning:

 

When California-based Spear Street Capital, a commercial real estate investment and development firm, came into the Houston market in 2017, it set off a flurry of office investment activity in the Bayou City. The company has since bought office towers in downtown, Uptown and west Houston, as well as a joint venture with Houston-based Transwestern Development Co. at the site of an old Exxon campus on Buffalo Speedway.

The project with Transwestern will be a mixed-use development known as The Ro, which will break ground in 2019, according to marketing materials from Transwestern and Spear Street. Transwestern confirmed the information but declined to comment further. The Ro will be built on 16.88 acres at 3120 Buffalo Speedway, just half a block away from Greenway Plaza and a few blocks away from River Oaks.

Tranwestern and Spear Street bought the tract in a partnership in March 2017. Later that month, Spear Street's John Grassi shared more details on the project with the Houston Business Journal.

"You can imagine some nice retail users, some nice multifamily users," Grassi said in March 2017. "Even in these tough times, you can imagine a nice office use as well — something a little more creative in appearance and something more boutique-y that would fit with the neighborhood demographics."

Grassi also said at the time that the project's development could take a while. Spear Street didn't return requests for comment.

The old Exxon campus was comprised of a six-story, 450,000-square-foot, single-tenant office building, a 100,000-square-foot training center, 13 auxiliary buildings and a large parking structure.

In January 2017, Spear Street bought the three aforementioned Houston office properties: 5 Houston Center, Energy Center I and 515 Post Oak Boulevard. The 1.2 million-square-foot deal was valued at $272 million, according to a release from seller Atlanta-based Columbia Property Trust Inc. (NYSE: CXP). Spear Street has since begun renovating 5 Houston Center.

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How long does the one-story building on the NW corner of Buffalo Speedway and Richmond survive before a developer snatches it up?

Edited by lockmat
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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to The RO: Mixed-Use Development at West Alabama and Buffalo Speedway

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