Is the Exxon Mobil Campus a Done Deal?
This week Coventry Development Corporation (CDC) announced the development of Springwoods Village (www.springwoodsvillage.com), a new, nature inspired residential and commercial community for North Houston. Designed for sustainability, the community will serve a population of 40,000 to 45,000 workers and residents while providing housing options and amenities such as shopping, dining, schools, civic facilities and outdoor recreation within walkable distances.
How is Exxon-Mobil Connected?
The hottest rumor earlier this year in Houston commercial real estate circles was that Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company planned to buy roughly 400 acres in the Houston area to consolidate thousands of employees from Houston and Fairfax, Va.
Speculation centered upon CDC’s large acreage site along the west side of Interstate 45 at the Hardy Toll Road just South of The Woodlands. According to a stories in the Houston Business Journal and the Houston Chronicle; Deed records show an entity purchased a large amount of acreage late last year at the Interstate 45 site, bordered on the north by Spring Creek. The entity, believed to be connected to Exxon, purchased 400 acres of vacant land from New York-based Coventry Development Co., affiliate Springwoods Realty Co.
Exxon Mobil Corporation’s only public statement has been that they are conducting a study of its U.S. real estate which looks at maintaining Exxon Mobil’s current offices as well as consolidation alternatives, and is expected to continue into 2011. However, anonymous Exxon employees believed to be familiar with deal have reportedly confirmed the campus project is happening.
According to the CDC press release, construction of Springwoods Village is targeted to begin in the second quarter of 2011. Over the next several years, 4,500 – 5,000 homes are expected to be built in addition to 8.5 million square feet of commercial office space and 1.2 million square feet of retail space. Architectural documents obtained earlier this year by the Houston Chronicle believed to be the Exxon Mobil campus outline an elaborate corporate campus, including 20 office buildings with 3 million square feet, a wellness center, laboratory and multiple parking garages.
The Exxon Mobil rumor was a hot topic earlier this year, then the chatter got very quiet. CDC in the past has required users who purchase sites in their developments to commit to a construction timetable. Now that CDC has formally announced the development, can we expect an announcement from Exxon Mobil soon regarding on what appears on the surface to be a project that is going forward.