Sunday, May 15, 2011

ExxonMobil Consolidation to have main campus here?

For sometime now, there has been considerable speculation about ExxonMobil establishing their primary operations location by consolidating their people into one place. More efficiency in the heartland of oil and gas technology and services and at last, the final step of the merge between Exxon and Mobil is now thought to be underway. For a while, many included the corporate headquarters in Irving as part of the deal. That apparently is not going to happen. Officially, the company says it is studying the consolidation.1 Evidence however suggests this has already been decided. 2

Whispers are just about everywhere. "Corporate staff have been house hunting in The Woodlands." "I sold four houses this past month to Exxonmobil employees." "Did you see the Google map where the new ExxonMobil office consolidation is going to be located?" Well, IndianSpringsGuy is definitely interested in this.  He isn't the only one either.  Its potential impact is huge! Gradually, little by little, Houston is surrounding us and absorbing us into its midst. Just think, 45 minutes from downtown Houston, and we still see its tentacles on our doorstep!

The preparation of a large tract is clearly seen on Google maps just west of I-45 and south of The Woodlands at Hardy Toll Rd. 3 Very near to this is an area planned for a large development including home sites - obviously competition for The Woodlands. What would the Woodlands Development company think of this? On one hand, there is a very large number of potential customers who could seek homes in the new village in Harris County. These employees would also be searching for places to shop. On the other hand, I would think the Development Company would also be concerned about being boxed away from the new facility, making a significant obstacle to attract employees who will work at that facility. Development of the commercial area in the Village of Creekside Park could be accelerated to accommodate a large influx of people, but would there be sufficient means to move traffic during rush hour?

Demand for housing could cause inflation of prices in The Woodlands. Those employees currently working at Greenspoint might want to stay but with the current price of gasoline, living close to the office is getting much more important.  Traffic patterns could change at the intersection of the toll road and the freeway. A better traffic conduit from Creekside might need to be accelerated. I do understand that there is a plan on the books to cut through Sawdust Rd to I-45; this will consist of a four lane bridge over Spring Creek connected to High Oaks. I am am anticipating this development much earlier than the predicted 2023.4 The construction urgency of the Grand Parkway segment which will pass by the campus also increases with this. All of this could be in the planning stages now, but none of it can be revealed until ExxonMobil goes public with the decision. Consolidating a large number of employees into one complex has been done before by corporations - a tedious and complex process, requiring very disciplined project management. That includes confidentiality, even if it does mean speculation by us folks taking notice.

1 Houston Chronicle May 12, 2011
2 Swamplot May 05, 2011
3 Google map from satellite view
4 Mobility Plans for South Montgomery County

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