Westchase, Houston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Marker of the Westchase District
A street sign indicating Westchase. Street signs here, and in many other special management districts of Houston, are of a different design than standard city street signs.
For the community near Tampa, see Westchase, Florida.

Westchase is a business management district, with some residential and retail elements, located in western Houston, Texas, United States. The district is bounded roughly by Westheimer Road on the north, Gessner Road on the east, Wilcrest Drive on the west, and the Westpark Tollway on the south (although some portions extend as far north as Briar Forest Lane and as far south as Bellaire Boulevard). The Sam Houston Tollway and Richmond Avenue also connect the district to the rest of Houston. Westchase is considered a "Special district" under Texas law; the district has its own board of directors (composed of key leaders from businesses in the immediate area) and provides supplementary marketing, planning and public safety functions for local residents and business. Westchase is adjacent to the Sharpstown, International (which includes part of Chinatown) and Energy Corridor management districts, as well as the master-planned Royal Oaks Country Club subdivision; Westchase is immediately north and east of the Alief community, a largely residential and commercial district, and is sometimes considered part of Alief.

More than 1,500 businesses reside in Westchase. Several are associated with the petroleum industry, of which Houston is considered a major capital. Major employers that have offices in Westchase include ABB Group, BMC Software, Chevron, Phillips 66, Dow Chemical, Halliburton, and Jacobs Engineering.[1]

John Nova Lomax of the Houston Press said in a 2006 article that the segment of Westheimer in Westchase contains "virtually all chains -- a Geography of Nowhere wasteland of Boston Market, Borders, Kroger, Randalls, Taco Bell, Citgo and Sonic. Several of the six CVS outlets we passed are there, as are a few of the uncountable Starbucks." He added that the segment of Westheimer Road in Westchase does not have "the sleaze of the Highway 6 area and the tacky exuberance of mid-Westheimer, the area between Chimney Rock and Fondren."[2]

The Westchase district is approximately 2,700 acres in size, with 15.3 million square feet of office space contained in 208 office buildings.[3]

History[edit]

What is now Westchase was land under the family of R.E. "Bob" Smith, a Houston rancher and philanthropist (best known for partnering with Judge Roy Hofheinz, among others, in the early 1960s to create what would become the Houston Astros Major League Baseball franchise). In 1969 Friendswood Development Company purchased a section of Smith's land to form what is now Woodlake, an upper-middle-class residential subdivision off Gessner Road between Briar Forest Lane and Westheimer Road. In 1973 the Westchase Corporation purchased 760 acres (3.1 km2) of Smith family land. As development expanded, Chevron and Western Geophysical were some of the first companies to establish operations in Westchase. The section of Beltway 8 (Sam Houston Tollway) serving the area opened in 1988, increasing road access. It became clear that some sort of "master plan" was needed to provide for orderly development and marketing of the area. Legislation creating the Westchase District was passed by the 73rd Texas State Legislature and became law on August 28, 1995.[4]

Economy[edit]

Corporate headquarters[edit]

BMC Software is headquartered at 2101 CityWest Boulevard.[5][6] In 1991 BMC announced plans to build a new headquarters complex, which it anticipated would cost between 60 and 65 million dollars.[7] BMC planned to vacate two leased facilities in Sugar Land, Texas when its current headquarters, located on a 20-acre (81,000 m2) site purchased from Southwest Inc., opened; the land by itself cost over 8 million dollars. The 20 story, 120,000-square-foot (11,000 m2) tower was scheduled to begin construction in March or April 1992 and the facility was scheduled to open in late 1993.[7][8] BMC temporarily subleased 90,316 square feet (8,390.6 m2) of space at the Permian Tower from Scurlock Permian Corporation until the headquarters was completed.[8] BMC Software's current headquarters was one of a few office buildings being built within a two-year period prior to December 1992.[9]

In 2012, after Phillips 66 split from ConocoPhillips, it moved its operations from the ConocoPhillips headquarters to the Pinnacle Westchase building,[10] a 9-story Class A office building located on 8.4 acres (3.4 ha) of land in Westchase.[11] This is a temporary headquarters location. Phillips 66 announced it will construct a new permanent headquarters on a 14-acre (5.7 ha) plot of land in Westchase. The new headquarters will be between Westheimer Road and Briar Forest, in close proximity to the Sam Houston Tollway.[10] Construction started on Friday November 22, 2013.[12]

Mariner Energy had its headquarters in One Briar Lake Plaza in Westchase (and was acquired by Apache Corporation, headquartered in Uptown Houston, in 2010).[5][13] Geokinetics has its headquarters in Westchase.[5][14] The Men's Wearhouse has its headquarters in Westchase.[15][16] The Texas division of Safeway,[17] which operates Randall's Food Markets, is headquartered at 3663 Briarpark Drive in Westchase.[18][19] The office served as the headquarters of the independent Randall's company before its takeover.[20]

When Marble Slab Creamery was an independent company, its headquarters was in Westchase.[21][22]

Company operations[edit]

Halliburton offices in Westchase and in Chinatown

Halliburton operates the Houston Office (a.k.a. Oak Park Campus) on 67 acres (270,000 m2) of land located in the Westchase district and in Chinatown.[15][23][24][25][26] The complex includes the Latin America division of Easywell, a division of Halliburton.[27] This office opened on a formerly vacant tract of land that was sold in 1977. At first the office was owned by Brown and Root.[28]

In 2001 Halliburton announced that it planned to consolidate 8,000 employees to a newly constructed complex on the Westchase property by 2004.[25][29] Halliburton planned to build two high rise office buildings with 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) of feet total; the towers would have housed the construction, energy services, and engineering groups. The Halliburton campus as a whole would have had three towers, several parking garages, and skybridges connecting the buildings.[25] In December 2001 Halliburton canceled its plans to relocate employees to Westchase, disappointing real estate figures associated with Westchase. The Westchase district had no tenant for the 67 acres (270,000 m2) of land where Halliburton had planned to develop a new campus. Nancy Sarnoff of the Houston Business Journal said that it made more sense for the company to lease existing space instead of constructing new office space in times of economic downturns.[30] By 2012 Halliburton plans to close its Downtown Houston headquarters and consolidate its operations at its new headquarters in northern Houston and at the Westchase office. In 2009 the Westchase campus had 1,700 employees; Halliburton plans to increase its workforce at Oak Park to 3,000 workers. At the Bellaire site Halliburton plans to build a 16-story tower, a two-story "life center," an additional parking garage, expanded child care facilities, auditoriums, and bridges to connect the many buildings.[24] In 2009 Halliburton had about 1,000 employees worked in leased office space in Westchase. During that year Halliburton stated that it planned to vacate the leased space.[31] The plans for the Oak Park office had been delayed by one year, and Halliburton expects completion in 2013.[32]

Chevron Corporation occupies two buildings at 3901 Briarpark that were built by Texaco. The combined square footage in the buildings is 178,000 square feet (16,500 m2).[18][33] In 2006 Chevron occupied another 290,000 square feet (27,000 m2) building on Hayes Road in Westchase; that building had been earmarked for sale during that year.[33][34]

Maersk Oil has its USA office in Westchase.[35] The Norwegian energy company Statoil has its flagship USA office in Westchase.[36][37] WesternGeco operates an office at 10001 Richmond Avenue.[38][39] ABB Group has offices in Westchase.[22][40] The studios of KRBE are located in Suite 700 of the Chase building at 9801 Westheimer Road.[22][41] Compuware has offices in the One Westchase Center building in Westchase.[42]

Hotels[edit]

The Westchase district is served by several hotels, from budget brands such as Motel 6 to business-oriented brands such as La Quinta and Courtyard by Marriott. Many are situated on or near the Sam Houston Tollway (the Beltway). The largest hotels in Westchase are a 600-room Houston Marriott Westchase (which opened in 1980 as an Adam's Mark, and rebranded in 2002 as Marriott) and a 300-room Hilton. A 130-room Holiday Inn opened in the district in the spring of 2011.

Shopping[edit]

Westchase Shopping Center, located at Westheimer and Wilcrest Roads, is anchored by Randalls, Target, PETCO, Ross Dress for Less and Palais Royal. Woodlake Square, located at Westheimer and Gessner, is anchored by Randalls, JoS. A. Bank Clothiers, Five Guys, Corner Bakery Cafe, and Walgreens. Carillon Shopping Center, located on Westheimer roughly between Gessner and the Sam Houston Tollway, features several restaurants, including La Madeleine, Schlotzsky's, Chili's and Outback Steakhouse; a handful of locally-owned restaurants are included in this facility as well. A stand-alone Kroger Signature supermarket is located nearby.[43]

Houston has one Japanese market, the Nippan Daido (大道 Daidō[44]) at Westheimer Road at Wilcrest,[45] in the Westchase district.[46][47]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

The consulate generals of Costa Rica and Indonesia reside in Westchase.[48][48][49][50] The Indonesian consulate has been in Westchase since 1993, when consul general Achmad Surjadi purchased the 44,815-square-foot (4,163.4 m2) building located at 10900 Richmond Avenue.[50][51]

The Consulate-General of Venezuela in Houston was in Westchase.[48][52] As of 2008 it is located outside of Westchase in Suite 220 at 2401 Fountain View Drive.[53]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Houston Fire Department Station 69 Westchase

The Westchase Management District is headquartered in Suite 1175 at 10375 Richmond Avenue.[54]

Two Houston City Council districts serve Westchase. Most of it is in District F,[55] while some is in District G.[56]

Two Houston Fire Department stations, Station 69 Westchase and Station 83 Royal Oaks, serve Westchase.[5][34] Both stations are a part of Fire District 83.[57] Station 83, a three-bay station, has an ambulance, an engine, and a squad; the station houses about nine firefighters per each four-hour shift.[58] Station 69, located on Beltway 8 at Briar Forest, opened in 1980.[59] The area around what is now Station 83 experienced a wave of construction of high density housing, which stressed the existing emergency infrastructure services. The city responded, holding a groundbreaking for Station 83 on October 8, 2002. The fire department assumed ownership of the station on February 14, 2005. On March 2, 2005 firefighters moved into the station. On June 1, 2005 ribbon-cutting ceremony was held.[58]

The Houston Police Department's Westside and Uptown Divisions serve separate sections of the district.

County, state, and federal representation[edit]

Deborah Sue Schatz Post Office

Westchase is located in Harris County Precinct 3, which is headed by Steve Radack as of 2008.[60]

The United States Postal Service operates the Westchase Finance Unit at 3836 South Gessner Road and the Debora Sue Schatz Post Office at 2909 Rogerdale Road.[61][62][63]

Education[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]

The Houston Community College System operates community colleges for the Westchase area.[64] The HCC Alief Campus, a part of the Southwest College,[65] is located at 2811 Hayes Road in Westchase.[34][64] The Alief campus opened in 2007.[64]

American InterContinental University Houston and a branch of Sanford-Brown College are in the same building in Westchase.[18][66][67]

Remington College acquired their Houston campus in August 1997. It was originally called Education America - Houston Campus and is now referred to as Remington College - Houston Campus (Westchase).[68]

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Revere Middle School

Most of Westchase, which is south of Westheimer Road (Farm to Market Road 1093) and west of Gessner Road, is zoned to schools in Alief Independent School District, while the parts north of Westheimer and parts east of Gessner Road are zoned to the Houston Independent School District. The HISD portion of the community is within Trustee District VI, represented by Greg Meyers as of 2008.[69]

The school zoning for the Alief ISD portion is as follows:[70][71][72]

  • The portion inside Beltway 8 south of Westheimer and west of Gessner is zoned to Sneed Elementary School (Sneed Elementary is in the Westchase district), Budewig Intermediate School, and O'Donnell Middle School.
  • The portion outside Beltway 8 north of the Westpark Tollway and south of Westheimer is zoned to Outley Elementary School, Budewig Intermediate School, and O'Donnell Middle School.
  • The portion outside Beltway 8 south of the Westpark Tollway is zoned to Chancellor Elementary School (Bilingual students go to Youens Elementary School), Owens Intermediate School, and Alief Middle School.
  • Westchase students in Alief ISD may attend Elsik, Hastings, and Taylor high schools, as high school assignments in Alief ISD are determined by a lottery.

The school zoning for the Houston ISD portion is as follows:

Houston ISD operates Sands Point Elementary School in rented space in the Institute of Chinese Culture at 10550 Westoffice Drive within the Alief ISD boundary;[38][74][75] the school opened in 1998.[75]

Private schools[edit]

Private schools in Westchase include Alexander-Smith Academy, River Oaks Academy, Wesley Academy, Woodlake Square Children's Center, Ascension Episcopal School, Children's World Learning Center, and the Grace Presbyterian Church and School. Westchase Methodist School is a preschool and kindergarten in Westchase.[76]

Public libraries[edit]

Judson W. Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library

The area is served by the Judson W. Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library of Houston Public Library at 3223 Wilcrest Drive.[77] The branch is named for Judson W. Robinson Jr., who in 1971 became the first African-American elected to the Houston City Council.

Parks and recreation[edit]

The Westchase Park, operated by the City of Houston, is located at 9851 Pagewood.[78]

Harris County's Tracy Gee Community Center, located at 3599 Westcenter Drive, is located in Westchase.[79][80] The county bought the building, which previously housed a finance company, in 1991. Steve Radack, the Harris County commissioner who oversees the Westchase district, renovated the building.[81] He named it after Tracy Gee (Traditional Chinese: 硃秀娟, Simplified Chinese: 朱秀娟, Pinyin:Zhū Xiùjuān), a Chinese American university student who was murdered in 1990;[81][82] Radack said that criminals get publicity while victims do not get publicity, so he believed that the building needed to be named for a crime victim. The county opened the community center on September 17, 1993.[81]

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston maintains the Chinese Cultural Center at 10303 West Office Drive in Westchase.[38][83]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Westchase." Westchase. Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
  2. ^ Lomax, John Nova. "The Sole of Houston." Houston Press. October 12, 2006. 3.
  3. ^ http://westchasedistrict.com/pdf/LandUseMap2012.pdf
  4. ^ "History of Westchase." Westchase. Retrieved on February 4, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d "SECT1-key.gif." Westchase. Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
  6. ^ "BMC." BMC Software. Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
  7. ^ a b Bivins, Ralph. "BMC building 20-story tower near tollway on city's west side." Houston Chronicle. Tuesday August 6, 1991. Business 1. Retrieved on August 3, 2009.
  8. ^ a b Bivins, Ralph. "BMC signs a big lease/Firm needs space until tower's done." Houston Chronicle. Sunday November 17, 1991. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
  9. ^ Bivins, Ralph. "Greenspoint ground broken for Exxon Exploration building." Houston Chronicle. Thursday December 17, 1992. Business 3. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Sebastian, Simone. "Phillips 66 to build global headquarters in West Houston." FuelFix (Houston Chronicle). September 12, 2012. Retrieved on September 13, 2012.
  11. ^ "Location." (Archive) Pinnacle Westchase. Retrieved on September 13, 2012.
  12. ^ Mulvaney, Erin. "Construction begins on Phillips 66 new west Houston campus." Houston Chronicle. November 23, 2013. Retrieved on November 25, 2013.
  13. ^ "Contact." Mariner Energy. Retrieved on June 3, 2010.
  14. ^ "About Geokinetics." Geokinetics. Retrieved on April 4, 2010. "1500 CityWest Blvd., Suite 800 • Houston, Texas 77042 • USA."
  15. ^ a b "SECT5-key.gif." Westchase District. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  16. ^ "Contact Us." The Men's Wearhouse. Retrieved on December 9, 2009.
  17. ^ "Division Offices" (Archive) Safeway. Retrieved on March 12, 2014. "Texas (Randall's/Tom Thumb) The Safeway Texas Division office is located in Houston and supports three major markets."
  18. ^ a b c "SECT8-key.gif." Westchase. Retrieved on April 30, 2009.
  19. ^ "Randall's Food Markets, Inc." Manta. Retrieved on April 30, 2009.
  20. ^ "Randalls Food Markets Inc." Randall's Food Markets. March 3, 2000. Retrieved on April 30, 2009.
  21. ^ "Facts at a Glance. Marble Slab Creamery. June 14, 1998. Retrieved on February 24, 2010.
  22. ^ a b c "SECT6-key.gif." Westchase District. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  23. ^ "Office Location." Halliburton. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  24. ^ a b Clanton, Brett. "Halliburton to consolidate in 2 locations." Houston Chronicle. April 3, 2009. Retrieved on April 3, 2009.
  25. ^ a b c Sarnoff, Nancy. "Halliburton move could create hole in Houston's office market." Houston Business Journal. Friday August 10, 2001. Retrieved on November 11, 2009.
  26. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "Opinions vary over naming the growing Asian community on Houston's southwest side." (Archive). Alternate version without Chinatown map: "DIVERSITY DEBATE / Chinatown outgrowing name / Opinions vary over naming the growing Asian community on Houston's southwest side." Houston Chronicle. Wednesday May 9, 2007. A1.
  27. ^ "Easywell Offices." Halliburton. Retrieved on April 3, 2009.
  28. ^ "District Information." (Archive). Alief Independent School District. Retrieved on April 3, 2014.
  29. ^ Bivins, Ralph. "Halliburton goes west in Houston / Thousands of workers to move after towers built." Houston Chronicle. Saturday August 4, 2001. Business 1. Retrieved on June 14, 2009.
  30. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy. "Downtown up, Westchase down as Halliburton postpones project." Houston Business Journal. Friday December 21, 2009. Retrieved on November 11, 2009.
  31. ^ "HALLIBURTON TO CONSOLIDATE HOUSTON OPERATIONS." Halliburton. April 3, 2009. Retrieved on January 22, 2010.
  32. ^ Dawson, Jennifer. "Despite delays, suburban Halliburton campus developments take shape." Houston Business Journal. Friday December 25, 2009. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  33. ^ a b Dawson, Jennifer. "Chevron ends space odyssey with landmark lease." Houston Business Journal. Friday March 3, 2006. Retrieved on November 11, 2009.
  34. ^ a b c "SECT2-key.gif." Westchase District. Retrieved on December 21, 2008.
  35. ^ "Contact Us." Maersk Oil. Retrieved on September 22, 2011. "USA Maersk Oil America Inc. 2500 City West Boulevard, 1350 Houston, TX 77042 United States of America "
  36. ^ "[1]." Statoil. Retrieved on May 12, 2012. "2103 CityWest Blvd., Suite 800, Houston, Texas, 77042"
  37. ^ "[2]." Retrieved on May 12, 2012.
  38. ^ a b c "SECT7-key.gif." Westchase. Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
  39. ^ "North America." WesternGeco. Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
  40. ^ "Addresses in United States." ABB Group. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  41. ^ "KRBE Contact Information." KRBE. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  42. ^ "Compuware Around the World." Compuware. Retrieved on January 7, 2010.
  43. ^ https://www.kroger.com/storeHours?store=03400363
  44. ^ "WELCOME TO DAIDO JAPANESE MARKET" (Archive). Daido Japanese Market. October 20, 2007. Retrieved on May 8, 2014.
  45. ^ Reid, J.C. "Natto from Nippan Daido." Houston Press. Tuesday September 22, 2009. Retrieved on March 30, 2014. "Natto isn't widely available in Houston, so I went to the source of all things related to Japanese food in Houston -- the wonderful Nippan Daido Japanese market at Westheimer and Wilcrest."
  46. ^ Houston Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Bayou City’s Iconic Restaurants. Globe Pequot, November 6, 2012. p. 142. Retrieved on March 30, 2014. "For exquisitely fresh fish to make sashimi plates or sushi at home, the Nippon Daido market in Westchase is the spot to go."
  47. ^ "Land Use Map" (Archive) Westchase. Retrieved on May 11, 2014.
  48. ^ a b c "SECT3-key.gif." Westchase District. Retrieved on December 21, 2008.
  49. ^ "Consulates in the United States." Embassy of Costa Rica Washington, DC. Retrieved on December 21, 2008.
  50. ^ a b "Office Hours, Holidays & Location." Consulate-General of Indonesia in Houston. Retrieved on December 21, 2008.
  51. ^ "Real estate briefs". Houston Chronicle. 1993-02-04. 
  52. ^ "Venezuela." Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved on December 21, 2008.
  53. ^ Home page. Consulate-General of Venezuela in Houston. Retrieved on December 21, 2008.
  54. ^ "Contact Our Staff." Westchase. Retrieved on May 11, 2009.
  55. ^ City of Houston, Council District Maps, District F." City of Houston. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
  56. ^ City of Houston, Council District Maps, District G." City of Houston. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
  57. ^ "Fire Stations." Houston Fire Department. Retrieved on December 4, 2008.
  58. ^ a b "Fire Station 83." City of Houston. Retrieved on May 8, 2010.
  59. ^ Fire Station 69." City of Houston. Retrieved on May 8, 2010.
  60. ^ "Precinct Maps: Precinct 3." Harris County, Texas. Retrieved on December 5, 2008.
  61. ^ "Post Office Location - WESTCHASE." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 4, 2008.
  62. ^ "Post Office Location - DEBORA SUE SCHATZ." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 4, 2008.
  63. ^ http://www.westchasedistrict.com/Images/maps/SECT3-key.gif
  64. ^ a b c "HCC provides opportunity and education for the Alief community." Houston Community College System. Retrieved on April 8, 2009.
  65. ^ "HCC Southwest College." Houston Community College. Retrieved on April 8, 2009.
  66. ^ "Houston." Sanford-Brown College. Retrieved on June 2, 2010.
  67. ^ Home page. American InterContinental University Houston. Retrieved on June 2, 2010.
  68. ^ [3] Remington College Timeline. Retrieved on September 15, 2010.
  69. ^ "Trustee Districts Map." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on November 11, 2008.
  70. ^ "2007–2008 Elementary/Intermediate School Boundaries." Alief Independent School District.
  71. ^ "2007–2008 Elementary Bilingual School Boundaries." Alief Independent School District.
  72. ^ "2007–2008 Middle/Intermediate School Boundaries." Alief Independent School District.
  73. ^ "Registration." Briarmeadow Charter School.
  74. ^ Home page. Institute of Chinese Culture. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  75. ^ a b "School Histories: the Stories Behind the Names." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on September 24, 2008.
  76. ^ "Schools & Day Cares in the Westchase District." Westchase. Retrieved on January 28, 2009.
  77. ^ "Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on December 4, 2008.
  78. ^ "NeighborhoodRevList3.gif." City of Houston. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  79. ^ Map of Section 7. Westchase District. Accessed October 14, 2008.
  80. ^ "Community Centers : Tracy Gee." Harris County. Accessed October 14, 2008.
  81. ^ a b c "Tracy Gee : History." Harris County. Accessed October 14, 2008.
  82. ^ "【旅美記事】美國總統初選投票記實." United Daily News. February 28, 2009. Retrieved on November 17, 2011.
  83. ^ "Contact Us." Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston. Retrieved on March 11, 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°43′44″N 95°33′50″W / 29.729°N 95.564°W / 29.729; -95.564