Houston Energy Corridor

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Energy Corridor
Business district of Greater Houston
Westlake Park, which contains the BP Americas headquarters
Westlake Park, which contains the BP Americas headquarters
Coordinates: 29°46′N 95°38′W / 29.77°N 95.63°W / 29.77; -95.63
Country United States United States
State Texas Texas
County Harris
Government[1]
 • Type County Improvement District
 • Body Harris County Improvement District #4 (Energy Corridor Management District)
Population [1]
 • Estimate (2016) 22,034
Website energycorridor.org

The Energy Corridor is a business district in Greater Houston, Texas, located on the west side of the metropolitan area between Beltway 8 and the Grand Parkway. The district straddles a 7-mile (11 km) stretch of Interstate 10 (the Katy Freeway) from Kirkwood Road westward to Barker Cypress Road and extends south along Eldridge Parkway to Briar Forest Drive.[1][2] Parts of the district overlap with the Memorial area of Houston. The district is located north of Westchase, another major business district of Houston, and east of Greater Katy.

Many energy sector companies have major operations in the Energy Corridor, including BP America, Citgo, ConocoPhillips, and Shell Oil Company.[1] Non-energy firms also have a presence; Sysco and Gulf States Toyota Distributors are both headquartered in the district.[1] The Energy Corridor contains over 26 million square feet (2,400,000 m2) of office space, with an employment capacity of over 105,000.[1]

Over 26,000 acres (41 sq mi; 110 km2) of urban park area borders the Energy Corridor, including George Bush Park and Bear Creek Pioneers Park.[3] These parks are located within Barker Reservoir and Addicks Reservoir, respectively, which comprise a major flood control system for Buffalo Bayou.

History[edit]

Energy industry corporations began moving to west Houston in the 1970s, seeking land for suburban office campuses and proximity to new housing developments.[4]

Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) had its headquarters in the district until its acquisition by Allied Waste in 2000.[5][6]

In 2001, the Texas Legislature created the 1,700-acre (2.7 sq mi)[7] Energy Corridor Management District.[8] In Texas, management districts are special government entities empowered to levy commercial taxes within their boundaries to support investments in infrastructure, urban planning, district branding and advertising, and public safety.[9] Since then, the district has been actively involved in the creation of new infrastructure in the area, including road widening and the addition of bicycle lanes and sidewalks, and operates an extensive tree-planting and beautification program.[7][10]

Between 2001 and 2013, the district more than tripled its total property value, from $600 million to over $2 billion.[10] The amount of new office space added to the Energy Corridor between 2005 and 2015 is equivalent to the amount added during the preceding three decades.[11] However, the 2010s oil glut put a damper on this growth, causing office and apartment vacancy rates in the area to rise significantly.[12] Despite this slowdown, the district saw a significant increase in hospital construction during the mid-2010s, including new facilities for Texas Children's Hospital, Houston Methodist Hospital, and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.[13]

ExxonMobil operated a large chemical facility in the district until 2013, when it consolidated operations in its new corporate campus in Spring.[14]

Economy[edit]

Largest employers in the Energy Corridor, 2016[1]
Company Employment
Wood Group 10,960
BP 9,537
Technip USA, Inc. 4,300
ConocoPhillips 3,000
Shell Oil Company 3,000

Historically, the Energy Corridor has been one of Houston's strongest office markets.[6]

The district is the second-largest employment center in the region with more than 94,000 employees and over 300 companies.[15]

Sysco headquarters

The Energy Corridor is home to the national or international headquarters of the following companies:

ConocoPhillips headquarters

Shell Oil Company, the fifth-largest employer in the Energy Corridor, operates a large campus in the district.[29][30] Dow Chemical Company and Sonangol USA have offices in the area.[31][32]

Transportation[edit]

METRO bus stop

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) provides public transportation to the area. Line 75, originally known as the Energy Corridor Connector, operates during weekdays.[33] Commuters from Downtown Houston and Midtown Houston can connect to the 75 connector via 228 Addicks and 229 Kingsland/Addicks through the Addicks Park and Ride. The 75 connector also connects with routes along Westheimer Road and Memorial Drive.[34] In January 2011, the name of the route was changed to 75 Eldridge Crosstown, and the southern terminus of the line was extended to Mission Bend Park and Ride, enabling more convenient connections with the Westchase district and the New Chinatown area.

Energy Corridor intersection

Two general aviation airports serve the Energy Corridor: West Houston Airport, near Addicks Reservoir, and Houston Executive Airport in unincorporated Waller County. The latter was built to serve employees of firms in the Energy Corridor.[35]

Two-thirds of the district's employees live within a "commute zone" spread across northern Fort Bend County, western Harris County, and southern Waller County.[36]

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

The southern, western and eastern areas of the Energy Corridor are served by Houston Independent School District, Katy Independent School District, and Spring Branch Independent School District, respectively.

Houston ISD residents are zoned to Ray K. Daily Elementary School,[37] West Briar Middle School (with Revere Middle School, a STEM Magnet, as an option),[38] and Westside High School.[39]

Katy ISD residents are zoned to Wolfe Elementary School, Mayde Creek Junior High School, Mayde Creek High School, Memorial Parkway Junior High School, and James E. Taylor High School.[40]

Spring Branch ISD residents are zoned to Nottingham Elementary School, Spring Forest Middle School, and Stratford High School.[41]

Private schools[edit]

In 2016, the British International School of Houston opened in Greater Katy to serve the district's large population of British expatriates.[42]

Public libraries[edit]

The Houston Public Library operates the Kendall Neighborhood Library on Eldridge Parkway.[43]

Parks and recreation[edit]

The Energy Corridor is intersected by Terry Hershey Park, a linear park which runs east to west along Buffalo Bayou from Beltway 8 to Barker Reservoir. The district is connected to a wider trail system by trailheads at the intersection of Eldridge and Enclave and at Mayde Creek as it passes under Interstate 10.[44] These trails connect the district to George Bush Park to the southwest.

Ray Miller Park, a neighborhood park, is located at the southern end of the district on Eldridge Parkway.[45]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The Energy Corridor District: Land Use and Demographics" (PDF). The Energy Corridor District. 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Begley, Dug (2014-10-03). "Energy Corridor a hotbed of car-free transportation planning". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Parks and Recreation in the Energy Corridor". Energy Corridor District. Retrieved 2017-02-24. 
  4. ^ "History of the Houston Energy Corridor". Energy Corridor District. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Welcome to BFI." Browning-Ferris Industries. April 28, 1999. Retrieved on February 8, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Sarnoff, Nancy. "Atlanta REIT buys former BFI buildings." Houston Business Journal. Friday October 20, 2000. Retrieved on February 8, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Jones, Allen (5 August 2014). "Extensive tree program gets kudos for Energy Corridor". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  8. ^ "SB 1226" (PDF). Texas Legislative Reference Library. 23 May 2001. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "Municipal Management Districts" (PDF). Texas Legislative Reference Library. Allen Boone Humpheries Robinson LLP. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Meeks, Flori (2 April 2013). "Construction powers Energy Corridor". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  11. ^ Baird, Annette (3 January 2014). "Corridor booming as it expands west". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 
  12. ^ Herrera, Sebastian (1 March 2016). "Oil crisis to increasingly affect non-energy markets in West Houston". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 
  13. ^ Asgarian, Roxanna (28 August 2015). "The Energy Corridor's hurting, but there's one bright spot for commercial development". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 
  14. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy (17 April 2013). "Exxon takes Energy Corridor property to market". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 
  15. ^ "Business Development". Energy Corridor District. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  16. ^ Smith, Cara (29 November 2016). "ConocoPhillips scraps sublease plans; will relocate Houston HQ to Energy Center 4". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  17. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy (8 June 2004). "Citgo chooses west Houston Energy Corridor digs". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  18. ^ "Foster Wheeler USA Corporation: Private Company Information". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 
  19. ^ "Wood Group Mustang (Westgate III) Headquarters Building". Griffin Capital. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  20. ^ "Technip USA profile". Technip USA. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  21. ^ "WorleyParsons Moves Headquarters to Energy Corridor". Energy Corridor District. March 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  22. ^ "Locations Listing Archived 2009-02-27 at the Wayback Machine.." Energy Corridor. Page 2/3. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  23. ^ "stp09-21.csv." Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  24. ^ "Sysco Corporation Headquarters". Hines. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 
  25. ^ "#76 Gulf States Toyota." Forbes. Retrieved on April 30, 2014. "1375 Enclave Parkway Houston TX 77077"
  26. ^ "2013 Inventory and Database CDS Market Research" (Archive). Energy Corridor. p. 1 (Boundary Map). Retrieved on April 30, 2014.
  27. ^ "Houston – Industrial Construction". PCL Construction. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  28. ^ "Largest Employers: SBM Offshore USA". Energy Corridor District. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  29. ^ Map (). Energy Corridor. Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
  30. ^ "Land Use and Demographics." Energy Corridor District. March 2009. 3 (7/53). Retrieved on January 16, 2010.
  31. ^ Dawson, Jennifer (9 January 2008). "Dow Center to relocate to Energy Corridor". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  32. ^ "Contact Information Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine.." Sonangol USA. Retrieved on August 6, 2011. "1177 Enclave Parkway 2nd floor Suite 200 Houston, TX 77077 "
  33. ^ "75 Energy Corridor Connector." Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas. Retrieved on January 23, 2010.
  34. ^ "New Metro line to serve Energy Corridor." Houston Business Journal. January 22, 2010. Retrieved on January 23, 2010.
  35. ^ Lee, Renée C., Helen Eriksen, Eric Hanson, Ruth Rendon, Harvey Rice, and Richard Stewart. "TRANSPORTATION / A flurry of airport expansions in the Houston region can serve corporate customers who don't like the hassles of airline travel." Houston Chronicle. Sunday June 17, 2008. Business 1. Retrieved on October 18, 2009.
  36. ^ "Land Use and Demographics" (PDF). Energy Corridor District. March 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2010. 
  37. ^ "Daily Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  38. ^ "West Briar Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
  39. ^ "Westside High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
  40. ^ "Katy ISD Schools and Facilities 2016–2017" (PDF). Katy Independent School District. 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  41. ^ "Campus Attendance Maps". Spring Branch Independent School District. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  42. ^ Kirk, Bryan. "Katy-area campus set to open in fall '16." Houston Chronicle. June 9, 2015. Retrieved on September 11, 2015.
  43. ^ "Energy Corridor to get a Kendall Neighborhood Library and Community Center". The Energy Source. Energy Corridor District. March 2009. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 
  44. ^ "Energy Corridor Bikeways Map" (PDF). Energy Corridor District. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  45. ^ Jones, Allen (5 May 2015). "The Energy Corridor proposes 'Central Park' project". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°46′N 95°38′W / 29.77°N 95.63°W / 29.77; -95.63