Recently, four businesses based in Westchase District either have relocated to new offices while remaining in the District or have expanded their existing footprint. Their decisions to stay in Westchase District are an encouraging show of confidence in the area and a validation of the efforts of the District to attract and retain world-class companies.
After 20-plus years at 9990 Richmond Avenue, Costello, Inc., a preeminent civil engineering and surveying firm, moved its offices in April to 2107 CityWest Boulevard. The company, which has 150 Houston-based employees, expanded its office space to 35,000 square feet on two floors in the building. Dustin O’Neal, president of Costello, Inc., said the new space allows for more collaborative work spaces for current employees and provides room for growth.
The new offices feature multiple conference rooms as well as spacious kitchen and breakroom areas. Other employee amenities include a ping pong table, computer terminals dedicated to gaming and a 30-seat movie theater for employees to gather to screen their favorite films. “We work hard, but we also like to have fun together,” O’Neal said. “The greenspaces, gyms, onsite cafes and team sports offered on the campus allow our employees numerous opportunities to recharge and reenergize. All of these amenities help build stronger teams and increase employee creatvity.”
O’Neal said when considering moving Costello’s headquarters, Westchase District’s location and mobility were critical factors. “The geography of the area was just too central for us to ignore,” he said. “When we mapped out where our employees are commuting from, it made sense to stay as close to our old headquarters as possible. We’re in close proximity to both our competitors and clients alike. The area looks nice and everyone feels safe. Plus, the quality of the office space is just phenomenal.”
For the past eight years, Pape-Dawson Engineers occupied 12,500 square feet at 10333 Richmond. In March, the firm moved across the street into 16,210 square feet on the second floor of 10350 Richmond Avenue, with plans to occupy the entire floor later this year. With 72 employees currently, nearly doubling the company’s office size to 23,490 square feet allows for Pape-Dawson to expand to as many as 100 employees in the new space, according to Michael Preiss, senior vice president with Pape-Dawson.
“We do work in Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Montgomery, Chambers, Liberty, Brazoria and Galveston counties and for us the epicenter of all that is right here in Westchase District,” Preiss said. “When you look at a scatter graph of where our clients are and where our employees live, the District’s accessibility to and from major freeways just hits the sweet spot for us – it’s a great balance for us.
Preiss said while the company has kept its basic layout of individual offices around the perimeter of the floor with semi-private, flexible workstations in the center, Ziegler Cooper Architects – who handled the floor’s interior design – focused on getting as much natural light as deep into the space as possible. “We want to keep employees’ energy levels up, so we’ve also upgraded to electronic sit-to-stand desks for all of our offices and workstations,” he said. “We’ve enjoyed the amenities in the District for years and now having the opportunity to upgrade our facilities gives us the elbow room to continue to expand.”
“We’re close in proximity to both our competitors and clients alike. The area looks nice and everyone feels safe. Plus, the quality of the office space is just phenomenal.”
— Dustin O’Neal, president, Costello, Inc.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp., also known as SABIC will bring 210 jobs to Houston for a total of about 650 employees at its Americas headquarters located at 2500 CityWest Boulevard by the end of the year. According to the Houston Business Journal, the Saudi Arabia-based chemical manufacturing company will invest about $2.3 million in upgrades to its office space. The company has said it is creating an additional 70 positions at its Westchase District headquarters to support the company’s growing supply chain operations. The renovations should be complete this summer.
“SABIC named the greater Houston area as its Americas Region Hub in 2015. Since then, many of our employees have transitioned here from around the country and started working at CityWest,” said Shelia Naab with SABIC corporate affairs. “The building offers a great corporate environment that is centrally located and is close to shops and restaurants. I think CityWest has helped everyone feel welcome in Houston.”
In July, the International Association of Drilling Contractors will relocate its headquarters in Westchase District from 10370 Richmond to Lockton Place, the District’s newest office building located at 3657 Briarpark Drive. The 18,920 square-foot lease brings the 186,000 square-foot office building to 93.5 percent leased.
“Not only is IADC’s lease a beacon of light to the Westchase submarket, it underscores the ‘flight to quality’ theme continuing to play out across the city’s office sector,” said Russell Hodges, senior vice president with JLL, the firm representing Lockton Place.
“We were looking for a new space to energize our employees’ experience and further provide excellent service to our members,” Jason McFarland, IADC president. “The amenities and design of Lockton Place support connection and collaboration, which are key tenets of IADC’s culture. Our new headquarters sets the stage for the start of another chapter of growth and innovation for the association.”
“These companies’ decisions to remain in Westchase District speak to their appreciation of the superior amenities the area offers,” said Dave Gilkeson, Westchase District’s chief operating officer and vice president. “We’re thrilled that they’ve chosen to grow with us.”