In the four years since Phillips 66 placed its future in Westchase District by establishing headquarters at 2331 CityWest Boulevard, CEO Greg Garland couldn’t be happier. “We choose to call Houston, Texas and Westchase our home,” said Garland.
“A lot of thought went into that. Westchase was a great location for us and our employees. We love Westchase. It was a great decision,” said Garland speaking before a large audience at the Westchase Today & Tomorrow commercial real estate forum on February 12.
As chairman and CEO of Houston’s largest public company, Garland wanted to create a collaborative office setting well suited for the workforce of today and tomorrow. The result was transformative.
Park & thrive
The opportunity to design an innovative headquarters came after its 2012 spinoff from ConocoPhillips. More than 2,000 employees were working in six different locations around Houston. Bringing them together in one location was key for Garland, and Westchase District met his company’s bold, dynamic needs. The new 1.1 million square-foot campus opened in 2016 with two towers connected by a sky bridge. “It’s a building people want to come and work in.”
There are 2,700 parking spaces, a sport court with a soccer field and running track. Garland sought purposeful spaces and amenities designed with millennials and Generation Z in mind which represent 49 percent of Phillips 66’s 14,500 employees. They convinced him that work doesn’t just happen at your desk. It takes place on couches, in Starbucks, on the gym’s basketball court, during a soccer match, in two courtyard spaces, on the putting green, at the cafeteria — all of which are found on Phillips 66’s campus.
In addition to traditional office space, the buildings have 275 conference rooms and other collaborative working space found throughout. Eighty five percent is open space. Two credit unions, a wellness center and medical and dental offices, gathering spaces and an outdoor fire pit provide additional amenities not typically found on corporate campuses.
“I grew up working for bosses who expected their employees to sit at a desk. The new generation doesn’t work that way. They’re collaborative, they want space. They want collisions that occur during the day which improve communication.”
More than an energy company
Garland highlighted Phillips 66’s values, economic growth, job creation, operational excellence, industry and shareholder successes including the company’s enormous investments in communities where it operates.
“Our vision is to provide energy and improve lives,” said Garland. “We make products in energy that make people go, go faster, higher, dream bigger and live safer, more productive lives.” With an eye always on the future, Phillips 66 champions improving youth literacy rates as critical for life success.
Garland’s talk anchored the event followed by two engaging panels with insights on two key real estate segments. The first focused on office/corporate space. Distinguished panelists included Kelly Hall, Harvey Builders; Eric Siegrist, Parkway Properties; Philip Schneidau, Woodbranch Management; Michelle Wogan, Transwestern; and moderator Jim Russ, EHRA Engineering. Panelists were asked about Westchase District.
On providing and finding amenities for employees:
“We made our single biggest move in our history. We are ecstatic to be in our new facility. Retention and recruitment factored high in how we selected our new space and its features.” Jim Russ, EHRA Engineering, whose firm relocated within the District after 32 years.
“Everybody’s having a lot more fun working. It’s a lot better environment to have a job today because of amenities that employers bring to workspaces…It’s quite clear that we are in a management district that spends a lot of time on beautification, egress and ingress. You can tell by how things look around the District that they are good stewards of financial resources. I applaud the District for making this a wonderful place to work and play. They offer the amenities everyone is looking for. The District is a really good place to be.” Michelle Wogan, Transwestern
“We reap the benefits of being in Westchase as it relates to our new tenants — Bill.com and Honeywell — at CityWest Place. They wanted quality of life. Westchase District has done a great job with investments in roads and parks. They also wanted access to talented people which you find in Westchase and in Houston. As the city has moved west, Westchase has become center of that movement. When Phillips 66 built its building, that was a higher level of endorsement for the District.” Eric Siegrist, Parkway Properties
“Because of Westchase, we can provide our team with a better place to work. We have a fitness center, central coffee, we built a larger breakroom. Everybody now has a view of outside. The morale has gone up. Westchase has evolved with greater amenities. Buildings are brand new and nicer here.” Kelly Hall, Harvey Builders which relocated within the District and renovated Randalls’ former corporate office at 3663 Briarpark Dr.
“Westchase makes a large effort to listen what’s going on around us and where we need to be going. We now have miles and miles of trails. We have stayed in front of security needs versus following.” Philip Schneidau, Woodbranch Management, and Westchase District immediate past chair, board of directors
A second panel led by moderator Ron Lindsey, RDL Associates, featured distinguished panelists Stacy Hunt, Greystar; Jon Jamison, NewQuest; Eric Lestin, Cushman & Wakefield; and John Boriak, Veritas Equity Management. The group discussed multi-family and retail amenities.
On multi-family and retail amenities:
“The infrastructure improvements that Westchase has made gives that feeling of community, that this is the place to be.” Ron Lindsey, RDL Associates
“Over time, Westchase has been the success story as far as master-planned and mixed-use development in Houston. Westchase has survived and flourished. It has awesome transportation capabilities. Westchase has solids apartments to augment the commercial and retail offerings. I see it improving in value.” Stacy Hunt, Greystar
“We can see great, long-term benefits. There’s a strong mix of daytime population and residential living with good school districts. It’s a testament that restaurants like Torchy’s Tacos, El Tiempo and Buffalo Wild Wings are going off frontage and coming here. There’s a huge demand of more tenants who want to be here.” Jon Jamison, NewQuest
“You know when a Whole Foods and P.F. Changs are within a mile of each other that it’s a good place. I also got a strong testimonial from the Houston Apartment Association who said they (Westchase District) are the best well-run district in the city. Being able to get anywhere quickly is another benefit.” John Boriack, Veritas Equity Management, whose company was looking to purchase property in Westchase District two years ago
“What Westchase has done is phenomenal. Counter service, quick service and casual, elegant dining restaurants are here and one of the greatest achievements are the proliferation of offices in the district to support these businesses. As a management district, this is far more successful than counterparts I’ve seen in Dallas, San Antonio and El Paso.” Eric Lestin, Cushman & Wakefield