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Let’s Talk- Economic Outlook Development

By Nelly Delourdes Mitford, Bilingual Real Estate Agent
2013 HAR International Advisory Group member

The impact on the Commercial and Residential Real Estate industry

The 27th Annual Economic Outlook Conference took place at The Woodlands Marriott Convention Center this past March. This Conference is sponsored by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Economic Development Partnership and this year business sponsor Eric Yollick, TeamYollick. Some of the speakers were the Honorable U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady 8th District of Texas, Greg Brenneman Chairman, CCMP Capital Advisors, LLC, David Arkless, President of Corporate and Government Affairs, Manpower Inc., Alex Sutton Co-President, The Woodlands Development Company, Tim Welbes Co-President, The Woodlands Development Company, Gil Staley CEO, The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, Ron Mittelstaedt CEO, Waste Connections, Lee Boothby CEO, Newfield Exploration Company, and John Felmy Chief Economist, American Petroleum Institute. They all brought to the attendees a wealth of knowledge.

The Woodlands Area includes the cities of Shenandoah and Oak Ridge North as well as the master-planned community of The Woodlands. This area has enjoyed unprecedented commercial growth in the last several years. The area’s economic base is well diversified. Approximately 5,100 businesses are located in the area, ranging from owner-operated establishments to national corporate headquarters.

South Montgomery County is home to a range of leading companies, including Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Aon Hewitt, CB&I, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, Baker Hughes, Huntsman Petrochemical Corporation, Maersk Line, McKesson Specialty Health, Talisman Energy USA and Waste Connections, Inc.

The Woodlands is also home to the Houston Advanced Research Center, where your organization can obtain information and assistance in applying high performance green building practices.

Some of the benefits of establishing a business in Montgomery County are that the county will grant property tax abatements to companies making significant capital investments.

The Economic Development Partnership, EDP, has done a great job in bringing new companies headquarters to The Woodlands. As the CEO of the EDP, Mr. Gil Staley, expressed, their goal is to make our area the Capital of the National Corporate headquarters.

Mr. Staley introduced at the Economic Outlook Conference this March a list of the corporations moving their main offices to The Woodlands. Some of the companies moving to our area are:

Layne Christensen
– is a global water management, construction and drilling company. Relocating its headquarters to The Woodlands from the Kansas City area

  • Planning on employing approximately 210 personnel.
  • Occupy the top two floors of One Hughes Landing, totaling more than 51,000 square feet .

Nexeo Solutions– is focused exclusively on the business of connecting producers and customers of chemicals, plastics, composites and environmental services with operations across North America and Europe. Relocated its headquarters to The Woodlands from the Midwest.

  • Approximately 211 employees are occupying temporary office space
  • Leased 64,000 square feet on the top three floors of 3 Waterway Square Place, a new 240,000 square-foot office building under construction in The Woodlands.

RPC, Inc. – The Company provides oilfield services and equipment to independent and major oilfield companies in exploration, production and development of oil and gas properties, domestically and in selected international markets. Relocated its operational headquarters to The Woodlands.

  • Leased a 79,000 square-foot building at 2828 Technology Forest Blvd
  • Represents approximately 150 employees

STS Products- Manufacturer and distributor of oil field equipment, BOP accumulator units, remote panels, hydraulic tongs, power units, hammer unions, swivel joints, ring joint among others.

  • Relocated to Oak Ridge North Commerce Park
  • Represents approximately 100 new jobs

These are some of the corporations moving to our area.

Also each year, the Economic Development Partnership survey The Woodlands area Major Non-Retail Employers for their local employee count which represents approximately 57 employers with at least 100 employees. Collectively, they added 1,172 jobs since January of 2012 for a total of over 25,000 people. Energy and Professional/Specialty Services are our significant growth industries.

The impact for the Commercial Real Estate industry of these relocations and the expansion of companies with current facilities in The Woodlands is tremendous. Today The Woodlands Class A Office Space has less than a 2% Vacancy Rate; the lowest in the region!

The Woodlands boasts more than eight million square feet of shopping, dining, hospitality and entertainment.
Shenandoah ranks third in retail markets in the state based on annual per capita retail sales of $121,384, according to the 2012 Texas Retail Survey.

The City of Oak Ridge North reports that 2012 was their best year of record for retail sales by nearly $200,000.
The Woodlands has been ranked the #2 Top-Selling Master Planned Community in the country and #1 in Texas by Metro study with 1,007 new home sales in 2012.

The Woodlands Residential Real Estate inventory is 54% less than a year ago at the beginning of April; 65% less than April 2011. Several price ranges, between $700’s to $1 million have shifted from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market, and for price ranges under $500k we have approximately one month of inventory or less.

I would like to thanks the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership for their support to this article.

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