Transwestern, Spear Street Buy ExxonMobil Campus in Houston

Located in the Greenway area, the 16.9-acre site first hit the market in 2014.
3120 Buffalo Speedway in Houston
3120 Buffalo Speedway in Houston

Houston—Transwestern Development Co. just grabbed an opportunity to build a new 24/7 destination in Houston. In partnership with Spear Street Capital, Transwestern acquired the nearly 16.9-acre site at 3120 Buffalo Speedway, ExxonMobil’s former Upstream Research Campus. Transwestern is keeping mum on the amount it paid ExxonMobil for the multi-structure property, which, according Harris County records, has a 2016 appraised value of approximately $62.1 million.

Located in the Greenway submarket, the complex first popped up on the real estate market’s radar in 2014, when ExxonMobil tapped commercial real estate services firm JLL to sell the asset as the company prepared to develop a new campus 25 miles from downtown Houston. “This is one of the largest and most desirable in-fill tracts remaining in all of Houston,” Rudy Hubbard, managing director with JLL, said in a prepared statement upon announcing the assignment. “This premier site is ideal for a mixed-use redevelopment that includes office, retail, residential and hospitality components.”

According to the original marketing material, the campus, first occupied by ExxonMobil in the 1950s, also encompassed a 100,000-square-foot training center, 13 auxiliary buildings and a parking facility. A Transwestern spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive that a 550,000-square-foot office building remains on the site.

Transwestern isn’t divulging details on any development plans for 3120 Buffalo. However, what Hubbard noted of the property’s potential in 2014, rings true of the climate in Houston today. “Unique, mixed-use concepts are faring well all over the Houston market as residents continue to seek a live-work-play environment,” according to a fourth quarter 2016 report by Transwestern. “[They] are still a hot ticket item for developers, as the urban sprawl across the Houston metro continues.”

Image courtesy of Yardi Matrix