Greenspoint District Welcomes New President Greg Simpson

The Greenspoint District is thrilled to introduce its newest team member. Greg Simpson joined the District as President on Aug. 31.

He brings a great deal of knowledge and expertise to the District. He is an executive with experience leading teams in the areas of marketing and public relations, government relations, constituent services, strategic planning, program development and implementation, and grant management.

Prior to joining the District, Simpson spent an 18-year career with the City of Houston where he served as Assistant Director, Communications for the Houston Public Library System, a system of 42 locations, 500 employees, and an annual budget of $38 million. He also worked in the Mayor’s Citizens’ Assistance Office and the Neighborhood Protection Division.

Simpson has an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and a Master’s degree from the University of Texas.

As a former resident of the area and student of the Aldine Independent School District, Simpson knows the community well. He is well-suited to lead the organization serving both the commercial and residential interests of Greenspoint, and he is excited to take on the role of advocate for the Greenspoint area.

“Greenspoint is full of opportunities for growth and development for businesses, families and individuals; I am excited about working with the Board and the team at the District to continue the work of enhancing the area’s quality of life and telling the story of Greenspoint’s value as a place to live, work, visit, or invest,” Greg said.

Welcome to Greenspoint District, Greg!

This story originally ran in the September edition of our general Greenspoint newsletter which features news about District amenities, attractions and activities. To subscribe to this bimonthly newsletter, click here

Greenspoint Benefits From New $64 Million Flood Mitigation Projects

Over ten years of efforts by representatives from the Greenspoint District are now paying off as Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) begins construction on two new stormwater detention basins, which will make significant strides toward eliminating flood risks in the area. The combined project is the single largest construction contract ever managed by HCFCD.

“Greenspoint District first initiated the Greens Bayou Task Force in 2002 as a forum to allow property owners and stakeholders to come together with HCFCD and discuss the need for flood control projects following the devastation created by Tropical Storm Allison,” said Bart Baker, Vice President of Planning, Operations and Infrastructure, Greenspoint District. “We’re glad to see our efforts finally coming together with the construction of the two new stormwater detention basins.”

Construction of both the Glen Forest and Kuykendahl Stormwater Detention Basins are made possible with grant assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which awarded Harris County $39.2 million earlier this year, and the Flood Control District, which contributed matching funds, totaling $64 million for the project. Stormwater detention basins reduce flooding risks and damages during heavy rain events by safely storing excess floodwater and slowly releasing it back to the bayou when the threat of flooding has passed.

Once completed, the estimated three-year project will reduce or remove flooding risks and damages from more than 1,100 structures along Greens Bayou, resulting in avoided damages of more than $90 million. The construction of the two detention basins are under the umbrella of Progress Greens, a suite of flood damage reduction projects currently active to reduce flooding risks for residents and businesses within then 213 square miles of the Greens Bayou watershed.

Progress Greens also includes the Greens Bayou Federal Flood Risk Reduction Project, a partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Harris County Flood Control District. In fact, the Corps is the lead agency on a $55 million Greens Bayou project, which will offer additional flood control recommendations including 3.7 miles of earthen channel modifications, environmental mitigation, and construction of a stormwater detention basin located adjacent to Greens Bayou near Antoine Road and the Sam Houston Tollway.

A strong advocate of the Federal Flood Risk Reduction Project, was Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition (GBCC), a partner organization of Greenspoint District, whose executive director Kill Boullion, as well as several representatives from her Public Policy committee, regularly traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for funding and support. The Greens Bayou Federal Flood Risk Reduction Project is one of only four projects selected nationally to receive New Start Status and funding in 2015.

“We’re hoping these projects help to give relief to both the businesses and community members who have suffered from flooding issues throughout the years,” said Baker. “Implementing these flood control projects are a proactive and necessary step for businesses within the Greenspoint District to succeed.”

Legislature Implements Changes to Texas Enterprise Zone Program

The Texas Enterprise Zone Program is an economic development tool for local communities to partner with the state of Texas to promote job creation and significant private investment that will assist economically distressed areas of the state. Approved projects are eligible to apply for state sales and use tax refunds on qualified expenditures.

The level and amount of refund is related to the capital investment and jobs created at the qualified business site. In the past, projects classified as “double jumbo” or “triple jumbo,” which are projects with $150-250 million invested and over $250 million invested respectively, could be awarded $2.5 and $3.75 million in maximum refunds. However, under the new changes implemented this legislative session, the amount of maximum refund on projects designed to retain jobs has been reduced to $1.25 million.

Employers who create or retain permanent jobs, make capital investment, and fill at least 25 percent of new jobs with individuals who are either economically disadvantaged or residents of an enterprise zone can receive a state sales tax refund on qualified purchases. Additionally, honorably discharged veterans and transportation workers who live within 50 miles of the business are designated as “qualified employees.”

Other changes instituted in the program include the ability to create a half-designation to promote small businesses’ access to participate in the program. This designation only uses half of a single enterprise project designation allowed by counties, cities and school districts in Texas.

The last new change to the program is a stipulation that an enterprise project may only have one concurrent designation at any given time. For more information about the Texas Enterprise Zone Program, as well as other economic development services, visit texaswideopenforbusiness.com.

This story originally ran in the July edition of Site Solutions, Greenspoint District’s bimonthly newsletter featuring stories about business deals as well as company news from the District’s office, industrial and data center community. To subscribe to this bimonthly newsletter, click here

The ABCs of Successful Business: N is for New Construction

Despite a downturn in oil prices, industrial construction in Houston remains fast-paced with 72 buildings, totaling over 10 million square feet, expected to be delivered in 2015. According to CBRE’s Second Quarter Industrial Marketview, Houston’s industrial new construction pipeline will add much need supply to very tight submarkets like the North, which includes Greenspoint and everything north of Interstate 610 between U.S. 59 and Texas State Highway 249. Currently, the North industrial submarket has over one million square feet under construction.

Speculative construction remains strong in Greenspoint.

Liberty Property Trust announced late last year it is constructing the Central Green Distribution Center, a 650,000-square-foot-cross-dock building at 1401 Rankin Road. The building features a 36-foot clear height 65-foot loading bay, 133 nine-by-10-foot-high dock high doors, four 12-by-14-foot-high drive-in ramps, 185-foot truck courts, additional storage areas, and trailer parking. Liberty anticipates delivery later this year.

Additionally, Hines and NAI Partners announced construction of two industrial buildings in Pinto Business Park at the end of 2014, Fallbrook 1 and 2. Fallbrook 1 is a 500,000-square-foot, controlled-access, cross-dock building featuring a 32-foot clear height 60-foot speed bay, 180-foot truck courts, 94 dock high doors, four drive-in ramps with 12-by-14-foot overhead doors, and parking for trailers. Fallbrook 2 is a 193,000-square-foot, rear-load, controlled-access building featuring a 28-foot clear height 60-foot speed bay, 260-foot truck court, 50 dock high doors, and two drive-in ramps with 12-by-14-foot overhead doors.

Lastly, KTR Capital Partners is constructing a 213,000-square-foot facility in Greens Commerce Center at the northwest corner of Interstate 45 and Beltway 8 South.

Several tenants are also building specially-designed spaces for their operations.

Data Foundry recently opened its new Houston 2 data center in Greenspoint. The facility has the capacity to be 350,000 square feet when completely built out. Houston 2, a 185-mile-per-hour wind-rated structure, has 60 megawatts of power capability, a chilled-water cooling system, and offers carrier-neutral access to move than ten On-Net fiber carriers.

Lennar Homes of Texas Land and Construction will relocate this year to its new 68,000-square-foot office located at 681 Greens Parkway. The building is scheduled for completion in October 2015 and will house 225 employees from Lennar Corporate affiliates- Lennar, Village Builders, Friendswood Development Co., Universal Mortgage Co., and North American Title Co.

Alfa Laval signed a long-term, build-to-suit lease to consolidate its Houston operations in Pinto Business Park. the new facility includes 25,000 square feet of Class A office space to hold 150 employees, and 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Alfa Laval is a manufacturer of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling equipment, systems and technology.

This story originally ran in the July edition of Site Solutions, Greenspoint District’s bimonthly newsletter featuring stories about business deals as well as company news from the District’s office, industrial and data center community. To subscribe to this bimonthly newsletter, click here