Medical & Tech Still Strong In Energy Corridor
Don’t count the Energy Corridor out yet. As a place of experimentation, invention and creativity, there are few suburban locations that can compare, according to some of our panelists for the next Future of the Energy Corridor event. Join us on March 30 to get a fix on the future, and read on for a preview.
MD Anderson Cancer Center purchased a tract of Energy Corridor land in 2010 in anticipation of a lease in Katy expiring. Director of facilities Janet Sisolak says the purchase wasn’t only for the people who live and work in that area; it was for all of Texas, especially people coming up through San Antonio and other points west.
Oil prices haven’t made much—if any—impact on the development of the cancer center there because the majority of cancer patients are Baby Boomers who are now over 65, an age when they’re thinking about retiring or already have retired. So any loss of jobs in the Energy Corridor wouldn’t necessarily affect MD Anderson.
A fringe benefit of the suburban location: the Texas Medical Center can be a very intimidating place. It made sense to develop sites closer to people’s homes. The Energy Corridor facility will have the same quality of care as the Medical Center branch, Janet says.
Houston Technology Center COO Maryanne Maldonado says all across Houston, and especially the Energy Corridor, we're seeing a vast number of seasoned energy professionals available to create and invest in startup technology companies. And low oil prices mean that energy professionals with creative disruptive ideas are available to take their concepts to market.
She’s seen an increased interest in people willing to start tech companies, which eventually leads to more commercial real estate activity. Once the economy picks up, she expects the Energy Corridor to be an attractive location again for technology concerns.