Northwest Houston Forging Its Future As HPE Puts Former Compaq Campus On The Block
In Northwest Houston, redevelopment is in the air. Ahead of HPI’s move to its new 378K SF Springwoods Village Campus in Q3, HP Enterprise announced its current home at 11445 Compaq Center West Drive is on the sales block. With no taxing entity guiding it, how Northwest Houston handles redevelopment opportunities like this will lay the groundwork for years to come.
“If Northwest Houston is going to stay viable, we have to ask how we refill and repurpose,” Houston Northwest Director of Economic Development Bobby Lieb said.
Lieb pointed to the urban decay creeping into areas in Northwest Houston, like that along FM 1960, home to abandoned businesses and buildings. Developing those assets will go a long way toward the area’s goal of rebranding its image.
Compaq Center, though still a quality asset, flooded for the second time in two years during Hurricane Harvey. The aging campus is next to Cypress Creek, one of the hardest-hit waterways during the storm.
The opportunity there is an example of what Grow Northwest is focusing on.
“Most of what I envision out here is infill and redevelopment,” Lieb said.
But as a non-taxing entity operating in an unincorporated area, Northwest Houston cannot offer tax abatement or other incentives popular across the Houston metro, making competition difficult. Northwest Houston will rely heavily on private developers to target redevelopment of assets like HPE's soon-to-be former home.
“We have to go about things in a totally different way, there’s no community like this. We’re a community with a population comparable to Denver, but we’re not a government or taxing entity,” Thomason said.
Northwest Houston got a boost when the chamber secured the support of state legislators to pass a bill for Harris County's unincorporated areas, allowing a nonprofit economic development entity like Grow Northwest to partner with utility districts to collect donations from water bill customers. Residents can choose to pay an additional $2/month to their MUD to provide funding for Grow Northwest.
A flooded corporate campus is a particular thorn, though. HPE occupies the campus and plans to leaseback the facility until their new campus is complete, which is still in planning stages.
"Given its size, existing infrastructure and location, there really is nothing else like this on the market in Houston," the JLL team marketing Compaq Center said. "The density and growing population of the immediate surrounding area has created demand for various product types on the property be it healthcare, mixed-use or a redeveloped corporate campus."
To hear more about Northwest Houston, register for Bisnow's Northwest Houston State of the Market event on Jan. 30.
CORRECTION, JAN. 18, 3:15 P.M. ET: The distinction between HP Enterprise and HP Inc. has been clarified.