HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Chevron has sold its 92-acre headquarters campus in the north California town of San Ramon, raising an old question: will Chevron move its headquarters to Texas?
Aa company denied that it will move its headquarters to downtown Houston where it had a skyscraper on the drawing boards less than a decade ago when it lined up a multi-million-dollar economic development grant from the state of Texas.
“Chevron will remain headquartered in California,” Chevron spokesman Braden Reddall told the Wall Street Journal last week.
With its old California HQ campus sold off, Chevron said it has leased 400,000 SF of office space in a nearby San Ramon complex where its headquarters will remain, the oil company’s PR man said.
Chevron is moving about 200 people from San Ramon to Houston, which is known as The Energy Capital of the World.
Chevron has a significant amount of office space in downtown Houston, including in a former Enron building where Enron’s “Crooked E” logo-monument was displayed out front.
Chevron’s heritage has been in California since the 1800s and those old roots run deep, Chevron says.
Even though Chevron may be deeply in love with California, you’ve got to wonder if California loves them back. For example, California regulators just banned the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks by 2035.
To some, the ban sounds like a slap in the face to Chevron, which has its brand on over 7,000 gas stations in the U.S. But Chevron just turns the other cheek and stays planted in San Ramon.
Houston, known as the Energy Capital of the World, already has over 6,000 Chevron employees in downtown Houston – three times more than the Chevron remnant in San Ramon.
It’s not a great leap to speculate that Chevron may move its HQ to the Energy Capital of the World where a highly experienced labor pool exists – both in downtown and the famed Energy Corridor district in West Houston.
About a decade ago Chevron cooked up a proposal to build a 50-story, 1.5 million-SF tower at 1600 Louisiana, near its existing downtown offices. Chevron would never come out and say the skyscraper was going to be its HQ, but the size and scale of its plan, and the incentives it lined up at the State Capitol in Austin made it look that way.
Chevron indicated it would build an office tower in downtown Houston when Gov. Rick Perry announced Chevron would receive $12 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund. The Texas deal was announced nine years ago in July 2013 and Chevron agreed to create 1,752 jobs here.
‘Chevron USA Proposes to Construct a New Multi-Story Office Building of 1.5 Million-Plus SF’
“Chevron USA Inc. proposes to construct a new multi-story office building of 1.5 million-plus SF located at 1600 Louisiana St.,” said Chevron’s application for the state’s $12 million in funding in 2013. “The building when completed, will provide Class A office space for technical, administrative and executive personnel.”
People in the Houston real estate community whispered that the HOK architecture firm had been retained. But then the oil market unraveled fast.
In the infamous Thanksgiving Day meeting in 2014, OPEC rejected an idea to tap the brakes on production. Oil prices nosedived. And soon, the Fracking Movement sputtered. Vacancy skyrocketed in Houston office buildings.
The 83,863-SF downtown lot where Chevron’s proposed tower was going to rise remains vacant to this day – a green, urban lawn surrounded by skyscrapers.
Exxon Mobil, after decades of having its HQ in the Dallas suburb of Irving, recently announced it is moving its headquarters to Houston where it has a 3 million SF campus.
Oct. 7, 2022 Realty News Report Copyright 2022
File: Chevron Denies Headquarters Relocation to Houston
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File: Greater Houston Partnership. Chevron Denies Headquarters Relocation to Houston