Westchase is a business management district, with some residential and retail elements, located in western Houston, Texas,United States. The district is bounded roughly by Westheimer Road on the north, Gessner Road on the east, Wilcrest Drive on the west, and the Westpark Tollway on the south (although some portions extend as far north as Briar Forest Lane and as far south as Bellaire Boulevard). The Sam Houston Tollway and Richmond Avenue also connect the district to the rest of Houston. Westchase is considered a "Special district" under Texas law; the district has its own board of directors (composed of key leaders from businesses in the immediate area) and provides supplementary marketing, planning and public safety functions for local residents and business. Westchase is adjacent to the Sharpstown, International (which includes part ofChinatown) and Energy Corridor management districts, as well as the master-planned Royal Oaks Country Club subdivision; Westchase is immediately north and east of the Alief community, a largely residential and commercial district, and is sometimes considered part of Alief.
What is now Westchase was land under the family of R.E. "Bob" Smith, a Houston rancher and philanthropist (best known for partnering with Judge Roy Hofheinz, among others, in the early 1960s to create what would become the Houston AstrosMajor League Baseball franchise). In 1969 Friendswood Development Companypurchased a section of Smith's land to form what is now Woodlake, an upper-middle-class residential subdivision off Gessner Road between Briar Forest Lane and Westheimer Road. In 1973 the Westchase Corporation purchased 760 acres (3.1 km2) of Smith family land. As development expanded, Chevron and Western Geophysical were some of the first companies to establish operations in Westchase. The section of Beltway 8 (Sam Houston Tollway) serving the area opened in 1988, increasing road access. It became clear that some sort of "master plan" was needed to provide for orderly development and marketing of the area. Legislation creating the Westchase District was passed by the 73rd Texas State Legislature and became law on August 28, 1995.
BMC Software is headquartered at 2101 CityWest Boulevard. In 1991 BMC announced plans to build a new headquarters complex, which it anticipated would cost between 60 and 65 million dollars. BMC planned to vacate two leased facilities in Sugar Land, Texas when its current headquarters, located on a 20-acre (81,000 m2) site purchased from Southwest Inc., opened; the land by itself cost over 8 million dollars. The 20 story, 120,000-square-foot (11,000 m2) tower was scheduled to begin construction in March or April 1992 and the facility was scheduled to open in late 1993. BMC temporarily subleased 90,316 square feet (8,390.6 m2) of space at the Permian Tower from Scurlock Permian Corporation until the headquarters was completed. BMC Software's current headquarters was one of a few office buildings being built within a two-year period prior to December 1992.
In 2012, after Phillips 66 split from ConocoPhillips, it moved its operations from the ConocoPhillips headquarters to the Pinnacle Westchase building, a 9-story Class A office building located on 8.4 acres (3.4 ha) of land in Westchase. This is a temporary headquarters location. Phillips 66 announced it will construct a new permanent headquarters on a 14-acre (5.7 ha) plot of land in Westchase. The new headquarters will be between Westheimer Road and Briar Forest, in close proximity to the Sam Houston Tollway.Construction started on Friday November 22, 2013.
Halliburton operates the Houston Office (a.k.a. Oak Park Campus) on 67 acres (270,000 m2) of land located in the Westchase district and in Chinatown. The complex includes the Latin America division of Easywell, a division of Halliburton. This office opened on a formerly vacant tract of land that was sold in 1977. At first the office was owned byBrown and Root.
In 2001 Halliburton announced that it planned to consolidate 8,000 employees to a newly constructed complex on the Westchase property by 2004. Halliburton planned to build two high rise office buildings with 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) of feet total; the towers would have housed the construction, energy services, and engineering groups. The Halliburton campus as a whole would have had three towers, several parking garages, and skybridges connecting the buildings. In December 2001 Halliburton canceled its plans to relocate employees to Westchase, disappointing real estate figures associated with Westchase. The Westchase district had no tenant for the 67 acres (270,000 m2) of land where Halliburton had planned to develop a new campus. Nancy Sarnoff of the Houston Business Journal said that it made more sense for the company to lease existing space instead of constructing new office space in times of economic downturns. By 2012 Halliburton plans to close itsDowntown Houston headquarters and consolidate its operations at its new headquarters in northern Houston and at the Westchase office. In 2009 the Westchase campus had 1,700 employees; Halliburton plans to increase its workforce at Oak Park to 3,000 workers. At the Bellaire site Halliburton plans to build a 16-story tower, a two-story "life center," an additional parking garage, expanded child care facilities, auditoriums, and bridges to connect the many buildings. In 2009 Halliburton had about 1,000 employees worked in leased office space in Westchase. During that year Halliburton stated that it planned to vacate the leased space. The plans for the Oak Park office had been delayed by one year, and Halliburton expects completion in 2013.
Chevron Corporation occupies two buildings at 3901 Briarpark that were built by Texaco. The combined square footage in the buildings is 178,000 square feet (16,500 m2). In 2006 Chevron occupied another 290,000 square feet (27,000 m2) building on Hayes Road in Westchase; that building had been earmarked for sale during that year.
The Westchase district is served by several hotels, from budget brands such as Motel 6 to business-oriented brands such as La Quinta and Courtyard by Marriott. Many are situated on or near the Sam Houston Tollway (the Beltway). The largest hotels in Westchase are a 600-room Houston Marriott Westchase (which opened in 1980 as an Adam's Mark, and rebranded in 2002 as Marriott) and a 300-room Hilton. A 130-room Holiday Inn opened in the district in the spring of 2011.
The Westchase Park, operated by the City of Houston, is located at 9851 Pagewood.
Harris County's Tracy Gee Community Center, located at 3599 Westcenter Drive, is located in Westchase. The county bought the building, which previously housed a finance company, in 1991. Steve Radack, the Harris County commissioner who oversees the Westchase district, renovated the building. He named it after Tracy Gee (Traditional Chinese: 硃秀娟, Simplified Chinese: 朱秀娟, Pinyin:Zhū Xiùjuān), a Chinese American university student who was murdered in 1990;Radack said that criminals get publicity while victims do not get publicity, so he believed that the building needed to be named for a crime victim. The county opened the community center on September 17, 1993.