Construction has been underway since May 2014 on the Tomball Business and Technology Park—a development-ready location for business, technology and corporate offices—set to open in spring or summer 2016.
Kelly Violette, executive director of the Tomball Economic Development Corporation, said the 120-acre property located at the corner of Holderrieth and Hufsmith-Kohrville roads will include land plots with completed infrastructure for business development. The installation of the business and technology park is a joint project between the TEDC, the city of Tomball and Harris County.
“We wanted to provide a location that was site-ready and would have the ability to attract companies that were from a wide variety of industries,” Violette said.
Planning for the $13 million project began in May 2011, and 82 acres are expected to be available for business development upon completion, Violette said.
New jobs, business diversity
Tom Condon, senior vice president within the industrial advisory group of Colliers International, represents the TEDC as the business and technology park’s broker and is working to market lots to possible tenants. He said total development of the park should provide between 513 to 611 full-time jobs.
“It’s going to have a big impact in terms of new jobs—they will all be new jobs,” Condon said. “Beside just the new construction, [there is]the importance of those payroll checks being spent in the local economy that will have a significant impact, too.”
Violette said TEDC officials have already received strong interest in the park from several possible tenants. A single 17-acre parcel on the property has generated inquiries from a software firm as well as an oil and gas and research and development company. Violette said possible tenant plans have not been finalized yet.
The property will be designed as a corporate campus, with almost 40 acres kept as natural green space to maintain the aesthetics and improve property values. Violette said the natural landscape helps with flood mitigation, prevents erosion and improves air quality, while the trees provide shade in the summer that helps reduce building cooling costs. The park’s deed restrictions require each lot to maintain at least 30 percent green space.
Violette said the TEDC is attempting to cater to a diversity of businesses and land uses within the park since industries, such as oil and gas can be volatile.
Traffic, infrastructure additions
TEDC and Harris County officials have been tasked with instituting plans to ensure efficient traffic flow will continue on nearby streets once the business and technology park opens, Violette said.
“We wanted to provide a location that was site-ready and would have the ability to attract companies that were from a wide variety of industries.” — Kelly Violette, executive director of the Tomball Economic Development Corporation
“The public improvements necessary to support this property are very, very costly,” she said.
Stop lights and turn lanes will be built where Holderrieth Road intersects with Hufsmith-Kohrville and Spell roads, and South Persimmon Street will receive a new left-turn lane with no traffic lights. The TEDC will fund engineering designs for the traffic lights, and Harris County will complete construction on the new additions by spring or summer 2016.
An improved drainage channel and larger detention pond will provide for regional flood plain mitigation, as well as water detention for approximately 634 acres of development and will cost about $3.5 million, Condon said.
Positive long range outlook
Violette said any challenges regarding the creation of the park will ultimately benefit Tomball’s economy in the future.
“I think once this project gets completed, the community is going to be very proud of it,” Violette said. “I think they’re going to be excited by the types of companies we are attracting and the quality of the development that will be the result of this project.”
Violette said the TEDC’s purpose is to create jobs, bring capital investment and improve the quality of life in Tomball.
“For us, it was really about creating a park that had diversity of companies, diversity of jobs and that brought a higher quality or higher standard of development in these types of areas,” she said.