Updated 6/18/2014 to include quotes from Steve Radack, Harris County commissioner, precinct 3.
Chevron has purchased 103 acres of land off Grand Parkway and Clay Road in Katy, for future use. The oil company does not yet have any specific plans for the site, according to company officials.
"Chevron is simply acquiring the land to give the company future R&D facilities flexibility as we grow and expand our presence in the greater Houston area," said Justin Higgs, spokesperson for Chevron. "No specific use or employee decisions have been made as it pertains to this location."
Chevron officially closes on the land in the third quarter of 2014.
Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack said the improving mobility in Katy and the western portions of Harris County makes it appealing for corporate investment by companies such as Chevron.
"The reconstruction of the Katy Freeway has a great deal to do with the growth in the area of Katy," Radack said. "You have a great transportation system that's emerged."
If the area continues to grow, Radack said, roads improvements might be needed to relieve any congestion that may result. Barker-Cypress and Fry Road were widened in recent years. Clay Road and Mason Road could also be extended and widened if it becomes necessary, Radack said.
In addition, Radack said, land is more abundant and less expensive outside downtown and the Energy Corridor.
"The land isn't as expensive, and there's a lot of it," Radack said.
More companies may follow Chevron's lead and take advantage of the plentiful, affordable land in the area.
"There's abundant land, it's really hard to predict how many and what type of businesses will go in, but I believe you'll see more and more large companies locate in that area," Radack said.