Chevron's Planned Houston Expansion Cheers Houston Councilmembers

A rendering showing a new tower planned for Chevron. [Chevron image]
Chevron and the city of Houston are one step closer to a deal for the oil company to build a new tower downtown. The deal will bring an estimated 2500 jobs to Houston.

In a couple of weeks, Houston Council will vote on a deal that will give Chevron a property tax break, in exchange for their expansion in downtown Houston and improvements to the area surrounding their proposed tower.

The 50-story building will fill the empty lot at 1500 Louisiana, right next to Chevron's current buildings in the former Enron complex.

Houston Councilmembers were enthusiastic about the deal at a public hearing.

"Just wanted to express my support for this project, Chevron's been a great corporate partner."
"I love seeing our corporate partners give to the community for decades."
"Chevron is a terrific company and it's a terrific local citizen."
"I, too, wanted to thank Chevron for their years of partnership and involvement in the community."

Those were comments from Councilmembers James Rodriguez, Jack Christie, Oliver Pennington and Helena Brown — and were representative of the overall tone at the hearing. Houston Mayor Annise Parker says under the deal, Chevron will get a property tax abatement to the tune of $2.5 million over the span of ten years.

"We expect to recoup that in increased tax revenue in the first year. And so we think it's a win-win all the way around."

In exchange for the tax abatement, Chevron has promised to relocate a storm pipeline, put in sidewalks and landscaping improvements and bring new residents to the city. The company will relocate 800 employees from it's California headquarters and plans to hire an additional 1,700 people as it expands operations in Houston.

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Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...