By Erin Mulvaney, Houston Chronicle
San Jacinto College, which was announced Wednesday as the latest tenant for the sprawling mixed-use Generation Park, hopes to cultivate a “high-tech workforce” in the northeast Houston area where a large petrochemical industry cluster calls home.
McCord Development and San Jacinto College said the campus, still in the planning stages, will cover 57 acres in Generation Park, the 4,000-acre planned development in the northeast Houston area. It will be across Lockwood Road from the 173-acre FMC Technologies corporate headquarters currently under construction.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be part of what’s going on at Generation Park, San Jacinto College and, even more broadly, in northeast Houston,” said Brenda Hellyer, the college system’s chancellor. “We have been watching this area for over three years. … We want to make this a go-to resource for the community.”
Hellyer cited “tremendous growth” in the petrochemical corridor and the greater area.
“We wanted to make sure we understood where the trends were and where we need to meet the potential,” she said. “It became clear we needed to be watching what was going on in the northeast.”
Ryan McCord, president of McCord Development, said San Jacinto College recognized the value of the location and “the benefits of being part of a truly master-planned enterprise park.”
“We can offer them something nobody else can: direct relationships with world-leading companies who want to work together to develop Houston’s next generation high-tech workforce – particularly subsea and downstream energy,” McCord said.
The northeast Houston area accounts for 42 percent of the U.S. base of petrochemical manufacturing, with 400-plus chemical plants employing 33,000 workers. Billions of dollars in additional projects are being developed.
FMC Technologies, which makes subsea equipment for the oil and gas industry, will consolidate its 10 Houston locations to the new business park. The first employees are to move there in early 2016.
Generation Park began in 2012 and has been divided into specific zones for office, retail and mixed use, industrial and multifamily.
More than 2 million square of Class A office space is planned. Fifty-two acres have been set aside for parks, restaurants, bars and shops.
There are plans for a hotel and auditorium for corporate presentations and meetings.