Real Estate Rumblings

1,000 new jobs for Energy Corridor as auto insurer with zany ads expands

Auto insurer puts claim on Energy Corridor with 1,000 new jobs

GEICO Mason Creek Office Center Energy Corridor December 2013 WHITE SPACE
GEICO brings 1,000 jobs to Houston with the lease of an entire building in the Katy/Energy Corridor.   


Courtesy photo

GEICO, the auto insurance company known for its funny TV commercials, will bring 1,000 new jobs to the Energy Corridor west of Houston, where it has leased an entire office building.

With Gov. Rick Perry in attendance at a ceremony Monday, Geico announced its 135,000-square-foot, full-building lease of Mason Creek Office Center I, a brand-new office building.

Perry often touts the strength of the Texas economy as he builds a case for his political legacy. GEICO will add the 1,000 jobs over a three-year period.

 "When you create a place that rewards innovation and hard work and frees people to do best in pursuit of their dreams, good things happen.” 

"Whenever we hear about a major employer expanding or relocating to Texas, it affirms what we've been telling people all these years," Perry says "When you create a place that rewards innovation and hard work and frees people to do best in pursuit of their dreams, good things happen.”

GEICO will occupy the entire office building by the end of December. The GEICO building is located at 21420 Merchants Way in Katy.

The building is located near a major intersection that will be crucial in the future – the intersection of the Grand Parkway and Interstate 10, says Bob Cromwell, managing director of Moody Rambin Interests, one of the real estate firms that put the GEICO deal together.

“This location just inside the Grand Parkway loop is the equivalent of the Beltway 8 and I-10 intersection, developed 15 years ago,” says Cromwell. “Simply put, this is where growing companies want to be.”

GEICO, founded in Fort Worth in 1936, has more than 830,000 policyholders in Texas and has 29,000 employees in 14 major offices around the country. The Katy expansion will support GEICO claims operations.

GEICO is now owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the company founded by billionaire Warren Buffett. GEICO is known for its amusing television commercials, which have featured a gecko lizard that speaks with a Cockney accent and an urbane caveman who orders roast duck with mango salsa in a modern-day hip restaurant.

The insurance company is moving into a office building that was built on a speculative basis by Myers, Crow & Saviers, a Texas real estate developer. It’s riskier to build “spec” buildings, starting construction without a signed tenant, but this developer has been very successful with its spec development strategy time and time again. The company completed the GEICO building in July and has it fully leased before the end of the year – an impressive showing.

Myers, Crow & Saviers, with the success of the GEICO deal under its belt, will begin work early in 2014 on another three-story spec office building in the same business park. The Mason Creek Corporate Park, located just north of Interstate 10 near Mason Road, is owned by Parkside Capital.

Ralph Bivins, former president of the National Association of Real Estate Editors, is founding editor of Realty News Report.