Sugar Land Gets “Biggest Announcement” In Its History

by James McClister


During a recent city council meeting in Sugar Land, the city approved a tax abatement and performance agreement allowing Schlumberger, the world’s largest supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions to customers in the oil and gas industry, to build its new North American headquarters in the Houston suburb. Mayor James Thompson called it “probably the biggest announcement in the history of the city of Sugar Land.”

The announcement, while a boon for the city in broad strokes, has specific implications for the local real estate market.

While Schlumberger is already one of the area’s biggest employers, the agreement is set to bring in an additional 517 more jobs to Sugar Land over the next three years. With the additional jobs, the city, which is already one of the most active suburbs in terms of home sales, is likely to feel a bump from its newest commercial resident.

As part of the deal, Sugar Land agreed to fund the widening of Industrial Boulevard to four lanes, which should be complete by March 2017.

Schlumberger, which currently owns a 200-acre campus in the city, has already identified nearly 33 additional acres, which the company will use for improvements, including the demolition of obsolete buildings and landscaping. Construction is expected to finish by late 2017. However, Sugar Land has agreed that the company will not be required to pay property taxes on the additional acreage for another 10 years.

In June, Sugar Land had a 2.5-months supply of inventory – lower even than Houston’s – and demand had pushed average days on market to a mere 10. To satisfy the expected influx, Sugar Land builders will need to increase production and fill out the local housing stock.

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