Home builder Weekley buys tract for headquarters building

Houston Business Journal
Tanya Sasser Rutledge
April 18, 1997

A tract now occupied by pet boarding kennels will soon become the site of a new headquarters building for David Weekley Homes.

The $ 400 million Houston-based home construction company last week closed on the purchase of a six-acre tract on North Post Oak Road, just east of Old Katy Road, for development of the building.

The dozens of kennels operated by Horlock Boarding Kennels Inc. will be shut down on April 21.

Dick Weekley, who heads up Weekley Properties, confirms that his company and that of his brother, David Weekley Homes, will relocate to the new building within the next 18 months. Officials at David Weekley Homes did not return telephone calls by press time.

"We'll be moving too," Dick Weekley says of his company. "But this is mainly about a move for David Weekley Homes. They'll be occupying about 95 percent of the building, and we'll be taking up the rest."

Horlock Boarding Kennels owner Joe Todd did not return telephone calls regarding the sale of his property to David Weekley Homes, but an official there confirms that the company is going out of business and will cease operations later this month.

Dick Weekley says land planners are currently working out the configuration of the building, which he says will be a campus-style facility of 35,000 to 40,000 square feet occupying only two or three floors.

David Weekley homes will be moving from the Galleria-area office at 1300 Post Oak, where the company has been based since since 1985.

David Weekley Homes and Weekley Properties together occupy nearly 30,000 square feet of space in the 25-story tower, which was developed in 1983.

Warren Savery of Project Leasing Advisors, which handles leasing for the 1300 Post Oak building, says new building development makes sense for some growing firms because the Houston office market has become tight. Rental rates continue to rise in all sectors of the city, and large blocks of space are becoming scarce.

"We thought they might be considering their own facility because when the market started to move up, we offered them an option to renew at a very good deal and they didn't take it," Savery says. "We weren't sure why, but we knew there must be something more to it."

Savery says the 493,630-square-foot building is currently 96 percent occupied and is not in a position to handle a major expansion.

"If they were or are growing significantly, I'm not sure how I would do it anyway," he says. "It would be a little bit tricky to handle that situation."

David Weekley Homes annually vies with competitors Royce Homes and Pulte Homes for the title of Houston's largest home builder.

Professional Builder Magazine recently ranked the company as the 20th largest home builder in the country, having built nearly 200,000 homes since its inception in 1976.

© Copyright 1997 American City Business Publications Inc.