By Candace Carlisle | Staff Writer, Dallas Business Journal
Fort-Worth-based Freese and Nichols Inc. - an engineering, architecture and environmental services firm - will double its office space in Richardson to meet increased demand for the firms' natural gas and oil pipeline services.
The company inked a 92-month lease for 13,438 square feet in Greenway Plaza III at 2100 Lakeside Blvd., roughly two miles from its current location at 1121 Rockingham Lane.
Freese and Nichols expects to move into the new site at the end of 2011.
Harold Ginsburg of SASCO Realty represented Freese and Nichols. Jeff Wood of Peloton Commercial Real Estate represented Greenway Plaza.
There's been a substantial demand for the firm's engineering services in the oil and gas industry from shale play in The Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale and the Marcellus Shale, said Mark Lane, oil and natural gas engineering group manager for Freese and Nichols.
"Our new site allows us to meet current and anticipated growth so we may continue serving this industry for many years to come," Lane said.
Freese and Nichols is planning an expansion within the next two years that will increase its 26 employees in Richardson by 50 percent, he said.
With one employee sharing his office space with the supply closet- it was time for a new space, Lane said.
In April, Freese and Nichols acquired Nicol & Associates, and the company has grown ever since, beating projections made at the time of acquisition, Lane said. He was unable to disclose the details of those projections.
Freese and Nichols chose to locate its new offices near the DART rail line for its employees and access to clients.
Richardson has a number of oil and gas firms in the city that date back to the Hunt family, said John Jacobs, senior vice president for economic development at the Richardson Economic Development Partnership, which helped Freese and Nichols locate its Richardson offices. Reef Exploration and the Society of Petroleum Engineers are also located in Richardson.
"It's not just the Telecom Corridor," Jacobs said. "This is one of those businesses clusters you don't hear about."
The expansion rests largely on the group growing in the oil and natural gas industry and Freese and Nichols' ability to tap into its core business of water resources with that growth, said Steve Lucy, a partner with Jaster-Quintanilla, an engineering and surveying firm.
"Water is such a big component on where a business can or can't produce," Lucy said. "It's becoming a big issue with the drought in Texas and there needs to be a lot more water lines. As water becomes the next oil, this more directly impacts their core business."
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