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Tomball officials celebrate Packers Plus ground breaking

The first tenant of the Tomball Business and Technology Park broke ground Sept. 30 on its new 62,000-square-foot research and development facility.

Canadian-based Packers Plus Energy Services, an international oilfield services company, will begin construction in October on Phase 1 of its new facility, which is expected to be complete in mid-2016, Chief Technology Officer Kevin Trahan said.

“We’ll have an R&D facility for what we call rapid tool development and that will be the first building in Phase 1,” Trahan said. “Then we’ll have a manufacturing building and a corporate building.”

The three buildings, which will be located at the corner of Hufsmith-Kohrville and Holderreith roads, will occupy 17.4 acres of 97.5 acres available for development in the 120-acre park, said Kelly Violette, Tomball Economic Development Corporation executive director. The company is projected to create 172 new jobs at the new facility over the next five years.

Packers Plus CEO and President Dan Themig said the decision to build in Tomball came from a combination of available land, environment and roadway access.

“Instead of leased facilities, we wanted to build our own [R&D facility] so it could be a customized fit for what we do,” Themig said. “Tomball made a lot of sense because the staff thought it would be a good, family-oriented environment, and they thought access to the Grand Parkway would be great.”

The company moved to Texas in 2002 from Calgary and built manufacturing and engineering centers at its U.S. headquarters in Houston in 2009, Themig said.

The new Tomball facility is projected to generate $3.54 million in sales tax revenue, property taxes and other funding sources over the next decade, according to the TEDC. Tomball City Council approved the project contract in May.

Tomball Mayor Gretchen Fagan spoke at the ground breaking to welcome the facility as the park’s flagship building.

“This site sat dormant for quite a while and we decided this would be a great place to get some economic development going,” Fagan said. “We know that industry serves a vital role in the health of any community, so it’s important that we support Packers Plus Energy Services for investing in Tomball, especially as oil prices are declining.”

Despite the recent economic downturn in the oil and gas industry, Trahan said Packers Plus projects its new business venture will find success in Tomball.

“We have a corporate culture at Packers Plus that was created by Dan [Themig] and the co-founders that we feel is very much aligned with the family culture in Tomball,” he said. “So we’re very excited to be here and [with this location], we’re adjacent to Houston—the center of the energy industry. It’s going to work out very well.”