News Column

Texas Gas Enjoys Easy Move

Aug 20, 2013

About 225 employees of Texas Gas Transmission reported for work in a new office building at 600 W. Second St. Monday morning, and by 2:30 p.m., officials said moving day for employees and opening of the company's downtown headquarters went very smoothly.

"Everybody came in this morning, had their computers hooked up and were unpacking boxes and moving in today," said Jame Buskill, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners' chief financial officer, senior vice president and treasurer. "The move has gone extremely well."

Boardwalk is the parent company for Texas Gas.

Everyone who worked at the former location at 3800 Frederica St. moved into the new two-story, 60,000-square-foot office building, Buskill said.

Texas Gas's computer network and telecommunications system was moved Friday, said Dan Sharp, who heads the company's building services division.

"On Saturday and Sunday, we made sure everything was working," Sharp said.

Buskill said typically with

such a move there are bumps along the way, but this was a smooth transition.

"We're excited about being downtown," he said. "One of our downtown neighbors, Colby's, catered breakfast and lunch for us today."

Downtown merchants are gearing up to welcome the new neighbors in hopes of earning their business, said Rosemary Conder, chairwoman of We Are Downtown.

"Everybody downtown got an email from We Are Downtown to be prepared for them Monday," she said. "Our businesses are offering them specials, gift cards and discounts to welcome them. We want this to be a good experience."

Conder said the idea is that once the employees become acclimated to downtown, they will want to visit the stores when they need a place to lunch and shop.

"We know Texas Gas employees like to walk," Conder said. "As we make downtown more pedestrian friendly, this will be a good place for everybody."

Colby MacQuarrie, owner/partner of Colby's Fine Food & Spirits, 202 W. Third St. and Colby's Cafe, 401 Frederica St. said his employees served breakfast and lunch to about 240 people at Texas Gas.

He hopes he can continue to cater some small meetings for the company and attract some employees for lunch.

"Some employees have developed a habit of going out in their cars for lunch, but we're about within walking distance from them -- about three blocks," he said. "This is a good opportunity for all of the restaurants and businesses downtown."

He's also looking forward to the opening of the two downtown hotels and convention center.

"If we can capture 20 percent of all of those employees, that would be good," MacQuarrie said.

At The Creme Coffee House, 109 E. Second St., baristas Holly Marsh and Ashley Vanover said the shop has reached out to Texas Gas employees with coupons.

"Since it's the first week, we're not really sure about the impact (of Texas Gas)," Marsh said.

The shop will be ready for any newcomers, Vanover said. "I'm here early all week," she said.

Boardwalk has leased its new office building for 15 years from the building's owners, Riverfront JAM LLC.

Riverfront JAM bought the former Texas Gas building on south Frederica and 30-plus acres and then sold the property to Owensboro Public Schools for $3 million for use as a school, pending approval by the state. The state has approved the sale, but has not approved the building for use as a school.

Source: (c)2013 the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Ky.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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