Lake Houston Area on brink of explosive growth

Last Friday Houston Business Journal’s Cara Smith released her cover story on the significance of several major recent and upcoming real estate developments and existing business expansions in the Lake Houston Area.

The LHA has always been a bedroom community, a very attractive and highly acclaimed one. However, because of the growth in the area, LHA is maturing to a more diverse place due to recent existing business expansions and new business growth that are creating more primary jobs closer to residents’ homes.

The area has always lacked primary employers in comparison to other job centers spread throughout the Houston region like The Woodlands, Galleria, Memorial, Katy, Downtown.

According to 2010 Census data,  nearly 80 percent of residents living in the LHA commute outside the area for work.

From 2000 to 2010 the Lake Houston Area’s* population grew by a staggering 61.2 percent or 85,604 residents (139,903 residents in 2000 to 225,507 residents in 2010)

From 2010 to 2015 the Lake Houston Area’s population grew significantly once again by another 14.3 percent or 32,222 residents (225,507 in 2010 to an estimated 257,729 residents in 2015, with a projected 2020 population of 288,599 residents).

From 2010 to 2015 about 3,000 new residents on average per year moved to LHA.

population compressed    compressed houshold growth pic

Since 2000, commercial retail began to grow with the development of several large scale, big box retail centers located along I-69 and FM 1960.

In 2011 the northeast portion of Beltway 8/Sam Houston Tollway was completed which helped to attract several big box retail centers along that stretch of Beltway 8/Sam Houston Tollway and is now home to two significant commercial and industrial developments in Westlake Marketplace and Generation Park.

Although growth of single family homes and new residential population remains strong, it is important to take notice that the LHA is finally getting a good share of primary job growth as well.

New Picture

The above map (which can be viewed and searched here) shows some of the largest recent and upcoming LHA infrastructure projects, business expansions and real estate developments.

Now, the hard work of recruiting, attracting and convincing large scale primary employers to expand or re-locate to sites in LHA is fully underway.

It is hard work from an economic development standpoint to attract these desired employers to the area. The LHA EDP is not a typical economic development organization like most in Texas or the Houston area because we do not have local sales tax revenues to utilize as incentives which are typically used to recruit and attract prospective companies. Therefore, we must work very hard to tell everyone who is not familiar about how great of a community the LHA is and get the news out about our recent, current and upcoming commercial and industrial jobs and real estate developments that are creating good jobs right in our backyards.

Upcoming projects like Precinct 2’s Woodland Hills Drive extension to Beltway 8/Sam Houston Tollway, Insperity’s corporate headquarters expansion, Memorial Hermann’s new convenient care centers along with a replacement tower at the hospital, in addition to recent business expansions like Generation Park, FMC Technologies headquarters campus, Jetco Delivery and Kingwood Medical Center – are all collectively helping the Lake Houston Area transition away from a bedroom community and into a job and activity center similar to places like The Woodlands, Sugarland and Katy.

The Lake Houston Area has seen primary job growth pick up significantly in the past several years. Many LHA businesses recently expanded and added jobs at their LHA locations, including M&D Distributors, Costco, DeLorean Motor Company, Dangerous Goods Management, DB Schenker, K2 Logistics, Roadrunner Transportation, Aviation and Marketing International, DHL Worldwide, Aries Freight, Green Tree Transportation, Humble Machine Works, Schuff Steel, Byrne Metals, Lawler Foods, Forged Components, Houston Plating and Coatings and Superior Threaded Products.

LHA has always been a premier community to live. Sooner rather than later it will be a premier community to work in as well.

Read Houston Business Journal’s full story on LHA’s growth and development here.

*The Lake Houston Area’s total population is all the residents combined residing in zip codes 77338, 77339, 77345, 77346, 77396, 77044