Region on the Rise
The SITE Selector team visited the Lake Houston Economic Development Partnership this week to better understand how public and private partnerships benefit communities and how SITE Selector can best provide support for their efforts. The SITE Selector team arrived Tuesday at LHEDP’s Generation Park, one of the two largest landowners in the Houston region. Upon arrival the team discovered a growing region with several up and coming communities and small businesses that all benefit by their proximity to the Bush airport, a deep water port, and the scenic Lake Houston. The attractive area is known for the excellence of its public schools, thriving shopping centers, and numerous public resources.
Economic Development Partner Mark Mitchell quickly briefed the team on the region and the various site opportunities that investors can explore. According to the LHEDP, the region is poised for additional growth. Lake Houston already had a population explosion that helped to buoy the recent development of over 4 million square feet of new office and business space. Current trends demonstrate a positive economic trajectory. What began as a tiny bedroom community of Houston has turned into a thriving suburb with all the major convenience of metropolitan areas with the peace and social experience of community living.
One of the more interesting parts of site visit is to understand what the process is for economic development teams. So many are public-private partnerships and have different mechanisms for marketing. Being able to speak to the team at Lake Houston was invaluable to understanding how we can better serve our EDOs. Mark Mitchell walked us through the new jewel of Lake Houston, Generation Park and talked to us about the opportunities for business in the region. Generation Park is a 4,000-acre master planned commercial development that is anchored by Fortune 500 TechnipFMC’s 173-acre campus and its 1 million square foot first phase. Folks at the EDA are confident that Generation Park will soon be Houston’s preeminent business destination.
In the past economic development was driven by proximity to ports, railways, and other transportation connections—features Lake Houston also has, however, with the rise of service-based industry investment decisions and site locations now are determined by other factors like an educated workforce or younger population demographics. This also comes into play with the Lake Houston region. Proximity and access to Port Houston certainly has played a major role in its initial development but after viewing the region the SITE Selector team suspects that it a huge factor driving this move is the quality of life that people enjoy in that area.
Quality of life is important to everyone and boating, fishing, and other watersports are a huge draw for many. With restaurants, clubs and other nightlife on the rise it has become a target area for Millennials and Generation X families. Lake Houston has done an exemplary job of controlling development and creating a healthy mix of business and pleasure but it can always do better.
Why EDOs are taking advantage of SITE Selector's free service is because it helps to reduce effort and cost for communities like Lake Houston. In order to get business to places like Lake Houston they have to actively pursue it in many cases. In addition to incentive packages, they also have to spend money Instead of spending money on digital ads and magazine placement. This can be quite costly.
SITE Selector offers a free service to EDOs, enabling them to post sites visible to elite investment clientele. Site selectors are able to search on up to 150 different pieces of criteria to find the perfect site. That equalizes the playing field for smaller locales, rural areas, or new communities with little background information in the press. We are glad to be able to provide this service to places like Lake Houston so that they can spend their money on different activities.