Business district of Houston, Texas
Marker of the Westchase District
|• Type||Special district|
|• Body||Westchase Management District|
|• Total||11.2 km2 (4.32 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,300/km2 (6,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Central Standard Time (CST)|
|Area codes||281, 346, 713, 832|
Westchase is a business district and neighborhood in western Houston, Texas, bounded by Westheimer Road on the north, Gessner Road on the east, Houston Center Boulevard on the west, and Westpark Tollway on the south. The area is bisected by Beltway 8. Westchase is adjacent to Greater Sharpstown, the International District (which includes part of Chinatown), and the Royal Oaks Country Club subdivision. The area is immediately northeast of Alief.
A large portion of Westchase is covered by a special district, the Westchase Management District, which was created by the Texas Legislature in 1995. This entity, funded by a tax increment on businesses within its boundaries, provides branding, urban planning, and public safety functions for its constituents.
More than 1,500 businesses reside in Westchase; several are associated with the petroleum industry, for which Houston is considered a major capital. Major employers that have offices in Westchase include ABB Group, BMC Software, Chevron, Phillips 66, Dow Chemical, Petrochina, and Jacobs Engineering. The Westchase district is approximately 4.32 square miles (11.2 km2) in size, with 16.3 million square feet (1,510,000 m2) of office space contained in 118 buildings.
- 1 History
- 2 Economy
- 3 Diplomatic missions
- 4 Government and infrastructure
- 5 Education
- 6 Parks and recreation
- 7 Image gallery
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
In the 1950s, large portions of Westchase were purchased by Robert E. Smith, a Houston oilman and philanthropist well-known for creating the Houston Colt .45s baseball team. In 1969, Friendswood Development Company purchased a section of Smith's land to form what is now Woodlake, a residential subdivision at the intersection of Westheimer and Gessner. In 1973, Westchase Corporation, the predecessor to the modern management district, purchased 760 acres (3.1 km2) of Smith's land and began preparing land parcels for corporate development. Chevron and Western Geophysical were some of the first companies to establish operations in the district.
Construction on Beltway 8 (the Sam Houston Tollway) through the area began in 1985 and was completed in 1988. Financing for this section of the tollway was particularly challenging, as the Texas Department of Transportation's right-of-way acquisition program coincided with the rapid development of Westchase and Sharpstown, induced by the 1970s energy crisis. In order to ensure that the highway would be built, landowners and developers in Westchase and Sharpstown formed the Beltway 8 Group, which coordinated with TxDOT to lock in property values at rates the state could afford.
Legislation creating the Westchase District was passed by the 73rd Texas State Legislature and became law on August 28, 1995.
In 2012, after splitting from ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66 began construction on a 14-acre (5.7 ha) corporate headquarters in the district. The project was completed in 2016. That same year, due to the 2010s oil glut, Halliburton moved out of its 48-acre (19-hectare) campus near Chinatown, and Maersk Oil ended operations in the area.
The following companies have regional or international headquarters in Westchase:
- BMC Software
- Phillips 66
- The Men's Wearhouse
- Randall's Food Markets
Additionally, the following companies have operations in Westchase:
- Jacobs Engineering Group
- Chevron Corporation
- ABB Group
- KRBE, a radio station
Westchase is home to a growing number of hotels; between 2014 and 2016, the hotel market in the district grew by 9%. The two flagship full-service hotels in the district are the Marriott Westchase and the Houston Hilton Westchase.
Westchase is home to one of Houston's only Japanese markets, the Nippan Daido (大道日本食料品店 Daidō Nihon Shokuryōhinden).
The consulate generals of Costa Rica, Indonesia, and the Philippines reside in Westchase. The Indonesian consulate has been in Westchase since 1993. The Philippines consulate opened on September 24, 2018.
Government and infrastructure
Two Houston Fire Department stations, Station 69 Westchase and Station 83 Royal Oaks, serve Westchase. Both stations are a part of Fire District 83. Station 69, located on Beltway 8, opened in 1980, after rapid area development stressed existing emergency infrastructure. Station 83 opened in 2005.
The Houston Police Department's Westside and Uptown Divisions serve separate sections of the district.
County, state, and federal representation
Colleges and universities
Primary and secondary education
Most of Westchase, which is south of Westheimer Road (Farm to Market Road 1093) and west of Gessner Road, is zoned to schools in Alief Independent School District, while the parts north of Westheimer and parts east of Gessner Road are zoned to the Houston Independent School District.
Two AISD public schools are located within the boundaries of the district, Alief Early College High School and Sneed Elementary School.
- The portion inside Beltway 8 south of Westheimer and west of Gessner is zoned to Sneed Elementary School (Sneed Elementary is in the Westchase district), Budewig Intermediate School, and O'Donnell Middle School.
- The portion outside Beltway 8 north of the Westpark Tollway and south of Westheimer is zoned to Outley Elementary School, Budewig Intermediate School, and O'Donnell Middle School.
- The portion outside Beltway 8 south of the Westpark Tollway is zoned to Chancellor Elementary School (Bilingual students go to Youens Elementary School), Owens Intermediate School, and Alief Middle School.
- Westchase students in Alief ISD may attend Elsik, Hastings, and Taylor high schools, as high school assignments in Alief ISD are determined by a lottery.
The school zoning for the Houston ISD portion is as follows:
- Areas north of Westheimer and west of East Rivercrest are zoned to: Walnut Bend Elementary School, Paul Revere Middle School (Revere is located in Westchase) with West Briar Middle School as an option, and Westside High School.
- Areas north of Westheimer, east of East Rivercrest, and west of Gessner are zoned to: Emerson Elementary School, Paul Revere Middle School (with West Briar Middle School as an option) and Westside High School.
- Areas west of Gessner (whether north or south of Westheimer) are zoned to: Emerson Elementary School, Paul Revere Middle School, and Lee High School with Lamar High School and Westside High School as boundary transfer options.
Private schools in Westchase include Alexander-Smith Academy, River Oaks Academy, Wesley Academy, Woodlake Square Children's Center, Ascension Episcopal School, Children's World Learning Center, and the Grace Presbyterian Church and School. Westchase Methodist School is a preschool and kindergarten in Westchase.
The area is served by the Judson W. Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library of Houston Public Library at 3223 Wilcrest Drive. The branch is named for Judson W. Robinson Jr. (1932-1990), who in 1971 became the first African-American elected to the Houston City Council. The library, originally opened in 1991, was closed for major renovations in the fall of 2016, and re-opened in the spring of 2018.
Parks and recreation
The Westchase District maintains a network of trails along a tributary of Brays Bayou which flows through the center of the district. The Brays Bayou Connector, which commenced construction in 2016, will connect Richmond Avenue and Bellaire Boulevard with a 1.92-mile (3.09 km) grade-separated trail, providing pedestrian and bicyclist access to the International District and Arthur Story Park.
Harris County operates Tracy Gee Community Center, named after Tracy Gee (Traditional Chinese: 硃秀娟, Simplified Chinese: 朱秀娟, Pinyin:Zhū Xiùjuān), a Chinese American university student who was murdered in 1990. The center opened in 1993.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston maintains the Chinese Cultural Center in Westchase.
- "Super Neighborhood Resource Assessment: Westchase" (PDF). City of Houston Planning and Development Department. August 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- "HB 3204" (PDF). Legislative Reference Library of Texas. 5 April 1995. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
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- Navarro, Jessica (2015). "Run the World: Bauer Alumnus Connects with Listeners as On-Air DJ for 104.1 KRBE" (PDF). Bauer College of Business. University of Houston. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Hotels Positioning for Upturn" (PDF). Westchase Today. Fall 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- Houston Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Bayou City’s Iconic Restaurants. Globe Pequot, November 6, 2012. p. 142. Retrieved on March 30, 2014. "For exquisitely fresh fish to make sashimi plates or sushi at home, the Nippon Daido market in Westchase is the spot to go."
- Baird, Annette (1 October 2013). "Consulate offers tasty way to learn about Indonesia". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
- . Department of Foreign Affairs (Philippines) https://dfa.gov.ph/dfa-news/dfa-releasesupdate/17927-ph-reopens-consulate-general-in-houston. Retrieved 2018-10-10. Missing or empty
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- "Debora Sue Schatz". United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
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- "New HCC campus offers innovative opportunities for West Houston community". Houston Community College. 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
- "Houston Campus". American Intercontinental University. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
- "Westchase Technical School". Remington College. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
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- "Westside High School." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on July 6, 2017. "Students zoned to this campus are eligible to apply for a Boundary Option Transfer to Lamar High School"
- "Schools & Day Cares in the Westchase District." Westchase. Retrieved on January 28, 2009.
- "Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on December 4, 2008.
- "Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library to close for renovation". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
- "Robinson-Westchase Library Re-opening Celebration – City of Houston | Newsroom". cityofhouston.news. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
- "Judson Robinson, Jr. Westchase Neighborhood Library". houstonlibrary.org. April 19, 2018.
- Kuhlmann, Landan (2016-03-30). "Westchase District breaks ground on Brays Bayou Connector Trail". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
- Ruiz, Rosanna (2007-06-20). "Rosenberg killer faces execution today". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
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