Westchase, Houston

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Westchase
Business district of Houston, Texas
Marker of the Westchase District
Marker of the Westchase District
Coordinates: 29°43′44″N 95°33′50″W / 29.729°N 95.564°W / 29.729; -95.564
Country United States United States
State Texas Texas
County Harris
City Houston Houston
Government
 • Type Special district
 • Body Westchase Management District
Area[1]
 • Total 11.2 km2 (4.32 sq mi)
Population (2012)[1]
 • Total 26,122
 • Density 2,300/km2 (6,000/sq mi)
Time zone Central Standard Time (CST)
ZIP Code 77057, 77063
Area codes 281, 346, 713, 832
Website westchasedistrict.com

For the community near Tampa, see Westchase, Florida.

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.[1] 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.[2] This entity, funded by a tax increment on businesses within its boundaries, provides branding, urban planning, and public safety functions for its constituents.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

Westchase has been described by the Houston Press as suburban in nature, with a high concentration of chain stores along its major arterial roads.[6]

History[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[7] 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.[9] 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.[9]

In the early 1990s, BMC Software relocated its headquarters from Sugar Land to a new 20-story tower in Westchase.[10]

Legislation creating the Westchase District was passed by the 73rd Texas State Legislature and became law on August 28, 1995.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13][14]

Economy[edit]

The following companies have regional or international headquarters in Westchase:

Additionally, the following companies have operations in Westchase:

Westchase is home to a growing number of hotels; between 2014 and 2016, the hotel market in the district grew by 9%.[27] The two flagship full-service hotels in the district are the Marriott Westchase and the Houston Hilton Westchase.[27]

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).[28]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

The consulate generals of Costa Rica and Indonesia reside in Westchase.[29] The Indonesian consulate has been in Westchase since 1993.[30]

In 2015, Saudi Arabia submitted plans to construct a new 3-acre (12,000 m2) general consulate complex in Westchase.[31]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Municipal services[edit]

Westchase is located in Houston City Council district F.[32]

Two Houston Fire Department stations, Station 69 Westchase and Station 83 Royal Oaks, serve Westchase.[33] Both stations are a part of Fire District 83.[34] Station 69, located on Beltway 8, opened in 1980, after rapid area development stressed existing emergency infrastructure.[35] Station 83 opened in 2005.[35]

The Houston Police Department's Westside and Uptown Divisions serve separate sections of the district.

County, state, and federal representation[edit]

Westchase is located in Harris County Precinct 3, which is headed by Commissioner Steve Radack.[36]

The United States Postal Service operates the Westchase and Debora Sue Schatz post offices in the district.[37][38]

Education[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]

Houston Community College Alief, opened in 2007, is located along Westheimer in Westchase.[39] In 2017, the West Houston Institute, a STEM-focused facility, opened adjacent to HCC Alief.[40]

American InterContinental University, a for-profit institution, operates its Houston campus in the district.[41] Remington College opened a campus in the district in 1997.[42]

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Much of Westchase is zoned to Alief Independent School District.[43]

Public schools[edit]

Revere Middle School

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 school zoning for the Alief ISD portion is as follows:[44][45][46]

  • 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:

Private schools[edit]

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.[49]

Public libraries[edit]

The area is served by the Judson W. Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library of Houston Public Library at 3223 Wilcrest Drive.[50] The branch is named for Judson W. Robinson Jr., who in 1971 became the first African-American elected to the Houston City Council.

Parks and recreation[edit]

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.[51]

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.[52] The center opened in 1993.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston maintains the Chinese Cultural Center in Westchase.

Image gallery[edit]

A street sign in Westchase branded by the management district. 
Deborah Sue Schatz Post Office 
Judson W. Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Super Neighborhood Resource Assessment: Westchase" (PDF). City of Houston Planning and Development Department. August 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "HB 3204" (PDF). Legislative Reference Library of Texas. 5 April 1995. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Municipal Management Districts" (PDF). Texas Legislative Reference Library. Allen Boone Humpheries Robinson LLP. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "About Westchase." Westchase. Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20140512213847/http://westchasedistrict.com/pdf/2014_Westchase_District_Land_Use_Map.pdf
  6. ^ Lomax, John Nova. "The Sole of Houston." Houston Press. October 12, 2006. 3.
  7. ^ a b "Westchase: A Community History" (PDF). Westchase Area Management District. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "History". Westchase Area Management District. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Slotboom, Erik (2003). "Chapter 5: The Loops". Houston Freeways. Oscar F. Slotboom. pp. 300–301. ISBN 0-9741605-3-9. 
  10. ^ Bivins, Ralph. "BMC building 20-story tower near tollway on city's west side." Houston Chronicle. Tuesday August 6, 1991. Business 1. Retrieved on August 3, 2009.
  11. ^ "History of Westchase." Westchase. Retrieved on February 4, 2009.
  12. ^ Smith, Cara (6 June 2016). "Phillips 66 to move into global headquarters in July". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  13. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy (14 September 2016). "Halliburton lists 48-acre west Houston campus". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  14. ^ Smith, Cara (6 April 2016). "More details on oil giant's Houston office closure". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  15. ^ "Worldwide Contacts". BMC Software. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  16. ^ Sebastian, Simone. "Phillips 66 to build global headquarters in West Houston." FuelFix (Houston Chronicle). September 12, 2012. Retrieved on September 13, 2012.
  17. ^ "Worldwide Locations: USA and Canada". Geokinetics. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  18. ^ Feser, Katherine (4 September 2006). "Men's Wearhouse to move from warehouse". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  19. ^ "Randalls Food Markets Inc." Randall's Food Markets. March 3, 2000. Retrieved on April 30, 2009.
  20. ^ Pulsinelli, Olivia (8 October 2013). "Statoil more than doubles footprint in Westchase District". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  21. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy (7 October 2005). "The oil industry likes west Houston best". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  22. ^ "Chevron Announces Plans to Construct a Downtown Houston Office Building". Business Wire. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  23. ^ "PetroChina to Expand in US Market". Oil & Gas Eurasia. 2013-11-22. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  24. ^ "Westchase District benefits from 2012’s largest office lease" (PDF). Westchase Today. Westchase District. Spring 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  25. ^ Dawson, Jennifer (20 February 2009). "ABB to be first tenant in Westchase Park". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ a b "Hotels Positioning for Upturn" (PDF). Westchase Today. Fall 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  28. ^ 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."
  29. ^ Baird, Annette (1 October 2013). "Consulate offers tasty way to learn about Indonesia". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  30. ^ "Real estate briefs". Houston Chronicle. 1993-02-04. 
  31. ^ Pesquera, Adolfo (28 May 2015). "Saudi Arabia Consulate Development Reaches Houston Planning". Virtual Builders Exchange. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  32. ^ "City of Houston 2016 Council Districts" (PDF). City of Houston. 2016. 
  33. ^ "HFD Fire Stations". Houston Fire Department (City of Houston). Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  34. ^ "Fire Stations." Houston Fire Department. Retrieved on December 4, 2008.
  35. ^ a b "Fire Stations". Houston Fire Museum. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  36. ^ "Precinct 3: About". Harris County Precinct 3. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  37. ^ "Westchase". United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  38. ^ "Debora Sue Schatz". United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  39. ^ "HCC's new Alief campus set to open". Houston Chronicle. 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  40. ^ "New HCC campus offers innovative opportunities for West Houston community". Houston Community College. 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  41. ^ "Houston Campus". American Intercontinental University. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  42. ^ "Westchase Technical School". Remington College. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  43. ^ "Attendance Zones / Boundary Maps". Alief Independent School District. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  44. ^ "2007–2008 Elementary/Intermediate School Boundaries." Alief Independent School District.
  45. ^ "2007–2008 Elementary Bilingual School Boundaries." Alief Independent School District.
  46. ^ "2007–2008 Middle/Intermediate School Boundaries." Alief Independent School District.
  47. ^ "Registration." Briarmeadow Charter School.
  48. ^ "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"
  49. ^ "Schools & Day Cares in the Westchase District." Westchase. Retrieved on January 28, 2009.
  50. ^ "Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on December 4, 2008.
  51. ^ Kuhlmann, Landan (2016-03-30). "Westchase District breaks ground on Brays Bayou Connector Trail". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  52. ^ Ruiz, Rosanna (2007-06-20). "Rosenberg killer faces execution today". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°43′44″N 95°33′50″W / 29.729°N 95.564°W / 29.729; -95.564