David Hawes, executive director of the Greater Sharpstown District, provided commercial brokers, bankers and others attending the district’s recent breakfast meeting with a vision of a management district on the move.
Highlights are as follows:
- The district’s board, chaired by well-known Century 21 commercial broker Kenneth Li, and staff headed by Hawes, has plans to revitalize the 10-square-mile district bounded by the Westpark Toll Road, Hillcroft, Bissonnet and Beltway 8.
- The district wants to help commercial brokers attract investment and users for all commercial land uses. To assist in this effort, the district has retained Ray Lawrence as director of economic development.
- The district is perfectly situated to meet the needs of corporations, professionals and retailers due to its strategic location between Uptown/Galleria, Texas Medical Center and Sugar Land; excellent accessibility via the Southwest Freeway, Westpark Toll Road and Beltway 8; its international wholesale, retail and restaurant businesses; “Asian Wall Street”; Houston Baptist University; Memorial Hermann Hospital complex; Arena Theater; golf courses; diverse population and workforce and other assets.
- Important new infrastructure improvements are underway or planned. The Southwest Houston TIRZ, which lies almost entirely within the district, is financing $22.7 million of drainage and mobility improvements along Bellaire Boulevard from Mary Bates to Beltway 8. These will include the addition of a westbound traffic lane to relieve congestion in Chinatown. Work is expected to begin this fall on the project.
- The district is funding $1.4 million of landscaping and way-finding improvements along other major streets. This work has already started and will be completed by the first quarter of 2012.
- Since the district was created in 2005, it has made great strides in improving safety and security, the district’s business environment, and quality of life for residents. The district employs a staff of constables to patrol shopping centers and other public areas, contracts for graffiti abatement, performs lighting impactions and arranges for removal of unsightly trash and abandoned cars, all under the direction of its director of services, Richard Rodriguez.
- New technology, in the form of batter-proof constantly monitored mobile cameras, located in apartment complexes and public areas, has dramatically reduced crime.
- During the first four months of 2011, more than $54,000 was spent to remove graffiti in the district due to graffiti attacks waged against privately owned properties by a single individual. Thanks to alert work by the district’s crime prevention team, the culprit has been arrested, prosecuted and jailed.
The Greater Sharpstown District has two new brochures available to owners, developers and brokers – a public safety brochure, and an economic development brochure, that were distributed at the meeting. Those desiring additional copies should call the district’s director of marketing and business development, Alice Lee, at (713) 271-2119. The breakfast was the first in a series of district events planned by the district. Next up will be a real estate forum in early October to be jointly sponsored by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and three management districts including Sharpstown. The district hopes to forge strong relationships with property owners, developers and brokers.
Submitted by: Ray Lawrence, Director of Economic Development for the Greater Sharpstown District