Texas is a Good Place to do Business

Choosing commercial construction and development in Houston and the entire state of Texas is an excellent decision for multiple reasons. Chief Executive magazine had 600 CEOs across the U.S. to rate the best and worst states for business in 2009 and 2010 based upon their direct experience. The criteria ranged from taxation and regulation to workforce and living environment. Texas was ranked NUMBER ONE both years. The main reasons business owners like Texas includes:

» Texas is friendly to business

» Texas offers tax incentives for locating in the state

» There are fewer employment compliance regulations

» There is no Texas state income tax

» Texas is a right-to-work state (union and non-union labor)

» The work ethic of employees is high overall

» The general education level of the workforce is higher than most states

» Wage rates are competitive

» Houston, alone, has more jobs than Colorado, Alabama or Louisiana

» The Port of Houston makes importing/exporting more convenient (the port is ranked first in the US in foreign waterborne tonnage)

» If Texas were a country, it would have the 10th largest economy in the world

Why Workers Like Living in Texas

» Real estate costs are lower than in many states—more house for the dollar

» There is no better place in the county (or the world) to receive medical care

» The public education system is better than many states (70.4% of the population has a high school or higher education)

» The average crime rate is lower than many states

» The state motto is “friendship”—Texans are friendly

» Median resident age is 30.9 years (Houston area)

» Median annual household income is $51,335 (Houston area)

» Median home value $210,000 (Houston area)

The Greater Houston Partnership (GHP)

Basic Information — Numbers and More

Houston is 579.4 square miles with a population density average of 3,897 people per square mile. Energy has had the single biggest influence on the local economy since oil was discovered at Spindletop, Texas in 1901. It is estimated that there are 3,600 energy-related companies in or around Houston. The Chemical industry is comprised of 405 chemical plants in the Houston area that employs an estimated 36,000 people.

The Johnson Space Center of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) has spawned a number of privately owned suppliers to space exploration and related programs. At one time, NASA alone employed over 17,000 engineers, scientists and administrative staff.

Houston’s medical center also employees a huge number of people — around 52,000. Only New York City has more Fortune 500 headquarters than the City of Houston.

Climate — Humid Subtropical

The Houston area climate is classified as humid subtropical with the coldest month being January when the average temperature is 62.3° F. July and August are typically the hottest months when average temperatures climb to 93.6° F. Winters are usually mild with temperatures dropping below freezing for only a few days.

It seldom snows in Houston but rainfall is typically steady with February and July being the months with the least precipitation and May and June having the most. Houstonians say, “if you don’t like the Houston weather, just wait a minute and it will change.”

Houston is situated in the flat Coastal Plains about 25 miles from Galveston Bay and 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. It has been categorized as one of the top 10 most humid cities in the U.S. The area is occasionally subject to hurricane-force winds, tornadoes and supercell thunderstorms. Flooding can and does occur very quickly during severe weather. Because of the humid subtropical climate, air conditioning systems are serious “must have” components to most building structures.

Cost of Living & Housing — Lower Than Most

Texas Ahead, the website of Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, reports monthly on the Texas economy with the on-line article "Tracking the Texas Economy – Key Texas Economic Indicators." This site has all the charts, graphs and economic information for the state of Texas you could ever need.

Housing — Holding Its Own

The average rent for an apartment in Houston is around $.097 per sq ft. The average cost of a single family home in Houston is $163,692 compared to a national average of $196,6000. The taxing rate in 2010 per $100 valuation was $2.188 including Harris County, the City of Houston and Houston ISD. While property taxes are high, there are no local or State income taxes.

Home price appreciation has declined since 2008, Houston home appreciation dipped but not as drastically as the national average. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, national home price appreciation went from 12% average appreciation to negative 5% late in 2009 while Houston's home appreciation rate went from 6% to 2% appreciation for the same period.

Houston housing varies from very modest or public housing to palatial and from single family homes and townhomes to apartments and condos. There is no zoning in Houston so commercial and residential structures can be side by side, yet, you can also find planned communities. Many areas have developed their own identity and there are small municipalities within the city such as Bellaire, West University Place, Hedwig Village, Bunker Hill Village and more. These entities have their own mayor, and council members and offer city services including police, fire and trash pick-up. Below is an ongoing compilation of websites for Houston-area neighborhood associations and civic clubs:

» Afton Oaks Civic Club

» Audubon Place Association

» Braeswood Place Homeowners Association

» Bridgeland

» Bridgewater Community Association (Katy)

» Cinco Ranch

» Crestwood Civic Club

» Eastwood Civic Association

» Fairfield Village

» First Colony

» Fonn Villas Civic Association

» Forest Cove

» Garden Oaks Civic Club

» Glenshire Community Association

» Houston Heights Association

» Idylwood Civic Club

» Jamaica Beach Improvement Committee

» Lindale Park

» Maplewood South/North

» Morningside Place Civic Association

» Oak Forest Neighborhood Association

» Old Braeswood Property Owners Association

» Pecan Park Civic Association

» Proctor Plaza Neighborhood Association

» Shady Acres Civic Club

» Sharpstown Civic Association

» Southgate Civic Club

» Sunset Heights Civic Club

» Timbergrove Manor

» University Oaks Civic Club

» Wilchester and Wilchester West

» Winlow Place Civic Club

» Woodland Heights Civic Association

Cultural Amenities — Plentiful and Diverse

Education — 4,100 Area Schools

There are 1,177 preschools, 692 elementary schools, 360 middle schools, 245 high schools, 729 public schools and 897 private schools. This is in Houston alone and does not include outlying areas such as The Woodlands, Conroe, Katy, Clear Lake, Galveston and etc.

Employment Opportunities — Stellar Outlook

In January 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled employment figures for 372 U.S. metropolitan areas and found that only 19 of the areas gained at least 10,000 jobs during 2010. Dallas and Houston, Texas topped the list. In fact, Texas gained 168,900 jobs from January 2010 to January 2011.

The overall outlook for a growing labor force is good. Texas and other southern states are attracting more workers from other parts of the country. Houston is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. It is projected that Houston will add another 2.66 million people by 2030 (projected by Woods & Poole Economics).

Health Care — Best in the World

There are 43 Hospitals/medical centers in Houston alone—including the famed Texas Medical Center —the largest medical care hub in the world. The Texas Medical Center is a healing, learning and discovery medical Mecca covering over 1,000 sq. acres of land and housing 49 member institutions including academic institutions, hospitals, medical schools and nursing schools. There are over six million patient visits each year and daily visitors number around 160,000 people.

Transit — By Air, Land and Sea

Fun Things to Do and See — Multiple Venues

» PROFESSIONAL SPORTS - nine pro teams - Houston is no stranger to the roar of the crowd and the thrill of victory. Here are links to some of your favorite sports: Houston Texans (NFL football) Houston Aeros (hockey), Houston Astros (baseball), Houston Rockets (men's NBA basketball), Houston Dynamo (soccer) and the Houston Wranglers (tennis), Houston Energy (women's football) and the Texas Thunder (fast pitch softball).

» DIVERSE ARCHITECTURE - one of the finest collections of American decorative arts is housed in the mansion at Bayou Bend. The 14 acres surrounding the mansion are gracious gardens that are home to azaleas, gardenias and rare camellias. But, not far away is The Beer Can House, a home covered with flattened beer cans, rocks and marbles (named the best landmark in Houston in 2010). Architecture in Houston ranges from Victorian to Southwestern, Southern to modern and everything in between.

» PARADES - like most cities, Houston has a Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Martin Luther King (MLK) Youth Parade and other holiday festivities. But, Houston is unique in that it also hosts a Rodeo Parade in prelude to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ (a 78-year tradition utilizing 24,000 volunteers). Then there's the annual Orange Show's Houston Art Car Parade where cars are decorated with anything you can glue onto or do to a car. It's a motorist's delight or nightmare, depending upon your outlook.

» PARKS - walk the dog, jog, play tennis or golf and more—Houston's Memorial Park is nearly twice the acreage of New York's Central Park. It encompasses over 1,500 wooded acres and is used by over 4-million people each year. The park has multiple sports facilities and is open to the public. Go to memorialparkconservancy.org for more information. There are 38,992 acres of parkland and green space for Houston alone not to mention numerous dog parks, tennis centers, golf courses, biking trails, softball fields… and that's just for the public. There are a vast number of private golf courses, country clubs, swimming clubs and etcetera. Golf is a year-round sport in the Houston area.

» GALVESTON ISLAND - is located just 45-minutes from Houston. Galveston, Texas has a unique presence. From its Victorian architecture to its sunny beaches, resort hotels, fine and casual dining to its shopping and entertainment venues, Galveston is 32 miles long and two and one half miles wide and, in 1900, was the target of one of the worst hurricane disasters in U.S. history. Go to galveston.com for more information.

» SHOPPING - Houston's Galleria mall has over 24-million visitors each year and offers world class shopping, restaurants, movie theatres and even an ice skating rink. Want a private ice skating lesson? Go to simon.com for more information. There are hundreds of fine shops in the Galleria including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy's and on and on. There are hundreds of other shopping areas in and around Houston and each has it's own group of boutiques, specialty stores and national chain stores. KDW is helping develop the Mainstreet center in Katy, Texas (just west of Houston).

» KATY, TEXAS - "Small town charm with big city convenience" is a perfect description of this community just about 10-miles west of Houston. Once a hunting ground of the Karankawa Indian tribes, the Katy, Texas area became a railroad hub in 1895 and was incorporated as the City of Katy in 1945. Known for its good schools, great shopping and outlet malls, Katy, Texas is as American as apple pie with a strong and charming residential community. KDW is helping develop the Katy Main Street.

» RESTAURANTS & NIGHTLIFE - Houstonians are known for eating out. Houston is said to have well over 6,000 restaurants and clubs. Dining is as diverse as the city. Virtually any style of cuisine is available at nearly every price range.

There are a number of live music clubs, wine bars, cocktail lounges, Irish pubs and something Houstonians call "icehouses." An icehouse is typically a open air bar where beer and food is sold and where you can shoot hoops, play pool or toss horseshoes in a very casual and friendly atmosphere. Contrast this with some of the most chic lounges and jazz clubs and you will see that Houston is a big ole friendly place to live but not without sophistication.

» PROFESSIONAL ENTERTAINMENT - Entertainers like to perform here because Houston audiences are generally very receptive, appreciative and polite. Over the course of a year, you can select from a number of big name concerts. In 2011 Bon Jovi, All time Low, Lady Gaga, The Avett Brothers, Lil Wayne, James Taylor and more will be on the big stages with smaller stages and clubs attracting big name talent also. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is an outdoor venue that attracts outstanding entertainers. Local fundraising activities also attract big names from movies, TV and stage.

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Texas is a Good Place to do Business

Choosing commercial construction and development in Houston and the entire state of Texas is an excellent decision for multiple reasons. Chief Executive magazine had 600 CEOs across the U.S. to rate the best and worst states for business in 2009 and 2010 based upon their direct experience. The criteria ranged from taxation and regulation to workforce and living environment. Texas was ranked NUMBER ONE both years. The main reasons business owners like Texas includes:

» Texas is friendly to business

» Texas offers tax incentives for locating in the state

» There are fewer employment compliance regulations

» There is no Texas state income tax

» Texas is a right-to-work state (union and non-union labor)

» The work ethic of employees is high overall

» The general education level of the workforce is higher than most states

» Wage rates are competitive

» Houston, alone, has more jobs than Colorado, Alabama or Louisiana

» The Port of Houston makes importing/exporting more convenient (the port is ranked first in the US in foreign waterborne tonnage)

» If Texas were a country, it would have the 10th largest economy in the world

Why Workers Like Living in Texas

» Real estate costs are lower than in many states—more house for the dollar

» There is no better place in the county (or the world) to receive medical care

» The public education system is better than many states (70.4% of the population has a high school or higher education)

» The average crime rate is lower than many states

» The state motto is “friendship”—Texans are friendly

» Median resident age is 30.9 years (Houston area)

» Median annual household income is $51,335 (Houston area)

» Median home value $210,000 (Houston area)

The Greater Houston Partnership (GHP)

Basic Information — Numbers and More

Houston is 579.4 square miles with a population density average of 3,897 people per square mile. Energy has had the single biggest influence on the local economy since oil was discovered at Spindletop, Texas in 1901. It is estimated that there are 3,600 energy-related companies in or around Houston. The Chemical industry is comprised of 405 chemical plants in the Houston area that employs an estimated 36,000 people.

The Johnson Space Center of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) has spawned a number of privately owned suppliers to space exploration and related programs. At one time, NASA alone employed over 17,000 engineers, scientists and administrative staff.

Houston’s medical center also employees a huge number of people — around 52,000. Only New York City has more Fortune 500 headquarters than the City of Houston.

Climate — Humid Subtropical

The Houston area climate is classified as humid subtropical with the coldest month being January when the average temperature is 62.3° F. July and August are typically the hottest months when average temperatures climb to 93.6° F. Winters are usually mild with temperatures dropping below freezing for only a few days.

It seldom snows in Houston but rainfall is typically steady with February and July being the months with the least precipitation and May and June having the most. Houstonians say, “if you don’t like the Houston weather, just wait a minute and it will change.”

Houston is situated in the flat Coastal Plains about 25 miles from Galveston Bay and 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. It has been categorized as one of the top 10 most humid cities in the U.S. The area is occasionally subject to hurricane-force winds, tornadoes and supercell thunderstorms. Flooding can and does occur very quickly during severe weather. Because of the humid subtropical climate, air conditioning systems are serious “must have” components to most building structures.

Cost of Living & Housing — Lower Than Most

Texas Ahead, the website of Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, reports monthly on the Texas economy with the on-line article "Tracking the Texas Economy – Key Texas Economic Indicators." This site has all the charts, graphs and economic information for the state of Texas you could ever need.

Housing — Holding Its Own

The average rent for an apartment in Houston is around $.097 per sq ft. The average cost of a single family home in Houston is $163,692 compared to a national average of $196,6000. The taxing rate in 2010 per $100 valuation was $2.188 including Harris County, the City of Houston and Houston ISD. While property taxes are high, there are no local or State income taxes.

Home price appreciation has declined since 2008, Houston home appreciation dipped but not as drastically as the national average. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, national home price appreciation went from 12% average appreciation to negative 5% late in 2009 while Houston's home appreciation rate went from 6% to 2% appreciation for the same period.

Houston housing varies from very modest or public housing to palatial and from single family homes and townhomes to apartments and condos. There is no zoning in Houston so commercial and residential structures can be side by side, yet, you can also find planned communities. Many areas have developed their own identity and there are small municipalities within the city such as Bellaire, West University Place, Hedwig Village, Bunker Hill Village and more. These entities have their own mayor, and council members and offer city services including police, fire and trash pick-up. Below is an ongoing compilation of websites for Houston-area neighborhood associations and civic clubs:

» Afton Oaks Civic Club

» Audubon Place Association

» Braeswood Place Homeowners Association

» Bridgeland

» Bridgewater Community Association (Katy)

» Cinco Ranch

» Crestwood Civic Club

» Eastwood Civic Association

» Fairfield Village

» First Colony

» Fonn Villas Civic Association

» Forest Cove

» Garden Oaks Civic Club

» Glenshire Community Association

» Houston Heights Association

» Idylwood Civic Club

» Jamaica Beach Improvement Committee

» Lindale Park

» Maplewood South/North

» Morningside Place Civic Association

» Oak Forest Neighborhood Association

» Old Braeswood Property Owners Association

» Pecan Park Civic Association

» Proctor Plaza Neighborhood Association

» Shady Acres Civic Club

» Sharpstown Civic Association

» Southgate Civic Club

» Sunset Heights Civic Club

» Timbergrove Manor

» University Oaks Civic Club

» Wilchester and Wilchester West

» Winlow Place Civic Club

» Woodland Heights Civic Association

Cultural Amenities — Plentiful and Diverse

Education — 4,100 Area Schools

There are 1,177 preschools, 692 elementary schools, 360 middle schools, 245 high schools, 729 public schools and 897 private schools. This is in Houston alone and does not include outlying areas such as The Woodlands, Conroe, Katy, Clear Lake, Galveston and etc.

Employment Opportunities — Stellar Outlook

In January 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled employment figures for 372 U.S. metropolitan areas and found that only 19 of the areas gained at least 10,000 jobs during 2010. Dallas and Houston, Texas topped the list. In fact, Texas gained 168,900 jobs from January 2010 to January 2011.

The overall outlook for a growing labor force is good. Texas and other southern states are attracting more workers from other parts of the country. Houston is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. It is projected that Houston will add another 2.66 million people by 2030 (projected by Woods & Poole Economics).

Health Care — Best in the World

There are 43 Hospitals/medical centers in Houston alone—including the famed Texas Medical Center —the largest medical care hub in the world. The Texas Medical Center is a healing, learning and discovery medical Mecca covering over 1,000 sq. acres of land and housing 49 member institutions including academic institutions, hospitals, medical schools and nursing schools. There are over six million patient visits each year and daily visitors number around 160,000 people.

Transit — By Air, Land and Sea

Fun Things to Do and See — Multiple Venues

» PROFESSIONAL SPORTS - nine pro teams - Houston is no stranger to the roar of the crowd and the thrill of victory. Here are links to some of your favorite sports: Houston Texans (NFL football) Houston Aeros (hockey), Houston Astros (baseball), Houston Rockets (men's NBA basketball), Houston Dynamo (soccer) and the Houston Wranglers (tennis), Houston Energy (women's football) and the Texas Thunder (fast pitch softball).

» DIVERSE ARCHITECTURE - one of the finest collections of American decorative arts is housed in the mansion at Bayou Bend. The 14 acres surrounding the mansion are gracious gardens that are home to azaleas, gardenias and rare camellias. But, not far away is The Beer Can House, a home covered with flattened beer cans, rocks and marbles (named the best landmark in Houston in 2010). Architecture in Houston ranges from Victorian to Southwestern, Southern to modern and everything in between.

» PARADES - like most cities, Houston has a Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Martin Luther King (MLK) Youth Parade and other holiday festivities. But, Houston is unique in that it also hosts a Rodeo Parade in prelude to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ (a 78-year tradition utilizing 24,000 volunteers). Then there's the annual Orange Show's Houston Art Car Parade where cars are decorated with anything you can glue onto or do to a car. It's a motorist's delight or nightmare, depending upon your outlook.

» PARKS - walk the dog, jog, play tennis or golf and more—Houston's Memorial Park is nearly twice the acreage of New York's Central Park. It encompasses over 1,500 wooded acres and is used by over 4-million people each year. The park has multiple sports facilities and is open to the public. Go to memorialparkconservancy.org for more information. There are 38,992 acres of parkland and green space for Houston alone not to mention numerous dog parks, tennis centers, golf courses, biking trails, softball fields… and that's just for the public. There are a vast number of private golf courses, country clubs, swimming clubs and etcetera. Golf is a year-round sport in the Houston area.

» GALVESTON ISLAND - is located just 45-minutes from Houston. Galveston, Texas has a unique presence. From its Victorian architecture to its sunny beaches, resort hotels, fine and casual dining to its shopping and entertainment venues, Galveston is 32 miles long and two and one half miles wide and, in 1900, was the target of one of the worst hurricane disasters in U.S. history. Go to galveston.com for more information.

» SHOPPING - Houston's Galleria mall has over 24-million visitors each year and offers world class shopping, restaurants, movie theatres and even an ice skating rink. Want a private ice skating lesson? Go to simon.com for more information. There are hundreds of fine shops in the Galleria including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy's and on and on. There are hundreds of other shopping areas in and around Houston and each has it's own group of boutiques, specialty stores and national chain stores. KDW is helping develop the Mainstreet center in Katy, Texas (just west of Houston).

» KATY, TEXAS - "Small town charm with big city convenience" is a perfect description of this community just about 10-miles west of Houston. Once a hunting ground of the Karankawa Indian tribes, the Katy, Texas area became a railroad hub in 1895 and was incorporated as the City of Katy in 1945. Known for its good schools, great shopping and outlet malls, Katy, Texas is as American as apple pie with a strong and charming residential community. KDW is helping develop the Katy Main Street.

» RESTAURANTS & NIGHTLIFE - Houstonians are known for eating out. Houston is said to have well over 6,000 restaurants and clubs. Dining is as diverse as the city. Virtually any style of cuisine is available at nearly every price range.

There are a number of live music clubs, wine bars, cocktail lounges, Irish pubs and something Houstonians call "icehouses." An icehouse is typically a open air bar where beer and food is sold and where you can shoot hoops, play pool or toss horseshoes in a very casual and friendly atmosphere. Contrast this with some of the most chic lounges and jazz clubs and you will see that Houston is a big ole friendly place to live but not without sophistication.

» PROFESSIONAL ENTERTAINMENT - Entertainers like to perform here because Houston audiences are generally very receptive, appreciative and polite. Over the course of a year, you can select from a number of big name concerts. In 2011 Bon Jovi, All time Low, Lady Gaga, The Avett Brothers, Lil Wayne, James Taylor and more will be on the big stages with smaller stages and clubs attracting big name talent also. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is an outdoor venue that attracts outstanding entertainers. Local fundraising activities also attract big names from movies, TV and stage.