The Houston – The Woodlands – Sugar Land metropolitan area has long-been an economic force, and consistently ranks as one of the top five U.S. metropolitan areas by annual GDP. Many people believe that these numbers are generated from the concentration of corporations leasing offices in the heart of Downtown Houston, but the reality is that Houston has multiple districts in the metro-area that are centers of commerce. A great example of this is Houston’s West Loop office space, spanning the north to south stretch of I-610 from Highway 290 to South Post Oak Road. The area is home to the booming Uptown neighborhood, which is one of the strongest economic engines driving the growth of the region, and also provides easy transportation to Downtown Houston to the east and the Energy Corridor to the west, both along Highway 90.
Situated on the west side of I-610, just north of the Highway 59 junction, the Uptown District is approximately 6 miles west of Downtown Houston. A bustling business district, consistently ranked in the top 20 largest in the country, Uptown is also home to The Galleria, the largest retail shopping mall in Texas. The Galleria features local and designer retail stores, as well as many top-notch restaurants and cafes. Despite the commercial and retail development of Uptown, it manages to strike a balance between commerce and nature with its close proximity to the large Memorial Park (located to the northeast across I-610).
Approximately 11% of all Houston’s business space is located within the Uptown District, and the percentage of Houston’s Class A office space is even higher, at 15%. This density of high-quality business space makes it one of the most desirable neighborhoods for companies looking to lease offices in the metro-area. Around 2,000 companies lease a portion of the 28 million square feet of office space, and there is a mixture of local, national, and multi-national businesses with operations in Uptown and the surrounding West Loop area.
Many of the notable tenants of the neighborhood come from the energy industry, with General Electric, Duke Energy, Spectra Energy, and GDF Suez Energy Resources all maintaining offices in Uptown. Other major corporations with operations in Uptown and the larger West Loop region include Dow Chemical, Clear Channel, the Apache Corporation, and Kirksey – an architecture firm with offices just north of Highway 90 that was voted one of Houston’s top workplaces by the Houston Chronicle from 2010-2013.
Companies are not the only organizations attracted to the West Loop though, as numerous foreign consulates are located in the Uptown District. Countries that have turned business spaces into Consulate Generals include the European, Asian, and South American economic powers of Germany, South Korea, and Argentina. The presence of foreign Consulates in Uptown speaks to the desirability of the area as a whole, and the offices for lease up and down the West Loop would make an ideal location for any company.
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