Skip to main content

52-Acre Development Looks to Capitalize on Houston's Growing Life Sciences Industry

Published Jun 16, 2020 by A.J. Mistretta

A rendering of Levit Green

A massive new mixed-use development planned near the Texas Medical Center is the latest in a series of projects that will expand Houston’s life sciences research and innovation infrastructure.  

Hines plans to redevelop a 52-acre site near the intersection of Texas 288 and Holcombe Blvd. in partnership with the Levit family which has owned the property for generations. Dubbed Levit Green, the project is slated to include a mix of office space, research facilities, retail, residential and green space. 

The developers hope to build on Houston’s growing life sciences sector centered around the TMC, the world’s largest medical campus with more than 60 different hospitals and institutions. Construction on the first phase of Levit Green is slated to start next year. 

“At 15.5%, Houston has one of the highest five-year growth rates in life sciences establishments in the United States,” said John Mooz, senior managing director at Hines. “Impressive advancements in therapeutics, science and innovation are driving demand for real estate. With multimodal connectivity and proximity to TMC, we believe Levit Green will create a new and needed destination for Houston’s rapidly growing life sciences cluster.”

Earlier this year, Texas A&M University announced plans to create Texas A&M Innovation Plaza, a $550 million mixed-use complex on the edge of the TMC. The 5-acre project being developed in phases through 2024 will include education space for the university’s dual-degree program in medicine and engineering, student housing and commercial space for clinical, research and office use. On the south end of TMC, work is slated to begin this year on TMC3, a 37-acre, 1.5 million-square-foot translational research campus that will include labs and research facilities as well as commercial and retail space and a hotel/conference center. Construction on the project is expected to be completed in 2022. 

The Houston Chronicle estimates that together these projects will bring roughly $2 billion in investment to the area around TMC. 

Houston is home to more than 1,700 life sciences companies and roughly 320,000 workers across the region are employed in healthcare and life sciences—more than the total employment of the energy sector. 

Learn more about Houston's life sciences industry

Related News

Digital Technology

Health Care Innovation Ramps Up to Meet COVID-19 Challenges

5/15/20
One of Houston’s health care innovation experts says COVID-19 is reshaping the way the industry addresses the growing needs of patients.  Roberta Schwartz, executive vice president and chief innovation officer of Houston Methodist Hospital, recently addressed this during the Partnership’s virtual Innovation Council meeting on May 12. Schwartz is responsible for advancing and expanding Houston Methodist’s digital innovation platforms, including telemedicine, artificial intelligence and big data.  She said COVID-19 prompted Methodist to accelerate its plans to explore several technological initiatives and resources, from the role of telemedicine in patient care to tools to better engage patients remotely. Virtual Visits Schwartz said Houston Methodist’s telemedicine program has played a key role in combating COVID-19. In response to the crisis, Methodist wired nearly 130 ICU rooms in order to launch a virtual intensive care unit, including bi-directional audio communication, open video and audio with privacy indicators and telehealth buttons to contact the Operation Centers. Methodist was originally planning on a six month rollout to fully integrate and adopt the system, but Schwartz noted it took Methodist just two and a half weeks to ramp up the program. Methodist also deployed more than 400 iPads to enable physicians to do virtual patient rounds.  The Technology Hub at Houston Methodist also provided a complete environment for clinical staff, doctors, nurses and patients to experience and evaluate cutting-edge innovation and training. The Tech Hub, where telemedicine training takes place, trained more than 300 clinicians in six weeks.  “The role of telemedicine is here to stay,” said Swartz. “This allowed for adoption to happen at a faster rate. Over 4,000 daily virtual visits are happening, which happened within a 60 day span – both from patients and clinicians.” Digital Care Pathways  Care pathways have provided a standardized set of information about patient care through text, phone or email before individuals get to the hospital as well as after they go home. This breaks down information so it's easier for patients to understand.  Schwartz says this enables a smoother process for patients, especially those diagnosed with COVID-19, so they are better informed and prepared. Based on feedback received so far, Scwartz said the patient satisfaction rate for this communication process is 98%.   Patient Engagement Initiatives  As COVID-19 cases increased in Houston, Methodist and other medical institutions revised their visitor policies to mitigate the spread of the disease.  “We needed to find innovative ways to connect our patients and families. We were challenged to keep our visitors comfortable because of the changed visitor policy,” said Scwartz. Methodist focused on engaging patients through technologies they were already familiar with, such as Zoom and Alexa. The hospital also leveraged entertainment channels such as Netflix and Hulu to engage patients. In all, Methodist deployed more than 350 devices in COVID-19 units.   Click here for more COVID-19 resources for small businesses. Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops. 
Read More
Construction

Report: Middle Skills Matter to Greater Houston

4/29/20
A new labor market report underscores the long-term and critical role of middle-skill occupations in positioning the Houston region to be competitive in the 21st century and creating economic opportunity for its residents. The report, titled “Middle Skills Matter to Greater Houston,” offers an analysis of Greater Houston’s labor market using historical trends and models to project* long-term employment trends at a time when the regional and national economies were growing and near or at full employment levels. Within the last month, the regional and national economies have shed a significant number of jobs as a result of COVID-19. The specific economic and employment impacts of COVID-19 are profoundly serious and still evolving. The full effects will not be known for several months, and only time will tell how quickly the Houston or national economies will recover. Even in this context, the long-term strategic nature of “Middle Skills Matter to Greater Houston” offers insights for the current and future strategies — over the next two to five years — of a variety of stakeholders who develop and support the educational curricula, skills instruction, and career guidance required to attract, train, place, and grow workers in crucial middle-skill occupations. Lessons also exist for those who communicate to broad audiences about the availability of and pathways to these careers. Key Findings in Brief:  Nearly 50 middle-skill occupations in Greater Houston should be considered “good jobs” because they are in high demand, need a high volume of workers, and pay livable wages that exceed the region’s overall median wage. Middle skills matter in Greater Houston, as evidenced by the region’s utilization of the core middle-skill workforce. The region’s last wave of rapid job growth included meaningful growth in middle-skill occupations, and this trend is expected to continue into the future*. Eight regional industry clusters have particularly strong concentrations of middle-skill employees. Keeping in mind the nearly 50 good jobs and eight industry clusters with strong concentrations of middle-skill occupations will help the region’s employers, educators, leaders of community-based organizations, executives at philanthropies, and government officials in developing strategies now for the recovery effort needed in the months ahead. UpSkill Houston engaged TEConomy Partners, LLC to conduct the research highlighted in this report and in additional reports to follow. TEConomy conducted this analysis in the summer of 2019. The full report can be downloaded here.    *The projections for demand are based on historical trends and models and, therefore, may have limitations. They can be influenced by several factors including current economic conditions and workers switching to new careers or retiring, thereby creating vacancies.
Read More

Related Events

Executive Partners