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Houston in the News

What are major media outlets saying about Houston? The conversation about H-Town has evolved in recent years as awareness of the city's tremendous quality of life, emerging tech and innovation scene and other attributes has grown. The Partnership is working to expand the conversation around these key attributes that will help advance the region's economic growth. Read some of the recent stories about the nation's most diverse major city and the Partnership's efforts to steer its prosperity.

Exxon to Move HQ to Houston, Merge Refining and Chemicals

Exxon Mobil Corp. will relocate its corporate headquarters to the Houston area from suburban Dallas and combine its chemical and refining divisions in a major shake-up aimed at reducing costs.

Houston for tourists? If you think that's a joke, the joke's on you

Have you ever been somewhere that was simply enjoyable? Good food, memorable attractions, a culture different from your own, and people who generally seemed happy to be living there?

Houston's economic fate no longer solely tied to oil and gas, Moody's report says

Houston remains the energy capital of the country, but a new Moody Analytics report indicates the Bayou City has diversified its industry portfolio enough to no longer rely solely on oil and gas.

Houston tech ecosystem ranks as No. 5 in the world for emerging startup hubs

In a new report from Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, Houston ranks fifth among the world’s top 100 emerging ecosystems for startups. Last year, the groups’ report put Houston at No. 19 in the same category.

Houston could become ‘epicenter of global clean hydrogen hub,’ report says

The region contains all the ingredients for a clean hydrogen market — clean power access, electricity-guzzling industries, and the existing network of production and pipelines — on a scale large enough to make Houston “the epicenter of a global clean hydrogen hub” that extends across Texas and the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Center for Houston’s Future laid out in a report released May 23.

Report: How Houston could gain, lose jobs in a clean energy transition

As the "energy capital of the world," Houston's overall employment is significantly impacted by the energy industry. New research is shedding light on how Houston's economy could be impacted if the city doesn't lean into an energy transition to become the energy capital of the future.

Houston again recognized as a top major city of the future

A new study from the fDi Intelligence division of the Financial Times places Houston at No. 7 among the top major cities of the future for 2021-22 across North, South, and Central America. Among major cities in the Americas, Houston appears at No. 3 for business friendliness and No. 4 for connectivity.

Report: Houston ranks in the top 10 life sciences markets in the U.S.

In assessing Houston’s strength in life sciences, CommercialCafe says that “the resilient Texas powerhouse was lifted by the wave of emerging life sciences clusters across the U.S.” Two major projects are helping Houston maintain that powerhouse status. The Texas Medical Center (TMC) last year unveiled TMC3, a 37-acre, roughly 6 million-square-foot life sciences campus, and Houston-based Hines recently topped out the 270,000-square-foot first phase of the 53-acre Levit Green life sciences district next to TMC.

NRG Energy relocating headquarters to Houston

Texas is already home to the company’s largest employee and customer bases. With the acquisition of Direct Energy, which closed in January, NRG Energy decided it was time to simplify the company’s headquarters status. The company currently has more than 3,000 employees in the greater Houston region.

The City of the Future: Walkable, mid-sized and built for flexible work

Houston is using their assets and sharing that expertise to attract more development. The secondary intent is to become less of a high-traffic metro and more walkable by connecting this development to downtown.

Dear Austinites, you have permission to move to an affordable, weird city: Houston

You want live music? How about the world-class Houston Grand Opera, the symphony at Jones Hall, and Opera in the Heights? And if you’d prefer something more familiar to Austin sensibilities—a schlubby guy doing Oasis covers on his acoustic guitar, for example—may I suggest Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Rice Village? Moreover, Houston can claim genres of music almost totally lacking in Austin—think DJ Screw, or Paul Wall and the Southern rap spawned by Swisha House. Also, Beyoncé. 

fDi’s Global Cities of the Future 2021/22 — overall winners

Houston came in at No. 19 on 2021/22 fDi list, which ranks major global cities based on foreign direct investment. That’s up from No. 24 when the ranking was published in 2018/19. Houston was only one of two U.S. cities among the top 20 on the latest list, with New York ranking seventh. 

Axiom Space breaks ground on new Houston Spaceport HQ

The 22-acre Space Flight and Assembly Headquarters will be used to train private astronauts and for the production of the Axiom Station, which has been billed as
the world’s first free-flying, internationally available, private space station. The space station will be used for research manufacturing and commerce in low-earth
orbit.

The New Houston: Oil is no longer to reign as absolute monarch

Houston's economic base, demographics, and attitudes are changing. While oil and money were the prizes Houstonians eyed, they now value things like parks, walkability, and livability.

Chevron's offer to pay for staff to move to Houston signals growing focus on Texas

Chevron isn’t requiring employees to move to Texas, but its offer to cover employees’ relocation is another sign that Houston is a primary center of operations for the oil major.

Related News

Economic Development

Potential Development Could Spur More Economic Activity in The Woodlands

11/18/22
Two new hotels and more shopping could be headed to The Woodlands as the area continues to see growth.  The Woodlands Mall wants to expand with a minimum of 80,000 square feet of new retail space in an open-air, mixed-use commercial area that would also include a full-service hotel with at least 200 rooms, a select-service hotel with at least 125 rooms and a multi-level parking garage. The mixed-use project would be located south of Macy’s near the movie theater and be developed in two phases. The total area encompasses 15 acres. Concept renderings of The Woodlands Mall expansion (Courtesy: The Woodlands Township)   The Woodlands Township recently entered into an economic development agreement with The Woodlands Township Economic Development Zone and The Woodlands Mall Associates, LLC. The project would be in an economic development zone, which spurs economic growth and job creation.   According to documents from The Woodlands Township, depending on the scale of the project, it is estimated to generate anywhere from $180 to $275 million, based over a 30-year term. The range is based on whether the developer decides to build a smaller or larger parking garage. The township would receive more than 70% of the generated revenue and the mall would receive the remainder. The agreement also calls for the reimbursement of the parking garage costs up to $80 million. The developers have not announced when construction on the project would begin. The Woodlands Mall will decide if and when they will move forward with the plan. The Woodlands area has recently seen more economic development wins. Cellipont Bioservices recently broke ground on its new headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Research Forest area after announcing earlier this year it was moving from California to Texas. SI Group Inc. also announced earlier this year that it’s moving its global headquarters from New York State to the Hughes Landing complex. The Woodlands area has seen substantial population growth over the past decade. From 2011 to 2021, Montgomery County’s population grew more than 37% to 648,886 people.   Learn more about Montgomery County's rapid growth, business developments and future plans during the Partnership's Future of the Houston Region event on Dec. 13.
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Economy

How Much Will Houstonians Spend this Holiday Season?

11/17/22
The holiday season is upon us, but amid inflation worries and a potential recession on the horizon, will Houstonians spend as much this year on gifts and seasonal purchases?   Sales totals in the City of Houston are up 13.6% so far this year based on sales and use tax data released by the Texas Comptroller’s Office. However, with inflation up 7.6 percent locally, it’s unclear whether consumers are actually buying more goods or simply paying more for the same items or fewer.   The retail trade association ICSC estimates that consumers will spend 6.7% more this holiday season than last year. The ICSC survey found that roughly 75% of respondents plan to begin their holiday shopping earlier this season and 43% said they’re looking for deals and promotions. A different report from the professional services firm PwC found that 74% of shoppers plan to spend the same or more than they did last year. Overall, consumers plan to spend an average of $1,430 on gifts, travel and entertainment this year, close to what they spent in 2021, according to the PwC report. But that’s up 20% over pandemic spending in the 2020 holiday season.   Houston’s retail market is fairly healthy, having recouped all of the jobs the sector lost in 2020 and opening hundreds of new outlets over the last two years. The metro retail market absorbed more than 500,000 square feet of space in Q3 and absorption year-to-date totals 2.8 million square feet, according to the commercial real estate firm Colliers. Limited available space is helping push rental rates up, climbing 2% over the last year.   Discretionary spending like what occurs during the holidays has a lot to do with consumer confidence. Nationally, confidence has slipped in the most recent monthly reports, thanks in part to recession fears. But Houston’s job growth has proven resilient, with 14,800 jobs created in September, the most recent data available. Thirteen of the 18 major industry sectors in metro Houston tracked by the Texas Workforce Commission had fully recouped their pandemic losses as of September.   While how much Houstonians will buy this season remains to be seen, it’s clear they will be paying more for whatever they purchase. Take the Thanksgiving meal, for example. Turkey and trimmings for 10 to 12 of your nearest and dearest will cost 20% more this year than in 2021, according to a survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation.     
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Houston Region Economic Outlook

Join the Greater Houston Partnership's annual Houston Region Economic Outlook event to hear from a panel of local experts who share their perspectives on the region’s economy and future outlook.  Panel experts…

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