Skip to main content

Regions and Neighborhoods: Booming Business Hub Undergoing a Major Renaissance in Conroe

Published Aug 18, 2021 by David Ruiz

Lake Conroe Aerial 2 Conroe

Lake Conroe Aerial View. Photo courtesy by the Conroe Economic Development Council

Conroe North Houston Regional Airport Galaxy FBO Conroe

Conroe North Houston Regional Airport Galaxy FBO. Photo courtesy by the Conroe Economic Development Council

Deison Tech Park Entrance Conroe

Deison Tech Park Entrance. Photo courtesy by the Conroe Economic Development Council

Consistently ranked as one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Conroe is a thriving business center with two major business parks that help make it a prime manufacturing and distribution hub. Named after an ambitious lumberman, the City of Conroe also offers a great quality of life with exceptional outdoor amenities and a wide range of housing options for residents. We chatted with Danielle Scheiner, Executive Director at the Conroe Economic Development Council about the city’s economic development and growth.  

How does Conroe contribute to the fabric of the greater Houston region?

Conroe's modern, business-friendly atmosphere, regional airport and two business parks attract a wide variety of industries, including distribution, manufacturing, life sciences and professional services. Residents are attracted to new and affordable homes, award-winning educational institutions, beautiful Lake Conroe, accessible walking trails and Conroe's charming downtown.

What are some unique characteristics that really set this area apart?

Conroe is bordered by 22,000-acre Lake Conroe, Sam Houston National Forest, W.G. Jones State Forest, and is regionally known for its arts and cultural amenities—including two community theaters, art galleries and a symphony—and historic downtown. Conroe is a certified Texas “Music Friendly Community”, a “Film Friendly Certified Community," and is home to four craft breweries, a distillery, a winery and a meadery. Conroe is a city that knows who it is and is proud to build upon its success.

Describe the business community in Conroe. What are some of the most active industry areas? 

Conroe’s economic base is well-diversified with 4,800 employers in a variety of sectors, the largest of which is retail, followed closely by health care, social services and public administration. The top jobs by occupation in Conroe are office and administrative support, executive managers, administrators, sales, production workers, construction and extraction.

What attracts most businesses to relocate or expand in Conroe?

Conroe is a popular destination for manufacturing and distribution companies due to the community’s strategic location, robust infrastructure and highly skilled talent. Conroe supports business growth financially and dedicates a portion of our sales tax for incentives and the improvement of infrastructure. Conroe’s 248-acre Deison Technology Park and Conroe Park North, a 1,655-acre industrial park, make it fast and affordable to relocate here. Our robust Business Retention and Expansion program is one of the best in the region and is designed to promote the growth and development of local companies through incentives for expansion and technical assistance. Continuing education and workforce training are available through Lone Star College - Conroe Center, making it easy for companies to upskill their workers and for the local workforce to fill in-demand jobs.

What’s been the biggest recent change that has propelled the efforts of the Conroe Economic Development Council?  

The 610-acre expansion of our industrial park has allowed us to continue to aggressively recruit and welcome new companies to our community. In addition, landing our first tenant, VGXI, in Deison Technology Park has really cemented our position in the region as a life science manufacturing hub. Three major projects underway in, or near, the master-planned mixed-use development Grand Central Park will kickstart the future development along the I-45 corridor on the south side of Conroe. This area will be exciting to watch develop over the next few years.
  
What are 4-5 signature spots to visit? Any hidden gems people need to know about? 

Whether it’s taking in the sights and sounds of the longest continuous hiking trail in the state of Texas, The Lone Star Hiking Trail in Sam Houston National Forest, or soaking up the history in the longest continually operating barber shop in Texas, Shepard’s Barber Shop downtown, Conroe is a distinctive community.

Downtown Conroe has the historic charm of an old Texas city mixed with the fun atmosphere created by a plethora of local craft breweries and boutique shops – it’s a dining and shopping experience you don’t want to miss! Restaurants abound in Conroe with a variety of local flavors and community favorites, including the Southern food hotspot Vernon’s Kuntry Katfish and the veteran-inspired Honor Café, which offers American food with a gourmet spin. From one-of-a-kind festivals, to lounging by the pool at Margaritaville Lake Resort, to birdwatching at one of the few places to spot the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, exceptional entertainment is plentiful in Conroe!

What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for Conroe right now? 

One of the most exciting projects is a hotel and convention center that will carry the Hyatt Regency name located in Grand Central Park. Located on 7.55 acres directly west of the brand-new Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, the hotel is expected to open in early 2023 and will include a convention center, lounge and bar, outdoor dining, restaurant, pool, fitness center and 30,000 square feet of meeting space.

What’s missing from the conversation about Conroe?

Downtown Conroe, a charming and historical hub, is in the midst of a renaissance. Conroe’s updated Downtown Development Plan set the stage for unique development with district changes that will increase walkability by establishing pedestrian experiences and include residential and commercial construction. Great interest exists in transforming many of the historical buildings into mixed use properties while preserving the authentic downtown character.

Learn more about Conroe and explore the greater Houston area.

Related News

Economic Development

Rice University to Open International Campus in Paris

6/27/22
Rice University is going international, announcing its first international campus is opening in Paris this week to expand global education and research opportunities. According to a press release, the Rice University Paris Center will operate out of a historic 16th-century building known as the Hotel de La Faye in the Le Marais neighborhood. The center will house student programs, independent researchers, international conferences and serve as a satellite and hub for European research activity.  “The opening of this dedicated overseas facility represents the next step in the long-standing plan we have been pursuing to internationalize Rice and the Rice experience in every dimension,” said outgoing Rice President David Leebron in the release. “This has included welcoming more international students to our campus in Houston, fostering international travel and programs by our students and faculty, and building strong relationships with the best universities across the globe. The Paris location offers an incredible range of opportunities, in fields ranging from art and architecture to international business and global relations and politics.” Caroline Levander, currently Rice’s vice president for global and digital strategy, is described as the leader who developed the new center and “extraordinary opportunity.” She will oversee the center in her new role as vice president global.  The Rice University Paris Center will have six classroom spaces that can seat about 125 students. The center is expected to be fully operational in January 2023. “Rice University’s mission statement commits us not only to pathbreaking research and unsurpassed teaching, but also to the betterment of our world,” said Provost and incoming Rice President Reginald DesRoches. “We’re eager to extend that mission internationally, and the opening of the Rice University Paris Center demonstrates that commitment.”   The Partnership and the City of Houston are currently leading a trade and investment mission in Paris, promoting Houston as a leader in innovation, education, the energy transition and strengthening business relationships between the Houston region and Paris. They will commemorate the opening of the new center on Wednesday, June 29.  Learn more about Houston's global ties and higher education institutions.
Read More
Economic Development

Economic Development, Public Policy and Addressing Violent Crime Among Topics in Partnership President's Address

6/21/22
The Partnership hosted the first in-person President’s Address this week for the organization’s members, with President and CEO Bob Harvey covering a variety of topics from economic development and public policy to energy transition and the rise in violent crime.  Harvey presented an overview of the organization’s recent work in these arenas before being joined by Partnership Chief Development Officer and SVP of Member Engagement Katie Pryor for a Q&A session.  Starting the conversation on the economic development front, Harvey said the Partnership has logged 14 project wins in the first five months of 2022. These represent $800 million in capital expenditures and 3,500 new and retained jobs in the region. In recent months, several Energy 2.0 companies announced plans in Houston, including Synthica Energy, which is developing a renewable natural gas facility on the Ship Channel, and Syzygy Plasmonics, which is moving its headquarters to Pearland to commercialize decarbonization technology for the heavy-chemicals sector.  Regarding public policy, Harvey told the audience that more than 60 members participated in the Partnership’s Washington D.C. Fly-In in the spring, which covered topics such as energy transition and large-scale infrastructure investments in the metro region. Looking ahead to the Texas Legislative Session that kicks off in January, Harvey said economic development incentives, higher education and energy transition are likely to be among the issues on the organization’s legislative agenda.  Harvey provided a brief update on the Partnership’s Houston Energy Transition Initiative, highlighting that four of the initiative’s working groups launched this spring. Those four working groups are focused on carbon capture use and storage, hydrogen, industry decarbonization and capital formation. A more robust update will come next week during the three-day Future of Global Energy conference June 28-30.  Noting the rise in violent crime here in Houston and around the country as well as growing anxiety around public safety, Harvey said a spectrum of local stakeholders will need to come together to identify solutions. A lack of courtroom availability as well as staffing shortages have led to a backlog in cases and a high rate of repeat offenders awaiting trial. Harvey said the Partnership is working in collaboration with local officials to help identify ways the business community can be part of the solution. He said he expects some movement in this arena in coming weeks.  Other topics of discussion included the region’s evolving innovation ecosystem, the Partnership’s racial equity work through One Houston Together and new workforce development efforts.   To attend an upcoming President’s Address and other Partnership events, view our events page and sign up for notifications when new events are posted.   
Read More

Related Events

COVID-19

Economy Series: September Economic Update

The Partnership's monthly Economy Series presents exclusive data and examines trends impacting our economy on a local and state level. Analysis by the Partnership's Research Division is frequently used by executives…

Learn More
Learn More