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

Texas Leads Nation, Houston Leads Texas in Fortune 500 Companies

5/24/22
For the first time in more than a decade, Texas is home to the most Fortune 500 companies in the nation, and Houston is now home to the largest concentration of Fortune 500s in the Lone Star State thanks to several recent headquarters relocations.  The 2022 Fortune 500 list ranks the largest corporations in the U.S. by revenue for the 2021 fiscal year. Twenty-four companies on this year’s list are headquartered in metro Houston, with 21 of those based within the city limits. Statewide, 53 companies made this year’s list.  The 2022 list marks the first time that two Fortune 500 firms, NRG Energy and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), were counted in Houston's column. NRG announced in May 2021 that it would relocate its headquarters from Princeton, NJ to Houston. HPE completed its headquarters move from San Jose, Calif. to the Spring area earlier this year.  ExxonMobil, which ranks No. 6 on the Fortune 500 list, announced earlier this year that it would move its corporate headquarters from the Dallas area to Houston. That move is not expected to be complete until 2023 and the company remains in the Dallas count in this year’s list.  Among states with the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, New York fell to No. 2 on this year’s list with 51 companies after seven years at the top. California was No. 3 with 50 companies.  A total of 97 Texas companies made the expanded Fortune 1000 list this year. Forty-three of those based in the Houston area.  Below are the Houston-area Fortune 500 firms and their respective rankings.  No. 29 Phillips 66 No. 70 Sysco Corp. No. 77 ConocoPhillips No. 88 Plains GP Holdings No. 89 Enterprise Products Partners No. 123 Hewlett Packard Enterprise No. 133 NRG Energy No. 135 Occidental Petroleum Corp. No. 170 Baker Hughes No. 193 EOG Resources No. 203 Waste Management No. 216 Targa Resources No. 223 Kinder Morgan No. 233 Cheniere Energy No. 241 Halliburton Co. No. 273 Group 1 Automotive No. 285 Quanta Services No. 320 Westlake No. 410 Huntsman No. 414 CenterPoint Energy No. 431 APA No. 460 KBR No. 481 Academy Sports and Outdoors  No. 486 Southwestern Energy See the full Fortune 500 list. 
Read More
Digital Technology

New Generation of Startups Aim to Fuel Resurgence of Advanced Manufacturing in Houston

5/13/22
An autonomous rover dubbed the “layout Roomba” that marks architectural and engineering designs directly onto unfinished concrete floors is one of many examples of the innovation happening in Houston’s advanced manufacturing sector. The city boasts a thriving tech ecosystem and is considered a global manufacturing powerhouse due to its central geographic location, unparalleled infrastructure and talented workforce.  Funding is now flowing into Houston to help drive the next wave of manufacturing innovation. According to the Partnership’s 2022 Houston Tech Report, more than 900 investors have funded over 1,500 venture capital transactions in the Houston region over the last five years. Data shows that 8.6% of all VC deals are funding manufacturing projects with another 8.7% funding AI and machine learning ventures.  “I think Houston is a great place to start a company. It hosts a diverse pool of exceptional talent, a reasonable cost of living and a welcoming start-up community,” said Derrick Morse, CEO and founder of Rugged Robotics. “Houston is also home to a number of innovative companies that solve really hard and really important problems.”  Rugged Robotics, a Houston startup company founded in 2018, hopes to revolutionize the construction industry by tackling the challenge of field layout by using its small robot to create a more detailed, more accurate and faster way of doing the work. Traditionally, a construction worker must do the marking manually using tape measures, chalk lines and surveying equipment. Morse, a construction industry veteran, said he saw a need to solve a pain point in the construction industry. “By focusing on the problem, and by developing a practical solution, we’ve unlocked a very exciting opportunity” Morse said. Rugged Robotics is operating out of the East End Maker Hub, a makerspace and manufacturing center in Houston’s East End. Morse said it was a no-brainer to choose the incubator as they started growing. “The East End Maker Hub was initially attractive for two reasons,” Morse said.  “First, access to the machine tools and rapid prototyping equipment we were familiar with at TXRX, and second, flexibility.” He added that the flexibility of the leases allows the company to move into bigger spaces as they evolve. Next month will mark a year since the $38 million innovation hub opened. Urban Partnerships Community Development Corporation says the facility is 95% occupied with 49 tenants from candle making to biotech/manufacturing, a sign of a successful first year. The East End Maker Hub aims to create 1,000 new companies over the next five years to boost Houston’s advanced manufacturing jobs. Houston has one of the largest manufacturing workforces in the country with more than 213,100 workers, but it declined by 8.6% between 2015 and 2020, according to the Partnership’s analysis. “We've retained or created over 330 jobs thus far and aim for 500 in the coming years. We're a model for how to use public funding to jump start development to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Natasha Azizi, Executive Director of UP CDC and East End Maker Hub. The East End Maker Hub is part of several landmark projects to position Houston as a national leader in tech innovation.  According to the Houston Tech Report, venture capital investments have grown  from $423 million in 2017 to $2.02 billion in 2021, a near five-fold increase and an unprecedented 47.4% growth rate per year. Click to expand Rugged Robotics team Rugged Robotics recently raised $9.4 million in Series A funding to help the company hire more people, expand its products and more. “We’ve built an amazing foundation, and I’m excited by the road ahead.  Our team is truly inspiring.  I can’t wait to see what we’re capable of,” Morse said. Learn more about Houston's advanced manufacturing sector and innovation ecosystem.   
Read More

Related Events

Economic Development

President's Address

Greater Houston Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey offers members a virtual address providing updates on the organization's work related to economic development, public policy and other key initiatives critical…

Learn More
Learn More