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Explore the Region

The 12-county Greater Houston area is one of the largest and most diverse business regions in the nation. In our role as the Houston Economic Development Council, the Partnership is proud to represent all twelve counties that comprise the Houston region. Houston's strategic, central location coupled with the infrastructure of four of the country's largest ports, two international airports and major highway and rail service make this a dynamic hub for a large cross-section of industries. The various counties also bring their own characteristics and incentives that attract sectors from advanced manufacturing to biotech. Explore what makes each area of our region unique. 

The 12 Counties of the Greater Houston Region

Austin County
Brazoria County
Chambers County
Fort Bend County
Galveston County
Harris County
Liberty County
Montgomery County
San Jacinto County
Walker County
Waller County
Wharton County

County Spotlight: Waller

Waller County is located in East Central Texas and is one of 12 counties in the Greater Houston region. Hempstead, the county's seat of government and largest city, is 25 miles northwest of Houston. The county covers 514 square miles of land, from the rolling timbered area in the northern part of the county to the coastal prairie in the south. The county's economy revolves primarily around manufacturing, farming and forest products. Waller County is home to Prairie View A & M University.






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Waller County Industries & Notable Employers
Waller County Cities
Waller County Economic Development Organizations

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Business Boom, Urban Growth Shaping Waller County

Historically known for its rural charm, best-in-class manufacturing and Prairie View A&M University, Waller County is transitioning into an urban area.   Positioned just outside Harris County, Waller County is considered the “last frontier for the immediate Houston region.” The county is home to nearly 60,000 residents and over 800 businesses, and the population is steadily growing. From 2010 to 2021, the county’s population increased an average of 2.9% each year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.    The county’s compelling blend of accessibility and privacy, along with the many new developments underway, has also driven more people to the area, becoming a hotspot destination to live and work. According to the Waller County Economic Development Partnership, the county’s population is expected to double over the next decade, with over 24 residential subdivisions in development and about 30,000 new homes planned.   Business Community  One of the county’s biggest allures is its thriving, 4.2 million square foot plant, Daikin Texas Technology Park, located in Waller. Daikin serves as a hub for collaboration and innovation, bolstering one of the county’s largest industries, manufacturing.   The Partnership recently hosted an exclusive tour at Daikin Park, offering members a unique experience to view the facility, learn about the county and meet with some of Waller’s leading business professionals.    "[I am] very happy to have the opportunity to share with Partnership members about our area of NW Harris and Waller County that is attracting manufacturers and will add more than 20,000 homes in the next eight years. This is and will be one of the fastest-growing areas in the Houston region going forward and it will be an exciting ride," said John Isom, Director, City of Waller Economic Development Corp. at the Partnership’s Comfort and Innovation event. In addition to its dynamic technology park, Waller County’s business community is home to many other large companies, including Grundfos, the world’s largest manufacturer of water pumps, Man Energy Solutions, one of the longest-operating German manufacturing companies, Goya Foods of Texas, the largest Hispanic-owned company in the U.S., Amazon Distribution Center, Igloo Products Corp and more.   Education  Not only does Waller County have a booming business community, but it also houses one of the top universities in Texas and one of the county’s biggest economic drivers, Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU). The university contributes over $235 million to Waller County annually and supports over 5,000 jobs in the state.   Since its establishment in 1876, PVAMU has become a diverse, innovative and highly recognized institution, offering over 70-degree programs. Ranked the no.1 “Best Value HBCU in Texas,” no.1 “Undergraduate and Graduate Architecture Program,” and has a Carnegie Tier R2, High Research Activity classification, PVAMU attracts nearly 10,000 students to the county annually.   This year, PVAMU was awarded $20 million by the Texas Department of Transportation to lead the National Center for Infrastructure Transportation. The research center will focus on enhancing the durability and extending the life of the nation’s infrastructure.     “With this investment, PVAMU will be at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technologies to improve our nation’s transportation systems for years to come. We’ll be able to educate and train the next generation of leaders as they continue their research towards greener, safer, and more convenient ways to transport people,” said PVAMU Vice President of Research & Innovation Magesh Rajan, Ph.D., P.E., MBA.   Transportation and Infrastructure  Despite being a 40-minute drive from Houston, residents of Waller County have easy access to the bayou city through Hwy. 290 and Interstate 10. However, as the county continues to grow, the need for better transportation access increases.  Recently, Wolff Companies and the Texas Department of Transportation broke ground on the Hwy. 290 Beacon Hill exchange, designed to improve accessibility in Waller. According to the agreement, the project will include the following:  an off-ramp for a new 290 interchange, named Beacon Hill Boulevard, located west of FM 362  a mile-long U.S. 290 frontage road, connecting Beacon Hill Boulevard to James R. Muse Parkway and  a U-turn under U.S. 290 at James R. Muse Parkway, to aid traffic flow from Beacon Hill toward Houston  “[The interchange] will create a significant economic benefit, providing access to large tracts of land for development, and in turn stimulating future job opportunities, residential alternatives, and tax revenues to both the City of Waller and Waller County,” said Eliza Paul, Houston District Engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation of TxDOT.   The project follows the purchase of the Beacon Hill property by Wolff Companies, a 587-acre master-planned community that features more than 8,200 feet of frontage road along Hwy. 290 between FM 362 and James R. Muse Parkway. Wolff is also developing a business park on the southern side of the land, which will range from light industrial and distribution offices, to multifamily and retail. Last year, Hines acquired 78 acres that will accommodate up to 1.3 million square feet of distribution, manufacturing and logistics space.  New Developments  As part of its plan to urbanize and to prepare for its future population growth, many new neighborhood developments are underway in Waller County.   So far in 2023, the county announced several new development projects including the following:  Johnson Development Master-Planned Community, Katy: Through a venture with Plow Realty, this unnamed community will sit on a 1,146-acre land tract, accommodating 2,800 homesites.  Gamal Enterprises Master-Planned Community, Brookshire: Adjacent to Dewberry Farm, the popular children’s attraction, this 245-acre community will include up to 2,500 single-family homes on the northwest side of FM 362 and Morrison Road.  Oakwood Estates, Waller: The 171-acre-master-planned community will offer a recreational center, a pool, a 28-acre amenity pond with trails, and easy access to Waller High School and Hwy. 290.  Learn more about the counties that make up the Greater Houston Region. 
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Major Transportation Projects Signaling Rapid Growth in Counties Surrounding Harris

It’s no secret that many of the metro region’s outlying counties are experiencing growth. All you have to look for are the traffic cones and the new homes springing up in places like La Marque, Cinco Ranch and Fulshear. Fort Bend and Montgomery counties alone experienced explosive growth from 2010 to 2020, with 254,331 and 170,605 new residents, respectively. Here’s a look at the Texas Department of Transportation’s major projects underway or expected to start this year in several counties surrounding Harris. While a bit of patience will be required of residents in these counties for the next couple of years, the end result should help ease transit as the region grows.  Walker County The I-45 Central Walker County Project aims to improve statewide connectivity by alleviating congestion and enhancing freight mobility. TxDOT says this portion of the freeway was constructed in the early 1960s, so it needs some upgrades given that I-45 connects Dallas and Houston and serves as the primary hurricane evacuation route. Construction on the first segment is currently underway. The 4.4-mile project goes from SH 19 to SH 30. Construction on a second segment is expected to start in 2026 which will continue improvements along I-45 through FM 1696. The improvements include widening I-45 from four to six lanes, reconstructing existing bridges and adding interchanges and collector-distributor roads. The total cost for the first segment is expected to be $200 million. Montgomery County State Highway 105 in Montgomery County is undergoing some major improvements already. In 2021, TxDOT started on the first section of improvements from FM 2854 to I-45. The improvements include upgraded traffic signals, sidewalks and raised medians. Improvements east of I-45 will go from 10th Street to the San Jacinto County line. The project along SH 105 is split into three sections with an expected combined total of $183 million. Improvements include widening SH 105 to four lanes and adding sidewalks and bicycle lanes. Montgomery County’s population grew 37% from 2010 to 2020, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. TxDOT says improvements along the corridor are needed due to continued projected growth. Construction is currently underway on at least three new master-planned communities in this part of the region. Waller County If you’ve taken a drive down I-10 west of Katy, you know that area has experienced major growth. TxDOT is already working on several projects along I-10 from Brookshire to west of Sealy to make the freeway at least three lanes from Houston to San Antonio. This year TxDOT could start construction on another section of I-10 from FM 359 in Brookshire to Mason Road in Harris County, a total of 13 miles. TxDOT estimates that by 2040, traffic is projected to grow by 65% compared to numbers collected in 2016. The goal is to widen portions of the interstate and reconstruct it to add  managed (toll, HOV or express) lanes. The estimated construction cost is $555 million. The improvements would be made in at least three phases moving east to west, according to TxDOT.  The Signorelli Co. will start building a 365-acre master-planned community north of Brookshire later this year. The Bluestern development will feature more than 1,300 single-family homes. Construction is slated to start in the second quarter of 2022. Other residential builders have at least three other developments underway. “Waller County is rapidly growing, quickly becoming a major destination to live, work, and play for families of all sizes,” said Jeff Dewese, Senior Vice President of Land at The Signorelli Co., in a statement. Galveston County TxDOT plans to complete final designs for improvements along I-45 from the Galveston Causeway Bridge to 61st Street this year. Plans include adding one additional main lane in each direction, adding frontage road lanes in certain areas, and adding bike lanes and sidewalks. According to TxDOT, the changes are needed to improve the hurricane evacuation route and keep up with current and projected growth. TxDOT estimates the project will cost around $115 million. Construction is slated to begin in 2023 and is expected to take three to four years to complete. Learn more about the 12 counties of the Greater Houston Region.   
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