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City of Sugar Land
—  City  —
Nickname(s): The Land of Sugar
Coordinates: 29°35′58″N 95°36′51″W / 29.59944°N 95.61417°W / 29.59944; -95.61417Coordinates: 29°35′58″N 95°36′51″W / 29.59944°N 95.61417°W / 29.59944; -95.61417
Country United States
State Texas
County Fort Bend
 - Total 24.9 sq mi (64.5 km2)
 - Land 24.1 sq mi (62.4 km2)
 - Water 0.8 sq mi (2.2 km2)
Elevation 100 ft (30 m)
Population (2006)
 - Total 79,943
 Density 2,629.1/sq mi (1,015.1/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 77478-79, 77487, 77496, and 77498
Area code(s) Mostly 281 also 713 and 832
FIPS code 48-70808[1]
GNIS feature ID 1348034[2]

Sugar Land is a city located in Fort Bend County in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston-Galveston metropolitan area. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas, having grown more than 158 percent in the last decade.[3]. In the time period of 2000–2007, Sugar Land also enjoyed a 46.24% job growth. In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the city's population was 79,943 with Median family income of $110,327 and Median home price of $272,151.[4]

Founded as a sugar plantation in the early mid 1800s and incorporated in 1959, Sugar Land is the largest city and economic center of Fort Bend County. The city is the third-largest in population and second-largest in economic activities of the Houston area.

Sugar Land is home to the headquarters of Imperial Sugar and the company's main refinery and distribution center was once located in this city. As a nod to this heritage, the Imperial Sugar crown logo can be seen in the city seal and logo. The city also holds the headquarters for Western Airways and a major manufacturing facility for Nalco Chemical Company. In addition, Sugar Land has a large number of international energy, software, engineering, and product firms.

Sugar Land has the most master-planned communities in Fort Bend County, which is home to the largest number of master-planned communities in the nation—including First Colony, Sugar Creek, Riverstone, New Territory, Telfair, Greatwood, and many others.

Sugar Land holds the title of "Fittest City in Texas" for the population 50,000–100,000 range, a title it has held for four consecutive years.

In 2006 CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Sugar Land third on its list of the 100 Best Cities to Live in the United States.[5]

In 2007, CQ Press has ranked Sugar Land fifth on its list of Safest Cities in the United States (14th annual "City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan American").[6]

In 2008, selected Sugar Land along with Bunker Hill Village and Hunters Creek Village as one of the three Houston-area "Top Suburbs To Live Well," noting its affluence despite its large population.[7]



Sugar Land's founding

Former Imperial Sugar factory

Sugar Land has a heritage tracing its roots back to the original Mexican land grant to Stephen F. Austin. One of the first settlers of the land, Samuel M. Williams, called this land "Oakland Plantation" because there were many different varieties of oaks on the land, such as Willow Oak, Post Oak, Water Oak, Southern red oak, and Live Oak. Williams' brother, Nathaniel, purchased the land in 1838. They operated the plantation by growing cotton, corn, and sugarcane. During these early years, the area that is now Sugar Land was the center of social life along the Brazos River. In 1853, Benjamin Terry and William J. Kyle purchased the Oakland Plantation from the S. M. Williams family. Terry is known for organizing Terry's Texas Rangers during the Civil War and for naming the town. Upon the deaths of Terry and Kyle, Colonel E. H. Cunningham bought the 12,500 acre (51 km2) plantation soon after the Civil War and developed the town around his sugar refining plant around 1879.

Company town

In 1906, the Kemper family of Galveston, under the leadership of Isaac H. Kempner and in partnership with William T. Eldridge, purchased the 5,300 acre (21 km2) Ellis Plantation, one of the few plantations in Fort Bend County to survive the Civil War. The Ellis Plantation had originally been part of the Jesse Cartwright league and in the years after the Civil War had been operated by a system of tenant farming under the management of Will Ellis. In 1908, the partnership acquired the adjoining 12,500 acre (51 km2) Cunningham Plantation with its raw sugar mill and cane-sugar refinery. The partnership changed the name to Imperial Sugar Company; Kempner associated the name Imperial, which was also the name of a small raw-sugar mill on the Ellis Plantation, with the Imperial Hotel in New York City. Around the turn of the century, most of the sugarcane crops were destroyed by a harsh winter. As part of the Kempner-Eldridge agreement, Eldridge moved to the site to serve as general manager and build the company-owned Town of Sugar Land.

Trains have always been the sound of Sugar Land. These rails are on the route of the oldest railroad in Texas. It went right through the middle of town, by the sugar refinery, and west of town, through the heart of what used to be known as the Imperial State Prison Farm.

As a company town from the 1910s until 1959, Sugar Land was virtually self-contained. Imperial Sugar Company provided housing for the workers, encouraged construction of schools, built a hospital for the workers well-being, and provided businesses to meet the workers needs. Many of the original homes built by the Imperial Sugar Company remain today in The Hill area and Mayfield Park of Sugar Land and have been passed down through generations of family members.

During the 1950s, Imperial Sugar wanted to expand the town by building more houses. This lead to the creation of a new subdivision of Venetian Estates. The subdivision featured water front homesites fronting Oyster Creek and other man-made lakes.

A city emerges

As the company town expanded, so did the interest of establishing a municipal government. It resulted in Sugar Land becoming a general law city in 1959 by voters. T. E. Harman became the first mayor of Sugar Land.

In the early 1960s, a new subdivision development introduced contemporary affordable housing in Sugar Land for the first time called Covington Woods. Later on that year, the Imperial Cattle Ranch sold about 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) to a developer to create what became Sugar Creek in 1968. As a master-planned community, Sugar Creek introduced country club living with two golf courses and country clubs, swimming pools, and security.

Encouraged by the success of Sugar Creek, First Colony, a new master-planned community encompassing 10,000 acres (40 km2) set out to create a new standard in development in Sugar Land. Development began in 1977 by Sugarland Properties Inc. and would follow the next 30 years. The master-planned community offered homebuyers formal landscaping, neighborhoods segmented by price range, extensive green belts, a golf course and country club, lakes and boulevards, neighborhood amenities and shopping.

Around the same time of First Colony, another master-planned community development started in northern portion of Sugar Land called Sugar Mill. Sugar Mill offered traditional, lakefront, and estate lots.

Sugar Land began attracting the attention of major corporations throughout the 1980s, and many chose to make the city their home. Fluor Daniel, Schlumberger, Unocal (Unocal, however never headquartered in Sugar Land) and others offered their employees the opportunity to work within minutes of their home. This resulted in a 40/60 ratio of residential to commercial tax base within the city.

In 1981, a special city election was held for the purpose of establishing a home rule municipal government. Voters approved the adoption of a home rule charter. The type of municipal government provided by this Charter was known as "mayor-council government," and all powers of the City were invested in a Council composed of a mayor and five councilmen.

A special city election was held Aug. 9, 1986, to submit the proposed changes to the electorate for consideration. By a majority of the voters, amendments to the Charter were approved which provided for a change in the City's form of government from that of "mayor-council" (strong mayor) to that of a "council-manager" form of government which provides that the city manager be the chief administrative officer of the city. Approval of this amendment provided for the mayor to become a voting member of Council, in addition to performing duties as presiding officer of the Council.

Sugar Land annexed the master-planned Sugar Creek community in 1986 with the community being almost built-out. That same year, the city organized the largest celebration in its history— The Texas Sesquicentennial Celebration, celebrating 150 years of Texan independence from Mexican rule.

A decade of growth

Oyster Creek Park

An Amendment on May 5, 1990, changed the composition of the City Council to a Mayor, four councilmembers to be elected by single-member districts and two councilmembers by at-large position.

Throughout much of the 1990s, Sugar Land was considered one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation and the majority of Sugar Landers are white-collar, and college-educated working in Houston's renowned energy industry. An abundance of commercial growth, with numerous low-rise office buildings, banks and high-class restaurants popping up, can be seen along both U.S. Highway 59 and State Highway 6.

Sugar Land tremendously increased its tax base with the opening of First Colony Mall in 1996. The over one million square foot (100,000 m2) mall was the first in Fort Bend County and located at the busiest intersection of the city: U.S. Highway 59 and State Highway 6. The mall was named after the 10,000 acre (40 km2) master-planned community of First Colony.

On a late November night at 11:59 p.m. in 1997, Sugar Land annexed the remaining Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs) of the 10,000 acre (40 km2) First Colony master-planned community, bringing the city's population to almost 60,000. This was Sugar Land's largest annexation to date.

The new millennium

Sugar Land boasted the highest growth among Texas' largest cities per the U.S. Census 2000 with a population of 63,328. In 2003, Sugar Land became a "principal" city as the title changed to Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. Sugar Land replaced Galveston as the second most important city in the metropolitan area, after Houston, as the title used to be Houston–Galveston–Brazoria.

The new millennium also saw the need of higher education facility expansion located within the city. In 2002, the University of Houston System at Fort Bend moved to its new 250 acre (1 km2) campus located off of University Blvd and U.S. Highway 59 intersection. The city helped fund the Albert and Mamie George Building and as a result, the multi-institution teaching center was renamed to the University of Houston System at Sugar Land.

In 2003, the Imperial Sugar Company refinery plant and distribution center was put out of operation, but its effect on the local economy was minimal since Sugar Land today has much more of a reputation as an affluent Houston suburb than the blue-collar, agriculture-dependent town it once was a generation ago. However, the company maintains its headquarters in Sugar Land.

The Texas Department of Transportation sold 2,018 acres (8.2 km2) of prison land in the western portion Sugar Land to Newland Communities, a developer, by bid in 2003. Thereafter, the developer announced to build a new master-planned community called Telfair in this prime location. In July 2004, Sugar Land annexed all of this land into the city limits to control the quality of development, extending the city limits westward. This was unusual since Sugar Land only annexed built-out areas in the past, not prior to development.

On December 1, 2005 at 12:01 a.m., Sugar Land annexed the recently built-out master-planned community of Avalon and four sections of Brazos Landing subdivision into the city limits adding approximately 3,200 residents. The city is currently negotiating with the communities of Greatwood, New Territory, and River Park, along with the subdivisions of Tara Colony and Tara Plantation to annex in the near future. This annexation will be the largest, surpassing the annexation of First Colony back in 1992 and 1997, which will bring the city proper's population to approximately 120,000

See also: History of Texas

Geography and climate


Map of Sugar Land

Sugar Land is located in northeast Fort Bend County, 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Houston. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.9 square miles (64.5 km2), of which, 24.1 square miles (62.4 km2) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) of it (3.33%) is water.

The elevation of most of the city is between 70 and 90 feet (21 and 27 m). The elevation of Sugar Land Regional Airport is 82 feet (25 m).

Sugar Land is located at 29°35′58″N 95°36′51″W / 29.599580°N 95.614089°W / 29.599580; -95.614089 (29.599580, -95.614089).[8]

Sugar Land has two major water ways running through the city. The Brazos River runs through the southwestern and southern portion of the city and then into Brazoria County. Oyster Creek runs from the northwest to the eastern portion of the city limits and into Missouri City.

Sugar Land has many natural and man-made lakes connecting to Oyster Creek and one connecting to the Brazos River. The remainder of the lakes in Sugar Land are man-made through the development of many master-planned communities.


Underpinning the area's land surface are unconsolidated clays, clay shales, and poorly-cemented sands extending to depths of several miles. The region's geology developed from stream deposits from the erosion of the Rocky Mountains. These sediments consist of a series of sands and clays deposited on decaying organic matter that, over time, was transformed into oil and natural gas. Beneath these tiers is a water-deposited layer of halite, a rock salt. The porous layers were compressed over time and forced upward. As it pushed upward, the salt dragged surrounding sediments into dome shapes, often trapping oil and gas that seeped from the surrounding porous sands.

The region is earthquake-free. While the neighboring city of Houston contains 86 mapped and historically active surface faults with an aggregate length of 149 miles, the clay below the surface precludes the buildup of friction that produces ground shaking in earthquakes. These faults move only very gradually in what is termed "fault creep."


Sugar Land's climate is classified as being humid subtropical. The city is located in the gulf coastal plains biome, and the vegetation is classified as a temperate grassland. The average yearly precipitation is 48 inches. Prevailing winds are from the south and southeast during most of the year, bringing heat and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

In the summer time, daily high temperatures are in the 95°F (35°C) range throughout much of July and August. The air tends to feel still and the humidity (often 90 to 100 percent relative humidity) makes the air feel hotter than it really is. Summer thunderstorms sometimes bring tornadoes to the area. Afternoon rains are not uncommon, and most days Houston meteorologists predict at least some chance of rain. The highest temperature recorded in the area was 109°F in September 2001.

Winters in the Houston area are cool and temperate. The average winter high/low is 62°F/45°F (16°C/7°C). The coldest period is usually in January, when north winds bring winter rains. Snow is almost unheard of, and typically does not accumulate when it is seen. A freak snowstorm hit Houston on Christmas Eve 2004. A few inches accumulated, but was all gone by the next afternoon.


Minute Maid headquarters

Sugar Land hosts its economy through diversification, corporate vitality, and quality of life and was ranked as one of the “Top Cities in Texas” for business relocation and expansion by both Outlook Magazine and Texas Business. Industries calling Sugar Land home are as diverse as its resident population.[citation needed]

Like the rest of the Greater Houston area, there is a large energy industry presence, specifically petroleum exploration and refining. Sugar Land holds the headquarters to Western Airways and Nalco's Energy Services division. Engineering firms and other related industries have managed to take the place as an economic engine.[citation needed]

Sugar Land is home to the headquarters of the Imperial Sugar Company. It also served as the home of the company's main (and sole) refinery and distribution center. The refinery and distribution center have been put out of operation since 2003.[citation needed]

Schlumberger moved its Houston-area offices from 5000 Gulf Freeway in Houston to a campus in Sugar Land in 1995.[9][10][11] Minute Maid opened its headquarters at 2150 Town Square Place in Sugar Land Town Square on February 16, 2009; previously it was headquartered in Houston near the Uptown District.[12][13][14]

In 1989 BMC Software had plans to lease 200,000 square feet in One Sugar Creek Place in Sugar Land.[15]

In 1991 BMC leased leased about 120,000 square feet at the Sugar Creek National Bank Building and about 16,000 square feet in the Fluor Daniel Building, both in Sugar Land. BMC planned to vacate both Sugar Land facilities when its current headquarters, located in Westchase, opened; BMC's headquarters were scheduled to open in 1993.[16]

Government and infrastructure

Local government

City of Sugar Land City Hall

Sugar Land operates under the Council-Manager form of government. Under this system, Council appoints the city manager, who acts as the chief executive officer of the government. The city manager carries out policy and administers city programs. All department heads, including the city attorney, police chief and fire chief, are ultimately responsible to the city manager. Sugar Land's composition of the City Council consists of a Mayor, four councilmembers to be elected by single-member districts and two councilmembers by at-large position. All city council positions are officially nonpartisan.


There have been nine mayors in Sugar Land:[17]

  • T. E. Harman (1959–1961)
  • Bill Little (1962–1967)
  • C.E. McFadden (1968–1972)
  • Roy Cordes, Sr. (1972–1981)
  • Walter McMeans (1981–1986)
  • Lee Duggan (1987–1996)
  • Dean A. Hrbacek (1996–2002)
  • David G. Wallace (2002–2008)
  • James A. Thompson (2008–present)


Politically, Sugar Land is widely seen as one of the most heavily Republican areas in Greater Houston.[18] Sugar Land's city council is officially non-partisan; all of its current elected officeholders are endorsed Republicans.[citation needed]

In the United States House of Representatives, Sugar Land is located in District 22 which is currently represented by Republican Pete Olson. The district is a notable one, as it was previously held by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay from 1985 until his 2006 resignation which eventually forced Republicans to run a write-in campaign, and by current congressman (in the adjacent 14th District) and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul in 1976 and from 1979 until 1985.[citation needed]

In the Texas Legislature, most of Sugar Land is represented in District 17 of the Texas Senate, which is represented by Republican Joan Huffman. Some western segments of the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction, including the master-planned communities of New Territory, Greatwood, River Park and Telfair, are situated in District 18, represented by Republican Glenn Hegar. In the Texas House of Representatives, Sugar Land is located in District 26 which is represented by Republican Charlie Howard.[citation needed]

Post offices

Sugar Land Post Office

The United States Postal Service operates the Sugar Land Post Office at 225 Matladge Way and the First Colony Post Office at 3130 Grants Lake Boulevard.[19][20]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1950 2,285
1960 2,802 22.6%
1970 3,318 18.4%
1980 8,826 166.0%
1990 33,712 282.0%
2000 63,328 87.9%
Est. 2006 79,943 26.2%

As of a census estimate[1] in 2006, there were 63,328 people, 20,515 households, and 17,519 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,629.1 people per square mile (1,015.0/km2). There were 21,090 housing units at an average density of 875.6/sq mi (338.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 56.00% White, 5.20% African American, 0.24% Native American, 33.80% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.32% from other races, and 2.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.98% of the population.

There were 20,515 households out of which 51.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.5% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.6% were non-families. Of the 20,525 households, 527 are unmarried partner households: 400 heterosexual, 71 same-sex male, and 56 same-sex female. 12.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.06 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.2% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 27.2% from 45 to 64, and 6.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.

According to the 2008 American Community Survey, the median income for a household in the city was $107,187, and the median income for a family was $117,720.[21] Males had a median income of $78,183 versus $47,209 for females. The per capita income for the city was $41,316.[21]About 3.2% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.

People and culture

Sugar Land has a largely white-collar, university-educated workforce employed in Houston's energy industry.[22]

In 2004, the city was named the top 100 places to live according to HomeRoute, a national real estate marketing company, identifies top American cities each year through its Relocate-America program. Cities are selected based on educational opportunities, crime rates, employment and housing data. The magazine started with statistics on 271 U.S. cities provided by OnBoard LLC, a real estate information company. These cities had the highest median household incomes in the nation and above average population growth.[citation needed]

Sugar Land was awarded the title of "Fittest City in Texas" for the population range 50,000–100,000 in 2004, 2005 (in a tie with Round Rock) and 2006. The "Fittest City in Texas" program is a part of the Texas Roundup program, a statewide fitness initiative.[23][24]

Local attractions

First Colony Mall

Sugar Land Town Square serves as the primary entertainment district in Sugar Land and Fort Bend County. The district offers an array of restaurants, sidewalk cafes, shopping venues, a Marriott Hotel and conference center, mid-rise offices and homes, a public plaza, and Sugar Land City Hall. Festivals and important events take place in the plaza. The new city hall and public plaza, a cornerstone of Sugar Land Town Square, received the "Best Community Impact" award from the Houston Business Journal at the fifth annual Landmark Awards ceremony.

Next door to the district is First Colony Mall, a major regional shopping mall that recently expanded from its original indoor design to include an outdoor lifestyle component, several parking garages, and new signage that blends in with the surrounding area. Within the boundaries of the mall, soothing and happy music is played. The mall is anchored by two Dillard's stores, Macy's, JCPenney, and Barnes & Noble, along with over 130 stores.

Sugar Land also hosts the Sugar Land Ice and Sports Center (formerly Sugar Land Aerodrome), which serves as the practice facility for the Houston Aeros, the American Hockey League affiliate (and top farm team) of the NHL's Minnesota Wild. It is also open to the public as an ice skating facility.

Once a year a music festival called Teenstock is held, which has shown popular bands around the area such as 359 and Fear of Heights. It is sponsored by the First Colony Association.

Districts and communities

Sugar Lakes planned community

Sugar Land is home to many master-planned communities featuring golf courses, country clubs, and lakes. The city has the most master-planned communities in Fort Bend County, which is home to the largest number of master-planned communities in the nation. The first master-planned community to be developed in Sugar Land was Sugar Creek. There are now a total of thirteen master-planned communities located in Sugar Land's city limits and its extraterritorial jurisdiction combined.

The northern portion of Sugar Land, sometimes referred to by residents and government officials as "Old Sugar Land", is all the communities north of U.S. Highway 90A, but it also includes the subdivisions/areas of Venetian Estates, and Belknap/Brookside, which is just south of U.S. Highway 90A. Most of this area was the original city limits of Sugar Land when it was incorporated in 1959. Located in this side of town is the former Imperial Sugar Company refinery and distribution center that was shut down in 2003, but the headquarters is still located within the city. To the east of northern Sugar Land is the Sugar Land Business Park. Many of the electronic and energy companies are located here. Sugar Land Business Park is the largest business and industrial area in the city.

The largest economic and entertainment activities are in the areas of south and southeastern Sugar Land. Most of the population in the city limits are concentrated here. This area is all master-planned communities and it includes nearly all of First Colony, the largest in Sugar Land encompassing 10,000 acres (40 km2). Other master-planned communities in this area are Sugar Creek, Sugar Lakes, Commonwealth, Avalon, and Riverstone. This area is the location of First Colony Mall, Sugar Land Town Square, new Sugar Land City Hall, and other major commercial areas. This area boasts a wide range of recreational activities including three golf courses and country clubs. Another recreational facility in the area is the Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center (formerly Sugar Land Aerodrome), home of the practice facility for the Houston Aeros.

Most of southwestern area of Sugar Land is actually in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city. This area is sometimes referred to as the "other side of the river" because it is separated from the rest of Sugar Land's ETJ and the city itself by the Brazos River. Its culture and activities are different from other parts of Sugar Land's ETJ and the city itself as well due to a separation by the Brazos River. All of this area is in the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District. This area has two master-planned communities, Greatwood and River Park. Other communities in this area are Canyon Gate on the Brazos, still in development, and Tara Colony, an older large subdivision which has a Richmond address but is actually in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Sugar Land and is up for future annexation.

The western portion of Sugar Land is partially in the city limits and partially in the extraterritorial jurisdiction. It is home to the 2,200 acre (8.9 km2) master-planned community of New Territory and the upcoming 2,018 acre (8.2 km2) development, Telfair. All of the land of what is now the upcoming Telfair community was a prison farm land owned by the Texas Department of Transportation. It was sold in 2003 and annexed to the city limits by Sugar Land in 2004. A new highway, State Highway 99, opened in 1994 is a major arterial in this area. North of this area, north of U.S. Highway 90A, is the Sugar Land Regional Airport and the Texas Department of Correction, Central Unit.

Architectural landmarks

Lakeview Auditorium, located on the campus of Lakeview Elementary School, is the oldest public building still standing in the area. Originally one of eleven buildings that composed the campus of the old Sugar Land Independent School District, the auditorium was a focal point for a vibrant and growing community. The stately auditorium still stands today and is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, as of 2002.

In 1912, Imperial Sugar Company built a small building at the corner of Wood Street and Lakeview Drive (then known as Third Street) to serve as a school. The original campus consisted of 11 buildings arranged in a semicircle with the large, airy auditorium in the center. The buildings were connected by a covered walkway supported by large, white columns. There was a circular driveway for buses and automobiles. All the buildings were finished in white stucco on the outside and had large windows that allowed fresh air to circulate and cool the buildings. The auditorium was a hub of community activity.


Sugar Land currently does not have a mass transit system. However, this could change as it has been a possible candidate for expansion of Houston's METRORail system by means of a planned commuter rail along U.S. Highway 90A. Since many of Sugar Land's residents work in Houston, thus creating routine rush hour traffic along two of the city's main thoroughfares, U.S. Highways 59 and 90A, there has been large support in the area for such a project. It should be noted, however, that the city is not a participant in the Houston area's METRO transit authority; Sugar Land's merchants do not collect the one-cent sales tax that helps support that agency.

Major thoroughfares

U.S. Highway 59, the major freeway running diagonally through the city, has undergone a major widening project in recent years to accommodate Sugar Land's daily commuters. The finished portion of the freeway east of State Highway 6 currently has eight main lanes with two diamond lanes and six continuous frontage road lanes, while just west of University BLVD to State Highway 6 has eight main lanes. Currently, widening of U.S. Highway 59 is just west of University BLVD out to just west of State Highway 99. It's also is expected to become Interstate 69, sometime in the near future.

U.S. Highway 90A is a major highway running through Sugar Land from west to east and traverses through a historic area of the city, known as "Old Sugar Land". U.S. Highway 90A is currently widened to an eight-lane highway with a 30-foot median between State Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 59.

State Highway 6 is a major highway running from north to southeast Sugar Land and traverses through the 10,000 acre (40 km2) master-planned community of First Colony. There is a freeway section that just recently opened in 2008 from just west of Brooks Street/First Colony BLVD all the way to 3/4 miles north of U.S. Highway 90A.

State Highway 99 is a new highway opened in 1994. It currently traverses through the New Territory and River Park master-planned communities. Construction will soon to start south of the U.S. Highway 59 at its current terminus.

Texas F.M. 1876, widely known as Eldridge Road, is a north-south state highway in north Sugar Land. It traverses through many established areas and acts as the western border of the Sugar Land Business Park.


Sugar Land Regional Airport (formerly Hull Field; then, Sugar Land Municipal Airport) was purchased from a private interest in 1990 by the city of Sugar Land. Sugar Land Regional is the fourth largest airport within the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area. The airport handles approximately 250 aircraft operations per day.

The airport today serves the area's general aviation (GA) aircraft serving corporate, governmental, and private clientele. A new 20,000 square foot (1,900 m2) Terminal and a 60 acre (243,000 m2) GA complex opened in 2006. Sugar Land Regional briefly handled commercial passenger service during the mid-1990s via a now-defunct Texas carrier known as Conquest Airlines. For scheduled commercial service, Sugar Landers rely on Houston's two commercial airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), 45 miles northeast, and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), 30 miles east.

The city of Houston maintains a park that occupies 750 acres (3 km2) of land directly north of the Sugar Land Regional Airport and developers have built master-planned communities (Telfair, and the future development of TX DOT Tract 3 immediately east of the airport) around the airport, both factors that block airport expansion.

China Airlines operated private bus shuttle services from Wel-Farm Super Market/Metro Bank on State Highway 6 in Sugar Land to George Bush Intercontinental Airport to feed the flight from Bush Intercontinental to Taipei, Taiwan.[25] The service ended when China Airlines pulled out of Houston on January 29, 2008.[26].


Colleges and universities

The Wharton County Junior College and the University of Houston System at Sugar Land are both located in Sugar Land.

The University of Houston System at Sugar Land (UHSSL) is a multi-institution teacher center for universities within the University of Houston System. The courses and programs at UHSSL are offered by the University of Houston (UH), University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL), and University of Houston–Victoria (UHV).

Wharton County Junior College (WCJC) is a comprehensive community college offering a wide range of postsecondary educational programs and services including associate degrees, certificates, and continuing-education courses. The college prepares students interested in transferring to baccalaureate-granting institutions.

See also: List of colleges and universities in Houston

Primary and Secondary education

Public schools

All public school systems in Texas are administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The Fort Bend Independent School District is the school district that serves almost all of the city of Sugar Land. The southwest portion of Sugar Land's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and some very small areas within the Sugar Land city limits are in the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District. LCISD serves the master-planned communities of Greatwood and River Park. Other communities in the ETJ served by Lamar Consolidated include Canyon Gate at the Brazos and Tara Colony

Clements High School, in Sugar Land and Austin High School in unincorporated Fort Bend County (and serving Sugar Land), both of Fort Bend ISD, have been recognized by Texas Monthly magazine in its list of the top 10 high schools in the state of Texas. In addition, Clements and Austin high schools and Elkins High School in nearby Missouri City ranked 313th, 626th, and 702nd, respectively, among the top 1000 schools in the United States by Newsweek's 2005 report. Elkins serves some portions of Sugar Land.

In 2007, Texas won national Mathcounts championship. The Texas Mathcounts team had two members from First Colony Middle School in Sugar Land, Kevin Chen (who also took the individual national championship) and Bobby Shen (ranked 13th, the highest scoring sixth grader). The coach, Jeffrey Boyd, was also from Sugar Land.[27] They repeated their victory in 2008, with Jeff Boyd as their coach again. Bobby Shen coming in 2nd at final Countdown, and won 1st in Written and Masters Rounds..[28] In 2009, Bobby Shen came 3rd place in Written and won final Countdown and was crowned with 2009 MATHCOUNTS national champion, , and the Texas team with Lilly Shen and Coach Boyd, won for the third year in a row.[29]

Private schools

There are many private schools in Sugar Land and the surrounding area of all types: non-sectarian, Catholic, and Protestant. The Texas Education Agency has no authority over private school operations; private schools may or may not be accredited, and achievement tests are not required for private school graduating seniors. Many private schools will obtain accreditation and perform achievement tests as a means of demonstrating that the school is genuinely interested in educational performance.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston operates the St. Laurence School, a K-8 private Catholic school, in Sugar Land. Pope John XXIII High School in unincorporated Harris County east of the neighboring suburb of Katy. The Fort Bend Baptist Academy is also located in Sugar Land.

Public libraries

The Sugar Land Branch

Residents of Sugar Land are served by the Fort Bend County Libraries system, which has two libraries and seven branches. There are three branches within the city: Sugar Land Branch, First Colony Branch, and the Mamie George Branch.[30] The main library is in Richmond.

Postal service

The United States Postal Service operates two post offices in Sugar Land:

  • Sugar Land Post Office at 225 Matlage Way, 77478-9998
  • First Colony Post Office at 3130 Grants Lake Boulevard, 77479-9998


Movie references

A portion of the 1974 movie, The Sugarland Express, takes place in Sugar Land. Many of the movie's earliest scenes were filmed at the nearby Beauford H. Jester prison pre-release center. Other parts of the set were filmed in and around Sugar Land. The movie's title spells the name of the city incorrectly, and it was among Steven Spielberg's first films before he became famous. The film was the first theatrical feature film directed by Spielberg.

Powder (film) was filmed in and around the Sugar Land area, including the old prison property that is now residential development.

In a television feature production, The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron (2003), Sugar Land was mentioned as an affluent area to buy a house as did the main female character (Courtney).

Music references

Folk musician Leadbelly's song "Midnight Special" discusses his arrest in Houston and his stay at the Sugar Land Prison (now the Beauford H. Jester pre-release Center) in 1925.

"If you're ever down in Houston, Boy, you better walk right. And you better not squabble. And you better not fight. Bason and Brock will arrest you. Payton and Boone will take you down. You can bet your bottom dollar, That you're Sugar Land bound"

Country music band Sugarland gets its name from the city.

Newspapers and Magazines

For over 21 years Fort Bend Lifestyles & Homes magazine has been mailing to the homes in Sugar land, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg and Stafford. The magazine features local human interest stories, home improvement, events, health and fitness, kids, school news and more.

The primary newspaper serving Sugar Land residents is the Houston Chronicle, which is the only major newspaper in the Greater Houston region. On Thursdays, the Houston Chronicle offers a localized segment covering the Sugar Land area under its "Fort Bend" section. An alternative newspaper, the Houston Press, is also offered in this area.

Additionally, Sugar Land residents receive local area news coverage via FortBendNow, which covers local news and political happenings in the Sugar Land area. Residents also are served by three free weekly newspapers, the Fort Bend Independent, the Fort Bend-Southwest Star, and the Sugar Land Sun. The Fort Bend Herald and Texas Coaster, a daily newspaper covering primarily the Richmond-Rosenberg area west of Sugar Land, also covers news stories in Sugar Land.


Over-the-air television in Sugar Land is broadcast in the Houston television market, which is the tenth-largest market in the United States according to Nielsen Media Research.

The city is also served by a citywide public access channel on cable channel 16, which covers city council meetings, planning and zoning meetings, community events, FBISD board meetings, and Fort Bend County Commissioners' Court meetings.

The vast majority of cable subscribers in the Sugar Land area are served by Comcast, which took over from Time Warner. Other cable options include AT&T Home Entertainment, En-Touch Systems (which covers the River Park West and Telfair areas of the city), Phonoscope Cable, TVMAX, and Ygnition (the latter two of which cover cable subscribers in multifamily housing developments).

Location from Sugar Land

See also


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ City of Sugar Land - Press Room - Quick Facts
  4. ^ Money's magazine - Best places to live (2008)
  5. ^ American Fact Finder U.S Census Bureau
  6. ^ Experts say 'most dangerous city' rankings twist numbers -
  7. ^ Top Suburbs to Live Well -
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy. "Burger King sniffing for new home / Houston said to be in running for headquarters' possible relocation." Houston Chronicle. Sunday February 3, 2005. Business 3. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  10. ^ "Schlumberger to move U.S. headquarters to Houston." Houston Business Journal. Wednesday October 26, 2005. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  11. ^ "North America (NAM) Contacts." Schlumberger. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  12. ^ Dawson, Jennifer. "Minute Maid headquarters opens in Sugar Land." Houston Business Journal. Monday February 16, 2009. Retrieved on February 16, 2009.
  13. ^ "Deal of the Week". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 21 December 2008. 
  14. ^ Dawson, Jennifer. "Minute Maid gets $2.4M incentive for move to Sugar Land." Houston Business Journal. Monday January 21, 2008. Retrieved on February 16, 2009.
  15. ^ Bivins, Ralph. "Firms move to suburbs for ritzier, roomier office space." Houston Chronicle. Thursday December 14, 1989. Business 4. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
  16. ^ Bivins, Ralph. "BMC signs a big lease/Firm needs space until tower's done." Houston Chronicle. Sunday November 17, 1991. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
  17. ^
  18. ^ For a Conservative, Life Is Sweet in Sugar Land, Tex. (
  19. ^ "Post Office Location - SUGAR LAND." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  20. ^ "Post Office Location - FIRST COLONY." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  21. ^ a b [1]
  22. ^ City of Sugar Land - Press Room - Quick Facts - Selected Census 2000 Information
  23. ^ Sugar Land Wins Fourth Straight “Fittest City in Texas” Title,
  24. ^ Sugar Land Stays Active to Three-peat as "Fittest City in Texas"
  25. ^ "Houston International Airport Bus Service," China Airlines
  26. ^ Hensel, Bill, Jr. "2 foreign airlines curtailing Houston passenger service / High fuel prices hit carriers from Mexico, Taiwan." Houston Chronicle. Saturday January 12, 2008. Business 1. Retrieved on June 12, 2009.
  27. ^ "Sugar Land's Kevin Chen and Bobby Shen Led Texas Students Won 2007 MATHCOUNTS National Champions!". 
  28. ^ "Bobby Shen Led Texas Students Won 2008 MATHCOUNTS National Champions!". 
  29. ^ "Bobby Shen, Texas 8th - Grader and Texas Team Named National Mathematics Champions at 2009 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition". 
  30. ^ "City Map." City of Stafford

External links

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