Uptown Houston: Wikis

  
  

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Uptown Houston and Greenway Plaza Skylines

The Uptown District of Houston is located 6.2 miles (10 km) west of downtown and is centered along Post Oak Boulevard, Westheimer Road (Farm to Market Road 1093), and the Galleria. In its role as a satellite central business district and a center for premier shopping centers and hotels.

The Uptown District is bounded by Woodway Drive to the north, the I-610 (West Loop) to the east, U.S. Highway 59 to the south, and Yorktown Street to the west.[1]

At 23.6 million square feet (2,193,000 m²) of office space, the Uptown District is the 17th-largest business district in the United States, comparable in size to the downtowns of Denver, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles .[2] The district is home to approximately 2000 companies and represents more than 11 percent of Houston's total office space.[2]

Contents

Overview

Ornamental intersections
in Uptown

The Uptown District measures about 5 million square feet (500,000 m²) of retail space, and is the center of Houston's high-fashion scene. Around the Galleria, many trendy shopping centers, eateries, and other sorts of entertainment venues exist in the area. Uptown is home to many upscale boutiques, as well as many Houston-based and local high-fashion designers and stores. Uptown is also host to Houston's largest hotels, which host about 20 million visitors a year.

A major feature of Uptown Houston is the Houston Galleria, the largest shopping mall in the state of Texas and the fourth largest in America. The Galleria hosts many of the upscale shops of the area as well as eccentric local shops and city-wide chain stores that appear in many Houston-area malls. It also includes an array of fine eating establishments.

Uptown Houston is a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), which is a self-imposed taxing entity created by property owners in economically challenged areas in order to fund improvements and encourage development within the zone. [3] Although Uptown is arguably not in need of being designated a TIRZ, the area was designated as a TIRZ by city council. The Uptown District has used the funds for landscaping and mobility improvements as well as specialty street lamps, signage and stainless steel gateways and halos over major streets and intersections. Uptown Houston is located in Texas's 7th congressional district and Harris County Precinct 3. [4] [5]

Economy

Uptown, the 17th largest business district in the United States, has 23.6 million square feet of office space, representing 11% of all of Houston's office space and 22% of Houston's Class A office space. Major employers include 3D/International, Air Liquide America, AON Risk Services of Texas, Inc., Apache Corporation, BHP Billiton, Bechtel Corporation, Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, LLP, Bindview Corporation, CB Richard Ellis, Clear Channel, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, General Electric, Hines, Litton Loan Servicing, Marathon Oil Corporation, MWH Americas, Inc., Net IQ Corporation, Nextira One, LLC, Panhandle Pipeline Co., Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Telecheck International, Inc., Tractebel, and Williams Companies.[2][6] Around 2,000 companies maintain operations in Uptown.[2][7]

Other firms headquartered in Uptown include Stanford Financial Group[8] and several Cox Radio-owned stations, including KKBQ,[9] KHTC,[10] KHPT,[11] and KTHT.[12] Cushman & Wakefield's Houston office is in the 1330 Post Oak building in Four Oaks Place.[13][14]

Diplomatic missions

Several consulates-general are located in Uptown;[7] the consulates of Angola,[15] Argentina,[16] Chile,[17] France,[18] Germany,[19] India,[20] Italy,[21] Peru,[22] Qatar,[23] South Korea,[24] and Turkey are in Uptown.[25] In addition the Consulate of the Netherlands resides in Uptown.[26]

From its founding on May 25, 1982 to April 1988, the Consulate-General of Indonesia in Houston was located in Post Oak Central in Uptown.[27] The Consulate-General of Egypt in Houston was located in in Suite 1750 at 2000 West Loop South and later in Suite 2180 in Post Oak Central.[28][29] As of 2008 the consulate is now at 5718 Westheimer Road, outside of Uptown.[30]

Architecture

The Uptown District boomed along with Houston during the 1970s and early 1980s. A collection of mid-rise office buildings appeared along the Interstate 610 west (or simply "West Loop"). It became one of the most impressive instances of the edge city. The highest achievement of Uptown was the construction of the 901-foot-tall (275 m), Philip Johnson designed landmark Williams Tower (known as the Transco Tower until 1999). At the time, it was believed to the be the world's tallest skyscraper outside of a central business district. The Williams Tower was the product of a unique era in Houston: energy companies were highly profitable entities and they sought impressive, monumental structures to broadcast their power.

Panoramic view of one of the Uptown Skylines

The Williams Waterwall is a multi-story sculptural fountain which sits at the south end of Williams Tower in Uptown. It and its surrounding park were built as an architectural amenity to the adjacent tower. Both the fountain and tower were designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Philip Johnson. Construction of the complex was completed in 1983. The semi-circular fountain is 64-foot (20 m) tall and sits among 118 Texas Live Oak trees. Approximately 11,000 US gallons of water flow over both sides of the wall every minute.

The Uptown District is also home to other buildings designed by noted architects such as I. M. Pei and César Pelli among others also designed by Philip Johnson; Pelli designed the Four Oaks Place complex. Large-scale office construction in Uptown came to an end with the collapse of energy prices and the meltdown of Houston's economy in the mid-to-late 1980s. Uptown had 23.8 million square feet (2,210,000 m²) of office space in 2001, whereas Downtown Houston had about 40 million square feet (4,000,000 m²). In the late 1990s, there was a mini-boom of mid-rise residential tower construction, typically about 30 stories tall. Uptown has accumulated a large concentration of high-rise residential structures.

Four Leaf Towers, a high-rise residential complex consisting of two 40-story buildings located on San Felipe Street was constructed in 1982. The towers were designed by architect César Pelli. [31]

Completed in 2004, Saint Martin's Episcopal Church (with spires and antennae reaching 188 feet (57 m) into the sky), designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects, was featured on the covers of three national magazines: Civil Engineering magazine (April 2005), Modern Steel Construction magazine (May 2005) and Structure magazine (December 2005).[32]

Government and infrastructure

Local government

Houston Fire Department operates Station 28 [1] at 3000 Chimney Rock and Station 2 at 5880 Woodway at Chimney Rock. [2]

The neighborhood is served by the Houston Police Department's District 18 Patrol Division.[33]

In the first 1991 Mayor of Houston election most Galleria-area voters voted for Bob Lanier.[34][35]

The Uptown Management District is headquartered in Suite 1580 in 2 Post Oak Central at 1980 Post Oak Boulevard in the Post Oak Central complex.[36]

County, state, and federal representation

Sage Post Office

The United States Postal Service operates two post offices, the Sage Post Office at 3500 Sage Road and the Galleria Post Office in Suite 1200 at 5015 Westheimer Road, in Uptown Houston.[37][38]

Parks and Recreation

The city of Houston operates the Grady Park at 1700 Yorktown. [39]

The City of Houston announced in December 2008 that it are purchasing the Williams Tower Park and Fountain from Hines REIT for approximately $8.5 million. The City will operate the site as a public park protecting the popular park and landmark waterwall fountain from the threat of future development. Hines and the city will share maintenance and upkeep costs of the park and fountain.[40]

Transportation

A METRO bus stop in Uptown Houston

Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas, known in short as METRO, provides public bus service to Uptown.

Bus routes that serve the Uptown area include [41]:

METRO light rail will soon provide service to Uptown Houston. Construction will start in the summer of 2008, and be completed by 2012. From just north of the San Felipe/Post Oak intersection to the Northwest Transit Center, the Uptown/Pink line will be in a tram. [42] The rail line will be constructed on Post Oak Boulevard, and head north to Northwest Transit Center. It will connect with the University Line, which will also be under construction in 2008, and be complete in 2012.

Education

Public schools

Children living in Uptown are zoned to schools in the Houston Independent School District. The community is within Trustee District VII, represented by Harvin C. Moore as of 2008.[43]

Uptown elementary school pupils located north of Westheimer Road are zoned to either Briargrove Elementary School (in Briargrove)[44], while pupils located south of Westheimer Road are zoned to St. George Place Elementary School (in St. George Place).[45]

Middle and high school pupils living in Uptown are zoned to Grady Middle School[46] and Lee High School attendance boundaries[47], although students in the Lee attendance area may choose to attend Lamar High School or Westside High School. [48]

Residents of the Briargrove Elementary School attendance zone may apply for the Briarmeadow Charter School.[49]

When Westside opened in 2000,[50] residents of the Lee attendance boundary gained the option to attend Westside instead of Lee, with no free transportation provided.[51]

Private schools

St. Michael School, a Roman Catholic K-8 school that is a part of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, is in the area. [12] Two Catholic high schools, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and St. Agnes Academy, are located in Sharpstown, south of Uptown.

Al-Hadi School of Accelerative Learning, a private K–12 Islamic school, is in the area. [13]

Other nearby private schools include The Awty International School, St. John's School, and The Kinkaid School.

Public libraries

Houston Public Library operates the Jungman Neighborhood Library at 5830 Westheimer Road.[52]

Other

The Art Institute of Houston (AIH) is also located in Uptown at 1900 Yorktown. AIH offers a multitude of both associate and bachelor degrees in Design, Media Arts, Culinary Arts and Fashion. The art school is incorporated by the Art Institutes International.

Community information

The closest YMCA is the Post Oak YMCA.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Uptown District Map." Uptown Houston District. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d "Office." Uptown Houston. Retrieved on January 18, 2009.
  3. ^ About Uptown. Uptown Houston District
  4. ^ Texas's 7th congressional district. National Atlas
  5. ^ About Precinct 3. Harris County Precinct 3
  6. ^ "Careers at Clear Channel." Clear Channel Radio. Retrieved on April 24, 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Uptown Houston" Map. Uptown Houston. Accessed July 22, 2008.
  8. ^ "Contact Us > North America." Stanford Financial Group. Retrieved on February 18, 2009.
  9. ^ "Contact Us." KKBQ. Retrieved on April 24, 2009.
  10. ^ "Contact Us." KHTC. Retrieved on April 24, 2009.
  11. ^ "Contact Us." KHPT. Retrieved on April 24, 2009.
  12. ^ "Contact Us." KTHT. Retrieved on April 24, 2009.
  13. ^ Martin, Betty L. "Top broker sees good times ahead." Houston Chronicle. April 15, 2008. Retrieved on November 12, 2009.
  14. ^ "Global locations." Cushman & Wakefield. Retrieved on November 12, 2009.
  15. ^ "Consular General." Embassy of Angola in Washington, DC. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  16. ^ Home Page. Consulate-General of Argentina in Houston. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  17. ^ "Oficinas Consulares en Estados Unidos." Consulate-General of Chile in Houston. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  18. ^ "Map and working hours." Consulate-General of France in Houston. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  19. ^ "Address, Contact and Office Hours." Consulate-General of Germany in Houston. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  20. ^ Home page. Consulate-General of India in Houston. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  21. ^ "Consulate location." Consulate-General of Italy in Houston. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  22. ^ "Jurisdicciones Consulares en USA." Consulate-General of Peru. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  23. ^ "Consular Services." Embassy of Qatar in Washington, DC. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  24. ^ Home Page. Consulate-General of South Korea in Houston. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  25. ^ "Contact Us." Embassy of Turkey in Washington, DC. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  26. ^ "Welcome to The Netherlands Consulate in Houston, Texas." Consulate of the Netherlands in Houston. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  27. ^ "Short History of the Consulate General of Indonesia in Houston." Consulate-General of the Republic of Indonesia in Houston.
  28. ^ "Background Notes: Egypt." Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs. December 15, 1990. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  29. ^ Maxwell, Virginia, Mary Fitzpatrick, Siona Jenkins, and Anthony Sattin. Egypt. Lonely Planet. 2006. "526.
  30. ^ Home page. Consulate-General of Egypt in Houston. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  31. ^ "Four-Leaf Towers :: 5100 San Felipe, Houston, Texas, United States :: Glass Steel and Stone". http://www.glasssteelandstone.com/BuildingDetail/2092.php. Retrieved 2008-04-05.  
  32. ^ Award-Winning Projects, Matrix Structural Engineers (maintained by Rhonda Hurley).
  33. ^ "Beat Map." City of Houston.
  34. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "Saying goodbye, with no regrets." Houston Chronicle. Saturday November 9, 1991. A31.
  35. ^ Bernstein, Alan and Jim Simmon. "Black vote went solidly for Turner/Whitmire failed to produce split." Houston Chronicle. Thursday November 7, 1991. A21.
  36. ^ "Contact Us / Subscribe." Uptown Houston. Retrieved on April 7, 2009.
  37. ^ "Post Office Location - SAGE." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.
  38. ^ "Post Office Location - GALLERIA." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.
  39. ^ List of parks. City of Houston
  40. ^ Dawson, Jennifer. "City makes splash with Water Wall." Houston Business Journal. Friday December 19, 2008. Retrieved on July 30, 2009.
  41. ^ http://www.ridemetro.org/schedules_and_maps/system_maps/grnwyuptown_web.pdf
  42. ^ Uptown Corridor Updates
  43. ^ "Trustee Districts Map." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on November 11, 2008.
  44. ^ "Briargrove Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  45. ^ "St. George Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  46. ^ "Grady Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  47. ^ "Lee High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  48. ^ Home Page as of May 9, 2005. Lee High School.
  49. ^ "Registration." Briarmeadow Charter School. Retrieved on May 7, 2009.
  50. ^ "Personal Touches." Education Week.
  51. ^ "Westside and Lee HS Boundaries." Houston Independent School District. October 3, 2000. Retrieved on May 7, 2009.
  52. ^ "Jungman Neighborhood Library." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.

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