Business and community leaders recently gathered to celebrate West Houston’s growth and newly completed “missing mile” of Park Row, at an event hosted by Wolff Companies and The Energy Corridor District.
Park Row, a four-lane major thoroughfare that runs parallel to the Katy Freeway (I-10), now stretches continuously from Dairy Ashford Road at I-10 to the City of Katy. The new segment, which connects Dairy Ashford to the Addicks Park and Ride, broke ground in 2013 and was opened to traffic earlier this month. The road provides an important alternative route to the Katy Freeway and the new segment will open up public transportation options for those who work, live and play in The Energy Corridor.
Park Row is home to some of the largest corporate headquarters in Houston, including ConocoPhillips, Worley Parsons and Mustang Wood Group. More recently, it has become a new address for some of the city’s best medical institutions – such as Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist, who owns land on both sides of Park Row in Wolff Companies’ Ten Oaks, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, who owns land on both sides of Park Row in Wolff Companies’ Central Park.
“The completion of Park Row not only represents a dramatic improvement in transportation in West Houston but also Houston’s can-do attitude. This was a very complicated project which required many different businesses, organizations and governmental entities to work together to ultimately increase economic activity and quality of life,” said David S. Wolff, Chairman and President of Wolff Companies. “We are celebrating more than the completion of an important thoroughfare which has become one of the best business addresses in Houston, we are celebrating the collaborative spirit that built both this road and West Houston.”
Highlighting the event was an all-star panel of business and government leaders – key architects of the West Houston community – who praised the public-private partnerships that have been vital to West Houston’s past and continued growth. With David Wolff serving as moderator, panelists were William Burge, president of Ayrshire Corporation and Chairman of the Grand Parkway Association; Larry Johnson, President and CEO of Johnson Development Corporation; Matt Khourie, CEO of Trammel Crow Company; Carl Sewell, Chairman of Sewell Automotive Companies; and the Hon. Jon Lindsay, former Texas Senate Senator and former Harris County Judge.
From left to right: Moderator David S. Wolff moderates a panel discussion with William Burge, Jon Lindsay, Larry Johnson, Matt Khourie and Carl Sewell. Photos courtesy of The Energy Corridor District.
“We brought together leaders in the West Houston community who represented a variety of sectors – housing, office, land development, retail and government. They represent a larger body of leaders who have worked together to make West Houston what it is and who will continue to collaborate to ensure West Houston’s continued growth and success,” said Carolyn Wolff Dorros, Executive Vice President of Wolff Companies.
David S. Wolff, far right, with Michael G. Wyatt, Managing Director of Core Real Estate, Aaron Thielhorn, Managing Director of Trammell Crow Company and Edward Griffin, President of Griffin Properties.
The panelists unanimously listed excellent schools, high-quality and affordable housing and jobs as the essential ingredients that fostered the growth of West Houston.
Reflecting on West Houston’s success, Khourie said, “The evolution of quality in West Houston is noteworthy. Developers along I-10 have upped their game with projects built to last. Continued investment in schools and healthcare will be catalysts for continued growth.” Sewell, who recently transformed an older property in The Energy Corridor into an elite Mercedes-Benz dealership campus concurred, “Where you have great school districts, you have great development.”
Commenting on priorities for the future, Johnson, Lindsay and other panelists agreed that drainage improvements should be at the top of the list.
Asked what West Houston might look like in 25 to 50 years, Burge quipped, “We’ll be in San Antonio by then, but you will always see the initial footprint by people like David Wolff and many others who came here when there was nothing but rice fields.”
The event brought together real estate, industry sector and community leaders who share a common bond: build a better West Houston.
The first segment of Park Row was developed in the 1970s in Park Ten by Wolff, who envisioned the need for an alternate route to the Katy Freeway. The newly opened “missing mile” segment included the design and construction of Park Row from the intersection of the I-10 HOV/Tollroad access ramp at the Addicks Park & Ride lot to the thoroughfare’s existing terminus just west of the intersection of North Eldridge Parkway; a four-lane bridge over Langham Creek; water, sanitary sewer and storm water drainage infrastructure; and street lighting and landscaping. The two-phase project was facilitated by a public/private venture between The Energy Corridor Management District and the City of Houston.
About Wolff Companies
Now in its fifth decade, Wolff Companies has been a leader in developing master-planned, mixed-use business communities in the Houston area. The company’s developments include: Beltway ; Park 10; Interwood; Westway Park; First Crossing; Ten Oaks at the Texas Medical Center – West Campus and Central Park . The American Society of Landscape Architects, Scenic Houston, Keep America Beautiful, the American Institute of Architects and the Municipal Art Commission have all recognized Wolff Companies’ developments for enhancing and preserving the natural beauty of land, while meeting the ever-changing needs of business. For more information, please visit www.wolffcompanies.com.