Office-space slump a distant memory
Pearland population boom erases glut as businesses crowd to be in a hot market
Only a few years ago, Pearland's retail/office outlook was grim.
Consider that the Water Lights District, a mixed-use project planned just west of Texas 288 and south of Beltway 8, stalled during the economic downturn around 2007 and the property was taken over by a bank. The plans had included living and office space, and a park with 43 presidential busts by local artist David Adickes.
Likewise, an ambitious retail/office complex just off Texas 288 at Country Place Parkway also fell prey to the economy and went vacant for years. That story repeated itself throughout the city.
That was then.
Today, Pearland's business picture is shining bright, as evidenced by the phenomenal growth in retail and office space as the city's population rises. There's 106,500 residents in the city limits and another 26,900 in the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction, according to city figures updated in January 2014.
The dead-in-the-water Water Lights District has been replaced by the $300 million Ivy District, which when completed will boast a 150-room hotel and conference center, a community center for local meetings and banquets, 160,000 square feet of retail space and 140,000 square feet of office space.
The office center on Country Place Parkway has a new lease on life with the help of developer Tribble and Associates. The four-story structure - now called Trinity Professional Building - includes two retail buildings and a four-story office space.
Already, the top floor is home to Cyanco Chemical Co., and office space on the other floors is being leased.
The office center was once only accessible through the back of the complex on Country Place Parkway, but the Texas Department of Transportation has opened an entrance off the Texas 288 feeder road.
The move provides better access to the center, the developer said.
"It's a great location, right on (Texas 288) just south of Beltway 8, with great access to anywhere in Houston," Tom Tribble said.
"We bought the property and completely redid the outside, and it's very modern and contemporary."
Tribble said Pearland "is a fantastic area with so many new businesses moving in. It's the hottest retail market in Texas."
Matt Buchanan, who heads the Pearland Economic Development Corp., said Pearland has become an "emerging market" in the realm of retail and office space availability.
"The Pearland office market has really taken off in the last 24 months," Buchanan said.
"The overall economy has continued to improve. Pearland has become a larger, more mature community," he said.
"We've got rooftops now, we've got the retail now and people are choosing Pearland for office locations."
Construction is under way at the Memorial Hermann Medical Office, which will boast 110,000 square feet of office space at Texas 288 and Memorial Hermann Drive, according to the Pearland EDC.
Retail and office space that is completed and occupied, according to the Pearland EDC, include Kelsey Seybold headquarters (170,000 square feet) at 11511 Shadow Creek Parkway, Kelsey Seybold Medical Office (52,000 square feet) at 2515 Business Center Drive, Ref-Chem (39,000 square feet) at 3014 S. Sam Houston Parkway East and Shadow Creek Business Center–Phase 1 (80,000 square feet), at 11233 Shadow Creek Parkway.
Pre-leasing is under way for Shadow Creek Business Center–Phase II (80,000 square feet) at the corner of Shadow Creek Parkway and Business Center Drive; and Shadow Creek Ranch Professional Plaza (110,000 square feet) at the corner of Business Center Drive and Discovery Bay Drive.
And the Trinity Professional Building at 1920 County Place Blvd. is complete and leasing with a total of 72,000 square feet of office space.
Carol Artz, who heads the Pearland Chamber of Commerce, said the changes from growth have been like "reshuffling a deck of cards.
"With new retail infrastructure being constructed on both the east and west sides of Pearland, there are opportunities for new and existing retail and commercial businesses," she stated in an email.