The Houston Chronicle
To help plan for that expected explosion, the West Houston Association on Thursday unveiled its blueprint entailing more than two years of study, ''West Houston Plan 2050: Envisioning Greater West Houston at Mid-Century."
Topics tackled by a panel of experts include market research, residential development, infrastructural management and trends in city growth.
West Houston has seen an increase of 85,000 net jobs — most in business and professional services — in the the last 12 months, said panelist Charles Savino, executive vice president of CDS Market Research.
The economy is largely driven by the oil and gas industry, Savino said, and that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future with ''the Energy Corridor, Westchase, Memorial Parkway and Interstate 10 all continuing to be major activity centers."
A conservative estimate, he said, is that at least 400,000 housing units and 43 million square feet of office space will be needed during the next half-century.
''To maintain growth we will have to improve the things we're doing — low cost of living, low cost of business hurdles," Savino said. ''Nothing's secure, nothing's certain, (but) attractiveness factors help areas grow."
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