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It's Time For Houston To Start Marketing Itself

WASHINGTON DC 10.19.2017

THE FAIRFAX COUNTY STATE OF THE MARKET

Development Pipeline and Current Projects

Katherine Bonnafé -- Combined Properties
Greg Trimmer -- JBG SMITH
Alex Nyhan -- First Washington Realty
Bisnow State of The Market, David Wolff Speaking
KDC vice president Marc Flores, Wolff Cos. chairman David Wolff, Lionstone Investments chief operating officer Tom Paterson, Lincoln Property senior vice president Kevin Wyatt and Moody Rambin managing director Bob Cromwell at Bisnow's 2017 Houston State of the Market

For decades, Houston's job creation and growth were fueled by a strong foundation of oil and gas. Now that oil is struggling to sustain $50/barrel, some local leaders think it is time for Houston to show the world what else it has to offer.

“Officials have never been interested in promoting Houston,” Wolff Cos. chairman David Wolff said at Bisnow's State of the Market event last week. “Houston is as diverse as it’s ever been, but we can absolutely be more diverse. We have to have incentives in place in government.”

Hanover Company's Christopher Nash, Lionstone Investment's Tom Paterson, Hanover Company's David Ott
Hanover Co.'s Christopher Nash, Lionstone Investment's Tom Paterson and Hanover Co.'s David Ott at Bisnow's 2017 Houston State of the Market

Other panelists agreed.

“We need to do a better job of lobbying, marketing and putting Houston out there. That starts with elected officials and organizations like the Greater Houston Partnership,” Lionstone Investments chief operating officer Tom Paterson said.

“You don’t see many relocations to Houston except for energy. That’s a shame, it’s gotta change," Lincoln Property senior vice president Kevin Wyatt said. "It should start with our government. Whether it’s a tax incentive or an advertising campaign, there [are] some huge advantages we could be highlighting.”

With a bit of marketing and some incentives, the hope is that tech and financial services firms that so often pick Austin or Dallas will consider Houston, chipping away at the city's record sublease space and vacancy.