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New Developments And Annexation Of 30,000 Residents Help Sugar Land Continue Trajectory

Houston Neighborhood

Sugar Land is in many ways an example of suburbia done right. The city already has branches of three major hospitals, a U of H campus and a championship minor league baseball team. With plans to annex 30,000 new residents, a new event venue and the development of Imperial Market, it seems there may be no stopping Sugar Land.


Last week, the Sugar Land City Council gave preliminary approval to annex New Territory and Greatwood, adding 3,800 acres and about 30,000 residents, a 34% increase in the city’s population. The plan will shift administration of the area from MUDs to the city, offering the residents a host of new services. For the city, the annexation offers a jolt to the tax base, bringing in a river of new revenue.


Bulking up the residential tax base is just one way Sugar Land is setting itself up for the future. Smart Financial Center is key to Sugar Land’s momentum. Jerry Seinfeld will perform at the grand opening on Jan. 14 next year. ACE Theatrical Group’s Gary Becker estimates the venue will do 100 to 105 performances a year, attracting 300,000 attendees from all over the Houston MSA. Gary says the venue will help fill an entertainment void in Houston—till now, it's been either Downtown or The Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion, which can be hard to schedule, a pain to get to, or really only suitable for mega-shows. Smart Financial Center will have the opportunity to host acts that haven’t performed in Houston in years.

Imperial Sugar Refinery, being redeveloped into Imperial Market

Imperial Market is another major source of momentum in the area. Geoff Jones and James Murnane, developer/principals of Imperial Market, say the $200M mixed-use project has a lot to offer the growing area. First and foremost, Geoff points to the 2,000 jobs the development will create. The development will also spur a huge amount of new property, sales and hotel tax collection.

Sugar Land Town Square

For the developers, there’s also a romantic aspect to the development. Converting an antiquated economic powerhouse into a modern-day economic engine is poetic in its own way. James says the project has been in planning for 12 years, maybe longer. He and Geoff wanted to create something with a larger impact than a typical shopping center. Preserving history and turning it into an economic motor to last another 200 years will do just that.


It's easy to see the trees but harder to see the forest. The city of Sugar Land is making moves on different fronts, combing different sectors to create a destination for residents all across the Houston MSA. Whether it be sports, shopping, live events or suburban living, Sugar Land will soon have something for everyone. Hear more about Sugar Land's prospects from our panel of experts at Bisnow's The Future of Sugar Land on Nov. 29.