The 14th Annual Broker Developer Event hosted by the City of Friendswood was held Oct. 27 at Timber Creek Golf Club.
The event is sponsored this year by CenterPoint Energy’s Economic Development Department.
Friendswood Economic Development Coordinator Karen Capps shared with the audience of brokers, developers and city officials the current updates on both commercial and residential properties in the city.
Capps provided information about the available building and land site database that is consistently updated for city and state. Interested brokers and developers could access the database from the city website or through contact with Capps.
She also shared the “Live Here Work Here” philosophy that was launched from the Economic Development Committee.
“Looking at demographics one can see Friendswood is a competitive, winning city with many awards given to it as well as a place of affluent residents who are highly educated,” Capps said. “In Friendswood, 53 percent have incomes over $100,000 annually and 98 percent of residents 25 and older have high school degrees with high percentages of those residents with bachelors, graduate and doctorate degrees.”
Capps introduced new residential areas coming to the city and shared new development being planned for West Ranch. In the West Ranch subdivision, 1540 residences will be built. Currently, more than 920 permits have been issued. A commercial area is also in the plans and underway.
Renovations to existing buildings as well as new construction is underway within the city.
The downtown area of Friendswood is part of the Neighborhood Empowerment Zone and many city fees and permits are waived for for-profit businesses moving or building in the area. Also, the city’s economic incentive program has many success stories and eight businesses who pursued the program had their stories told to the audience by Capps.
Friends of Downtown Friendswood Association President Brett Banfield shared the group’s work and future plans.
“We are working to make Downtown Friendswood a ‘happening’ place,” Banfield said. “We want to beautify the area, offer events to draw people to downtown, promote new businesses and work with businesses and events that are already being held in the city.”
Banfield also shared the group’s mural initiative. The first downtown mural is underway at Hometown Center on a large outside wall near Sherwin Williams store.
The internationally known muralist, Anat Ronen has started the artwork.
He also shared information on their largest annual event, the second annual Texas Music Festival held in March celebrating Texas’ Independence Day.
The group hosted an annual Ice Cream Social at the Brown Museum on Labor Day.
“It was called the first annual ice cream social but in reality, Friendswood had the first one on Labor Day in 1913. So we waited 103 years and held the second one,” Banfield said.
Capps ended the event with Q&As and words of appreciation for those who attended.
Once again, the city teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce to have the City development event and Chamber golf tournament, Swing Into Fall, on the same day at Timber Creek.
Story by Karolyn Gephart