Skip to main content

Rising in Houston: Projects to Look Forward to in 2023 and Beyond

Published Jan 04, 2023 by A.J. Mistretta

ismaili center.jpg

Ismaili Center Houston

2022 was a year of significant economic growth for Houston. The Texas Workforce Commission reports metro Houston gained more than 150,000 jobs in the first 11 months of the year, and while that estimate will likely be pared back when revisions are released it will still rank among the best years for metro job creation on record. Meanwhile, Fortune 500 company Hewlett Packard Enterprise opened its new Spring-area headquarters early in the year, motorists were using new tunnels beneath land bridges reconnecting Memorial Park by spring, and the University of Houston opened its $80 million College of Medicine building over the summer.  

While the world faces uncertainty—from the effects of the war in Eastern Europe to instability in China—Houston’s prospects appear solid moving into the new year. The Partnership anticipates another year of solid job growth across the majority of sectors and new projects on the horizon hold tremendous promise for our region. Here’s a look at a few things we have our eye on.  

1550 on the Green  

Downtown high-rise projects have been concentrated on the western side of Houston’s central business district in recent years. But one heavily anticipated project is expected to advance the evolution of the city’s convention district when it debuts in 2024. 1550 on the Green is rising fast on the southern edge of Discovery Green, the 12-acre park fronting the George R. Brown Convention Center. As part of a three-block masterplan for the area, the 370,000-square-foot 1550 on the Green will include multiple terraces designed to embrace the neighboring park. The building will also include more than 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, adding to the streetscape of the neighborhood. The international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has already committed to relocating its Houston office to the tower once its complete.  

Buffalo Bayou East  

First announced in 2019, the Buffalo Bayou East plan calls for reimagining several miles of land along the bayou downstream from Downtown. Now underway, the $300 million project will build on what the Buffalo Bayou Partnership has already achieved at Buffalo Bayou Park but in a more industrial and under-utilized section of the city. Though it will take a decade to realize the full plan, a catalytic gift of $100 million from the Kinder Foundation last fall has helped jumpstart construction. Buffalo Bayou East will include miles of trails, remade parks, gardens, sports fields, affordable housing, public entertainment complexes, a boardwalk and more. The first phases of the project are likely to be complete within a couple years.  

Camden Park at Westchase

Camden Park  

Ensuring more greenspace for Houston area residents has been the focus of a number of projects in recent years—from new pocket parks in low-income neighborhoods to the transformative Bayou Greenways Initiative connecting the city’s serpentine tributaries. Residents in the Westchase District will soon get their own new park with all the modern amenities of other recent projects. The nearly $14 million Camden Park broke ground in late 2022 on Wilcrest Drive. The project is packing a lot of features into a 3.4-acre footprint, including an activity lawn with performance pavilion, playground, dog park and a restaurant. The park will open sometime in the latter half of 2024.  

East River  

There’s a reason why there’s been a lot of buzz about the East River project in recent years. With a site spanning 150 acres a little more than a mile east of Downtown, there may be no larger urban infill project of such scale anywhere else in the country. And it’s starting to take shape. The first phase situated on the banks of Buffalo Bayou and slated for completion later this year includes 300,000 square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, 360 apartments and more. East River 9, a nine-hole golf course and restaurant concept is already open, offering a glimpse of the innovative mixed-use development to come. Future phases will be realized over the next decade-plus.  

Galapagos Islands at Houston Zoo 

Celebrated as the first major zoo exhibit to highlight the wildlife of the Pacific archipelago, the Houston Zoo’s immersive Galapagos Islands exhibit is anticipated to open this spring. Located near the entrance of the 55-acre zoo, the Galapagos exhibit will feature sea lions, giant tortoises, sharks and a first for the zoo, Humboldt penguins. Last year the Houston Zoo celebrated its centennial year and touted the fact that nearly half of its footprint has been reimagined as “immersive habitats” designed to give animals more space and allow visitors to experience them in more realistic environments. The Galapagos Islands exhibit represents the largest initiative in the six-year, multi-phase plan. 

High Street Residential Mixed-Use Project  

Stretching from Midtown to Uptown and well past the Beltway to the west, Westheimer Road is arguably the commercial backbone of Houston. In recent years, developers have sought to line the thoroughfare with a broader mix of uses, replacing antiquated strip centers and single-use retail spots with mixed-use projects that increase density and boost sidewalk appeal. Case in point: Trammell Crow Co.’s High Street Residential will break ground soon on a $97 million project at the corner of Westheimer and Kirby that will put 209 luxury residential units on top of nearly 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Projects like this one, slated for completion in 2024, and the recently completed Montrose Collective near the intersection of Westheimer and Montrose are making this busy stretch of the thoroughfare more pedestrian-friendly.  

Ismaili Center  

The vision for the Ismaili Center now rising on 11 acres fronting Allen Parkway dates back to 2006. But multiple setbacks didn’t allow construction to begin until 2021. When completed in 2024, the contemporary designed center will be a free gathering space not just for Shia Ismaili Muslims but for people of all backgrounds and faiths, according to its backers. The center will include gardens, spaces for prayer and cultural events and other gathering spaces. It’s the first of its kind in the United States, joining other Ismaili centers in cities such as London, Dubai and Vancouver. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has said the center has the potential to become an internationally recognized landmark for the city.  

TMC Helix Park  

The Texas Medical Center has been working for years to realize its vision for an innovative new life sciences campus bringing together industry, academia and entrepreneurs. That vision becomes reality this year when the TMC3 Collaborative Building opens at the emerging TMC Helix Park. The building is part of the first phase of the 37-acre project going up just a short distance from TMC itself. TMC Helix Park will include 6 million square feet of developed space—including multiple research and commercial buildings and a hotel/conference center—surrounding five unique parks totaling 18 acres.  

A vision for Watermark District by Midway

Watermark District  

A developer has plans to revamp one of the most recognized corporate campuses in Houston. Midway will reimagine ConocoPhillips’ former 70-acre Energy Corridor campus into a mix of retail, office and residential uses, complemented by a hotel; a groundbreaking on Watermark District is expected in the next few months. The office complex sits atop a series of manmade lakes, a feature that will be retained in the redo to maintain the lush feel of the campus just north of I-10. Midway expects to deliver 650,000 square feet of Class A office in addition to the other uses.  

Learn more about why businesses are choosing Houston and what it means to live, work and play in the Bayou City. 

Related News

Economic Development

How the Houston Region Is Increasing Its Green Footprint

Community leaders are prioritizing increasing green space across the Houston region to improve quality of life and build a more sustainable future. In honor of Earth Day, we’re highlighting a few projects that showcase the region’s commitment.  Over 12,000 trees are located within Hermann Park, and a $52 million project will add more to that number. The highlight of the renovation project is The Commons, a 26-acre play garden designed to inspire and engage young minds with a space-themed area that includes a play layout resembling a splashdown capsule, parachute and rocket launch with slides and climbing structures.  “We want there to be a sense of discovery, with a real diversity of types of play and levels of challenge. Spaces for different kids’ abilities and moods so they can choose their own adventure,” Jack Ohly, Associate Principal at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Lead Landscape Architect on the Hermann Commons Project, told the Houston Chronicle.  In addition to the new playground, the renovation project also features expanded family picnic areas, a dog park, and more shaded areas with the incorporation of 1,200 new trees and 45,000 new plants.  The massive project was made possible by the support of hundreds of Houstonians, with the largest contribution coming from longtime zoo and park supporter Kathrine G. McGovern. The newly renovated park is expected to open in early 2024.   Hermann Park’s renovation project isn’t the only project underway that aims to increase the region’s green footprint. Montgomery County has recently announced plans for a nearly 400-acre park near its Woodforest community. Though design is still in its early stages, Fish Creek Regional Park plans to offer a host of amenities, including a community center, hiking and equestrian trails, a nature and outdoor education center, and various sports fields.  According to a statement from Burditt Consultants LLC, the company that won the contract for the park’s amenities, the goal of the project is to preserve and sustain the area’s natural resources, including wildlife and watersheds, while still creating a park that will be a benefit to everyone in the region.  These recent park developments and their focus on conservation and sustainability align closely with the city’s own goals of improving Houston’s green space. In tandem with its Climate Action Plan, the city of Houston has launched an initiative in partnership with NRG to plant 100,000 trees as part of a larger goal: planting 4.6 million trees by 2030. This initiative will improve air quality, reduce heat, and bring improvements to different communities across the region.  This is in addition to other reforestation efforts happening at Halls Bayou, which saw almost 600 trees planted earlier this year, and Memorial Park, where acres of native prairie grass and trees were planted on its new land bridge. In Harris County’s Precinct 2, roughly 500 trees were planted as part of the Bay Area Boulevard Reforestation Project’s goal to plant a total of 1,000 trees.   Learn more about Houston’s green spaces. 
Read More
Quality of Life

Top 8 Spring Festivals in Houston

Houston comes alive in the spring with an array of exciting festivals that showcase the best of performing and visual arts, music, food, and more. From traditional celebrations to contemporary events, we've curated a list of must-attend spring festivals happening in the Houston area, so you can make the most of the season and immerse yourself in the region's unique cultural offerings.  The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival Click to expand Experience a colorful outdoor art gallery April 14-16 featuring national and international artists with a variety of mediums including painting, clay, metal, and more. Enjoy live music, entertainment, local food, beer and wine, and children's art activities for a fun family experience.   The Houston Art Car Parade Click to expand Roll around on April 15 for the Houston Art Car Parade, which attracts over 250 cars and an audience of 300,000 spectators eager to see the weird and wild roadway creations.    Puranava Indian Art & Culture Fest  Click to expand Celebrate Indian culture on April 15 featuring stage performances of Indian classical and folk dances, music, visual art & cultural exhibits and more.    Houston Latin Fest Click to expand Celebrate Latin heritage with a family-oriented music festival that provides communities Houston a gathering place to connect with others. Immerse yourself in the Latin experience on April 23 with Latin music, cuisine, art and more.    Frida Festival Click to expand With over 30,000 attendees, the Frida Festival offers a range of festivities with fashion shows, art exhibits and performances honoring the iconic Frida Kahlo. Save the date for April 19 and 29!    Japan Festival Houston Click to expand After a four-year hiatus, the Japanese Festival returns to Houston on May 6-7. Enjoy the celebration of Houston’s rich Japanese culture and the 30th anniversary of the Japanese Garden with contemporary performances, food, tea ceremonies and much more.    Houston Art Bike Festival Click to expand No car? No problem! The Houston Art Bike Parade & Festival showcases modified art bikes. Whether small changes or big transformations, you can participate on May 13.   Pasadena Strawberry Festival Click to expand Looking for country music, an epic mud volleyball tournament, an authentic Texan BBQ cook off, and the world’s largest strawberry shortcake? Book your calendars for a Texas-sized fun festival from May 18-21.  Learn more about what it’s like to live in Houston.
Read More

Related Events


Houston DiverseCity Summit

The Greater Houston Partnership invites you to join us as a sponsor for the Houston DiverseCity Summit on Wednesday, October 4. The Summit is more than an event. It is an inspiring one-day convening to…

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners