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PA L M B E A C H R E L O C AT I O N G U I D E

– FA L L 2 0 1 6

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WINTER 2017


RINCETON

��HOMES Luxury within reach.™

NORTHWEST The Reserve at Spring Lakes $680+ $290+ Towne Lake Raleigh Creek $340+ Raleigh Creek Marquis Plus $260+ $310+ Laurel Glen 60s $260+ Laurel Glen 60s Marquis $310+ Laurel Glen 70s Marquis $290+ Dellrose $250+ Dellrose Marquis

(281) 290-0551 (281) 290-0551 (281) 370-0312 (281) 370-0312 (281) 370-0312 (832) 653-5925 (832) 653-5925

WEST Marcello Lakes Marcello Lakes Marquis Lilac Bend - Coming Soon!

$290+ $290+

(281) 671-9070 (281) 671-9070 (281) 671-9070

NORTH CENTRAL Bristol Lakes Bristol Lakes Marquis

$330+ $300+

(832) 823-4854 (832) 823-4854

SOUTHWEST Lake Shore Harbour Katy Creek Estates Greatwood Lake 60s Greatwood Lake 70s

$230+ $540+ $310+ $390+

(281) 416-8919 (281) 395-3141 (281) 343-0428 (281) 343-0428

(281) 290-0551 (281) 758-2283

c,

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HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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Premier Photography

Welcome to Fort Bend County. Welcome to quality living in a Johnson Development community. Master-planned communities by Johnson Development capture the finest in land planning, architectural integrity and resort-style amenities. Discover homes to suit your taste and lifestyle, including luxurious patio homes and estate homes. Each community reflects the growing emphasis among families for neighborhoods with a purpose, where friends connect and amenities richly enhance quality of life.

environments

that celebrate

LIFE.

Homes from the $200s-Millions+ . JohnsonDevelopment.com 2

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


Cross Creek Ranch

Harvest Green

Imperial

Jordan Ranch

Riverstone

Sienna Plantation

Veranda

Willow Creek Farms HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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contents | features 28 34 44 76

Fort Bend County Map & Cost of Living Manageable. Affordable. Lifestyle.

ON THE COVER Westlake Preparatory Academy is located in Richmond, TX and is one of three private Christian schools within the Lutheran Education Association of Houston (LEAH). LEAH Schools have a long history of exemplary education in the Houston area and provide a faith-based education that promotes spiritual growth and academic excellence. www.westlakeprep.org

International Relocation Information Houston by the Numbers

PHOTOGRAPHY We would like to thank the following for their contributions:

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GHCVB Houston Cross Creek Ranch Riverstone George Hosek Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Fort Bend EDC Sugar Land Marriott Town Square Fort Bend Christian Academy Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land Sienna Plantation Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center Eric Phol The Smart Financial Centre The City of Meadows Place Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Schlitterbahn Waterpark St.Francis de Sales Catholic School Westlake Preparatory Lutheran Academy George Ranch Imperial Sugar Land Houston Astros

EDITORIAL We would like to thank the following writers for their editorial contributions to the publication: Joy Oden Judy Van Cleve Cecile Ruffino © WEB Media Group LLC 2017 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical,

44 NH D R CEHLAOM CUOI D MEM E–R C 4 4 P AFLOMR TB EBAE C CBAETRI OONF G F AE L N L E2W 0 1C6O M| E RW IGNUT IEDRE 2 0– 1 S7 U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 7

photocopying, or otherwise, without the written permission of the Publisher.


A decAde of leAdership in cArdiAc cAre In April 2007, physicians at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital performed the first-ever open heart surgery in Fort Bend County. That groundbreaking procedure kicked off a decade of unparalleled achievement in providing the most advanced cardiac care, close to home. When you’re in need, count on our: • State-of-the-art Heart & Vascular Center • 24/7 interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery services • Nationally accredited chest pain center In a cardiac emergency, there’s only one place you need to be — Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. To find a doctor in your area, call 281.274.7500.

Call 9-1-1 immediately

houstonmethodist.org/sugarland

if you experience any of the following: • Chest pain or pressure (may radiate down arm) • Shortness of breath • Nausea, vomiting and/or severe indigestion • Breaking out in a cold sweat

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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contents | sections 16

WELCOME TO FORT BEND COUNTY • 16 HOUSING & NEIGHBORHOODS • 20 Cities Neighborhoods Master Planned Communities Cost of Living & Map

HOME FRONT • 30

30

Temporary Lodging Rent or Buy Choosing a Realtor Mortgage Options

RELOCATION INFORMATION • 38 Moving Companies

675 Bering Drive, Suite 120 Houston Texas 77057 Phone: 713-952-1916 Fax: 713-952-1956 info@HoustonNewcomerGuides.com www.HoustonNewcomerGuides.com

CEO Derek Wright

PRESIDENT Kevin Evans

VICE PRESIDENT Michael P. Blalock

VP OF SALES Robert Nusbaum

Forwarding Mail Utilities

46

Public Transportation International Relocation

EDUCATION IN FORT BEND COUNTY • 46 Public Schools District Private Schools Higher Education

PLACE OF WORSHIP • 58 Directory of Contacts

74

HEALTHCARE RESOURCES • 60 Major Medical Facilities

ACTIVE ADULTS & SENIOR LIVING • 69 Senior Housing Options Continuing Care Retirement Communities Assisted Living Communities

BUSINESS & COMMUNITY • 74

78

Area Chambers of Commerce Area Economic Development Partnerships Houston by the numbers

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Jill Roe, Susan Syamken, Judy Van Cleve & Paul Yarbrough

OPERATIONS MANAGER Cecile Ruffino

ART DIRECTOR Rebecca Cammack

Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce Newcomer & Relocation Guide is published and distributed bi-annually by WEB Media Group LLC For advertising information, please call 713-952-1916. Although every attempt is made to be as comprehensive and accurate as possible, WEB Media Group LLC is not responsible for any misprints, errors, omissions, deletions, or the accuracy of the information in the publication. WEB Media Group LLC does not accept responsibility for any loss, injury, or inconvenience sustained by anyone using this publication.

LEISURE & RECREATION • 78 Parks & Attractions Arts and Culture Dining & Shopping Sports & Golf Calendar of Events NH D R CEHLAOM CUOI D MEM E–R C 6 6 P AFLOMR TB EBAE C CBAETRI OONF G F AE L N L E2W 0 1C6O M| E RW IGNUT IEDRE 2 0– 1 S7 U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 7

300 E. Highland Mall Blvd. Suite 395 Austin Texas 78752 Phone: 512-266-2900 www.TexasRelocationGuides.com


Our housewarming gift to you: a $200 move-in bonus.

At TXU Energy, we hope this $200 VISA® prepaid card will help make your move a little easier–at least on your wallet. But that’s just the beginning of what we hope is a long relationship with you. By the way, did you know that along with connecting your electricity, we can help set up your Internet, TV, phone and even home security? One call does it all with TXU Energy Complete Connect: 1-877-TXU-MOVE.

Call or visit txu.com/mover today for your $200 move-in bonus. Use promo code “MOVE.” Valid for new TXU Energy move-in accounts enrolled at a single-family residential premises through this offer on a qualifying electricity plan. Redemption instructions will be mailed following enrollment. Allow six weeks after TXU Energy has received payment of your first month’s bill to receive the bonus. Ca rd is valid for six months after issuance. Limit one per premises. Offer subject to change or cancellation at any time. Additional eligibility requirements, terms and conditions may apply. ©2017 TXU Energy. All rights reserved. REP #10004 HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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Dear Fort Bend Newcomers, City of Fulshear 30603 FM 1093, Fulshear, TX 77441

City of Katy 901 Avenue C, Katy, Texas 77493

Our cities have so much to offer: sound infrastructure and reliable city services, employment opportunities and job growth, some of the best housing values in the nation, excellent healthcare with award winning hospitals close to home, and outstanding schools, colleges and universities. The solid foundation that our cities have strived to build secures a quality lifestyle for residents today and in the future. The culturally diverse citizens of the county share in the many benefits our cities provide. Beautiful parks and recreation areas, wonderful museums, libraries and public centers, and a network of fine service organizations enhance everyday life. Our vibrant small cities also offer theatres, sporting events, musical entertainment, great dining, and more. Businesses here have a can-do attitude that reflects our pioneer heritage. With relatively low tax bases, incentives from the public and private sector, and a well-educated workforce, major corporations and entrepreneurs alike are discovering even more reasons to do business in our cities. While growth here is substantial, the small town environment of our cities prevails. The communities across the county embrace the spirit of friendship and camaraderie that has forged strong alliances between neighbors. Texas is a great state and Fort Bend County is among one of the finest places to live – no matter which city you chose! Welcome to your new home and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you personally.

Sincerely,

Jeff W. Roberts, Mayor City of Fulshear

Evalyn W. Moore, Mayor City of Richmond

Chuck Brawner, Mayor City of Katy

Charles Jessup, Mayor City of Meadows Place

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

Leonard Scarcella, Mayor City of Stafford

Joe R. Zimmerman City of Sugar Land

Allen Owen, Mayor City of Missouri City

8

William T. Benton, Mayor City of Rosenberg

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


Moving? Start fresh with X1.

Astroblast and Miles from Tomorrowland available on XFINITY TV app

Bring the best in entertainment to your new home with XFINITY. Call 1-855-MOV-EDGE to speak to a dedicated Move Specialist or visit xfinity.com/moving today!

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. © 2017 Comcast. All right reserved. TRP187372-0001

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445 Commerce Green Blvd. Sugar Land, TX 77478 Phone: 281-491-0800 Fax: 281-491-0112 www.FortBendChamber.com

KERI SCHMIDT, CCE, IOM

President | CEO

Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce The secret to success is just around the Bend…Fort Bend. With a population of over 800,000, Fort Bend County is home to seventeen cities, small to large, each with its own unique flavor and outstanding characteristics. A recent study published by Rice University identifies Fort Bend County as one of the fastest-growing counties in America and as the single most diverse county in the United States. Our local business climate is flourishing from the ground up. At the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, we are proud to partner in this success ensuring that Fort Bend is the foremost location for economic development and business prosperity. In 2014, the United States Chamber of Commerce awarded the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce with 5-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community. With 7,077 chambers in the United States, 207 of these are accredited with only 82 receiving a 5-Star designation. At the Fort Bend Chamber, you can meet the premier business leaders in the County and have access to a multitude of opportunities to network, further your career, hear success stories, stay up to date on community and industry news and socialize. The Fort Bend Chamber is a catalyst between business and community for achievement. As the voice of business in Fort Bend County, the Chamber strives to understand the legislative issues important to our members. Key to this effort is building and maintaining strong relationships with our local, state and federal elected officials. For over 40 years, the Fort Bend Chamber has diligently fulfilled its mission as the advocate for business excellence in Fort Bend County. We create, enhance and promote the thriving economic environment in which we work and live. Whether it is through the Education Division, Infrastructure Planning, Governmental Relations, Community Resources, Business and Professional Development, Economic Development, Healthcare or Members Services we bring value to our members. Read the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Annual Report. Graduates of our sought after Fort Bend Leadership Forum program are serving in leadership positions throughout our community. Its sister program, the Leadership Excellence for Nonprofits builds organizational effectiveness within our philanthropic community. High school students have the unique opportunity to experience how volunteerism and philanthropy coexist to serve the community in our Youth in Philanthropy program. Fort Bend Volunteers provides a county-wide calendar of events and a place for our community to serve. The Chamber Young Professionals Division will ensure that the Chamber is delivering value to the future leaders of Fort Bend County. As a Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce member, this is a just a snap shot of what you have access to, all right here in one of America’s most dynamic and fastest growing counties, where success is just around the Bend.

Keri Curtis Schmidt, CCE, IOM President | CEO 281-491-0216 | keri@fortbendcc.org

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FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

2017 Executive Committee

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


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JEFF WILEY President Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council

A Vibrant and Growing Economy Welcome to Fort Bend County! If you don’t know by now, you have just moved to one of the best communities in the nation. In today’s world of uncertainty, fiscal irresponsibility, increased cost of living, and shaky economic outlook, Fort Bend County is an oasis of stability. Our county and cities are fiscally sound, our tax rates are low and stable, our housing market is among the best in the nation, our low crime rates are the envy of most other areas, and our economic climate is the best it has ever been. One Fluor Daniel Drive Sugar Land, TX 77478 www.fortbendcounty.org www.fortbendcounty.com Phone: 281-242-0000 Fax: 866-500-5668

We are blessed to live in a state that understands the foundation of economic growth is an attractive business climate and fiscal responsibility. We are fortunate to live in the greater Houston region, where free enterprise and building successful companies is a way of life. And I am here to tell you that we live in a county that recognizes the best path for our future growth is one based on attracting jobs and capital, keeping our doors open to businesses, and helping them thrive. There is also a strong commitment to attracting and supporting the development of amenity-rich, master planned communities. Fort Bend County has six of the top twenty selling master planned communities in the nation and master planned communities are the foundation that attracts the brightest and best workforce, making Fort Bend the best in the region for high school graduation rates and an educated adult population. Finally, we recognize that the success we have built is open to all. That is why the 2010 U.S. Census found that Fort Bend County is the second fastest-growing county in the state of Texas and the 14th fastest growing county in the nation. Our success today comes from the recognition during the 1980’s oil bust that a community can only thrive with a vibrant and growing economic base. That lesson lives on today in the consistent approach utilized by our community leaders to shape our direction. I pray that the rest of the country can learn from the example provided by our county, region, and state. Until that happens, be thankful you live in Fort Bend County, Greater Houston’s finest address.

Welcome to Fort Bend County. Welcome home!

Jeffrey C. Wiley - President/CEO Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council

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FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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CINDY HAMANN 2017 Chairman Houston Association of REALTORS®

Welcome to Houston! You’ve just landed in one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse cities in America, with a low cost of living, world-renowned Texas Medical Center, incredible cuisine, and countless arts, entertainment, sports and recreation destinations, including Super Bowl LI. As you drive around and familiarize yourself with the Houston metropolitan area, you’re likely to notice license plates from many different states, as the addition of thousands of new jobs over the past few years has drawn people here from all across the U.S.

HAR CENTRAL 3693 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX 77027 713- 629-1900 Fax: 713- 961-4869

BAY AREA 16903 Buccaneer Lane, Suite 110 Houston, TX 77058 713-629-1900 ext. 750 Fax: 281-486-7530

MONTGOMERY COUNTY 19075 I-45 South, Suite 210 Conroe, TX 77385 713-629-1900 ext. 760 Fax: 936-273-0344

FORT BEND

The Houston real estate market has been one of the healthiest in the country, offering a wide selection of communities and properties to suit every lifestyle, whether you plan to rent or buy. The 34,000 members of the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) help make the American Dream come true for individuals and families every day. HAR is the nation’s second largest local REALTOR® organization and our members understand that a home is one of the greatest investments you will ever make. Well over a million consumers begin searching for their dream home every month on HAR’s award-winning website, HAR.com, which extended its reach beyond Houston in 2014 to provide property listings for the entire state of Texas. The site offers dozens of user-friendly tools to explore specific properties and their amenities as well as to find detailed information about neighborhoods, schools, businesses and much more. Those same features are available through the free HAR.com app, making your property search convenient while on the go. HAR and the City of Houston also developed the free Houston Living app, which provides instant access to information about Houston’s elected officials, city services and amenities, local events, neighborhood associations and much more. On behalf of HAR, it’s my great pleasure to welcome you to Houston. We hope you’ll take advantage of everything our incredible community has to offer.

6680 Greatwood Pkwy. Sugar Land, TX 77479 713-629-1900 ext. 700

Sincerely,

Fax: 281-343-9557

LENNAR REV. 06.10.1 PLAN 481N

Cindy Hamann

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FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


MASTER BEDROOM

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Plans and elevations/renderings are artist’s concepts and may contain options or features which are not standard on all models. Features, amenities, floor plans, elevations, square footage and designs vary per plan and community and are subject to changes or substitution without notice. Contact a Lennar or Village Builders new home consultant for detail. Garage sizes may vary from home to home and may not accommodate all vehicles. Stated dimensions and/or square footages are approximate and should not be used as representation of the home’s precise or actual size. Any statement, verbal or written, regarding “under air” or “furnished area” or any other description or modifier for the square footage size of any home is a shorthand description of the manner in which the square footage was estimated and should not be construed to indicate certainty. Models/lifestyle photos do not represent racial or ethnic preference. Copyright 2017 Lennar Corporation. All rights reserved. Lennar, the Lennar logo, Village Builders, the Village Builders logo and Next Gen and the Next Gen logo are registered service marks of Lennar corporation and/or its subsidiaries. 05/2017

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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in this section welcome culture shopping & entertainment transportation

16

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


WELCOME TO

FORT BEND County

Diverse. Dynamic. Growing fast.

Founded in 1837, Fort Bend is approaching

Thousands of newcomers relocate to Fort Bend County each year from all over the country and the world.

a bend in the Brazos River, Fort Bend has

its second century with unbounded optimism and a population rapidly approaching the 800,000 mark, putting it among Texas’ top 10 most populous counties. Named for a modest wood fort built on become a regional and national dynamo that’s grabbing accolades and superlatives for its forward-looking vision and quality of life. Site Selection magazine describes Fort Bend as “the crown jewel of suburban Houston,” but the county’s appeal extends far beyond the Gulf Coast region. Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg calls Fort Bend the most ethnically

A

diverse,

white-collar

“We set out to become a world-class county, and now the word has come to us,” said Jeffrey Wiley, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council. Major companies that have recently announced expansions in Fort Bend include Texas Instruments, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, Nalco Champion and Fluor Enterprises. Fort Bend County is already a total community where residents can live, work and play. The next phase of Fort Bend’s vision is to become a destination for visitors while continually enhancing the quality of life for its residents. With major new arts and recreation projects already in progress, Fort Bend is ready to make its vision a reality within the next few years.

population

diverse county in the United States, with an

surrounded by museums, performing arts

almost equal division between the nation’s

centers, pro sports and a Tier 1 public

major ethnic communities – Asian, African

CULTURE

university. Historic buildings transformed

American, Latino and Anglo. “Fort Bend

into bustling urban centers with shops,

County is the new America,” said Houston

hotels and chef-driven restaurants. New

political strategist Mustafa Tameez in a New

townhomes and brownstones artfully mixed

York Times article on the county’s diversity.

Fort Bend’s cultural renaissance began in 2009, with the opening of the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land. One of the county’s historic treasures, the Central State Farm building, was repurposed from its previous life as a prison dormitory into a gleaming new museum that hosts permanent exhibits, traveling shows and special events.

with traditional homes. Fortune 500 companies housed in gleaming buildings designed by big-name architects. Are we talking about Central Houston, or the core of any other big city? Nope. This is Fort Bend County, located less than 30

Fort Bend is booming, ranking as one of the fastest-growing counties in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Fort Bend consistently ranks among the top 3% of U.S. counties in key demographic measures such as education, household income and employment. Sugar Land, the

miles southwest of Downtown Houston,

county’s largest city, was named one of the

and even closer to major employment hubs

nation’s top small cities for families by Nerd-

including the Uptown/Galleria area, the

Wallet, which analyzed data using several

Texas Medical Center and Greenway Plaza.

metrics for “family friendliness.”

SHOPPING AND ENTERTAINMENT The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, a project of the Children’s Museum of Houston, opened in 2016 in the historic Imperial Sugar Factory, the focal point of

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WELCOME TO FORT BEND COUNTY

the visionary Imperial Sugar Land redevelopment project. Located on the ground floor of the factory’s former container warehouse, the 10,000-square-foot museum will have 6 major exhibits and an outdoor play space. The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation museum also plans to open in the fall of 2017 on the second floor of the same building. The 12,600-square-foot space will include several exhibits detailing different chapters of regional history, along with a rooftop space for outdoor events. Fort Bend is making huge strides in creating

Photo courtesy of Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center

and enhancing parklands for its residents, thanks to a recent bond issue overwhelmingly approved by voters. Projects include the 128-acre Brazos River Park, located off U.S. 59 South, near the University of Houston. The park is adjacent to a 52-acre festival site that will host music festivals, cultural celebrations and other big events. Expected to be open by early 2017, the park will be linked to 10 miles of hike and bike trails.

Fort Bend entered the world of professional sports when the Sugar Land Skeeters minor league baseball team played its first game at Constellation Field in 2012. The Skeeters became the first new independent baseball team in the Houston region since the Houston Buffalos played their final season in 1961. With a capacity up to 9,500, Constellation Field also hosts concerts and other sports events.

Fort Bend is home to Brazos Bend State Park, a 5,000-acre gem located just 40 miles from downtown Houston. This popular park offers biking, fishing, hiking, birding and camping. It’s perhaps best known for stargazing at the George Observatory, a satellite of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Opened in early 2017, the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land is the area’s first stateof-the-art indoor performance venue. At U.S. 59 South and University Boulevard, this $84 million project will position Sugar Land as a destination location for culture and entertainment, with flexible seating arrangements that can accommodate from 3,000 to 6,400 guests. Fort Bend County has its own distinct downtown, Sugar Land Town Square, visible from U.S. 59 South. Envisioned nearly 20 years ago, the 32-acre development has become a focal point of community pride and has provided a “Main Street” where residents can work, live, shop and gather. This pedestrian-friendly town center today offers national brand stores and unique boutiques, buzzworthy restaurants, office buildings, a hotel and a 1.4-acre plaza that hosts year round events such as the popular Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair.

EDUCATION Education is a major reason for the broadbased appeal of Fort Bend County. Its largest school district, the Fort Bend Independent School District, is the seventh

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WEST HOUSTON NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


largest in Texas and is a regional leader in

extension of the popular Westpark Tollway,

high school graduation rates. FBISD rank

west from its current terminus at the Grand

among the best in Houston, according to

Parkway, and a westward expansion of

Niche.com, a review website. Niche gave

FM 1093, greatly improving access to the

Fort Bend ISD an “A” grade for academics

booming Fulshear area west of Katy. The

and an “A+” for student culture and diver-

first phase opens in 2017.

sity in its latest report.

Fort Bend is also benefitting from the

Fort Bend also boasts higher education. The

upgrading of U.S. Highway 59 South, also

University of Houston, a Tier 1 research

known as the Southwest Freeway, into an

university on a par with Texas A&M and the

official interstate highway. To be known as

University of Texas, recently designated its

I-69, the newly designated interstate will

growing Sugar Land campus as an official

become a major trade route for commerce

branch of the main campus. UH plans to

between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

launch or expand 22 programs at its Sugar Land campus, and also to relocate a large segment of its College of Technology there.

TRANSPORTATION Mobility is another priority for Fort Bend,

With the completion of the Grand Parkway from U.S. 59 South in Fort Bend County, all the way north and east to U.S. 59 North, residents now enjoy an express route to The Woodlands, Montgomery County and other destinations.

Healthcare is yet another strength for Fort Bend, where Sugar Land’s Memorial Hermann Hospital recently earned the Texas Award for Performance Excellence by the Quality Texas Foundation. The first Houston area hospital to earn this honor, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land recently completed a $93 million expansion. Houston Methodist Sugar Land and St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital also add to the area’s healthcare excellence. With its winning quality of life, it’s no surprise that Fort Bend County boasts more nationally top-selling master-planned communities than any other area in the Houston region. In fact, Fort Bend has more new-home sales in MPCs than any other place in the country. Despite the fact that its last sugar cane crop was harvested in 1928, Fort Bend County

where $250 million has been earmarked for major transportation projects over the

Fort Bend also has its own airport, Sugar

still gives off a distinctly sweet aroma – a

next 10 years. In all, 35 significant mobility

Land Regional Airport, which continues

fragrance of “Home Sweet Home” that

projects are under way, including five

to grow and modernize as a general avia-

persuades thousands of newcomers to put

major highway projects. These include an

tion and corporate airport.

down roots here each year. 

Chesmar Homes offers a unique choice - new home M • P • G [Modern Design Performance Guaranteed Green Certified]. It means a highly-efficient home that will save you money on energy costs every month in neighborhoods all around Houston. Visit today or Ask Your Realtor! FULSHEAR Cross Creek Ranch $220s-$270s | 832.684.7004 Townhomes $200s-$220s | 832.457.8952

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762

59

Greatwood Lake

Crabb River Rd.

RICHMOND Lakes of Bella Terra Fortunata Collection $240s-$290s | 281.253.3501 Sausalito Collection $350s-$410s | 281.382.8072 Greatwood Lake $300s-$440s | 281.391.0044 Pecan Grove $250s-$320s | 281.357.1133

10

2759

CHESMAR.com HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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in this section cities neighborhoods master planned communities cost of living & map

2 02 0 F OF ROT R BT EBNEDN D C HCAHM A BMEBRE R O FO C F O CM OM M EMRECREC N E ENWE C WO CM O EMRE R G UGI U D IED E– S– USM UM M EMRE/RF /AFLAL L 2L 021071 7


HOUSING &

NEIGHBORHOODS Family. Nature. Home. There’s no other place like it

Creek Ranch, providing a habitat for birds

beautifully landscaped streets, lakes and

and wildlife while also connecting the

parks. FCCA keeps the sense of commu-

entire community. Covering nearly 50 acres,

nity strong through monthly newsletters

Polishing Pond is a beautiful nature habitat

and events for the residents. In addition, the

and water quality basin that’s almost the

association is currently updating the recre-

size of 48 football fields. More amenities

ational amenities. FCCA is located at 4350

include the Adventure Island Water Park,

Austin Parkway, Sugar Land, TX 77479.

miles of hike and bike trails, Arbor Park, and a spacious fitness center. Cross Creek

HARVEST GREEN

Ranch Hill, a 40-foot incline affectionately

One of the newest and most innovative

dubbed as Mt. Fulshear, is a popular place

master-planned communities in Fort Bend

communities,

for residents to walk their dogs, fly kites,

County, Harvest Green is a 1,300-acre

newcomers will also find everything from

enjoy picnics or simply relax. One of its

development with more than 30 acres of

established

to

most unique amenities is the Italian Maid

lakes and waterways, 280 acres of green-

exclusive gated enclaves. The variety is just

Café, offering everything from Lasagna

belts and open space, and 50 acres of parks.

one more aspect of Fort Bend’s dazzling

Bolognese to Chicken Aioli for dine-in or

Harvest Green also offers a network of

diversity.

takeout. Located at the crossroads of FM

walkable trails and a central roundabout

Along

with

large-scale smaller

neighborhoods

1463 and FM 1093, just west of the Grand

designed to enhance connections between

Following are brief introductions to some of

Parkway and Westpark Tollway, Cross

friends and neighbors. Located on the banks

the most significant neighborhoods, commu-

Creek Ranch is served by the award-win-

of historic Oyster Creek, Harvest Bend

nities and municipalities in Fort Bend

ning Katy and Lamar Consolidated school

is part of the highly regarded Fort Bend

County.

districts. www.crosscreekranch.com

Independent School District. As the first “Agri-hood” in the Houston area, Harvest

CROSS CREEK RANCH

FIRST COLONY

Green has an onsite farm, offering resi-

The master plan for this community was

First Colony, one of the early residential

dents the opportunity to join a community

designed with two priorities – to enhance

developments, has grown to more than

supported agriculture program and receive

the lifestyles of its residents, and to be

60 neighborhoods and 400+ commercial

fresh produce each week. Each new home

eco-friendly in the process. The results are

businesses. The First Colony Community

in Harvest Green will also include a ready-

evident in Flewellen Creek Park, a 150-acre

Association (FCCA) set innovative guide-

to-backyard garden, and a lifestyle director

park that winds through the heart of Cross

lines for the community and maintains

will create resident-only culinary classes,

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

21


HOUSING & NEIGHBORHOODS

farm-to-table dinners with guest chefs, wine dinners, gardening classes and much more. Ultimately, Harvest Green will include up to 2,000 homes. www.harvestgreentexas.com

New-home offerings at Imperial Sugar Land include townhomes, patio homes, brownstones and executive homes, at prices from the high $400,000s to $800,000+. www. imperialsugarland.com

KINGDOM HEIGHTS

JORDAN RANCH

572-acre master planned community with

One of the newest communities from

12 lakes and 39 parks being developed on

Johnson Development, Jordan Ranch is

150 acres, water and green space will sepa-

located in Fort Bend County – one mile

rate this community from any other in Fort

from I-10 West and with convenient access

Bend County. The community includes a

to the Grand Parkway, which now extends

large recreation center with a resort style

all the way from U.S. 59 South to U.S. 59

pool and fitness center. Excellent Lamar

North. Planned for 2,800 homes, this 1,350-

ISD schools; Foster High School an8888d

acre community is also planned to include

Briscoe Junior High are right down the road.

IMPERIAL SUGAR LAND Imperial Sugar Land is a mixed-use redevelopment of the famous Imperial Sugar Company site, which processed sugar there for more than 160 years and was the oldest continuously operated business in Texas. Located just 18 miles southwest of Houston, Imperial Sugar Land is a 651-acre community that consists of the 165-acre Imperial tract and the 525-acre Texas General Land Office tract. The iconic Char House and other structures in the factory are being developed into what will be a thriving complex of museums, shops and restaurants. Imperial Sugar Land is also a community of tree-lined streets, lakes, parks and trails. The popular Alamo Drafthouse dine-in movie theater announced plans to open a nine-screen theater in the Imperial Market retail center in 2017. The development will also include an A luxury hotel on site, office space and luxury apartments.

22

a swimming pool, pocket parks, and hike and bike trails. Near the Energy Corridor, Jordan Ranch is part of the highly regarded Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, with new junior high and high schools opened in 2016, and a new elemen-

Kingdom Heights was carefully and uniquely designed to provide “lakefront” and “park side” living to homeowners at an affordable price in Rosenberg. Kingdom Heights is a

Kingdom Heights is just minutes from Sugar Land Towne Centre, the Stafford Civic Center, Fort Bend Theatre and an array of local shopping, dining, entertainment and recreation opportunities. New-home offer-

tary school opening in 2017. New homes

ings in Kingdom Heights start in the mid

are offered by six leading homebuilders,

$200’s from three quality builders. Section 4

including

Highland,

of the community will be opening Fall 2017.

Newmark, Perry, Plantation and Westin.

Kingdom Heights development plan will

jordanranchtexas.com

eventually have 1,430 home sites.

David

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

Weekley,

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


Photo courtesy of Kingdom Heights

QUAIL VALLEY FUND

homes, traditional single-family homes and

Nestled among mature trees and quiet

luxurious custom homes. Resort-quality

streets, Quail Valley offers the best of both

amenities include the signature 17-acre

worlds: proximity to downtown Houston

Club at Riverstone, 200 acres of lakes, and

and the Texas Medical Center, along with

another 500 acres dedicated to open spaces

expansive green spaces where residents

and recreation. Riverstone has three pool

can enjoy golf, tennis, and fitness activities

complexes, including the newest pool at

within the subdivision. Built in the early

The Club, offering twisting water slides,

1970’s as Fort Bend County’s first master

spray elements, a zero-entry lagoon and

planned community, Quail Valley Fund

a splash pad. Riverstone is located in the

is proud of its continuing commitment

heart of Fort Bend County, with addresses

to maintaining the quality of life that resi-

in Sugar Land and Missouri City. Schools

dents have come to expect and enjoy. The

are part of the highly regarded Fort Bend

Quail Valley Fund works closely with local

ISD, and Riverstone also offers convenient

government officials to ensure the commu-

nearby shopping at First Colony Mall,

nity’s continued positive growth and public

Sugar Land Town Square and many more.

safety. Some results of this partnership are

www.riverstone.com

evident in the many awards and recognitions that have been bestowed on Missouri City,

SIENNA PLANTATION

including being listed as one of the 50 safest

Sienna Plantation is a comprehensive 10,000-

cities in the U.S. by Congressional Quarterly,

acre master-planned community located

and being named among the “Best Places

between two acclaimed cities – Missouri

to Live in America” by Money magazine.

City and Sugar Land. One of the top-selling

Look at available homes and view the Top

communities in Fort Bend County, Sienna

10 reasons to live in Quail Valley at their

Plantation offers new homes by more than

website, www.quailvalleyfund.org

12 leading builders, with styles including patio homes, single-family homes and

RIVERSTONE

luxury custom homes. The lifestyle includes

One of the top-selling communities in

Club Sienna, a 12-acre recreation complex

Houston, in Texas and the nation, River-

that’s home to the largest water adventure

stone is a 3,700-acre community planned

park in the South, with 200 feet of twisting

for 6,000 homes and approximately 18,000

slides, three diving boards, a junior Olympic

residents

homes

pool and a zero-entry lagoon. Sienna Planta-

are priced from the $300,000s to over $1

tion also offers 34 parks, miles of trails, and

million and include townhomes, patio

the 18-hole Sienna Plantation Golf Club.

at

completion.

New

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

23


HOUSING & NEIGHBORHOODS

community is named for The Veranda Hotel, a Richmond boarding house opened in 1837 by Jane Long, considered to be the “Mother of Texas.” True to its name, Veranda will encourage its leading homebuilders to incorporate inviting verandas and other timeless details into new homes. “We want this community to reflect the rich heritage of Richmond, both visually and figuratively,” Trey Reichert, Veranda’s general manager. Planned for up to 2,500 homes, Veranda will be Johnson Development’s seventh Fort Bend community. Photo courtesy of The City of Meadows Place

Amenities are planned to include miles of trails, streams and lakes. Schools are part

Camp Sienna is a 160-acre sports park along

priced from the high $200,000s to over $1

of the highly regarded Lamar Consolidated

the Brazos River Corridor, with fields for

million. www.siennaplantation.com

Independent School District. For more information, visit www.verandatexas.com.

baseball, soccer, volleyball and basketball, plus 1.5 miles of trails. An active commu-

VERANDA

nity, Sienna Plantation has more than 40

With ground broken in late 2016, home

annual events and more than 200 fitness

construction is expected to begin in early

classes every month. Schools are part of

2017 at Veranda, the newest Houston area

the highly rated Fort Bend ISD. Traditional

community from Johnson Development

Sugar Land, Stafford and Houston. U. S.

single-family

low-maintenance

Corp. Located near U.S. 59 South and

Highway 59 is the main artery and connects

patio homes and luxury custom homes are

Williams Way Boulevard, this 590-acre

with Dairy Ashford, Kirkwood, Airport

24

homes,

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

THE CITY OF MEADOWS PLACE Only one square mile in size, the City of Meadows Place is perfectly situated between


Boulevard and other major thoroughfares,

master-planned

including

The Katy Freeway (I-10 West), the Grand

making it easy to reach The Galleria, Down-

Johnson Development’s Cross Creek Ranch.

Parkway and the Westpark Tollway link

town Houston, the Texas Medical Center

Approximately 9,000 people call Fulshear

Katy to the nearby Energy Corridor and

and other destinations. Incorporated in

home, and the community continues to

all of Houston. From historic homes and

1983, Meadows Place has its own dedicated

grow at a rapid pace. Fulshear is served

shops in Old Town Katy, to new homes

police department, with no municipal utility

by both Lamar CISD and Katy ISD, and

and upscale restaurants in some of the

district taxes or homeowners association

Lamar CISD’s newest high school, Fulshear

nation’s largest and most popular master-

fees. Zoning ordinances, deed restrictions

High School opened for the 2016-2017

planned communities, Katy has it all. The

and commercial property regulations are

school year. With less than 1,000 residents,

actual City of Katy has a population of

strictly enforced, maintaining the residential

Simonton is located 14 miles from Rich-

about 15,000, but the overall Katy area is

quality of the neighborhoods. In Fort Bend

mond and maintains a country atmosphere

home to approximately 180,000 people and

ISD, the city has one of the youngest popu-

that harkens back to its founding days in

growing fast. Katy receives a steady stream

lations in Fort Bend County, a rising per

the 1850s. Orchard has less than 500 resi-

of accolades from national publications

capita income level, and an active social life.

dents. Like Simonton, it is also a farm and

and groups for its high quality of life, its

www.cityofmeadowsplace.org

ranch community that was settled in the

highly regarded schools and its educated

late 1800s. The Lamar Consolidated Inde-

and affluent population. Some of the biggest

FULSHEAR, SIMONTON, AND ORCHARD

pendent School District serves Fulshear

retail and entertainment complexes in the

and Simonton, while the Brazos Indepen-

Houston region are located in the Katy

Fulshear, Simonton and Orchard are lovely

dent School District operates an elementary

area, including Katy Mills Mall, home to

rural towns in the northwest part of Fort

school in Orchard.

more than 200 premium outlet stores, and

communities,

Bend County, with a network of farm-to-

LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch, offering dozens

market roads connecting them to I-10 West

KATY

of shops, restaurants, salons and cafes in a

and nearby communities including Katy.

One of the fastest-growing and most desir-

pedestrian friendly Main Street atmosphere.

Fulshear was incorporated in 1977 and

able suburbs in the Houston area, Katy is

The University of Houston and Houston

remains a largely rural area, though it is now

located where Fort Bend County, Harris

Community College both have campuses in

home to some of the region’s fastest-growing

County

Katy. www.cityofkaty.com

and

Waller

County

converge.

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

25


HOUSING & NEIGHBORHOODS

regarded Fort Bend Independent School District. www.missouricitytx.gov

NEEDVILLE, FAIRCHILD, BEASLEY, KENDLETON, AND THOMPSONS The rural towns of Needville, Fairchild, Beasley, Kendleton and Thompsons are located in the southern portion of Fort Bend County. Many of the homes in and around these small towns are situated on acreage

Photo courtesy of Riverstone

or outside of traditional neighborhoods. A

MISSOURI CITY

Missouri City has earned kudos from CNN/

Home to large and popular master-planned

Money Magazine and USA Today as one of

communities

and

“America’s best places to live” and as one of

Sienna Plantation, Missouri City has a rich

“Texas safest cities.” Quail Valley was the

history that dates back to 1853, when Texas

first master-planned community in Missouri

first railroad began operating and two real

City and also one of the first in the Houston

estate investors purchased four square miles

region, with its well-manicured appearance

of land directly on its route. They adver-

and quality of life maintained today by the

tised their new development as a “land of

Quail Valley Fund. Missouri City is linked

genial sunshine and eternal summer” in

to Downtown Houston, the Texas Medical

newspapers in St. Louis, hoping that its

Center and other destinations by U.S. 59

name of Missouri City would attract new

South and a growing network of efficient

residents. Fast-forward to recent times, and

toll roads. Schools are part of the highly

including

Riverstone

RiCHMOND

A Charming Past. A Soaring Future. Established in 1837, Richmond is the county seat of Fort Bend County and where it all began… • Have an emerging historic district anchored by the Fort Bend Museum and many historic facilities.

• Have growing campuses of both the TSTC (Texas State Technical College) and WCJC (Wharton County Junior College).

• Home to the world-renowned George Ranch Historical Park, emerging Long Acres Ranch nature reserve and 5 miles of Brazos river frontage.

• Home to Del Webb Sweetgrass, a premier high-quality 55+ active adult community.

• Home to two Johnson Development master planned communities.

CHARMING

H I S TO R I C

402 Morton St. • Richmond, TX 77469

26

• Home to the Oak Bend Medical Center with a number of health-care facilities in the city and county.

EMERGING

(281) 342-5456 • www.richmondtx.gov

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

network of creeks and several small lakes are scattered through this area, creating recreational opportunities for those who enjoy water sports.

RICHMOND Richmond was founded in 1837 along a bend in the Brazos River by members of the “Old Three Hundred,” the first settlers to receive land grants in Stephen F. Austin’s original colony. The seat of Fort Bend County, Richmond is infused with history, from the George Park Historical Ranch to a thriving downtown filled with historic buildings and significant landmarks. Today, more than 14,000 citizens reside in Richmond, enjoying a high quality of life less than an hour from downtown Houston and other major destinations via the Westpark Tollway, Grand Parkway, U.S. 59 South and other major thoroughfares. Richmond is home to some of the most successful and established master-planned communities in the Houston region, including Pecan Grove Plantation, opened in 1977. Newer and still-active communities include Long Meadow Farms and Sweetgrass – the latter designed for residents ages 55 and up. Richmond also has four public parks for community activities, including popular George Park. The city is served by the highly regarded Fort Bend and Lamar school districts. The area also offers outstanding parochial and private schools, with higher education offered by Wharton County Junior College and Texas State Technical College. www.richmondtx.gov


ROSENBERG Located just 30 minutes from downtown Houston, Rosenberg was founded in 1883 when the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway company laid out a town site named after its president, Henry Rosenberg. Rosenberg’s historic downtown is the first and only state-designated Cultural District in Fort Bend County, and home to a burgeoning cultural arts scene. A collaboration of business owners, artists, and community leaders have converged to help make Main Street Rosenberg a center of activities for Fort Bend County and beyond. Rosenberg has experienced phenomenal growth over the last decade, thanks to its business-friendly atmosphere, strategic location, quality of life and convenient access to the ports of Freeport and Houston.

space and six city parks. Stafford also has an active civic life with regular Town Hall meetings, a spring clean-up day and holiday events. www.cityofstafford.com

program, and their regional airport. One of the earliest large-scale developments in Sugar Land and the Houston region was First Colony, a 10,000-acre community that set new high standards for quality devel-

SUGAR LAND

opment. Still immaculately maintained,

Founded as a sugar plantation in the mid

First Colony has been joined by newer

1800s and incorporated in 1959, Sugar Land

communities including Telfair and Imperial

is located in Fort Bend County, 20 miles

Sugar Land. The 32-acre Sugar Land Town

southwest of downtown Houston. Sugar Land is a full-service municipality providing police and fire protection, a regional airport, parks and recreation, public works and other services. More than 70 percent of Sugar Land’s land is devoted to residential use – hardly a surprise since Sugar Land is home to some of the nation’s biggest and most successful master-planned communi-

Square development created a new downtown and sense of place for Sugar Land, and has become an extremely popular place for residents to shop, dine and enjoy events and attractions. Fort Bend ISD and Lamar Consolidated ISD have been a major draw for families with children, and now the University of Houston at Sugar Land is a

ties. Sugar Land receives a steady stream of

full branch of the Tier 1 flagship campus.

accolades for its quality of life and appeal as

Sugar Land continually improves its quality

a hometown, regularly landing on national

of life with ongoing development of new

approximately

reports such as CNN/Money’s “Best Places

attractions including Constellation Field,

108 square miles, over 37 of which are

to Live” list. Sugar Land has also accumu-

home of the Sugar Land Skeeters minor

within its corporate limits. Approximately

lated numerous prestigious state and local

league baseball team, and new parks and

63% of this land is undeveloped, meaning

awards for clean air, a tree and forestry

cultural venues. www.sugarlandtx.gov 

Rosenberg

encompasses

the city has much more room to grow. Over the last several years, the city has

Family Fun

worked to raise the bar for the quality of development within its limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction, including higher lot size standards and open space requirements. www.CityofRosenberg.com

STAFFORD Situated in Fort Bend County along U.S. Highway 59 South and U.S. Highway 90-A, Stafford has been described as “Shangri-La for property owners” by the Wall Street Journal because it has no property taxes for homeowners. A microcosm of Fort Bend’s overall diversity, Stafford boasts a comfortable racial and cultural diversity. It is the only city in Texas to operate its own school district, the Stafford Municipal School District, and only children living in the city are zoned to the district’s schools. For adult education and other certifications and degrees, the Houston Community College Applied Technology Center and the Houston Community College Stafford Campus are excellent choices. Residents enjoy 35 acres of green

Trails Nature

Learning

Visit Rosenberg Parks

www.rosenbergtx.gov

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

27


HOUSING & NEIGHBORHOODS

IN ST

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Simonton

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Fulshear

1463

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3345

2759

2218

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Pleak 36

Stafford UP

SUGAR LAND

New Territory

69

540

Kendleton

Meadows Place 69

1876

RICHMOND

529

Fort Bend County FT. BEND PARKWAY

2919

6

Pecan Grove

10

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1464

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359

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Mission Bend

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Population 741,237 Change fm 2010 26.8 Area (sq.mi.) 885.3 Land area(sq.mi.) 861.5 Altitude (ft.) 46–158

Photo courtesy of George Ranch

ORI

A

On Gulf Coastal Plain;

Damon

Lake; level to rolling;

Creek 0

Fort Bend County © Texas Almanac Rainfall (in.) 50.35 Jan. mean. min. 44.1 July mean max. 94.9 Civilian labor 355,461 Unemployed 5.1

Photo courtesy of FB Childen’s Discovery Center

8 MILES

rich alluvial soils.

Wages $2,146,774,075 Per Capita Inc. $56,086 Prop. Value $71,605,229,555 Retail Sales $8,234,641,375

Photo courtesy of Smart Financial Cenre

MEADOWS PLACE Wall of Heroes • Mark McGrath Municipal Park • Tennis Courts & Playgrounds • Recreation Lake MISSOURI CITY Quail Valley Golf Course • Sienna Stables • Fort Bend County Library RICHMOND

George Ranch Historical Park • Fort Bend Museum • Texian Brewing Co.

ROSENBERG Rosenberg Railroad Museum • Fort Bend County Fair • CAST Theatrical Company • Brazos Town Centre STAFFORD

Main Event • Shri Swaminarayan Mandir • Stafford Centre of Performing Arts

Constellation Field • Sugar Land Art Center and Gallery • Cullinan Park • Smart Financial Center SUGAR LAND

28

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

Courtesy of the Texas Almanac, published by the Texas State Historical Association, Austin, Texas.

L

UP

WA

Katy UP

90

R LE


THE HOME OF

MORE MONEY FOR MOMENTS THAT MATTER. Our homes have more than just a low HERS score. Our ENERGY STAR®–certified building practices have been known to lower heating and cooling costs up to half on average, which means you can afford to do more living. And just wait until we tell you about the low-E windows, allergy-reducing air filtration, Tyvek® house wrap and sound-blocking wall insulation that we build into every home. Visit us today. Whether you want to build it from the ground up or need the keys ASAP, your dream home is a Meritage home.

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Your dream home is waiting. Call: 8 4 4 - 3 1 7 - 0 3 3 2

All promotional, marketing, and advertising estimates and claims related to energy savings or performance are created exclusively by third party suppliers, rating services, utility companies, and/or certified auditors, based on U.S. Department of Energy methodology and average energy use and scores. Actual energy savings and performance of any home or any of its features may vary widely, and may be more or less than indicated savings and performance, depending on the personal energy consumption choices of the occupants and changes in energy provider rates and programs. Pictures and other promotional materials are representative and may depict or contain floor plans, square footages, elevations, options, upgrades, extra design features, decorations, floor coverings, decorative light fixtures, custom paint and wall coverings, window treatments (such as shutters, drapes, etc.), landscaping, pool, spa, sound and alarm systems, furnishings, appliances, and other designer/decorator features and amenities that are not included as part of the home and/or may not be available in all communities. Home and community information is subject to change, and homes to prior sale, at any time without notice or obligation. Not an offer or solicitation to sell real property. Offers to sell real property may only be made and accepted at the sales center for individual Meritage Homes communities. See sales associate for details. Meritage Homes® is a registered trademark of Meritage Homes Corporation. ©2016 Meritage Homes Corporation. All rights reserved.

COST OF LIVING HOU_0816109_Q4_2016_FtBendNewcomer_NovAd_7.5x4.875.indd 1

11/30/2016 8:12:30 PM

When it comes to overall cost of living, Houston is still an affordable place to live and work. Here’s how the Houston area ranked in a comparison to other major U.S. cities (based on the QTR 1 2017 annual average) City

Composite 100%

Grocery 13.61%

Atlanta

97.7

Austin

97.7

Boston

86.8

Utilities 1 0.03%

Transportation 9.59%

Healthcare Misc. 4.00% 35.15%

91.1

89.2

101.4

99.8

99.9 96.6

99.2 99.8

123

109.3

152.5

89.1 129.3

102.6 115.5

Cleveland

101.4

110.8

89.7

98.7 103.3

102 107.1

Dallas / Fort Worth

101.2

90.6

Denver

111.8

99.7

Houston

133

111.5

100.4

204.4

102.4

146.6

107.8

107.1

Chicago

148.6

104.7

Housing 27.59%

102.3

101.2

95.1 108.4

134.1

103.4

133.1

103.7

104.7 106.3

97

84.8

104.8

99.3

92.9

90.6

96.7

New York City (Manhattan)

230.8

129

479.9

119.2

130.6

114.6

147.1

Philadelphia

116.2

115.3

129

121.9 112.2

Phoenix

94.7

97.5

97.8

98.1 90.7

Charlotte

94.8

94.2

86.5

90.7

97

San Francisco

188.5

121.9

351.8

114.4

130.3

Seattle

145.1

128.5

181.7

120.7 128.4

Tucson

94.5

102.4

83.3

88.5

96.8

105.4 107.3 98.9 90.9 102.9 101.1 123.7

130.7

125.7 136.5 101.7 100.5

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

29


in this section

Photo courtesy of Cross Creek Ranch

temporary lodging rent or buy choosing a realtor mortgage options

3 03 0 F OF ROT R BT EBNEDN D C HCAHM A BMEBRE R O FO C F O CM OM M EMRECREC N E ENWE C WO CM O EMRE R G UGI U D IED E– S– USM UM M EMRE/RF /AFLAL L 2L 021071 7


HOME FRONT In Fort Bend, where almost every housing budget can be accommodated. Single-family home buyers can choose eco-friendly designs, new homes in master-planned neighborhoods, luxury residences in gated communities or resale homes in established districts.

In Fort Bend County, There’s A Home For You.

leasing as well, and there are a range of

Consider the location and style of accom-

condominiums, townhouses and lofts avail-

modation that would best suit you during

able for lease or sale. Begin your search for

temporary housing. Is proximity to work the

the right home at the Real Estate section of

top consideration during this hectic period?

www.houstonnewcomerguides.com

Or it might be most important to stay near

or

by

visiting www.har.com.

an airport if you’ll be doing a lot of traveling during the transition. Would you be

TEMPORARY LODGING

most comfortable in a hotel or apartment,

Sometimes, newcomers need temporary

or would you prefer a single-family home or

The rapid growth of Fort Bend County

housing while they continue their home

townhome?

means newcomers can find everything they

search, or while they wait for their new

need for a smooth move – from abundant

home to be built or renovated. Like most

temporary and permanent housing choices,

big cities, Houston has many options for

to skilled realtors and custom builders who

temporary housing. This is especially true

are eager to help.

for Fort Bend County, which is highly

Good

sources

for

locating

temporary

housing include your company’s human resources department, your Realtor and/or builder, and the Internet.

experienced at welcoming newcomers Houston is a city of options; you can live

Bottom line: Fort Bend County newcomers

as one of the fastest-growing counties in

close to your work, surrounded by nature, in

will find plenty of temporary housing

Texas and the nation.

options throughout the area – from extend-

a vibrant community, near exciting amenities,

ed-stay hotels and corporate lodging, to

or any combination of these. In addition to

Many multifamily complexes have corpo-

choice, you’ll find bargains and with today’s

rate programs with fully furnished units

low interest rates, now might be a good time

and short-term leases available. Hotels

to buy a house in Fort Bend, where almost

are another option, including the growing

every housing budget can be accommo-

number of extended-stay hotels in the area.

dated. Single-family home buyers can choose

When staying in a hotel for 30 days or

eco-friendly designs, new homes in master-

longer, Texas law allows for an exemption of

planned neighborhoods, luxury residences in

the 6% state hotel tax; see the hotel manage-

According to Freddie Mac, renting can

gated communities or resale homes in estab-

ment for information on how to apply for

make more sense if you have a career or life-

lished districts. You may want to consider

this exemption.

style that requires you to move frequently;

single-family homes and condos for rent.

RENT OR BUY? There can be advantages to both renting and buying a new home, depending on one’s immediate priorities and long-term goals.

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

31


HOME FRONT

Photo courtesy of Cross Creek Ranch

if you prefer a set monthly budget and

your living space or retiring soon; and if you

costs; and if you are financially able to take

cannot afford unforeseen home-mainte-

are experiencing a financial setback and/or

on home maintenance and improvements.

nance expenses and if you don’t have the

rebuilding your credit.

It may also be better to buy if you want to

time or desire for home maintenance. Freddie Mac says buying may be best if you

build equity and qualify for homeowner tax

More reasons to rent: if you enjoy having

have reliable income, good credit and docu-

breaks and credits; if you have an adequate

amenities such as a pool, gym, concierge

mentation for your assets; if you can afford

cash reserve to withstand loss of employ-

and tennis courts; if you plan on downsizing

at least a 5% down payment and closing

ment or another financial setback; and if you plan on staying in your home at least four years.

NEW HOME VS. EXISTING HOME Advantages of buying a new home include “new” everything – from carpets to appliances. Energy efficiency is another big consideration. New homes can include the latest high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, along with advanced insulation and window products that weren’t avail-

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able 10 or 20 years ago. A new home will require less maintenance in the short term, and new homes are wired and capable of accommodating the latest technologies. There are also advantages to buying an existing home, especially in Fort Bend County, home to well-tended neighborhoods that have been established for decades, along with homes that are just a few years old. According to Realtor.com, other advantages may include price, established landscaping, “extra” features such as

32

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


window coverings that may not be included

extremely knowledgeable and experienced

everything from Katy to Sugar Land plus

in new homes, and traditional floor plans.

in building custom homes in the region.

a growing number of fast-growing rural

Used homes may also have a track record

The benefits of building a custom home

because a good Realtor can help you navi-

of appreciation over the years, although

are getting exactly what you want – from

gate a fast-changing market landscape. A

Realtor.com cautions that past performance

the location of the lot, to the design of the

knowledgeable Realtor can lead you to

does not guarantee future market appeal.

exterior style and interior floor plan. Many

new opportunities in communities that

buyers have extended multigenerational

CUSTOM HOME BUILDING

are brand-new or not quite on the market,

families or adult children living at home,

and can also help you find final chances in

One of the great things about Fort Bend is

and garage apartments and ground floor

communities that are fast building out.

the diversity of communities and home-

“casitas” (small houses) are popular options

sites to choose from for building the new

for accommodating these family members.

communities – can make a big difference,

To find the right Realtor, Bankrate.com recommends talking with recent clients;

custom home of your dreams. The choices are almost endless. You can find a water-

Inside, too, a custom home allows you to

checking with the state real estate board to

front or golf course homesite in a large

customize every aspect of every room – from

confirm the Realtor’s licensing and check

master-planned

small

countertops and flooring, to paint colors and

for disciplinary action and complaints; and

enclave neighborhood. Many custom home

lighting and plumbing fixtures. And if you

researching how long the Realtor has been

communities have gated entrances and

want to create a special place to incorporate

in business. Look at their current listings to

private streets, and some are associated with

an architectural element that’s a family trea-

see if they have enough to indicate a healthy

country clubs. There are also communities

sure or recent discovery, that’s very easy to

business, but not so many that you’d just be

where you can find oversized and acreage

do when custom building.

a number. Bankrate.com also recommends

community

or

looking at a Realtor’s credentials – those

homesites.

CHOOSING A REALTOR

initials after their name that indicate addi-

Also in Fort Bend, you’ll find a wide selec-

Choosing the right Realtor in a vast area

tional training. ABR, for example, stands for

tion of homebuilders and Realtors who are

such as Fort Bend County – which covers

Accredited Buyer’s Representative. 

BUYING OR SELLING We will get you where you want to be,

HOME.

With a local Fort Bend County office to serve you, we will put our expertise and market knowledge to work on your next real estate transaction.

281.980.5050 | www.GaryGreene.com ©2017 Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. A Realogy Company. All Rights Reserved. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated. Better Homes and Gardens, the Better Homes and Garden Real Estate logo are registered service marks owned by Meredith Corporation and licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC.

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

33


HOME FRONT

MANAGEABLE.

AFFORDABLE. LIFESTYLE.

People are buying houses in Houston; in

“In all, Houston’s economic diversity and

townhomes to estate homes, both newly

fact, the Houston Association of Realtors

health will continue to protect and preserve

built and existing.

recently reported that home sales were up by

home values over the long haul, and it will

11.5% from the same time last year. And the

continue to be a great place to live, work

In addition, the lending climate may be

median home price increased to $235,000

and raise a family,” says Houston real estate

easier for first-time buyers. Fannie Mae and

expert and blogger Toni Nelson.

Freddie Mac, the two federally chartered

because of a strong showing of luxury home

mortgage corporations, recently relaxed

sales. However, Houston still ranks as one

Fort Bend County offers a great deal of

lending guidelines that were tightened

of the most affordable big cities in the U.S.

value within the greater Houston region.

after the national housing in 2008. Now,

for homeownership, and is a place where

Highly regarded schools, vast parks

some buyers can get a mortgage with only

homes tend to retain their value because of

and a thriving economy add further

a 3 percent down payment and a minimum

new buyers entering the market.

value to home choices that range from

FICO credit score of 620. Homebuyer

34

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


assistance programs are also offered by

includes salary and other declared revenue

rate mortgage is the most common way to

various government agencies. Some groups,

such as dividends and royalties. In the case

finance a home; 15-year fixed rate mort-

including teachers, police officers and

of townhomes, condos and other types of

gages are another option.

firefighters, may also qualify for special

housing where a monthly maintenance fee is

mortgage has become more popular in some

assistance programs.

charged, that too must be considered in the

parts of the country where home prices are

overall expenses.

rising fast, but many experts agree that the

The 40-year

HOW MUCH CAN YOU AFFORD?

Developed by the Real Estate Center at

Determining an affordable purchase price

Texas A&M University, the Texas Housing

for a home is the essential first step to home

Affordability Index (THAI) refers to the

ownership. Experts recommend spending

ability of

a median-income family to

For all fixed-rate loans, the amount of the

about 28 percent of the household budget on

purchase a median-priced house in an

housing, and a recent Rice University study

mortgage, payment, the interest rate and

area, reflecting the capacity of that family

found that Houston area residents typically

the term of the loan are fixed and fully

to qualify for a mortgage, using standard

spend about 30 percent of their incomes on

self-amortizing, which means at the end of

financing terms. A THAI of 1.00 indicates

housing, so the city overall is right in line

the term, the principal has been repaid.

that the median household income is just

with that advice, albeit slightly on the high

enough to qualify for a loan to purchase the

The purchase price less the down payment

side.

median-priced home; a ratio of less than

is the principal of the mortgage. Dividing

1.0 suggests that the family cannot afford

the principal by the number of payments in

the house. Houston’s THAI for the fourth

a 30- year or 15- year mortgage and adding

quarter of 2016 was 1.92.

the interest determines the monthly house

Experts also suggest that household expenses not exceed 43 percent of personal income before taxes. The mortgage payment, insurance, credit card balances, utilities, food and health care as well as any payments on outstanding loans and leases are expenses, while household income

tradeoff of a slightly lower monthly payment for much more interest paid over the life of the loan does not make economic sense.

payment. Escrow money for taxes and insur-

MORTGAGE OPTIONS

ance is added to the payments according to

Several different types of mortgages are

the terms of the lender, and the amounts are

common today. A standard 30-year fixed

recalculated annually.

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HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

35


HOME FRONT

CLOSING COSTS

outstanding debt, length of credit history,

(AMI) is a loan in which at least one of the

Typically, between 2 to 5 percent of the

new credit and the sources of credit in use.

four components varies. The most common

purchase price of a home, closing costs

In addition to informing lenders of cred-

AMI is the Adjustable Rate Mortgage with

include related fees such as costs for running

it-worthiness, your credit score can also

a variable interest rate. Customarily, the

credit reports, loan origination, appraisal,

determine the interest rate you pay. The

ARM interest rate begins low and periodi-

survey, title insurance, and discount points

better the credit score, the lower the interest

cally adjusts either up or down within limits

paid to lower the interest rate. Closing costs

rate. More information on credit scoring is at

based on a pre-specified index. The initial

are usually paid by the buyer at the time of

www.myfico.com.

The

Alternative

Mortgage

Instrument

low rate, and therefore, the lower monthly payment, enables the buyer to meet the income and debt-ratio requirement.

DOWN PAYMENT The down payment is the cash committed toward the purchase of a home. For most

closing.

TransUnion® 1-877-322-8228 or www.transunion.com

CREDIT REPORT Lenders will require a credit report from the credit bureau that has collected your credit history for the past 7 to 10 years. Credit reports document your financial history and reflect the amount of credit you have,

loans, a down payment of 20 percent of the

the timeliness with which you pay your

purchase price is required to avoid paying

bills, if you have declared bankruptcy and

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), although

other factors that give the lender a financial

it is possible to take out a secondary loan to

snapshot.

Interest rates fluctuate frequently and vary from lender to lender. Interest on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is likely to be different

Experian® 1-888-397-3742 or www. Experian.com

PRE-APPROVAL VS. PRE-QUALIFICATION Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is beneficial because it gives sellers a level of assurance that the prospective buyer can

avoid PMI.

INTEREST RATES

EquiFax® 1-800-685-1111 or www.equifax.com

Traditional mortgage lenders require an

obtain a mortgage – a big plus in a compet-

established credit history, but some lenders

itive market. Pre-approval requires the

may offer more flexible mortgage programs

completion of a loan application and some-

for people with limited or no established

times a fee. Pre-qualification, on the other

credit record.

hand, is just an estimate of a mortgage that a prospective buyer might qualify for.

from that of a 15-year, and adjustable rate

Credit reports also carry your credit score, a

mortgages reset according to the terms of

numeric ranking between 300 and 850 that

TAX DEDUCTIONS

the lender. Interest rates are expected to

many lenders use.

It is calculated using

Some home purchase costs are deductible

continue to remain near historic lows.

five factors: payment history, amount of

if you itemize deductions. These costs may

36

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


include mortgage interest, real estate taxes

accepted by the seller. The Texas Board

and PMI payments. For more information,

of Insurance (www.tdi.state.tx.gov) is a

visit www.irs.gov or ask your tax preparer

valuable source of information.

or attorney. In some fast-transitioning West Houston

BANKS

neighborhoods, the value of the lot may

Banks offer a full range of services that

represent a much larger-than-average share

usually include mortgages at competi-

of overall property value, and it may be a

tive rates.

In addition to checking and

good idea to talk with several insurance

savings accounts, their mortgage lending

companies – especially those who specialize

is another option for homebuyers. Be sure

in the area – to make sure you are getting

to ask about fees associated with the bank’s services,

different

accounts,

minimum

ample coverage and the best rate.

balance requirements, ATM charges, avail-

Many companies offer discounts when

ability of funds policy, direct deposit and

home insurance is combined with auto

other options.

coverage, life insurance, health insurance

Contact the Texas Department of Banking toll free 877-276-5554 or visit www.dob.

and other types of insurance that may be required. In the Houston and surrounding

texas.gov.

areas, flood insurance is required or

CREDIT UNIONS

in some neighborhoods. Check with your

Credit unions are a good source for mort-

builder, realtor or lender to determine the

gage loans because they may offer lower

status of your property.

recommended by mortgage companies

or competitive rates. Historically, credit unions have been employer-based finan-

FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS

cial institutions but today it is common

A variety of programs are designed to help

for credit unions to be community-based,

first-time buyers, including FHA loans with

meaning that anyone can use a credit

a 3 percent down payment as previously

union as their primary financial insti-

discussed.

tution. Members are insured for up to $250,000 per account by the National

The City of Houston, Harris County and

Credit Union Administration.

other governmental entities also offer home-

More information about credit unions is available from the Texas Credit Union League (www.tcul.org) and the Credit

Union

National

Association

(www.cuna.org).

HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE Homeowner’s insurance is required by mortgage lenders, and is essential even if a home is paid for. Buyers are typically asked to pay one year of insurance at closing, with

buyer assistance programs that can provide down

payment

assistance

and

special

financing for buyers who meet certain household income and purchase price criteria. Helpful websites include www.hous-

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Program

(harriscountytx.gov/csd).

premiums included in monthly mortgage

Information is also available from the Texas

payments.

Department of Housing & Community Affairs (www.tdhca.state.tx.us ).

Selecting an insurance company and determining coverage is the responsibility

Realtors, mortgage lenders and builders

of the buyer, and should begin as soon

are also good sources of information about

as the contract to purchase a house is

available homebuyer assistance programs. 

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HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

37


in this section moving companies forwarding mail utilities public transportation international relocation

3 83 8 F OF ROT R BT EBNEDN D C HCAHM A BMEBRE R O FO C F O CM OM M EMRECREC N E ENWE C WO CM O EMRE R G UGI U D IED E– S– USM UM M EMRE/RF /AFLAL L 2L 021071 7


RELOCATION INFORMATION

Organize. Prepare. Relax. Making a stress-free move to your new home

At the other extreme, the global economy of

estimate form, and the price quoted is the

Houston – and Fort Bend County in partic-

binding price. Every charge is itemized,

ular – draws newcomers from all over the

so that if an item is added or deleted, it is

world, and there are a few important consid-

easy to re-calculate the cost. The moving

erations to keep in mind when moving from

company must also specify the length of

overseas. If your overseas move is work-re-

time the price quote is in effect, which is

lated, find out how much of the expense will

usually 60 days. This type of estimate does

be covered. As a general rule, many experts

not require additional payment over the

recommend scaling the move down to essen-

amount of the estimate.

tial items and those with emotional value. Find out about import fees and duty costs, especially for items you may have purchased

Obtaining as much information as possible

overseas. Also consider the size of your new

in advance about Fort Bend County and

space: will it be larger or smaller than the

the Greater Houston area will make your

home you’re leaving? If you’re a U.S. citizen

move much smoother, especially if you are

who is moving back from overseas, then you

relocating from out-of-state. To help get

might have many items in U.S. storage, so

you started, the following pages offer some

you’ll need to plan the logistics of getting

general tips on Houston’s basic services.

these to your new home as well.

More helpful information on moving is at www.HoustonNewcomerGuides.com.

TYPES OF MOVING ESTIMATES

MOVING COMPANIES

Most companies give free estimates based

If you are moving from out of state, it may

on distance and the weight of household

be necessary to hire a moving company. The

contents. Some moving companies include

best time to move is the middle of the month

the costs of packing materials in their bid

rather than the end or during summer vaca-

while others break out supplies separately.

tion, when moving companies are usually

Packing services, fuel charges, wait time and

busiest.

temporary storage costs may vary consider-

If the move is less than 250 miles away, consider

making

the

move

ably so be sure to ask about all charges.

yourself.

Moving companies offer three types of esti-

Compare the relative costs of moving your-

mates: the binding estimate, non-binding

self versus using the services of a moving

estimate and not-to-exceed binding estimate.

The non-binding estimate, which is the only type of estimate offered in some intrastate situations, is not guaranteed. The real cost of services is determined after the truck is loaded and weighed, and charges above the estimate can run more than 20 percent. Be sure to attend the truck weigh-ins both before and after furniture and household items are loaded to accurately calculate the total weight. The estimated amount of your move should be entered on each form that is prepared by the mover, including orders for special services and bills of lading. If the amounts are not included, do not sign or accept the document. The third type of estimate, called the not-to-exceed estimate, is usually the best. The mover gives a binding estimate, then weighs the vehicle and reduces the price if the weight is less than anticipated. Ask all movers if they offer this type of service.

MORE CONSIDERATIONS Be aware that many moving companies fall

company, and be sure to take into consideration your time and effort, as well as your

The binding estimate lists all items to be

behind schedule, so consider hiring a moving

physical ability.

shipped and the required services on the

company that will guarantee a pickup and

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

39


WEELLO R CC OAMT E I OTNO I N PA FO LM R MB A EA T IC OHN

Some companies specialize in renting furniture to newcomers and offer packages by the household, the room or by the piece. They also offer different styles, along with accessories such as artwork, lighting, rugs and indoor plants. Flexible lease terms, quick delivery and professional setup and removal are some of the services offered by rental companies. If you decide you like a particular item or items, purchase is usually available.

FORWARDING MAIL To submit your change of address go to www.usps.com. The USPS can hold your mail, forward or accommodate a change of address.

in the contract. Pick-up and delivery dates

TIPS FOR HIRING A MOVING COMPANY

should not be open-ended.

• Select a moving company carefully by

delivery date. Make sure those dates are

Although

moving

companies

provide

liability insurance on household belongings by the pound, it is wise to purchase extra

confirming their license at www.protectyourmove.gov

or

www.dmv.state.tx.us/apps/

cms_dmv/.

insurance that provides additional coverage,

• The Southwest Association is another

especially for those items that are more

resource for information about moving

valuable.

companies and they can be reached at www.

Before the movers arrive, begin making preparations. Take an inventory of your belongings and note their condition. If the moving company performs their own inventory, check it carefully against your own before signing anything. Should any of your belongings arrive with scratches, dents or other damages, photographs will help verify a claim so consider taking pictures of valuable items or making a video inventory before the movers arrive.

southwestmovers.org or 512-476-0107, Toll Free: 800-759-2305 • Contact the Better Business Bureau for

LEGAL RECORDS Legal Records maintained by Fort Bend County include birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, automobile licenses, fees and inspections, divorce proceedings, DBAs, taxes, and more. Contact the county of residence for specific services offered. The Fort Bend County Court House is located at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX, 77469. Phone: 281-3423411. www.fortbendcountytx.gov

any complaints that might be on file at

UTILITIES

www.houston.bbb.org or 713-868-9500.

ELECTRICITY

• The Interstate Commerce Commission offers a free brochure, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” ICC Office of Compliance and Consumer Assistance, Washington, D.C., 20423. You can

It is important to be sure you will be at your

also find the brochure on many websites by

new home on the date the moving company

searching for its title.

Retail Electric Providers compete to sell electricity, allowing consumers to compare plans, pricing and features. The Public Utility Commission recommends the three “C’s” before selecting a provider: contact, compare, and choose. Allow several days for the order to process. If establishing service for a new home or building, a permit or inspection may be required.

is scheduled to deliver. If no one is home to receive the delivery, your belongings will go into storage, and the moving company may require payment in cash before unloading.

FURNITURE AND APPLIANCE RENTAL In some cases, it may be necessary to rent

Select electricity, natural gas, local phone and long distance, cable or satellite television, and high-speed Internet services at www.HoustonNewcomerGuides.com

Tax deductions may apply to your move so

furniture or appliances while waiting for

keep appropriate records. Contact the I.R.S.

your old ones to be delivered, or while shop-

GAS

at 800-829-1040 or www.irs.gov, or ask your

ping for new items that will fit your new

CenterPoint Energy is the major provider for

tax preparer or attorney.

space perfectly.

natural gas in the greater Houston and Fort

40

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


Uninterrupted quality time

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1/14/16 1:47 PM

Bend County area. As the regulated utility

is required. The many telephone service

to find out which day garbage and light

in the Houston area, CenterPoint Energy

providers to choose from also offer satellite

trash are collected.

owns and maintains the electric delivery

and cable television services, along with

system as well as sells natural gas. Visit

bundled services, special promotional rates

Many subdivisions opt to contract with local

CenterPointEnergy.com to learn more. The

and discounts for newcomers.

collection companies, and fees for these services are typically included in the home-

ENERGY STAR program supports energy efficiency in new homes. Learn more

COMCAST / XFINITY

owner’s association dues. Contact your

about buying an ENERGY STAR home at

It’s Easy To Get Xfinity In Your New

homeowner’s association for information.

www.houstonenergystarhomes.com.

Home. Call 1-877-500-6828 Today!

Curbside recycling is offered in most neigh-

WATER AND SEWER

Get connected to XFINITY – TV, Internet,

borhoods, and drop-off recycling centers are

Water, sewage and drainage services are

and

located throughout the area.

typically provided by the public works

Comcast’s network upgrade to an all-digital

department in each city, or by a munic-

platform. They will set up your new home

ipal utility district (MUD). There are a

in no time. You can even choose your own

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

number of these districts throughout Fort

convenient two-hour appointment window.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of the

Bend County and services vary by district.

Also ask about Xfinity Home, combining

Gulf Coast region, also known as METRO,

Contact your local city or HOA for detailed

Security, Control, Energy and Peace of

is recognized as one of the best and safest

information.

Mind At Your Fingertips. For more infor-

bus systems in the nation offering an exten-

mation visit www.xfinity.com/moversedge

sive system of bus routes and a growing

Voice

service

made

possible

by

TELEPHONE, CABLE, AND INTERNET SERVICE

TRASH PICKUP

The Greater Houston area has four area

Many municipalities, such as Sugar Land

METRO provides Park & Ride services

codes: 713, 281, 832, and the newest,

and Katy, provide trash pick-up. Call the

from two locations in Missouri City. Visit

346. When placing calls, 10-digit dialing

solid waste department in your jurisdiction

www.ridemetro.org for details.

network of light-rail lines.

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

41


WEELLO R CC OAMT E I OTNO I N PA FO LM R MB A EA T IC OHN

Texas law requires that the driver and front seat passenger wear seat belts. Children eight years of age or younger or less than 4 feet nine inches tall must be secured in an approved car seat. Texas also has a mandatory automobile liability insurance law, and if a driver is stopped for any reason, proof of liability insurance coverage will be necessary. The insurance required must provide: $30,000 bodily injury, $60,000 per person per accident and $25,000 property damage.

Ride the Fort Bend Express Safe • Dependable • Affordable

A copy of the Texas Motor Vehicle Laws is available at www.txdmv. gov.

VOTING

Fort Bend Transit provides weekday Shared Ride Services within Fort Bend County as well as Express Commuter Services to the Texas Medical Center, Uptown Galleria and Greenway Plaza.

Texas voters must be 18 years old and register at least 30 days prior to an election. Those already registered to vote but who change precincts need to file an address change. For information, go to www.votetexas.gov.

281-633-RIDE

866-751-TRIP (8747)

In Harris County, call 713-368-VOTE. In Fort Bend County, call 281-342-3411 or visit www.fortbendcountytx.gov.

www.FBCTransit.org FIRE AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS

METRO also operates High Occupancy

OWNING A VEHICLE

Vehicle (HOV) lanes on U.S. 59 South and

New residents must obtain a Texas driv-

I-10 West, along with toll lanes on I-10

er’s license within 30 days of establishing

West. To share a ride, contact the METRO

residency. Texas residents moving to a new

Carpool Matching Service, 713-635-4000.

address within the state must update their license as well.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff ’s Office has jurisdiction in those parts of the region that lie in Fort Bend.

Fort Bend County also offers express commuter park and ride services from lots

To obtain a Texas driver license, take proof

in Sugar Land and Rosenberg to the Texas

of registration, proof of insurance, a Social

Medical Center, Greenway Plaza and The

Security card or a current W-2 form, and

Galleria. Go to www.fortbendcountytx.gov

a valid out-of-state license to the nearest

for information.

Department of Public Safety office. For license requirements including fees and

The Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority

For emergencies only: dial 911. For non-emergencies: dial 311.

locations, visit www.txdps.state.tx.us.

operates all or part of three toll roads: the

Active Crime Watch programs operate in numerous neighborhoods, and another very valuable program known as Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous tips and offers rewards for information leading to an arrest. Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers 281-342-TIPS (8477)

Fort Bend Parkway Toll Road, the Grand

Vehicles may be registered for license

Parkway Toll Road and the Westpark

plates at district field offices in the county

PETS

Tollway. Details are at www.fbctra.com.

of residence. The cost is based on the

In most jurisdictions, pets not wearing

model and year for cars and gross weight

licenses

The Harris County Motorist Assistance

for trucks. Subsequent registration may

impounded. Dogs and cats in Texas must

Program (MAP), sponsored in part by

be handled by mail or in person. Motor

be vaccinated against rabies by four months

METRO, helps motorists experiencing car

vehicle registration renewals may be

of age. Boosters are given one year after the

trouble on Houston area freeways. The

purchased at various locations.

In Fort

initial vaccination, and pets will need to be

specially marked MAP vehicles are equipped

Bend County, call 281-342-3411 or visit

vaccinated at one- to three-year intervals

to handle minor automotive emergencies.

www.fortbendcountytx.gov.

depending on local requirements. 

42

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

and/or

on

a

leash

can

be


CONNECT FOR EMERGENCIES DIAL 911 Fort Bend County........www.co.fort-bend.tx.us County Courthouse.....................281-342-3411 301 Jackson Street Richmond, TX 77469

Kendleton...................................979-532-8240

Public Works Department...........281-261-3921

Lamar Consolidated ISD............281-341-3229 3911 Avenue I Rosenberg, TX 77471 www.lcisd.org

Stafford Centre...........................281-208-6900

City of Meadows Place www.cityofmeadowsplace.org

Stafford Municipal School District.......................................281-261-9200 1625 Staffordshire Road Stafford, TX 77477 www.stafford.mds.esc4.net

Animal Control..........................281-342-1512

City Hall ....................................281-983-2950 One Troyan Drive Meadows Place, TX 77477

Central Appraisal District............281-344-8623

Fire Department.........................281-261-3995

Child Support.............................281-342-6222

Police Department......................281-983-2900

City Hall.....................................281-275-2700 2700 Town Center Blvd. Sugar Land, TX 77479

County Attorney.........................281-341-4555

Public Works Department...........281-983-2961

Fire Department.........................281-275-2873

County Clerk..............................281-341-8685

Sugar Land.................... www.sugarlandtx.gov

Police Department......................281-275-2500 Missouri City.................. www.missouri.tx.gov

Public Works Department...........281-275-2450

District Clerk..............................281-341-4515

City Hall.....................................281-403-8500 1522 Texas Parkway Missouri City, TX 77489

Thompsons ................................281-343-9929

Drainage District........................281-342-2863

Fire Department.........................281-403-4300

Engineering................................281-633-7500

Police Department .....................281-403-8700

Extension Service.......................281-342-3034

Public Works..............................281-403-8570

County Courthouse.....................713-755-5000 1201 Franklin St. Houston, TX 77002

Needville....................................979-793-4253

County Clerk..............................713-755-6411

Needville ISD.............................979-793-4158 100 Fritzella Street Needville, TX 77461 www.needvilleisd.com

District Attorney.........................713-755-5800

County Judge..............................281-341-8608 District Attorney.........................281-341-4460

Fairgrounds................................281-762-8818 Health Department.....................281-238-3233 Human Resources.......................281-341-8615 Medical Non-Emergency............281-342-7233 Parks Department.......................281-835-9419 Post Office..................................800-275-8777

Harris County................... www.co.harris.tx.us

Fire Marshal...............................281-436-8000 Health Department.....................713-439-6016 Sheriff ’s Department...................713-755-6044

Orchard......................................979-478-6893

Vehicle Registration....................713-368-2000

Pleak..........................................281-239-8504

Voter Registration.......................713-368-2000

Social Services............................281-342-7300

Richmond....................www.ci.richmond.tx.us

Houston...........................www.houstontx.gov

Tax Assessor...............................281-238-1490

City Hall.....................................281-342-5456 402 Morton Street Richmond, TX 77469

City Hall.....................................832-393-1100 900 Bagby Houston, TX 77002

Fire Department.........................281-232-6871

Fire Department.........................832-394-6700

Police Department......................281-342-2849

General Information................................. 311

Public Works Department...........281-342-0559

Police Department......................713-884-3131

Public Transportation..................281-633-7433 Sheriff ’s Department...................281-342-6116

Vehicle Registration....................281-341-3710 Veterans Services........................281-341-4550 Voter Registration.......................281-341-8670 Fort Bend ISD............................281-634-1000 16431 Lexington Blvd. Sugar Land, TX 77479 www.fortbendk12.tx.us

Public Works Department...........832-395-2511 Rosenberg....................www.ci.rosenberg.tx.us

BUSINESS RESOURCES

Arcola........................................281-431-0606

City Hall.....................................832-595-3300 2110 Fourth Street Rosenberg, TX 77471

Beasley.......................................979-387-2775

Civic Center................................832-595-3520

Internal Revenue Service.............800-829-1040

Fairchilds....................................979-793-6610

Fire Department.........................832-595-3600

Small Business Administration....713-773-6500

Fulshear.....................................281-346-1796

Police Department......................832-595-3700

State Comptroller of Public Accounts..........................281-371-5500

Public Works Department...........832-595-3960

Fire Department.........................281-391-3500

Fort Bend Chamber....................281-491-0800

Texas Dept. of Economics...........512-936-0101

Katy.................................... www.ci.katy.tx.us City Hall ....................................281-391-4800 910 Ave C, Katy TX 774943

Better Business Bureau................713-868-9500

Simonton....................www.simontontexas.org

Texas Railroad Commission .......877-228-5740

City Hall.....................................281-533-9809 35011 FM 1093 Simonton, TX 77476

Social Security Administration....800-772-1213

Stafford..................... www.cityofstafford.com

CONSUMER RESOURCES

City Hall.....................................281-261-3900 2610 South Main Stafford, TX 77477

Texas Taxpayers and Research Association..................512-472-8838

U.S. Customs .............................713-387-7200 U.S. Dept. of Commerce.............202-482-2000

Police Department......................281-391-4848 Public Works Department...........281-391-4820 Katy ISD....................................281-396-6000 6301 South Stadium Lane Katy, TX 77494 www.katyisd.org

Fire Department.........................281-261-3977

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.....................800-638-2772

Police Department......................281-261-3950

U.S. Consumer Information........800-688-9889

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IW NET LEC RN OA MTEI OT N OAPL ARL EML O BC EA AC T I HO N

TRANSPORTATION

Credit Card

Texas Drivers License Application &

www.creditcards.com • Request a credit card & debit card (ATM) when opening a bank account. • You will need a residential address, phone & place of employment, credit history.

Locations: www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/movingtotexas.htm • Texas has a 90-day grace period. • A written & driving skills test required.

MOVING TIPS

• Credit cards, cash, checks, and money orders.

What to do

• Take your passport, social security

Social Security Number

number, proof of residency, lawful

1-800-772-1213

Information/ Application www.ssa.gov/forms

Physical locations: 8989 Lakes at 610 Drive, 77054 16200 Dillard Drive, 77040 5414 Aldine Mail Road, 77039

presence, status. • Proof of vehicle registry. • Completed application.

BANKING Credit Unions www.findabetterbank.com • Credit unions are owned by members. If your company has a credit union, you can easily set up an account and get a credit card. • Social Security number, a photo ID

THINGS TO KNOW Wait 10 days after your arrival to apply for a social security number. Takes approximately 2 weeks for the card to arrive.

(passport), minimum deposit required.

Banks www.findabetterbank.com • A checking account can be opened individually or jointly. • A debit card will give you immediate access online and at ATMs. • Social Security number, driver’s license, proof of residence, photo ID (passport),

No fee for the application.

pay stub or utility bill and a minimum opening deposit.

Take original or certified copies of immigration documents, passport & biographical information & photo.

44

• International banks in the USA include HSBC, Citigroup, Barclays, Deustche Bank and Credit Suisse. An account at one of these banks can usually be opened in the US.

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

HOUSING Apartment

Houston Apartment Association Q&A: www.haaonline.org • Prices for apartments are based on apartment size and number of bedrooms Rates typically include basic utilities (ask for details). • Rental requirements include: a credit & security check. Texas Drivers license, passport, bank statement, proof of employment, and a deposit. • Rental applications may require your credit history, employment history, rental history and criminal history, and disclosure of legal status or proof of legal residency. • You are responsible for your lease for the entire term of your contract. • If you terminate your lease contract early, rent may be accelerated and additional charges can be levied against you. • Get any changes to your lease contract or term in writing. • Be sure to ask about pet deposits. • Apartment locators will help you find an apartment and their services are free.

Leasing a Home • Leasing a home is much like renting an apartment. • You might be expected to take care of the yard on a weekly basis, maintain the property and abide by homeowner regulations.


• You will pay all the utility bills (water, power, trash pickup & cable). • You will need a TX driver’s license, proof of employment, credit & personal references & a deposit consisting of the first & last month’s rent.

Buying a home • You can view homes for sale and find a Realtor who speaks your language on www.HAR.com.

Realtor/Homes for Sale & Lease www.HAR.com • You can check your credit score through your bank. • To purchase a home you will need a good credit score based on your credit history. • Report all of your income on your tax return as mortgage loans require proof of income - typically your IRS return. • You do not need a Realtor to purchase a home, but Realtors are trained to help you with pricing and other legal responsibilities. • Realtors use various sources including Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to find homes. • Realtors are usually paid by the seller, their services are free to buyers.

New Homes/Builders/ Communities www.HoustonNewcomerGuides.com Realtors are independent and can help you locate a newly constructed home available from a variety of builders. Builder sales reps. work for the builder. If you are working with a Realtor, you should register your Realtor with the homebuilder when you arrive.

HEALTHCARE

Affordable Care Act www.healthcare.gov • If you are relocating to the U.S. for a job, the HR department will assist you with health insurance for your family. • To shop and compare health insurance visit the Affordable Care Act web page. • You will need your social security number, passport, health history, employer information, and a credit card.

TAXES

State of Texas Texas does not have state taxes. Texas collects 8.25% sales tax & property tax only.

Internal Revenue Service Federal income tax for most workers is filed on April 15 of each year. There are numerous rules and regulations for expatriates, the following are resources to get you started. Your employer can also assist you. Internal Revenue Service: www.irs.gov/

EDUCATION Day Care:

childcarecenter.us • Some centers only care for children until they are ready for Kindergarten at age 5. Other schools offer Kindergarten. • Will need your child’s birth certificate, social security number, passport, application. • Schools vary widely, make several trips with and without your child at different times of the day. Ask for referrals.

Public Schools PK-12 Texas Education Association: tea.texas.gov • Required for children 6-18 years of age in USA. • Child’s birth certificate, passport, social security number, transcript, doctor’s statement. • The Houston area has excellent public schools which serve students from Pre-K through 12th grade. • You can research individual school districts, schools, ratings and test scores at the Texas Education Association web site. Elementary school (grade 1 through 5 or 6), Middle school or junior high (up to grade 8 or 9), High school or senior high (up to grade 12).

College Search www.petersons.com Community colleges are located in all parts of Houston. Houston has numerous 4-year colleges and technical schools

Private Schools • HoustonNewcomerGuides.com • Houstonprivateschools.com • Privateschoolreview.com There are a variety of independent and faithbased private schools in the Houston area. • Enrollment is most cases is based on openings in certain grades. • Check with each school for enrollment requirements as they vary from school to school. • International schools offer the International Baccalaureate program and might be better suited for children planning to later attend university outside the US.

IMMIGRATION VISA Most questions are answered on the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration web sites below. Contact your Consulate about your country’s requirements. General How Do I Guides: • www.uscis.gov • www.uscitizenship.info Employment Visa: • www.travel.state.gov • www.uscis.gov Green Card: www.uscis.gov/greencard Permanent Resident: www.uscis.gov Schedule appointment with USCIS officer: infopass.uscis.gov

PETS Entry Requirements: www.dshs.state.tx.uss • Dogs & cats must be vaccinated by 4 months of age followed by booster shots every couple of years. • Pets not wearing license tags and/or leashed can be impounded. • Recommended that you microchip your pet • Must be inspected for certain screwworms between one and five days prior to entering the United State • A licensed veterinarian must complete and sign a veterinary certificate. This certificate should be in English or be accompanied by a version translated in English.

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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public schools district private schools higher education

4 64 6 F OF ROT R BT EBNEDN D C HCAHM A BMEBRE R O FO C F O CM OM M EMRECREC N E ENWE C WO CM O EMRE R G UGI U D IED E– S– USM UM M EMRE/RF /AFLAL L 2L 021071 7

Photo courtesy of Fort Bend Christian Academy

in this section


EDUCATION Home to some of the largest and most highly rated public school districts in Texas and the U.S., Fort Bend County offers its residents an impressive array of high quality educational opportunities.

need and vocational interests. With more

is consistently included on Newsweek’s

than 10,000 full and part-time employees,

annual list of America’s Top 500 Public

FBISD is the largest employer in Fort Bend

High Schools. Katy ISD schools also earn

County. FBISD is also one of the state’s

some of the highest ratings in Texas from

most culturally diverse districts, with more

GreatSchools.org and Children At Risk, two

than 90 languages and dialects spoken by

nonprofit groups that rank schools based on

its students. FBISD, its campuses and its Highly regarded public schools are one of

test scores, the number of students taking

students are routinely recognized for exem-

the most important ingredients in Fort Bend

plary achievements by organizations such as

advanced classes, graduation rates and other

County’s winning quality of life recipe.

The National Merit Scholars Program, the

From the diverse Fort Bend ISD, to smaller

National Association of Music Merchants,

districts that maintain their rural char-

and the United States Presidential Scholars

acter, parents will find top-notch education

Program. The District’s high schools have

throughout the county. When it comes to

also earned top rankings in studies from

higher education and workforce training,

Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report.

From Pre-K to Ph.Ds, an A+ for Education.

Fort Bend also excels. In the following pages, we take a brief look

Katy Independent School District

at some of Fort Bend’s major school districts

www.katyisd.org • 281-396-6000

and educational institutions. Serving parts of Fort Bend County, this

metrics. Most recently, it was named the best school district in the Houston-Metro area by Niche, and was selected for District Administration’s District of Distinction Award.

Lamar Consolidated Independent School District www.lcisd.org • 832-223-0000 The

Lamar

Consolidated

Independent

School District is another major player in the educational lineup for Fort Bend

PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS

flourishing school district encompasses 181

County. Covering more than 384 square

square miles, with its eastern boundary

miles, LCISD is one of the area’s largest

Fort Bend Independent School District

stretching to the Energy Corridor, about

districts geographically, with an enrollment

16 miles west of Downtown Houston.

that exceeds 28,000 students at 33 campuses.

www.fortbendisd.com • 281-634-1000

District boundaries also extend along the Katy Freeway to a few miles west of the

Some of the newest and largest master-

One of the most highly regarded school

City of Katy. More than 73,000 students

planned communities in the area are

districts in Texas, the Fort Bend Indepen-

attend 63 campuses, including 7 four-year

located in LCISD, with developers (and

dent School District spans 170 square miles.

high schools. Given the highest possible

new residents) attracted by the district’s high

It is the 7th largest school district in Texas by

rating by the Texas Education Agency,

passage rate on standardized tests, its highly

enrollment, with more than 74,000 students

Katy ISD offers an outstanding instruc-

educated population (35% have bachelor’s

attending 75 campuses. These include 11

tional program with facilities, equipment

degrees) and high median income level

high schools and three unique secondary

and materials that are among the best in the

($70,145). (Statistics from LCISD’s 2015

campuses addressing specialized academic

state. Katy ISD’s Seven Lakes High School

demographic report.)

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47


E D U C AT I O N

Photo courtesy of Calvary Episcopal School And College Prep

Photo courtesy of Fellowship Christian Academy

While welcoming growth, LCISD has kept

on excellence; providing each student with

rigorous, relevant, and aligned with busi-

its small-town values, including campuses

engaging, challenging and meaningful work;

ness and industry standards for the 21st

with smaller enrollments, allowing students

and empowering each student to realize the

Century workforce. Many of the Academy

to have more opportunities to participate in

opportunities that they have as 21st century

programs offer articulation and/or dual

leadership roles and extracurricular activi-

learners.

credit

to make sure its students and staff have access to the latest technology. Every year, a new group of teachers attends LCISD’s INTERACT Academy, where they learn about the latest hardware and software and – most importantly – how to use it keep the tech-savvy students engaged in the classroom. Overall, LCISD is a TEA Recognized District, with 75 percent of its schools ranked either Exemplary (11 schools) or Recognized (13 schools).

Needville Independent School District www.needvilleisd.com With its motto of “Learn Today, Fly Forever,” Needville ISD prides itself on its exemplary standards, as well as its rich history of academic and co-curricular success. Located entirely in Fort Bend County, NISD has an enrollment of just over 2,900 students at its four campuses, including Needville Elementary, Needville Middle, Needville Junior High and Needville High. The district’s core values include creating a learning organization focused

48

with

neighboring

postsecondary

community colleges allowing students to

ties. While valuing its roots, LCISD strives

Stafford Municipal School District www.staffordmsd.org

The Stafford Municipal School District maintains its small-school district environment while addressing educational needs of the 21st century. With an enrollment of more than 3,400 students, this mid-sized district is home to five campuses located on a tree-lined, 77-acre complex. SMSD facilities are designed to allow all of the district’s students to attend the same elementary and secondary schools without zoning changes. The Stafford High School College and Career Center houses 12 academy programs designed to prepare students with the technical and professional skills necessary to succeed in today’s high-demand occupational environment. Students have the opportunity to utilize their academic skills in the following career fields: Law/Criminal Justice, Business Management, Business Administration and Marketing, Graphic Arts, Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Health Sciences, Information Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Automotive Technology, and Manufacturing. All of the Academy programs are technically based,

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

earn college credit while fulfilling high school graduation requirements. Students in grades K-12 can participate in Robotics and students in grades 3-12 can participate in UIL Academics. Students in grades 6th-8th can learn martial arts through the Kickstart program and secondary students can compete in football, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, track, power-lifting, soccer, swimming, and cross-country. The Stafford Municipal School District is “The Best Little School District in Texas”.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS Calvary Episcopal School and College Prep www.ces-richmond.org • 281-342-3161 While outstanding academics are a trademark for Calvary’s reputation of excellence for 65 years, its pride as Fort Bend County’s premiere Christian school is how students and faculty treat each other and grow in their understanding of God’s expectations for them. The Calvary 3 R’s: Reverence for God, Respect for others, and Responsibility for self are the cornerstone for every aspect of the child’s educational journey. In addition to a rigorous and accelerated


academic environment, the Calvary experience includes service learning, leadership opportunities, and enrichment programs for student creativity and expression. These programs include a successful athletic department, Student Council, National Honor Society, and visual and performing arts that encompass a Thespian Troupe, a National Arts Honor Society, and competitive band. Calvary consistently wins district competition against other private schools in Private School Interscholastic Association (PSIA) for lower and middle school. Upper school students compete in Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), sending many students to state each year.

Calvary Episcopal Preparatory incorporates Christian character education, Bible class, Spanish, and library lessons into the

Is academic GREATNESS in your child’s future?

learners’ experience. To schedule a tour of the campus, call 281-342-3161 and bring this ad for $100 off the registration fee.

Fellowship Christian Academy www.fellowshipchristianacademy.org 281-495-1814 Fellowship

Christian

Academy

(FCA)

provides a place for children to grow and to learn while surrounded by God’s love. The early years of a child’s life are the years that shape their future; therefore, the curric-

Call us to schedule your tour today! 281.342.3161 www.ces-richmond.org 1201 Austin Richmond, TX 77469

ulum is carefully selected and developed to Small classrooms and individualized attention assure that students enjoy a safe and nurturing environment, regardless of the grade. Christian Character classes, Bible instruction and three chapel services weekly foster an emotionally safe environment. This also translates into classrooms that are free from other distractions such as bullying. Calvary is unique in that students learn to

enrich the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and social development in each child. Since 1976, FCA has provided a safe and loving environment where children are encouraged to develop spiritually as they

Calvary Episcopal Preparatory academically challenges students from Pre-K through 12th grade — preparing them to excel and teaching them to lead. In a caring Christian environment, our students learn Reverence for God, Respect for others and Responsibility for themselves.

grow cognitively, socially and physically. Many of the teachers have over 25 years of teaching experience.

Discover Calvary Episcopal Preparatory Call for a tour today 281-342-3161 – spaces limited! CES-richmond.org

BRING THIS AD FOR $100 OFF REGISTRATION!

“live together” regardless of age, as the school enters PK-4 year olds and graduates students in grade 12. Students freely interact, with the older students mentoring the younger in a diverse student body that is accepting of all faiths and nationalities. (Calvary is an international school and issues the F-1 visa.) The lower and middle grades accelerate the

Now Enrolling

18 months through 10th Grade

curriculum so that students are instructed a grade above the national average. This results in median achievement test scores that range from 2 to 4 grades above. High school students are encouraged to take Advanced Placement courses, Dual Credit courses and graduate with a distinguished diploma. Students meet regularly with a career and college counselor who helps the student determine college and career decisions as well as assist in developing college portfolios and scholarship applications. CEP students consistently graduate with multiple scholarship offers; last year’s top graduate was offered over $300,000 in scholarships.

281-495-1814

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E D U C AT I O N

Fort Bend Christian Academy is fully committed to a superior academic experience integrated with a consistent, Christian approach to learning. They also proclaim that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God and that all subjects will be presented from a Biblical perspective, with the Scripture as the measuring rod of all truth. Along with academic standards, the goals of the school are to exalt Jesus Christ as students learn to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength; to love others as themselves; and to learn to serve God first, in all areas of life and in whatever vocation they are ultimately led. The staff at FBCA realizes their solemn responsibility before God in molding the life and character of each student in order to give a solid foundation for each student’s future. Schedule a campus tour and learn more about Fort Bend Christian Academy, 281-263 9143, admissions@fortbendchristian.org.

Photo courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic School

Age appropriate environments and classes

are active members of the Fort Bend county

Montessori Kids Universe

are offered beginning with infants to chil-

community.

www.MontessoriKidsSugarLand.com 281-299-5187

dren through 9th grade. Students at FBCA receive an academically FCA offers small classes with low student

challenging course of study with curriculum

to teacher ratios, giving children the chance

designed to provide a superior spiritual

and room to blossom in their own unique

and intellectual environment. An Honors

way. This also provides an ideal learning

Degree Program, Advanced Placement

environment

receive

options and dual credit classes are offered

personal academic attention that caters to

at the high school level, and middle school

each individual’s style of learning.

students with accelerated educational devel-

in

that

students

opment may also participate in an honors “Train up a child in the way he should go,

curriculum. Spiritually, academically and

and when he is old he will not depart from

professionally qualified, all teaching staff

it.” Proverbs 22:6

are certified educators, many possessing a master’s degree or higher.

Fort Bend Christian Academy www.fortbendchristian.org • 281-263-9143

Montessori Kids Universe, an authentic Montessori pre-school offering programs for children ages 6 months to 6 years, opened its doors on November 7. Led by Head of School Dr. Rebecca Deurlein and a team of educators experienced in childcare and trained in Montessori, the school introduced its Montessori curriculum enhanced by its one-of-a-kind Reggio Emilia science and art enrichment program to Sugar Land. Being brand new, the school attracted attention for its clean environment; healthy,

FBCA boasts small class sizes, uniforms,

organic, made-fresh-daily lunches; and

hot lunch program and before and after

its commitment to high standards and

Celebrating 30 years of service to Fort Bend

school programs, as well as enrichment

excellent care. Parents have noticed the

County, Fort Bend Christian Academy

classes, clubs and strong community service

difference in the level of care and are

(FBCA) exists to glorify God through

involvement. With competitive, State Cham-

thrilled with the results. “We could not be

excellence in college-preparatory Christian

pionship athletics and award-winning fine

happier,” said a toddler mom. “We feel so

education. FBCA is a Pre-Kindergarten

arts programs, 100 percent of FBCA grad-

grateful to have found a school that our

through grade 12 private, college-prepara-

uates are accepted to college, most to their

son loves. In one short week he bonded

tory Christian school located on a 35-acre

first choice school, and include National

with the staff and smiled when he got to

campus in the heart of Sugar Land/

Merit scholars, military service appointees

school. We know he will learn a lot during

Houston, Texas. With an enrollment of 800,

and recipients of numerous scholarship

his time at MKU, not just academically

students attend over 100 area churches and

offers.

but also emotionally. We appreciate the

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FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

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professionalism and dedication of each staff member we have met.” Dr. Deurlein, a 22-year veteran educator who has served in schools across the nation as both a teacher and administrator, understands parents. She is the author of the parenting book Teenagers 101 and is a frequent speaker to parenting organizations and schools. “The parents in Fort Bend take their children’s education seriously, and we have tremendous respect for them,” she said. “The most important support we can give parents is to help their children discover the joy of learning, to inspire them, to encourage them, and to teach them at a young age that learning is an adventure. If we don’t capture children when they’re young, we could lose them forever, so we take our responsibility very seriously.” Montessori Kids Universe is open yearround with a special summer camp that will leave kids and parents smiling. Learning never stops as each child moves at his or her own pace and teachers work to take students to a higher level. The DaVinci Kids enrichment program is the only one in Fort Bend County and ensures that all kids learn through hands-on creative methods with proven results. Teachers emphasize cooperation, respect, responsibility for oneself, and kindness, something that impacts children their entire lives. “From teens to toddlers, education matters,” said Dr. Deurlein. “Regardless of their age, children deserve a top-notch instructional environment where they never doubt for a minute that their teachers care.” Montessori Kids Universe is located at 2600 Cordes Drive off Lexington and Highway 6, across from First Colony Mall. For more information or to schedule a tour, please call 281-299-5187 or visit www.MontessoriKidsSugarLand.com.

Primrose School of First Colony www.primrosefirstcolony.com 281-565-2707 Will My Child be Ready for Elementary School? - Primrose Schools has more than 270 accredited, private preschools

believe. achieve. lead.

Schedule a Campus Tour 281-263-9105 | fortbendchristian.org 281-263-9175 | 1250 Seventh Street, Sugar Land, TX 77478

Montessori -certified staff, AUTHENTIC Montessori curriculum and methods

∞ Hands-on learning that inspires and engages ∞ Language arts program that develops a love of reading & writing

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Montessori Kids Universe Sugar Land 2600 Cordes Street Sugar Land, TX 77479 281-299-5187

∞ Divergent thinking proven to bring about creativity ∞ Daily practice in organization, planning, prioritizing, self-control, and working memory ∞ FUN, engaging work that feels like play!

www.MontessoriKidsSugarLand.com

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E D U C AT I O N

the school, in partnership with parents, nurtures and challenges each student to develop to his or her fullest potential. Along with the 2015 Soccer Archdiocesan Championship they hold the 2nd and 3rd place awards in the statewide Mobile Automated Technology Education competition (underwater robotics) held at N.A.S.A.’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab. They encourage PK-8th graders to participate in sports programs, clubs, academic/fine arts competitions, service projects and faith activities. By

“Praying,

Learning

and

Living

Together” they focus on the development Photo courtesy of Trent InternationalE School

of each student intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. They

nationwide,

and

provides

a

balanced

approach to school readiness- a wellrounded preparation in basic concepts and acquisition of social skills- that gives children the foundation for a future filled with promise. “School readiness is essential to a child’s success in elementary school and beyond,” said Estela Papadopulos, Franchise Owner of Primrose School of First Colony. “Children who receive a quality preschool, pre-k and kindergarten education develop into well-rounded

individuals

prepared

for

learning and for life.” At Primrose School of First Colony, “readiness” means more than just learning how to add and spell. It means learning how to think critically, use mathematical concepts, share and show self-control-skills that support a positive transition to elementary school.

Primrose Schools supports the

development of social and life skills, as well as executive function. Research shows that executive functioning skills help children establish positive relationships and close the achievement gap. The Primrose Schools Balanced Learning System blends academics, play, and character

development

to

build

a

strong

foundation and nurture a lifelong love of learning.

In addition to core academic

subjects, the curriculum includes enrichment

52

programs in music, physical activity, art, sign language, Spanish, technology and social skills. Parents choose Primrose School of First Colony because of its proven value in preparing children for success in school and in life. Nationally recognized assessment tools and their own research with Primrose parents show that Primrose pre-k and kindergarten students are advanced in social skills and concept knowledge, and therefore more ready for elementary school than many of their peers. Primrose School of First Colony believes that with the right foundation, anything is possible for your child. To learn more about the many lifelong benefits of enrolling your child in the pre-k and kindergarten programs at Primrose School of First Colony. Call or visit the website.

St. Francis de Sales Catholic School www.sfdsschool.org • 713-774-4447 First and foremost St. Francis de Sales School is a family of caring parents and teachers who are together raising responsible, faith-filled citizens for the community. Their mission is to educate each student in a spirit of faith and academic excellence according to the Roman Catholic principles. As a part of a caring, disciplined community,

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

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nurture children from diverse backgrounds as a reflection of the world in which they live. St. Francis de Sales is accredited by the TCCED, and is a member of NCEA, NCTM, NCTSS, GHARC and HAIS. St. Francis de Sales School is located at 8100 Roos, Houston, TX 77036 within blocks of St. Agnes Academy, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and Southwest Memorial Hospital.

Trent InternationalE School www.trentinternationale.com 281-980-5800 Trent InternationalE School is a private international school that has been a model of academic excellence for over 23 years. Since its founding in 1993, Trent continues to be a front-runner in innovative teaching techniques and methods as well as high academic standards laying a foundation for the students to be successful, prepared, and confident in the 21st Century. Trent incorporates a global perspective and value the distinctiveness of international education, which broadens perspectives, enriches lives, and stimulates free thinking. Trent offers classes from Pre-K to 12th grade; additional classes in Art, Music, Chinese, Spanish, and P.E., as well as a wealth of extra-curricular after-school activities. Trent InternationalE School is


accredited by very well known, esteemed organizations, agencies such as SACS, CIS, NIPSA, and TPSAC. Being an accredited International school, Trent InternationalE diplomas and transcripts are respected and recognized by top colleges and universities worldwide. This will facilitate the acceptance of the graduates in these educational organizations in order to complete their higher studies and have a better foundation for a bright future. Pre-kindergarten: Trent’s Pre-K program is multi-dimensional and includes more than one method of teaching. Children’s individual development in learning is built on prior knowledge and experiences. Trent InternationalE School is pacing instructions not only on the Texas standards but also according to international objectives. Elementary level: The lower school curriculum is tailor-made to facilitate the gradual transition of all Trent InternationalE students, from the foundational necessities of our holistic method to the flourishing of individual thought and academic exploration. IB (the International Baccalaureate) Primary Years Program (PYP) is implemented at our elementary grades.

FACT:

85% of core brain structure is developed by age four.

BALANCED LEARNING® WAY:

Recommending the right activity at the right time is child’s play. NOW ENROLLING!

Infants – Private Kindergarten and After School

Primrose School of First Colony 4605 Austin Parkway Sugarland, TX 77479 281.565.2707 PrimroseFirstColony.com

Each Primrose school is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools® and Balanced Learning® are registered trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2017 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. See primroseschools.com for ‘fact’ source and curriculum detail.

Middle school level: Middle school courses are designed to help students develop good study habits while encountering and mastering content from various subjects. Curriculum integration is a core part of the middle school experience. Trent encourages students to be active participants in their learning and open discussions on various topics. Sixth Grade math covers pre-algebra skills. Social Studies is a combination of learning about economics and Geography of the World. Science involves the study of Earth Science and covers such topics as earthquakes, volcanoes, weathering and deposition, as well as other Earth Science topics. For ELA, students learn about literary terms and story elements. Grammar and Writing are an integral part of this part of the curriculum. Students work on vocabulary skills through novels, short stories, and

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E D U C AT I O N

the Grand Parkway and Westpark Tollway intersection. If you are looking for an inspiring environment for your child, call or visit their website for more information.

HIGHER EDUCATION A variety of well-regarded institutions offer higher education in Fort Bend County, and residents also have easy access to top-rated colleges and universities throughout the Houston region.

Photo courtesy of Westlake Preparatory Lutheran Academy

a vocabulary book. Students work a little more independently or with a partner on their assignments. Students also continue having the options to have Spanish and Chinese. High school: High school curriculum requires adults coming together to set up students in institutions that are completely focused on providing a flexible, strong core and advanced curriculum. Students must be given the ability to follow a directed study track and/or an independent study plan. The goal at Trent InternationalE is to nurture each students critical thinking to become an integral, individual member of society, never compromising academic and personal excellence. Trent InternationalE high school students have the opportunity to earn college credit and high school credit through concurrent enrollment with Houston Community College while still in high school. Students demonstrating college readiness through a State of Texas approved college placement test can earn dual credit by taking an approved college class offered at a high school, HCC campus, or online. Trent Internationale School is proud to offer dynamic after school activities beginning in the Fall of 2017. Basketball –Soccer- KaratePing Pong –Dancing- Arts –Guitar –Piano – Yoga Gymnastics – Chess- Chinese – Math –English Writing – Homework – SAT ESL .

54

Westlake Preparatory Lutheran Academy www.westlakeprep.org • 281-341-9910 Westlake Preparatory Lutheran Academy is a private Christian school dedicated to providing faith-based educational programs which focus on academic excellence and spiritual growth. A college preparatory school offering PreK3-8th grade and adding a grade a year through 12th grade; Westlake equips students to become courageous leaders while serving Jesus Christ in our changing world. Westlake recognizes that your children are your most important possession, and takes the responsibility you entrust to them seriously. Your child will be challenged and motivated to excel academically in a loving and caring environment. The dedicated teachers see their vocation as a true calling and integrate the intangibles of faith, morals, ethics and service in the classroom as each student pursues a solid academic foundation. Westlake employs only certified and degreed teachers, and with some holding a Master’s degree. Each class is also equipped with the latest technology to support the curriculum, particularly in the areas of math, science, reading, writing and history/geography. As a premier private school in the Katy/ Richmond area, Westlake strives to prepare children for “today, tomorrow and eternity.” They are conveniently located southwest of

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

The University of Houston, a Tier 1 research university on a par with Texas A&M and the University of Texas, recently designated its growing Sugar Land campus as an official branch of the main campus. This provides new accountability and oversight for campus development, master planning and program development at UH Sugar Land. Other major institutions of higher learning in Fort Bend include the University of Houston System at Cinco Ranch, Houston Community College System, Texas State Technical College and Wharton County Junior College.

Houston Community College New! Missouri City Center 713-718-2915 Stafford Campus 713-718-7800 www.hccs.edu As one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the nation, Houston Community College (HCC) is a recognized leader in awarding academic degrees and workforce certifications. Serving the Fort Bend County and Southwest Houston communities for over 40 years, HCC Southwest College continues to change and grow to support the communities it serves. Academic courses are available for college students choosing to pursue a four-year degree, as well as dual-credit classes and early college high school programs for high school students. HCC specializes in providing workforce degrees and certificates that can be earned in as few as six months. The college is home to HCC’s Southwest Honors College for academically gifted students, and the VAST Academy for “differently abled” individuals seeking


workforce

certificates

and

academic

advancement. Students also have access to sports, paid internships, student associations and lifelong learning for seniors. The Greater Houston area is one of the leading manufacturing and health care regions in the United States. To prepare the area workforce, HCC established the Center for Advanced Manufacturing at its Stafford campus. The 57-thousand square foot Stafford Workforce Building is home to the HCC Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence and is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies including 3D Printers, robotic arms, CNC mills and lathes machines, welding machines and more. HCC offers more than 250 degree and certificate programs system wide, including Manufacturing

Engineering

Technology,

Machining Technology, Welding, HVAC and Electrical which are taught at the new Stafford Workforce Building, with programs like Robotics soon to come. In addition to manufacturing programs, Stafford offers art and graphic arts courses at the Fine Arts Building, science programs at the Scarcella Building, and a full range of academic and business courses at the Learning Hub Building. The region is expanding, and Missouri City has recently been ranked as one of Ameri-

Westlake Preparatory Lutheran Academy Westlake Prep is a private Christian school where your child is more than just a number. We believe that each student is special and unique and most of all, a beloved child of God.

ca’s 50 best cities in which to live. In order to train the workforce of tomorrow in high-demand careers within the Missouri City community, HCC established a large new facility, located at in the heart of Missouri City at 1600 Texas Parkway. The Center for Entrepreneurship, Technology and Health at the Missouri City Center will offer core academic courses, as well as business administration and information technology classes, a variety of logistics courses, small business and entrepreneurial classes,

medical

assistant,

emergency

medical technician (EMT), and prerequisite courses for the more than 20 professional health careers offered at HCC Coleman College for Health Sciences.

From PreK3 – 9th

Imagine a School in Katy Where….. • Students receive a Christ-Centered Academic Excellent Education • Teachers view their position as a Calling from God and not just a job • There is a sense of Community for families • Modern facilities have innovative technology, including smart boards in every classroom

www.westlakeprep.org

281.341.9910 • 23300 Bellaire Blvd, Richmond, TX 77406 HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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E D U C AT I O N

or certificates. Beginning in the Fall of 2017 the campus will offer a cosmetology program. Other Richmond campus programs are in Early Childhood, Emergency Medical Services, Engineering Design, Human Services, Law Enforcement, Office Administration, Paralegal Studies, Process Technology, Computer Science, and a Police Academy.

Photo courtesy of Wharton County Junior College

From dual credit for high school students to lifelong learning for seniors, and every phase of your life in between, HCC has the programs, the services and the tools to help our community succeed. For more information on the Fort Bend County programs offered and how to register, contact Libby Atilano at enid. atilano@hccs.edu or 713.718 8407.

Wharton County Junior College www.wcjc.edu • 1-800-561-WCJC Wharton County Junior College: Small classes, affordability, personal attention and four campuses make it a great choice Wharton County Junior College (WCJC)

campus in Wharton that provides athletics and fine arts programs plus on-campus housing. WCJC’s Sugar Land campus, housed on the campus of the University of Houston Sugar Land, is composed mostly of students working on the first two years of their fouryear degrees. Students can choose from dozens of core courses and continue their studies at four-year institutions. In addition to an AA degree with an emphasis of study in various disciplines, the Sugar Land campus offers the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) and AAS degrees in Computer Simulation

&

Game

Development,

Construction Management, Digital Media, Early Childhood and Law Enforcement.

offers more than 40 Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees, an Associate of

Earlier this year the college began a renova-

Arts (AA) degree, an Associate of Arts in

tion and expansion project at the Richmond

Teaching (AAT) degree, dual credit and

Campus. The project includes renovating

concurrent enrollment courses, plus certif-

9,000 square feet and the addition of 3,600

icate, continuing education and workforce

square feet to accommodate a new cosme-

development programs.

tology program and expansion of the existing process technology programs.

Since WCJC’s founding more than 70 years ago in Wharton, Texas, the college

At the Richmond campus, students also

has grown to four campuses serving more

take college transfer classes, as well as

than 7,400 credit students. Modern, vibrant

technical courses that train them in fast-

campuses in Sugar Land, Richmond and

growing career fields. Numerous fields of

Bay City complement WCJC’s traditional

study are available that lead to AAS degrees

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FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

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WCJC’s Wharton campus offers transfer courses and more than 30 vocational programs. The campus is home to seven allied health programs and programs in Public Safety, Computer Science, Engineering Design, Office Administration, Paralegal Studies, Early Childhood Studies, Automotive Technology and Cosmetology. The Bay City campus offers transfer classes, too, plus courses leading to AAS degrees and/or certificates in Manufacturing Technology, Nuclear Power Technology and Process Technology. WCJC has formal and informal agreements with many colleges and universities regarding transferability of college credits, helping students save time and money by taking their core courses for fouryear degrees. The college continues to help students achieve their dreams with affordable tuition, smaller classes and personalized attention. To learn more, visit www.wcjc.edu.

New Horizons - Your Partner in Training www.nhhouston.com • 713-552-1414 For more than three decades, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers has been a leader in IT training. With over 100 locations worldwide, they have grown to become the largest independent training company in the industry. Their career and corporate training solutions help turn ambitious personal and business goals into results. They use varying training methods for virtually every schedule and learning style, along with vendor-approved learning tools and expert instruction. They have trained more than 30 million people to make the


most of technology, and they feel like they are just getting started. Vendor-Authorized - New Horizons offers an extensive selection of vendor-authorized training and certifications for top technology providers, such as Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA and VMWare. Being an authorized partner ensures that the students have the highest quality training materials and train on the latest products and technologies available. Courses provided fall into categories like desktop applications, technical training and professional development. Flexible

Training

Approach

Based

on

Learner Needs - They understand that not everyone’s learning needs or preferred methods are the same. Therefore, their flexible training approach gives the ability to customize dedicated classes to satisfy specific needs. Learning methods include Online ANYTIME, on-site training, private classes and Online LIVE. Online Live removes geographical boundaries from learning by bringing students and instructors together

HCC trains the Fort Bend Workforce of

TOMORROW

HCC ranks #2 in the nation in awarding Associate’s Degrees in all disciplines. MISSOURI CITY CENTER

STAFFORD WORKFORCE BUILDING

Areas of Study

Areas of Study

(1600 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, TX 77489)

Academic Programs Center for Entrepreneurship Business Administration & Marketing Information Technology Health & Public Safety Continuing Education Adult Basic Education

(13622 Stafford Road, Stafford, TX 77477)

Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence Manufacturing Engineering Technology Machining Technology Welding HVAC Electrical Plumbing

Train for your future. hccs.edu/apply

All HCC courses are transferable to any Texas four-year university.

synchronously in a virtual real-time classroom environment. This program provides students all of the benefits of being in a dynamic interactive classroom – enabling students to study from work, home or a New Horizons center. New Horizons offers real-time, cloud-based lab solutions as well, allowing students to access their labs anytime and anywhere. The state-of-the-art, fully-configured live lab environment provides students hands-on access to the systems and applications taught in the classrooms, empowering them to learn on their own schedules. A Leader in the Industry - New Horizons is ranked in the top 5% in the industry for training quality and customer satisfaction as reported by an independent third-party learning and quality assurance company, Knowledge Advisors. Plus, research shows

New home. New opportunities. New Horizons is the leading IT training company, providing training in everything from desktop applications, technical and professional development. Whether you want to brush up your skills or transition to a new career, New Horizons will set you on the right course.

that New Horizons training yields a 4:1 benefit-to-cost ratio, based on manager surveys regarding the improved performance and productivity of their employees immediately following New Horizons training. 

New Horizons of Houston | www.nhhouston.com | 713.552.1414

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Places of

WORSHIP There are a lot of decisions to make when establishing your new life in a new city, and one of the most important might be where to worship. Your new neighbors might be a great source of information: “Have y’all found a church yet?” they’ll say and they will be happy to help with directions and introductions. And while it’s possible to find God (or Allah or Budda) in other places, church offers a community of like-minded and similar-spirited people to build relationships with. In addition to sacred enlightenment, places of worship can also provide social support, volunteer opportunities, educational options, even groups with common interests to join. If you’re looking to settle in and get to know new friends, a congregation might be the perfect group in which to find them. Luckily in Houston, every spiritual need can be met. It is the most diverse city in the country and home to a variety of religious traditions – a reflection of the rich, international cultural mosaic that makes up the city. It is also home to what is by far the biggest church congregation in America – Lakewood Church, a nondenominational charismatic Christian megachurch, which has an average weekly attendance of more than 52,000. But there are many options of all sizes and styles, and Fort Bend County offers a variety of churches ranging from Non-Denominational to Methodist to Baptist. Not to be overlooked, there are also several mosques and synagogues. All places of worship should allow a haven for people to come together and connect over their common beliefs. If faith is a vital part of your daily life, you should be able to easily find your spiritual home here.

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FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

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Bridge Fellowship 281-494-3046 802 Brooks Street, Sugar Land TX 77478

Freedom Church 281-240-1055 P.O. Box 3116, Sugar Land TX 77487

Calvary Church 281-634-0200 12410 Sugar Dale, Stafford TX 77477

Grand Parkway Baptist Church 281-277-2200 12000 FM 1464, Richmond TX 77469

Christ United Methodist Church 281-980-6888 3300 Austin Parkway, Sugar Land TX 77479

Grandview Fellowship Church 281-961-3378 P.O. Box 19025, Sugar Land TX 77496

Cornerstone Community Bible Church 281-313-8555 4771 Sweetwater #137, Sugar Land TX 77479

Greatwood Community Church 281-491-5588 13333 Southwest Freeway, #280 Sugar Land TX 77478

• Sunday School for All Ages

Heritage Baptist Church 281-403-4994 2223 FM 1092, Missouri City TX 77459

• Choirs/Music

CRM City Fellowship Church 281-313-1213 PO Box 17538, Sugar Land TX 77496 Crossbridge Church 281-313-8300 935 Eldridge Rd., Suite 282 Sugar Land TX 77478 Fellowship of Love Church 281-497-1971 10223 Clodine Rd., Richmond TX 77407 First Colony Church of Christ 281-980-7070 2140 First Colony Blvd., Sugar Land TX 77479 First Presbyterian Church of Sugar Land 281-240-3195 502 Eldridge, Sugar Land TX 77478 First United Methodist Church Missouri City 281-499-3502 3900 Lexington Blvd. Missouri City TX 77459 www.fumcmc.org

Holy Angels Lutheran 281-937-0151 810 Bent Knoll Court, Sugar Land TX 77479 Holy Cross Episcopal Church 281-633-2000 5356 West River Park Dr Sugar Land TX 77479 Holy Family Catholic Church 281-499-9688 1510 Fifth Street, Missouri City TX 77459

• Day School • Mission and Community Outreach Opportunities

3900 Lexington Boulevard at Murphy Road

281-499-3502 www.fumcmc.org

Sugar Grove Church of Christ 281-530-9651 11600 W. Airport Meadows Place TX 77477

Mosaic Community Covenant Church & Learning Center 713-269-4774 4427 Highway 6, Sugar Land TX 77479

Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste Orthodox Christian Church 281-240-4845 340 Eldridge Rd., Sugar Land TX 77478

Youth, Children, Women, Men, Seniors

Houston’s First Baptist - Sienna 713-865-7670 4309 Sienna Parkway, Missouri City TX 77459

Fishers of Men Lutheran Church 281-242-7711 2011 Austin Parkway, Sugar Land TX 77479

Fort Bend Family Church 281-495-7377 12220-K Murphy Rd., Stafford TX 77477

• Service and Ministry by:

Sugar Creek Baptist Church 281-242-2858 13333 Southwest Freeway, Suite 200 Sugar Land, TX 77478

Logos Christian Center & Bible Institute 713-541-2740 8690 W. Belfort, Houston TX 77031

Fort Bend Community Church 281-499-2131 7707 Highway 6, Missouri City TX 77459

• Traditional and Contemporary Worship

Hope Christian Fellowship 281-243-9110 4800 Sugar Grove Bldg. #290 Stafford TX 77477

First United Methodist Church-Sugar Land 281-491-6041 431 Eldridge Rd., Sugar Land TX 77478

Fort Bend Church 281-980-8322 P.O. Box 1057, Sugar Land TX 77487

Rev. Marty Vershel, Pastor

Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church 281-342-2989 303 N. 10th Street, Richmond TX 77406 Redeemer Sugar Land 281-751-8639 109 Industrial Blvd. #E Sugar Land TX 77478 River Pointe Church 281-277-6767 5000 Ransom Rd., Richmond TX 77469 Southminster Presbyterian 281-499-2310 2310 Brightwater Dr., Missouri City TX 77479

Sugar Land Baptist Church 281-980-4431 16755 S.W. Freeway, Sugar Land TX 77479 The Freedom Center 281-499-0594 2303 FM 1092, Missouri City TX 77459 Triumph Christian Center 281-242-5109 Word of God Ministries 409-549-2626 4318 Kylewood Ct., Port Arthur TX 77642 Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center 1700 First Colony Blvd Sugar Land, TX 77479 Hindu BAPS Mandir 1150 Brand Lane, Stafford 77477 Vietnamese Buddhist Center 10002 Synott Road, Sugar Land

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HEALTHCARE

The cutting-edge healthcare facilities, physicians and medical services available in Fort Bend County have grown over the years to meet the healthcare needs of the communities they serve. Patients now have the opportunity to heal closer to home, work and family. 60

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

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WE HAVE

HOUSTON COVERED The breadth and depth of our care is matched only by our reach. 17 State-of-the-Art Hospitals • Affiliated Primary Care and Specialist Physicians Women’s Memorial Hermann • Children’s Memorial Hermann • Mischer Neuroscience Institute TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation and Research Hospital*• IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institutes Red Duke Trauma Institute • Urgent Care • Convenient Care Centers • Cancer Centers • Joint Centers Heart & Vascular Institutes • 80+ Outpatient Centers • PaRC Prevention and Recovery Center For a physician referral, call 713.272.1673 or visit us at memorialhermann.org

*TIRR is a registered trademark of TIRR Foundation.


HEALTHCARE

Photo courtesy of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land

From gleaming full-service hospitals to specialty clinics and emergency care facilities, Fort Bend County offers some of the best healthcare in the Houston region. The world-famous Texas Medical Center is only about 30 minutes from some parts of Fort Bend. It’s so close, in fact, that many Fort Bend residents work in this growing complex of hospitals and research institutions. Thanks to its fast-growing and affluent population, Fort Bend County is home to some of the most modern and comprehensive healthcare facilities in the Greater Houston region. Family doctors and specialists, emergency clinics and several large, award–winning hospitals have built new facilities in Fort Bend County and nearby Southwest Houston. These state-of-the-art facilities offer advanced cardiac care, cancer research and therapy, trauma care, sports medicine, and many other innovative treatments. Staff include top ranking physicians, quality nursing care and highly skilled support services.

Memorial Hermann www.memorialhermann.org 713-222-CARE (2273) Advancing Health in Houston - Memorial Hermann has created Houston’s largest, full-service, integrated health system focused on advancing the health of the community. For the system’s 5,500 affiliated physicians and 25,000 employees, it means exercising uncompromising commitment to deliver

62

Photo courtesy of Memorial Hermann

the best health care possible by harnessing

largest and busiest air ambulance service

leading-edge technology and using the safest

in the United States; the Prevention and

methods. For patients, it means having the

Recovery Center for chemical dependency

best tools to prevent health problems as well

treatment; and a comprehensive array of

as the best chance to regain their health

home health services, rehabilitation centers,

following an illness or injury. It’s no wonder

outpatient imaging and laboratory services.

Memorial Hermann is the only Houston

The system’s ambulatory care network

health system to receive both the National

also includes Memorial Hermann Urgent

Quality Forum’s National Quality Health-

Care and Memorial Hermann Convenient

care Award in 2009 and the 2012 John M.

Care Centers. Everyday Well.com connects

Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and

patients to Memorial Hermann’s compre-

Quality from The Joint Commission and the

hensive network of care, with convenient

National Quality Forum, the nation’s guard-

physical locations, virtual care and easy-

ians of health and safety.

to-use online tools for managing

health.

Using its resources to advance the health One of the largest not-for-profit health

of the community, Memorial Hermann

systems in the nation, Memorial Hermann

contributes in excess of $451 million annu-

is an integrated system that serves South-

ally in uncompensated care and community

east Texas and the Greater Houston

benefit programs, including an award-win-

community with 17 hospitals, including

ning network of public school-based health

four in the Texas Medical Center, a level I

centers.

trauma center, a hospital for children, one of the top two rehabilitation hospitals in

Proudly caring for the residents of Sugar

the United States, an orthopedic and spine

Land and Fort Bend County since 2006,

hospital along with 10 suburban hospitals

Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital

and two surgery centers. Affiliated with

is the first Houston-area hospital to earn

McGovern Medical School at UTHealth,

the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National

the system also operates three Heart &

Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presi-

Vascular Institute locations; the Memorial

dential honor for performance excellence.

Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at

To meet the growing healthcare needs of

the Texas Medical Center; the IRONMAN

Fort Bend County, Memorial Hermann

Sports Medicine Institute at four locations;

Sugar

eight Memorial Hermann Joint Centers

155,000-square-foot patient tower, capping

offering advanced treatment options for

off a $93 million campus expansion and

joint pain; Women’s Memorial Hermann;

bringing the total bed count to 147. Conve-

Memorial Hermann Life Flight® – the

niently located at the intersection of Hwy.

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

Land

recently

opened

a

new


Community Health & Wellness Center - Southwest 10623 Bellaire Blvd., Suite C280 Houston, TX 77072 | 713-486-5900

Community Health & Wellness Center - Rosenberg 5115 Avenue H, Suite 701 Rosenberg, TX 77471 | 713-486-1950

Pediatrics

Pediatrics

Behavioral Counseling

Family Medicine

Family Medicine

Psychiatry (Adult & Pediatrics)

Psychiatry (Adult & Pediatrics)

When you choose UT Physicians, you are selecting individualized care from a team of more than 1,500 clinicians certified in 80 medical specialities. We offer advanced technologies with a personalized touch and are ready to meet the medical needs of you and your family.

UTPhysicians.com 888-4UT-DOCS

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HEALTHCARE

ICU, more beds for pediatric patients and space for future expansion. In addition, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land is Fort Bend County’s only pediatric ER designed and staffed to care specifically for children. The hospital’s growing group of affiliated physicians with pediatric subspecialty training in gastroenterology, neurology, orthopedics, otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose & throat), pulmonology, urology and sleep medicine ensures children can receive advanced specialty care close to home.

Photo courtesy of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital

59 and Grand Parkway, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land offers advanced equipment and state-of-the-art technology to address any healthcare need, from birthing services and emergency pediatrics to sports medicine and orthopedics, including the IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute. Area residents can now stay close to home for increasingly complex healthcare issues and receive high-quality care delivered by a highly skilled staff and affiliated physicians spanning more than 65 specialties. Beyond the expanded ICU and new adult

intermediate care unit, there is state-of-

CHI St. Luke’s Health — Sugar Land

the-art equipment, including new diagnostic monitoring systems, to enhance patient

www.CHIStLukesHealth.org

care. The expanded Emergency Center FOCUSED ON SERVING FORT BEND There’s a reason people choose to live and raise their families in Fort Bend. It’s the strength of the community that makes this place a fitting home.

further enhances the hospital’s outstanding heart attack care for patients arriving with chest pain. A nationally accredited Chest Pain Center, the hospital has affiliated heart specialists available 24/7 to perform balloon coronary (angioplasty) in its cardiac

That’s the same reason the people of Fort Bend choose CHI St. Luke’s Health—Sugar Land to keep their families healthy. It’s their commitment to community that makes them

catheterization lab. Growing families will appreciate the expanded labor and delivery rooms, an expanded nursery and neonatal

Your search is over. A higher level of care is here. There’s a reason the families in the Fort Bend area choose CHI St. Luke’s Health—Sugar Land to keep them healthy. As part of CHI St. Luke’s Health, we’re backed by one of the nation’s top healthcare providers, so we can bring you access to hospitals and emergency centers throughout the Greater Houston area and the expertise of the most compassionate caregivers in the region.

Hwy. 6

Main St.

Make an appointment with one of our experienced physicians at ApptASAP.org

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– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

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FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

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• Women’s Services • Emergency Care • Orthopedics • Spine Care • Family Birthing Center • Diagnostic Imaging • Surgical Services (including robotics) • Cardiovascular • Neuroscience Sugar Land hford y As Dair • Neurosurgery

N Lexingto n Blvd.


uniquely equipped to care for the people of this region. Not only does the Sugar Land hospital

need care providers who get to know your family’s unique health needs. You need a hospital that works hard to make your community a healthier place to live.

provider, offering skilled, compassionate

And if you’re looking for a new doctor, your search is over. St. Luke’s Medical Group—Sugar Land is comprised of some of the area’s most skilled and compassionate primary care physicians and specialists who are ready to help put you on a healthy path.

Since opening in 1998, Houston Methodist

feature a robust array of care capabilities such as women’s services, cardiovascular, gastroenterology, neuroscience, diagnostic imaging, orthopedics, and surgical services that

include

robotics

technology…but

also it’s part of CHI — Catholic Health Initiatives. Because of the strong backing that comes from one of the top healthcare systems in the nation, patients can have confidence knowing they’ll find hospitals and emergency

centers

throughout

the

Greater

Houston area that they can trust to provide the highest level of care. Plus, the Sugar Land hospital is a Pink Ribbon Facility that offers 3D digital mammography. When it comes to the care your family

They also allow you to make an appointment conveniently online. Just visit ApptASAP. org today. At CHI St. Luke’s Health, you’ll find a system of people who are passionate about the health of your friends and neighbors, and empower patients to live better lives.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital www.houstonmethodist.org/sugarland 281-274-7500

needs, you shouldn’t have to drive an hour

care supported by the most advanced technology – all in a convenient, comfortable and healing environment.

Sugar Land has continually expanded to add new facilities, services and technology to meet the community’s changing needs. Today, the hospital’s campus houses: • Three patient care pavilions with 347 beds and 27 operating rooms • Specialized centers for breast care; cardiology and vascular care; emergency care; labor and delivery; neuroscience and spine care; oncology; and orthopedics and sports medicine • Three medical office buildings Houston Methodist Sugar Land also offers a standalone emergency center near Sienna Plantation and many specialized physician

or more away. You need trusted physi-

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital

offices conveniently located throughout

cians who live and work close to you. You

is Fort Bend County’s leading health care

Fort Bend County, including primary care

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HEALTHCARE

Your TRUSTED home for Extraordinary Dental Care

We provide a comfortable and comprehensive approach to your oral health. A smile can speak a thousand words and radiate confidence. At Apollonia Dental, we are “here to care for you” and help you to obtain and maintain a healthy, picture perfect smile for a life time.

offices serving First Colony, Riverstone and Sienna Plantation.

community’s health and well-being and ensuring that local residents have a first-class choice for medical care.

But what really sets Houston Methodist Sugar Land apart is its patient-centric operational philosophy, one built on a strong sense of mission and a deeply ingrained commitment to Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence – the Houston Methodist I CARE values. These values guide the staff ’s daily interactions with patients, family members and each other, as well as provide a strong foundation for their focus on personal, individualized care. This dedication to serving others – along with innovative technology, training and expertise – is recognized by the many specialized designations achieved over the years. For example, Houston Methodist Sugar Land was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals two years in a row by Truven Health Analytics™. The hospital also earned accreditation from DNV GL – Healthcare, demonstrating that it meets or exceeds patient safety standards set forth by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

UT Physicians www.UTPhysicians.com 1-888-4UT-DOCS The right place, the right time. - As the medical group practice of The John P. and Katherine G. McGovern School (a part of UTHealth), UT Physicians has experienced unparalleled growth over the last five years. With offices generally located solely across the street from McGovern Medical School, UT Physicians now boasts more than 200 clinical sites in and around the Greater Houston Area. UT Physicians has THREE locations that bring the world-renowned care of the Texas Medical Center to the Fort Bend community.

Through these community-based

clinics, you will have access to the full UT Physicians practice of more than 1,000 physicians certified in 80 medical specialties and subspecialties. Thomas Murphy, M.D., assistant dean for

Isabel Vahedi DDS

4427 Highway 6, Suite A, Sugar Land TX 77478-4515

Phone: 281-565-4321

www.apollonia-dental.com • Esthetic Dentistry • Dental Restorations • Tooth Colored Fillings • Inlays and Onlays • Invisalign • Crowns • Bridges

66

• Removable Partial • Dentures • Dental Implants • Root Canal Therapy • Dentures • Preventing Tooth • Decay

In addition to an outstanding staff, more than 900 top-quality physicians — representing the full range of medical specialties — combine I CARE values with a level of expertise, knowledge and skill that is second to none. Over the years, Houston Methodist Sugar Land physicians have achieved many of Fort Bend County’s medical firsts, including a number of the most sophisticated surgical advancements in specialties such as cardiology and neurology. These developments have allowed Houston Methodist Sugar Land to offer state-of-the-art, life-saving procedures close to home for Fort Bend patients, reducing the impact that a hospital stay can place on friends and family members. As Fort Bend continues to grow, and health care moves forward, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital will continue to grow and change, too – investing in the

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

community affairs and health policy, says that patients outside of the Texas Medical Center provide stability and long-term patient relationships. “Right care, right place, right cost – it’s a simple concept,” he says. Please come visit UT Physicians at any of their three locations: Sienna Village, Southwest, and Rosenberg. UT Physicians at Sienna Village: Carman Whiting, M.D., medical director of UT Physicians at Sienna Village in Missouri City, says that she chose UT Physicians for the same reason the majority of her patients do – it’s close to home. “People like to stay in their community – having an office near home provides convenience and access that is desirable for patients,” Dr. Whiting says. “Our doctors do a good job, and spend time getting to know the patients,” Dr. Whiting says. “If a patient trusts you, that’s what keeps them here and then they refer family and friends.”


UT Physicians Community Health & Wellness Center – Southwest: UT Physicians CHWC – Southwest is located at 10623 Bellaire Blvd, Suite C280, Houston, Texas and has evening and Saturday hours!!! This clinic offers family medicine, pediatrics, pediatric psychiatry and adult psychiatry. Clinic hours are: Mondays & Wednesdays, 8am-8pm; Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 8am-5pm and Saturdays 8am-noon. CHWC – Southwest offers complimentary tai chi, yoga, organic gardening, and diabetes management classes. Join them for Tai chi on Saturdays from 10:30-11:30am. The Southwest staff speaks over 10 different languages including English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish and Urdu. For more information or to schedule an appointment at UT Physicians CHWC - Southwest, please call 713-486-5900 or visit utphysicians.com\chwc-southwest.

VOICE YOUR CHOICE

It’s Your Right to

UT Physicians at Sienna Village has grown tremendously since opening its doors in 2010. The clinic now has over twenty practicing providers, in sixteen unique Specialties. This multi-specialty clinic provides adult and pediatric primary care, cardiology, geriatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatric neurology, pediatric gastroenterology, adult psychiatry and pediatric psychiatry. The Sienna Village location offers extended hours, until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, to accommodate patients. UT Physicians at Sienna Village is located at 8810 Highway 6, Missouri City, TX 77459. For more information or to schedule an appointment at UT Physicians at Sienna Village, please call 713-486-1200.

Advanced technologies

Frequent physician visits*

Intensive therapies—at least three hours a day, five days a week

A Higher Level of Care®

1325 Highway 6 • Sugar Land, TX 77478 healthsouthsugarland.com *The hospital provides access to independent physicians.

Excel Urgent Care

www.excelurgentcare.com • 281-394-0335 It’s after hours, your primary care physician is not available and your child has just developed an earache. What do you do? Excel Urgent Care offers a solution - a convenient easily accessible, state-of-the-art facility right in your neighborhood to serve your family’s urgent care needs.

Registered nurses who specialize in rehabilitation

Know the difference and voice your choice. Call 281 276-7574 to learn more or to make a referral. ©2017:HealthSouth Corporation:1280718C

opening its doors seven days a week with late evening hours and an appointment is never needed. They accept most major medical insurance, credit cards and have discounted rates for cash patients. Urgent care is not to be confused with emergency care. Urgent care focuses on acute non-life threatening illnesses such as sore throats, lacerations, colds, etc. Hospital emergency rooms are for very serious or life

UT Physicians Community Health & Well-

Excel urgent care is a facility dedicated to

ness Center – Rosenberg:

UT Physicians

treating individuals and families’ acute non

CHWC – Rosenberg is located at 5115

life-threatening illnesses as well as providing

For your convenience, all 3 Excel Urgent

Avenue H, Suite 701, Rosenberg, Texas and

timely cost effective occupational services

Care locations boast an onsite lab for routine

is open Monday – Friday, 8am -5pm. This

to the employer. Excel Urgent Care brings

blood work and an electronic medical

clinic offers family medicine, pediatrics, and

a valuable service to the community real-

records systems that transmits prescrip-

adult psychiatry. CHWC - Rosenberg has a

izing illnesses and emergencies do not keep

tions directly to a pharmacy and records to

food demonstration kitchen and will begin

a regular schedule.

patients’ primary care physicians.

The Rosenberg staff speaks English and

All physicians are board certified in their

Excel Urgent Care is here for you in Missouri

Spanish. For more information or to schedule

respective fields and are truly passionate

City,

an appointment at UT Physicians CHWC -

about treating patients with the utmost care

a high-quality urgent care facility.

Rosenberg, please call 713-486-1950 or visit

and consideration. Excel Urgent Care offers

experienced staff is eager to provide the best

utphysicians.com\chwc-rosenberg.

convenience and availability to patients,

possible treatment for your situation.

threatening situations. .

offering wellness programs in January 2017. Katy and Cypress when you need

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

Their

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HEALTHCARE

HealthSouth Sugar Land Rehabilitation Hospital www.healthsouth.com / 281-276-7574 HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Sugar Land is a 50 (private) bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital that provides a higher level of rehabilitative care to patients who are recovering from stroke and other neurological disorders, brain and spinal cord injury, amputations, orthopedic, cardiac and pulmonary conditions. Accredited by The Joint Commission as a Stroke Certified Rehabilitation Hospital. HealthSouth Sugar Land Rehabilitation Hospital provides an average of 3 hours of therapy five days a week depending on the

Moving Medical Tips

1 2 3

If you have a special healthcare need or requirement, refer to and call the healthcare advertisers in this publication to get information. Call the offices of all your current physicians/dentists and tell them that you are moving. Ask for referrals they might be willing to make.

If you have already selected physicians/dentists, ask your current physician to forward copies of the records of each of your family members to your new doctor.

4

If you have not yet selected physicians/dentists, ask your current physician/dentist to make copies of pertinent records of all your family members for you to take with you. Pack these records in your suitcase, not in the moving van, so they will be readily available in case of an emergency.

5

patient’s level. They use a team approach and have a physician on site who makes daily rounds. The average length of stay for a stroke patient is 14 days with 85% or more of the patients being discharged to home. While the incidence of stroke may be on the rise, HealthSouth is working hard to make sure those who experience a stroke get the therapy they need to return home and maintain an independent lifestyle. In addition, new technology-based therapy is offered utilizing specialized computer equipment like the auto ambulator and upper extremity therapy interventions such as the bioness, dynamic wrist hand splinting stations

and

gait

assessment

training

systems.

It is extremely important that you get the immunization records for your children before you move. You cannot enroll your children in local schools without these records. You will also need certified copies of your children’s birth certificates as well as the addresses of your children’s former schools.

HealthSouth is the nation’s largest provider

6

agencies and hospice agencies.

If you are a member of a healthcare HMO/PPO plan, or have a prescription drug card, be sure to notify the company of your moving plans. The insurance company should be able to provide you with a list of physicians/ healthcare facilities in the area.

of post-acute services, offering both facility and home based services in 33 states and Puerto Rico through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health

provider of inpatient rehabilitative healthcare services. The hospital is located at 1325 Highway 6 (next to Lifetime Fitness) and

7

Pack an emergency first aid kit to take en route to your new home. Items such as bandages, thermometer, pain killers or aspirin, antihistamine, first-aid ointment, tweezers and decongestant can come in handy.

can be found on the Web at www.healthsouthsugarland.com. Or call Christy Medlin the Director of Marketing Operations at 281-276-7574 to arrange a tour and or for more details. 

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FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

Health-

South strives to be the nation’s preeminent

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


ACTIVE ADULTS senior living

&

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A C T I V E A D U LT S & S E N I O R L I V I N G

cash. Guaranteed by the U.S. Department

Seniors in Houston find that they have

of

Housing and Urban Development,

a wide variety of housing options that

loan which can give you greater financial

can accommodate their budget, while

unexpected medical expenses, make home

HUD offers this federally insured private security to supplement social security, meet

enjoying their lifestyle in a community that

improvements and more. And, unlike a

encourages the development and pursuit

mortgage, you usually do not have to repay

of their personal interests.

as your principal residence, sell it, or pass

traditional home equity loan or second the loan until you no longer use the home away. The money from a reverse loan may be paid out in a variety of ways: a lump

More and more seniors don’t see them-

TAKING STOCK

sum, a regular monthly cash advance, as a

selves as seniors (unless they get a discount

In order to narrow your options in what

credit line account, or any combination of

if they do). Increasingly, the years after age

could be an overwhelming list of choices

the above. To qualify, you must be at least

65 are more numerous and more active.

and to help you choose the best one, put

62, and own the home outright or carry a

According to the U.S. Department of Health

some time into the stock-taking process

mortgage small enough to be paid off by the

and Human Services, Americans’ life expec-

by taking a personal inventory of living

proceeds; there are no income or credit qual-

tancy in 2000 was 76.8 years; in 2014, it was

expenses, health, interests and expectations.

ifications or monthly payments, but you are

78.8. One of the reasons is that Americans are healthier: today’s seniors visit the doctor and emergency room less, spend fewer days in hospital and exercise more. Turning 65 no longer means receiving a watch, a party and hearty congratulations for years spent at a job, only to be put out to pasture to watch the rest of the world go by. Today’s seniors now have many options, dreams and plans, and very often, the

responsible to pay the annual taxes, property Budget Inventory: what does it cost to live housing or rental; how much does it cost

The best way to determine if a reverse mort-

to heat it, cool it, pay taxes or a mortgage

gage is the best fit for your retirement plan is

on it? What other expenses do you have?

to honestly assess the following:

Food, entertainment, transportation? What medical expenses do you currently have, or do you anticipate? Be as thorough and honest in your assessment as you can, so that you can make an informed decision.

energy to pursue them. Of course, people

Lifestyle inventory: How do you want to

with more leisure time can perfect their golf

live? Need more time for golf ? You might

swing, or carefully tend their prized azaleas,

want to live on a course. Want to do some

but these days, they’re also choosing to go

volunteering? You may decide to move

back to school, learn a new language, run

closer to the city, school or community

marathons, volunteer, or take up a new

center. Want to make new friends? Many

hobby. More people are opting to burn out

senior’s communities are set up to allow you

rather than rust out.

to do just that. Again, the more careful you are in your analysis, the more prepared you

And the options for living and playing are

insurance and maintenance of the home.

every month? What are you spending on

• How much would the home sell for on today’s market? • What would the cost be to buy, or rent, and maintain a new home? • Would there be any money left over from the purchase of a new home that could be safely invested? • What are the options for downsizing into a less expensive home, renting an apartment, or moving into an assisted living or alternative senior housing situation? (Visit AARP’s website and use their Reverse Mortgage Calculator: www.aarp.com).

will be to make the right decisions.

also evolving to meet the changing demands

PACK IT UP

upscale retirement communities that offer

SHOULD YOU STAY OR SHOULD YOU GO?

an array of housing, activity, exercise and

STAY PUT

social options, to full-care facilities that care

You can retire in your own home by with-

box, or you’re tired of the outdoor upkeep,

for people with mental and physical disabil-

drawing some of the equity you’ve built up

or you want to be closer to the place or

ities, and every-thing in between, there is a

with a reverse mortgage, which is a special

activities that you now have time for. Before

senior living solution to fit every desire and

type of home loan that lets you convert a

you choose your new home, once again,

need.

portion of the equity in your home into

take stock. Be realistic about your situation,

of this growing group of people. From

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FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

But maybe, it’s time for a move. Perhaps the 30-year family home is too big and you’re rattling around it like a marble in a shoe

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


SUGAR LAND

At Watercrest, we believe retirement is all about giving you the freedom to create a lifestyle that suites you perfectly. Call today to see how you can have the freedom to retire your way at Watercrest at Sugar Land! (888) 717-3501

What true freedom looks like WatercrestSugarLand.com

744 Brooks St., Sugar Land, TX 77478

your expectations, your finances and your

housing communities that employ medically

you choose should facilitate life at a level of

health. It’s as important to consider access

trained staff, provide housekeeping and

independence that is comfortable for you or

to medical doctors and facilities as it is to

meal preparation services, as well as trans-

for your loved one.

think about fun and leisure pursuits. Make

portation for shopping, medical visits, and

sure the new community is one that you will

social outings. Or, they are seeking a more

enjoy, that it has convenient amenities and

physically and medically supportive environ-

ACTIVE SENIOR HOUSING COMMUNITIES

access to services, and that a new house will

ment. Whatever choice is best for you, it’s

If you’re a healthy, independent senior,

be a good investment. If you’re still active,

out there, but should be considered without

you may find that you simply want to live

you might want to be among folk just like

stress.

in a community where you can enjoy the company of others and your own personal

you. Think carefully before making decisions that will determine your happiness in

And the prices vary. “When you’re trying

interests. Moving to an active independent

the years to come.

to stay within a particular price range, you

living retirement community might be the

want to match your living requirements with

best fit for your budget and lifestyle, where

services offered,” says Martinez. “If you

options include renting an apartment or

are very independent and don’t need assis-

purchasing a property.

SENIOR HOUSING OPTIONS “The time to begin thinking about a retirement community isn’t when you have to have it,” advises Terry Martinez with Parmer Woods Retirement & Assisted Living. “Think about it when you don’t need it. There are a wide variety of alternatives available for every level of activity, health and need. Today’s Baby Boomers who are in or approaching their retirement years are taking advantage of active retirement communities where residents are vigorous and involved. Or, they are finding senior-care

tance – just want a meal plan, for example – then the associated costs are much less than for someone who requires more care.” Also, Medicare generally does not pay for long-term care, only for services deemed

Many active senior communities have information packets and offer tours. A personal visit will give valuable, firsthand information and an opportunity to meet current residents who can share their own experience and

medically necessary that are provided by a

insider’s view. Ask about health and fitness

skilled facility or home health care center.

programs, organized activities, sporting

Medicaid will pay for certain health services

options, and social opportunities. Other

and nursing home care for older people with

day-to-day living arrangements should also

low incomes and limited assets. The place

be considered, such as shopping centers and

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A C T I V E A D U LT S & S E N I O R L I V I N G

grocery stores within easy walking distance, and the availability of transportation services. Where is the community located in proximity to major health care providers? What security measures are in place for residents? For ultimate peace of mind, you might opt to rent a home under a short-term agreement at first to make sure the community provides for your needs and lives up to your expectations.

CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) offers care in a residential facility for seniors, with a full menu of services and living situations. Residents may go from independent living, to assisted living and nursing home care, depending on their individual, changing needs and abilities. A CCRC (also called Life-Care Facilities or Communities) generally offers a contract that covers a continuum of care, including access to housing, services, and health care for more than one year, or the balance of one’s life. It is a wise idea to move into a CCRC sooner rather than later, as most require that new residents live independently when they first move in. There is a range of contract options offered by CCRCs. An extensive-care contract is the most expensive, but carries the least risk, providing unlimited long-term nursing care at little or no additional cost for as long as nursing-home services are required. A modified-care contract comes with medium financial risk, and provides long-term health or nursing services for a specified period, after which, the senior or guardian is responsible for additional costs. A fee-for-service contract offers an a-la-carte approach, requiring that residents pay separately for all health and medical services provided by the facility, as well as long-term care. Most CCRCs expect an entrance fee, plus monthly fees thereafter. Some require an equity agreement where seniors purchase a condominium or co-op apartment on the property instead of paying an entrance fee. Less commonly found are CCRC contracts where residents pay monthly fees only.

72

Before signing a contract with a CCRC, conduct a thorough review of the facility’s services, operations and finances, and determine if it is appropriate to your needs, lifestyle and expectations. It’s also a good idea to ask a family attorney or accountant to review the contract. If the contract is found agreeable, ask to spend at least one night and two days at the facility, to test drive the community and make sure it is a good fit. Some points to consider include: • Are pets allowed in your residence? • What social, recreational and cultural activities are offered? • Is food prepared onsite? If so, how is it? • Are there fitness facilities onsite? • Is the staff friendly and knowledgeable? • What healthcare and personal care services are available? • What preparations have been made for handling medical and evacuation emergency situations? • Is there easy access to offsite activities such as shopping and is transportation provided?

RETIREMENT CENTER Watercrest at Sugar Land 774 Brooks St. Sugar Land, TX 77478 888-717-3501 WatercrestSugarLand.com

Overture Sugar Land 850 Imperial Blvd. Sugar Land, TX 77498 855-910-5722 OvertureSugarLand.com

Often, an ALC will create an individualized service plan for seniors upon admission, detailing personal services that will be provided. This plan is then periodically reviewed and updated to ensure changing needs are met. Housing in an ALC may be studios or one-bedroom apartments

CCRCs can be anything from high-rise

with small kitchen facilities. Typically, ALC

apartments, to cottages, townhouses or

housing units have group dining facilities

single-family homes, and are an excellent

and common areas where residents gather to

option for those who are independent and in

enjoy social and recreational activities.

good health, but might need some assistance with daily living needs or require skilled nursing care.

ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITIES An Assisted Living Community (ALC) bridges the gap for those who need assistance with daily activities a nursing home might offer, but wish to live independently. Residents in an ALC are unable to live completely by themselves, but don’t need constant supervision. An ALC offers its residents assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, laundry, housekeeping, and keeping track of medications. They often have centers for medical care, but typically do not offer the extensive medical services provided by a nursing home. An ALC is not a substitute for a nursing home, but rather is a stepping stone between complete independence and services provided by a nursing home.

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

As with other options, a visit to the center is a must. Pay attention to first impressions: • Are the grounds well maintained? • Is the staff friendly? • Are the residents properly dressed? • What activities are available? ALCs that competently provide required services without forgetting about little details will give the same care and attention to residents.

NURSING CARE FACILITIES A Nursing Care Facility (NCF) is a state licensed, private-care facility that provides 24-hour skilled hospital care for residents who do not require hospitalization but cannot stay at home. It pays to shop around when selecting an NCF. Consult with a trusted doctor or health care practitioner for recommendations of nearby facilities. Plan on visiting


at least four or five area facilities, and make an appointment with the administrator or director of nursing. Check to make sure that information provided is consistent with information gathered during the facility tour. The home should have clean floors and smell fresh. Ask to see the compliance survey report prepared by the State of Texas. It will list deficiencies found in resident care during routine inspections, and the facility’s effort to correct them. Under Texas law, nursing homes must make this and other survey compliance reports available upon request, as well as a well-lit place for review. Another option available is to contact the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) at 800-458-9858 or www. dads.state.tx.us. While state law prohibits agency employees from recommending one facility over another, they can answer the following recommended questions about any facility: • Have there been any proposed license terminations in the past two years? • How many complaints have been filed in the past year? • How many complaints in the past year have been found to be valid? • How many deficiencies have been cited in the past two years? • How many “quality of care” violations have been cited in the past two years? • When did DADS last visit the facility, and what was the purpose of the visit? • Has the owner of this facility had other facilities recommended for license termination? The answers to these questions, combined with observations and impressions made during facility tours and staff interviews will allow you to select the right nursing care facility.

ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA CARE FACILITIES Seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia need specialized care. While some Assisted Living Communities offer services and separate

facilities for residents with early onset symptoms, because of the progressive nature of the disease, it may become necessary to transfer the resident to another facility that can give the right level of service. Facilities specializing in the care of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients should provide a treatment plan that considers not only the

resident’s medical needs, but also the needs of the entire family with social services, professional consultations and individualized treatment reviews, all set within a calm, soothing environment that is sensitive to the needs of the patient. Please visit www.agingcare.com for additional information on care for the elderly. 

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BUSINESS and Community

74

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


as one of the fastest-growing counties in the

Remember the riddle about which came first: the chicken or the egg? Here’s the Fort Bend version: which came first? Fort Bend’s unrivaled array of quality masterplanned communities and the residents who live in them, or the county’s major blue-chip employers?

Chamber creates, enhances and promotes

argue that the unparalleled quality of life

the thriving economic development in Fort

provided by Fort Bend’s earliest planned

Bend through its many divisions, including

communities such as First Colony, Pecan

Education, Infrastructure Planning, Govern-

Grove Plantation, New Territory and Great-

mental

wood set the stage for the recent wave of

Business and Professional Development,

economic growth being enjoyed by the

Economic Development and Healthcare and

county. Newer communities still under

Members Services.

tion, Riverstone, Imperial Sugar Land and many others – are building on this legacy of

20 counties for economic and population growth.

FortBendChamberVotes.com The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Team advocates and intervenes on behalf of the membership on local, state and federal issues affecting job creation, economic development and the overall vitality of the Fort Bend County region. A key component of this advocacy

You could make a case either way, but we’d

development – including Sienna Planta-

United States, and one of the nation’s top

Relations,Community

Resources,

The Fort Bend Chamber was awarded with 5-Star Accreditation by the US Chamber

is www.FortBendChamberVotes.com. The goal of this site is to provide voter resources, information on legislative issues and news, and to serve as a vehicle for grassroots participation and connection to elected officials.

AREA ASSOCIATIONS City of Sugar Land Economic Development Office www.sugarlandecodev.com

quality growth.

of Commerce for its sound policies, effec-

The City of Sugar Land is an award-win-

tive organizational procedures, and positive

ning community ideally located just 20

It’s a truism that both employers and retailers

impact on the community. Only about 1% of

miles southwest of downtown Houston.

follow rooftops, and no part of the Houston

the 7,077 chambers in the United States earn

Sugar Land has achieved its sustainable,

region can boast more educated and affluent

this stringent accreditation. The Chamber’s

strong local economy through an aggressive,

residents living under its rooftops than Fort

prestigious Fort Bend Leadership Forum

focused economic development program

Bend County. Since Fort Bend began its

program produces graduates who serve in

that creates new wealth and jobs. As a

transformation from a largely rural agricul-

leadership positions throughout the county.

regional employment center, with over 25

tural county into a regional economic and cultural powerhouse several decades ago, a number of chambers of commerce and economic development groups have worked hard to attract quality growth. Following are profiles of some of the most successful and effective pro-business groups in Fort Bend.

Excellence for Nonprofits program builds organizational effectiveness within the county’s philanthropic community. High school students have the unique opportunity to experience how volunteerism and philanthropy coexist to serve the community in the Chamber’s Youth in Philanthropy program.

million square feet of commercial space, the City is home to high-profile corporations including Minute Maid, UnitedHealthcare, Texas Instruments, Schlumberger, Fluor Corporation, Noble Drilling, Tramontina USA, First Data/TeleCheck, Nalco Champion and Bechtel EO.

Fort Bend Volunteers provid a countywide

Sugar Land has also uniquely positioned

calendar of events for the community to

itself as a hub for premium shopping,

serve. The Young Professionals Division

dining and entertainment. Venues such as

ensures that the Chamber is delivering value

the Houston Museum of Natural Science at

to the future leaders of Fort Bend County.

Sugar Land, Constellation Field, the future

With the implementation of their Diversity

Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land live

Located in the diverse Fort Bend County,

Action Team and the Get Your Business on

entertainment venue, the Sugar Land Heri-

The Fort Bend Chamber is the largest

the Map Google Partnership, “Success if

tage Museum and the Sugar Land Visitors

single county chamber in the Houston

just around the bend” continues to be the

Center at Imperial Market will further

region and serves as the advocate for busi-

motto of the Fort Bend Chamber that plays

establish the community as a cultural and

ness excellence in Fort Bend County. The

an instrumental role in shaping Fort Bend

historical destination.

AREA CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce

www.FortBendChamber.com

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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BUSINESS & COMMUNITY

HOUSTON by the NUMBERS Want to know how living the Houston area compares to other cities? Assuming a $60,000 salary in the city you’re moving from and that you’d own a house here, we used a salary/cost of living calculator to help figure out the rest. If you made $60,000 in Seattle, for example, your salary could decrease to $41,995 in Houston - and you’d still maintain the same standard of living. See the table below for the results from a sampling of other cities. MOVING FROM HERE

YOU’D NEED TO MAKE

MOVING FROM HERE

YOU’D NEED TO MAKE

Fort Bend Convention & Visitors Services

www.fortbendchamber.com/visitors Through its Fort Bend Convention and Visitors Services division, the Fort Bend Chamber provides visitors and new residents with resources that highlight the many great amenities and attractions in Fort Bend County. Under the Chamber’s banner, the Farmers Market at Imperial operates year round and is the largest certified farmers market in Texas. The Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair attracts about 10,000 wine and food aficionados to Fort Bend each year, making it one of the largest such events in the nation. The Chamber markets the county’s ever-growing collections of restaurants,

Atlanta 58,978

Nashville 61,890

Boston 40,831

New York City

Chicago 50,705

Philadelphia 49,305

Cleveland 58,221

Phoenix 61,439

Dallas 61,311

Pittsburgh 59,756

Denver 53,759

Raleigh 65,104

Detroit 63,462

Salt Lake City

61,120

Los Angeles

San Diego

40,690

of information and free services designed

San Francisco

33,401

upon the tremendous advantages and oppor-

41,995

25,910

hotels and attractions to local, regional and national audiences as well as prospective visitors and event convention planners.

Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council www.fortbendcounty.org

The Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council is a public-private partnership established in 1986 to promote economic vitality and ensure quality development in Fort Bend County. It provides a wide array to help businesses understand and then act tunities of relocating or expanding their

Seattle 41,995

commercial operations in Fort Bend.

St. Louis

The Grand Parkway Association

63,697

www.grandpky.com

The Grand Parkway Association is a nonprofit

state

transportation

corpora-

tion authorized by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in 1984 to facilitate the development of the Grand Parkway, Houston’s third outer highway loop. The Association operates on funds received from Fort Bend, Harris, Chambers, Galveston and Brazoria counties, as well as from TxDOT and the Metropolitan Transit Authority. It is governed by a sevenmember board of directors appointed by the Texas Transportation Commission. The first

76

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


segment of the Grand Parkway opened in Fort Bend County, connecting U.S. 59 South to I-10 West. The Grand Parkway is now open all the way to U.S. 59 North as part of the vision to create a 180-mile outer loop to serve transportation needs in the Greater Houston area.

Stafford Economic Development Corporation www.staffordtxedc.com

The City of Stafford has been promoting economic development for more than 40 years. It was the first municipality in Fort Bend County to do so, resulting in one of the strongest and most diverse economies in Texas. The Stafford Economic Development Corporation was created in 1999 to promote

FORT BEND MAJOR EMPLOYERS Fluor Enterprises, Inc.*

2,800

Schlumberger* 2,300

Houston Sigma Technology

150

United Healthcare/ United Health Group

1,239

Crown Cork & Seal Co/Crown Holdings*

170

Nalco Champion, an Ecolab Company*

546

Money Management International 138

Tramontina USA, Inc.

800

Icon Clinical Research

145

First Data Telecheck

500

Trafficware

150

Unique Industrial Product Co.

143

The Crescent

132

Aetna*

109

Memorial Hermann Sugar Land 497 477

ects enhancing economic development.

Baker Hughes*

399

St. Luke’s Hospital Sugar Land

390

Texas Instruments*

368

Yokogawa Corp of America

330

E. E. Reed Construction

www.VisitSugarLandTX.com Sugar Land’s tourism program was estab-

Two of its most noteworthy accomplish-

major improvements and amenities on U.S. Highway 90-A, Stafford’s “Main Street.”

Visit Sugar Land

lished in 2011 when the Sugar Land City Council approved a 5-Year Strategic Roadmap

for

Economic

Development

120

2,100

Noble Drilling Services, Inc.

arts theater and convention center, and the

Marriott-Sugar Land Town Square

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital

and expand commerce and to finance proj-

ments include Stafford Centre, a performing

HCSS 186

Consentino 140 University of Houston

130

Sugar Land Health Care Center 127 KW Industries, Inc.

123

240

CVR Energy

120

Fairfield Nodal

220

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

120

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP

370

Fiserv Output Solutions

122

Accredo Packaging, Inc.

250

De Nora Water Technologies

106

Healix, Inc.

250

SABIC Technology Center*

94

Team Industrial, Inc.

94

which included the establishment of a HealthSouth Sugar Land Rehabilitation Hospital

220

Mylan Institutional, Inc./Mylan

90

Applied Optoelectronics, Inc.

257

Amerex Brokers, LLC

88

Minute Maid/Coca-Cola*

176

Professional Golf Ball SVC

87

Pharmedium Services, LLC

315

Amica Insurance

86

number of visitors and their length of stay in

CSM Bakery Products

225

Boise Cascade

82

Sugar Land in support of retail, service and

Ventyx, an ABB Company

215

Yang Ming Marine Transport

82

Sugar Land’s existing attractions including

OptumRx Health

140

Prime Communications

77

Sugar Land Town Square, Constellation

Industrial Information Resources 122

Analytical Sensors &

Bluebonnet Nutrition Nutritional 175

Instruments Ltd. (ASI)

Tourism Program intended to generate overnight visitation to Sugar Land by attracting meetings, events and leisure travelers to the City. The mission of Visit Sugar Land Convention & Visitor Services is to increase the

hotel businesses and to ensure the success of

Field, the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land and the new stateof-the-art live entertainment venue – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land. 

76

City of Sugar Land Office of Economic Development - Updated August 2016 *Fortune 500 Company (Does not include public agencies)

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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in this section

Photo courtesy of Fort Bend Childen’s Discovery Center

parks and attractions art and culture sports and golf calendar of events

7 87 8 F OF ROT R BT EBNEDN D C HCAHM A BMEBRE R O FO C F O CM OM M EMRECREC N E ENWE C WO CM O EMRE R G UGI U D IED E– S– USM UM M EMRE/RF /AFLAL L 2L 021071 7


LEISURE & RECREATION

Fort Bend County works hard-that’s how it got to be one of the most prosperous and fastest-growing counties in the nation. But Fort Bend also know how to relax and have fun whether it’s celebrating tradition dating back more than a century, or enjoying new events.

Live. Work. Play. Why Fort Bend is so much fun. Life is too short to just work; you gotta play too. And in vibrant Houston, fun activities

One of the best websites for finding out about special events in Houston is www. visithouston.com, the official site of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. The website includes a visitor’s guide, interactive maps, coupons and discounts, and itinerary ideas. One of its most popular features is the Houston CityPass, which provides admission to 5 of Houston’s top attractions at a substantial discount!

renaissance festival and the country’s quirkiest event, the art car parade. The city’s diverse personality shines through with buoyant events like the Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth and GLBT Pride Celebration. It’s often said that Houston doesn’t cherish its history, but that’s not the case with traditions like the 80-year-old Azalea Trail and numerous historic home tours. Plus, Houston’s rich arts, theatre and restaurant scenes offer exciting experiences every day.

is being praised for opening the curious minds of children who come to explore, imagine and engage. Housed in a repurposed building within the historic Imperial Sugar factory, the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center is patterned after the Children’s Museum of Houston, rated America’s No. 1 children’s museum. Visit www.childrensdiscoveryfb.org. The Smart Financial Centre is the one of

abound, with annual events such as the world’s largest rodeo, the nation’s largest

Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center

Fort Bend County works hard – that’s how it got to be one of the most prosperous and fastest-growing counties in the nation. But Fort Bend also knows how to relax and have fun – whether it’s celebrating traditions dating back more than a century, or enjoying new events showcasing the county’s many new attractions and diverse ethnic traditions. Fort Bend is a place where a 20,000-acre working ranch with historic homes and costumed actors thrives side-byside with one of the nation’s largest Hindu temples. That’s today’s Fort Bend – and it’s incredible.

the newest state of the art venues in the country. The venue opened in 2017 with multiple performances by Jerry Seinfeld. The Smart Financial Centre box office is located at 18111 Lexington Boulevard in Sugar Land, TX. The theater has controllable seating that will allow it to expand from 3,000 to 6,400 seats depending upon the desired intimacy of the show. Some of the other Smart Financial Centre tickets include acts like Don Henley, Reba McEntire, The Lumineers, and Steve Martin. Visit www.smartfinancial.net. 

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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L E I S U R E & R E C R E AT I O N

FORT BEND PARKS First Colony Park

for special events. The stage area of the park

This 22-acre park is the site of a 3,000 square foot conference center. This park contains seven lighted and two unlighted baseball fields, batting cages, three concession stands, a playground, drinking fountains, grills, benches, 368 parking spaces, restrooms, picnic tables and picnic pavilion.

can be reserved for private functions.

Brazos River Park The Brazos River flows through Sugar Land along a 9-mile corridor. The City has acquired approximately 1200 acres of land along the banks of the river. Ultimately, the City hopes to own almost 3600 acres for

Park facilities include a pool, five lighted baseball fields, a lighted and covered skate park pavilion, benches and bike racks, four lighted tennis courts, a playground, batting cages, drinking fountain, grills, benches, picnic tables, restrooms, a sand volleyball area, horseshoe pits, covered picnic shelter, concession stands and meeting room. The pool is 25 yards long, ranges 3-12 feet in depth and has two 1-meter diving boards.

Duhacsek Park This 50-acre park site was donated to the city by the late Walter and Virginia Duhacsek. This homestead is filled with huge handgrafted pecan trees. It holds the third largest pecan tree in Texas. This facility is available for reservations for groups up to 40 people. Located at the intersection of Voss Road and Old Richmond Road. The facility consists of 60 parking spaces, a large pavilion with picnic tables and two restrooms.

Eldridge Park This 43-acre community park is located on Eldridge Road near the West Airport intersection. The park facilities include a community meeting room for 65 people, picnic pavilion, restrooms, grills, benches, picnic tables, .40 miles of trails, fishing pier, concession stand, playground, 10 soccer fields, five-acre pond and 500 car parking lot. The pond is stocked with bass, crappie and catfish.

80

parks, open space, and conservation along

Located adjacent to the Imperial Park Recreation Center, this 44-acre park is the home of the Sugar Land Girls Softball Association. The park facilities include parking, nine softball fields, batting cages a nine-hole disc golf course, playground, picnic area, drinking fountains and restrooms. Disc golf is similar to traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a disc, or Frisbee. The nine-hole course located in the southern, undeveloped portion of the park winds through existing trees. Golfers must bring their own discs.

River Park is located at the intersection of

the corridor. The main entrance to Brazos U.S. Highway 59 at the Brazos River. The park is an initial phase of development and include trails, restrooms, and picnic tables with grills. The Brazos River Park will be developed over many years.

Multiple access points

along the river will be developed and will be identified as a sub-park within the larger Brazos River Park.

The park sites will

provide access to trails, play areas, and the river as well as providing restrooms, and picnic facilities. The sub-parks will be

Lost Creek Park

connected along the corridor by trails and

This 21-acre park includes seven soccer fields (6 youth- 4 lighted, 1 adult- not lighted, 2 practice fields) for youth and adults, a large play structure for children from 2 to 12, a meeting room which can accommodate 40 people, a covered picnic pavilion with a concession stand, restrooms, and parking for over 300 vehicles. The three-mile Oyster Creek Trail is accessible from Lost Creek Park. a .9-mile lighted loop trail circles the park site. A BMX track offering youngsters and teens another way to stay active outdoors can be found at Lost Creek Park.

canoe access.

This three-mile hike and bike trail is accessible from Lexington Blvd., Dulles Ave., and Hwy 6. In addition to the Greenbelt trail, a water feature with rock lined falls and a pond is constructed near the Hwy 6 entrance, adjacent to Oyster Creek. Emergency call boxes exist along Oyster Creek Trail. This facility includes: 78 parking spaces, 5 picnic tables, drinking fountain, grills, benches and public art elements. Restroom facilities are available and a stage/amphitheater covering

for sports activities and a lake. The lake is

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

Sugar Land Memorial Park The 420-acre park is located along the Brazos River between U.S. Highway 59 and University Boulevard with the park entry at the intersection of Commonwealth and University Boulevards. Included in the first phase are two and a half miles of 8-foot wide granite gravel walking/jogging/biking trails, 2 picnic pavilions, restroom buildings, parking areas, playground, dog park, Justin P. Brindley mountain bike trail, open space stocked with Large Mouth Bass, Bluegill and Channel Catfish. Visitors may fish in the lake with a valid fishing license. Consult your local tackle shop or Texas Parks and Wildlife for license information and bag and size limits. The park is home to the Veterans Memorial Remembrance Tower.

This is

a unique and iconic feature of the park. It includes the names of Sugar Land soldiers killed while in active duty.

Source: City of Sugar Land

City Park

Imperial Park & Disc Golf Course


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81


Photos courtesy of Rosenberg Railroad Museum

Photos courtesy of George Ranch Historical Park

Photos courtesy of Houston Museum of Natural Science at Fort Bned

L E I S U R E & R E C R E AT I O N

FORT BEND COUNTY & SURROUNDING AREA ATTRACTIONS Brazos Bend State Park www.brazosbend.org

This 5,000-acre natural gem features scenic terrain carved by the Brazos River. A nature center is the best place for visitors of all ages to begin their explorations. Activities include biking, fishing, hiking, birding and much more. Located in the park, the Fort Bend Challenger Center is a living memorial to the seven Challenger astronauts who lost their lives in 1986. Summer programs, events and classes are available.

Brookwood Community

www.brookwoodcommunity.org Located in Brookshire, just west of Katy, this is a non-profit residential facility and vocational program for adults with disabilities. Brookwood is known for the wonderful ceramics and other gift items made by its residents, and its expansive gift shops and art galleries carry a wide array of unique items. The garden shop, with plants and flowers grown by residents, rivals the best nurseries anywhere. Ditto for the very popular café. Group tours are available.

Central Green

www.willowforkdrainagedistrict.com/ central-green Free outdoor movies, concerts and special events such as an annual children’s festival

82

are offered year-round at this half-acre multipurpose park, surrounded by lakes and restaurants in LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch. Developed by the Willow Fork Drainage District, Central Green has an outdoor stage, large shady oaks, and outdoor seating around a grassy lawn.

Constellation Field/Sugar Land Skeeters www.sugarlandskeeters.com

Root for Sugar Land’s home team as it plays independent professional minor league baseball in this thoroughly modern stadium.

Far mer’s Market at Imperial Sugar Land

settlers who received Mexican land grants through Stephen F. Austin. The surrounding Richmond Historical District includes more stately homes, the 1908 county courthouse, and Morton Cemetery-the resting place of many Fort Bend pioneers.

Fort Bend Theatre

www.fortbendtheatre.com Founded in 1989, this theatre offers family friendly productions throughout the year on weekends. The troupe also performs children’s plays for schools and preschools. Summer musical theatre camps are another popular offering.

www.imperialsugarland.com/farmersmarket.

George Ranch Historical Park

Farmers, artists, vendors and performers host one of the liveliest and most varied markets in the Houston region. It happens every Saturday from 9-1, rain or shine.

Located on a 20,000-acre working ranch,

Fort Bend County Museum

1824, it is open daily. Special events such as

www.fortbendmuseum.org

www.georgeranch.org

this 460-acre living history park includes historic homes, costumed interpreters and livestock. Tracing history that began in the Texian Market Days Festival and Spring Break activities are offered year round.

Proclaimed as one of the best showcases of local history in Texas, this museum in historic downtown Richmond is located in the 1882 McFarlane House – rumored to be haunted! Exhibits trace more than 100 years of history, including the original “Old 300”

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

George Memorial Library www.fortbend.lib.tx.us

The main library in the Fort Bend County Libraries System, this Richmond facility


includes an expansive Genealogy and

Rosenberg Railroad Museum

Local History Department that focuses on

www.rosenbergrrmuseum.org

www.slcaf.org

With indoor and outdoor exhibits including

The last remaining public building from the original company-owned town of Sugar Land, this 1918 auditorium was built for the newly established school district. It showed movies and plays, and held dances on the rooftop. Recently restored to its original splendor, the 394-seat auditorium is available for rental.

the southeastern United States. Its archives include material on the South, the Civil War, federal censuses and genealogy.

the 1879 Quebec railcar and the 1972

George Observatory

years of railroad history that’s been vital to

www.hmns.org

Fort Bend. More highlights include model

Sugar Land Auditorium

Mopac caboose, this museum traces 160

trains, the Garden Railroad and the Whistle Enjoy a front seat to the stars in this obser-

Stop Gift Shop. Group tours, special events

vatory in Brazos Bend State Park. A satellite

and private events are held year round.

of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, it offers precise views of deep space with a recently restored 36-inch telescope.

Sugar Land Town Square

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation & Museum

www.sugarlandtownsquare.com

www.slheritage.org

Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land www.hmns.org

A new pedestrian-oriented downtown for Fort Bend County, this 32-acre “Main Street” development includes shopping, dining, office space and a hotel. The central plaza is a popular gathering spot for residents to enjoy year round festivals and special events.

This museum is located in an interim space at Imperial Sugar Land – next to the iconic 1925 Char House – until its new museum

Housed in the preserved historic Central

space opens in Imperial Sugar Land in early

State Farm building – formerly a prison

2017. The SLHF was founded in 2008 with

dormitory – this museum includes five

the mission of preserving the vast treasure

permanent exhibit halls with over 1.5 million

trove of historic artifacts, documents and

objects. Special exhibits bring in some of the

photos from the Imperial Sugar refinery,

best museum offerings from across the U.S.

which was in continual operation from the

The only dual rink facility in the Houston

to Fort Bend.

mid 1800s until 2003.

region, it offers public skating and is home

www.sugarlandice.com

SOMETHING FOR

No fair weather golfers at Sweetwater!

Golf year round in the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy!

E OL WH

LOT LOTIN ONE.

THE

AWHOLE

Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center

FA M

ILY .

Indoor simulator, video and indoor putting green. Come and enjoy SWEETWATER COUNTRY CLUB and experience a WHOLE lot of fun! Personalized service, 36 holes of championship golf, 4 indoor and 8 outdoor tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, kids zone, racquetball, basketball, complete workout facility coupled with a talented and engaged group of professionals providing a full calendar of and wide range of activities and programming. Please contact us to arrange a tour today!

SWEETWATER COUNTRY CLUB

281-980-4100

www.sweetwatercc.com

HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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L E I S U R E & R E C R E AT I O N

on Ice musical is performed.

Houston Museum of Natural Science, Miller Outdoor Theater, a Japanese Garden, train and pedal boats, and a golf course.

garden, and more. You can get a bird’s-eye view of it all by walking the spiral path to the top of a 30-foot mount.

Bayou Bend Collection & Gardens

Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

Moody Gardens

to the Sugar Land Imperials 3HL ice hockey team. During the holidays, the Nutcracker

www.mfah.org/visit/bayou-bend-collection-and-gardens Bayou Bend, the magnificent home of Miss Ima Hogg, is best known for her superb collection of American decorative arts, innovative architecture, and breathtaking gardens. The heavily wooded 14 acres (5.7 ha) along Buffalo Bayou include eight formal gardens. Three of the gardens are named for a statue of a goddess or muse displayed in the garden, Clio, Diana and Euturpe.

Discovery Green www.discoverygreen.com Since it opened in 2008, this 12-acre downtown park has been a hit with Houstonians who enjoy its restaurants, public art displays, dog parks, lakes, and seasonal events including the holiday ice rink. More than 1.2 million visitors come to more than 600 events at Discovery Green each year, including movies in the park, concerts and fitness programs.

Hermann Park www.hermannpark.org Arguably Houston’s “Central Park,” this 445-acre park wedged between the Museum District and Medical Center celebrated its 100th birthday in 2014 with a major facelift and the new McGovern Centennial Gardens, featuring 15 acres of rose gardens, an interactive family garden, a 30-foot garden mount, and a sculpture promenade. Hermann Park is also home to the Houston Zoo, the

www.houstonarboretum.org Nestled along the western edge of Memorial Park, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and the opportunity to experience the natural world – all in the center of town. Visitors can explore nature by walking on five miles of trails, take classes and visit the Discovery Room and the Nature Shop at the Nature Shop.

www.moodygardens.org A tropical destination for families and groups. Explore the all new Rainforests of the World along within the Aquarium Pyramid®, the Discovery Museum & the action of the IMAX® 3D, 4D or Ridefilm theaters. Cruise aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, tee off at the new Moody Gardens Golf Course and relax at the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center for an ideal getaway.

Houston Zoo www.houstonzoo.org Aiming to be a leader in the global movement to save wildlife, The Houston Zoo cares for over 6,000 animals, even educating some. Each year, over 2 million guests are enchanted, educated, and inspired as they experience the incredible variety of animals and ecosystems, as well as attend special private and public events and entertainment. With exemplary animal care in mind, the Zoo provides engaging animal experiences for visitors in multiple seasonal and permanent attractions, like holiday Zoo Lights and the new Gorillas of the African Forest exhibit. The Houston Zoo is open seven days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 6200 Hermann Park Drive.

Mcgovern Centennial Gardens & Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion www.hermannpark.org The McGovern Centennial Gardens is home to a diverse collection of gardens including an arid garden, a rose garden, a woodland garden, an interactive family

San Jacinto Monument & Museum www.sanjacinto-museum.org Site of the battle that won Texas independence from Mexico. The world’s largest masonry structure invites visitors to learn about events that shaped Texas history.

Space Center Houston www.spacecenter.org Space Center Houston, a $70-million, 183,000 square-foot entertainment and educational complex designed by Disney Imagineering, offers hands-on, space-related experiences to visitors. In addition to a full-size reproduction of the space shuttle, guests can use computer trainers to perform operations similar to the ones the astronauts used to launch a satellite or land a shuttle. NASA scientists and astronauts give briefings about current activities, visitors observe scientists and mission specialists at work and in training via live video hookups. The theaters, including an IMAX screen, feature space flight films.

SCHLITTERBAHN GALVESTON ISLAND WATERPARK www.schlitterbahn.com

With its huge array of awesome aquatic adventures, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island can be your personal happy place! During the summer season the park offers over 35 amazing rides and attractions. The Heated Indoor Season, October through mid-April, features more than a dozen heated attractions in a tropical, heated indoor oasis. 84

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


ARTS &e

r u t l cu

The theater district is an impressive cultural and entertainment center; features nine world renowned performing arts organizations, and many smaller ones, in four venues – Jones Hall, Wortham Theater Center, Alley Theatre and Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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L E I S U R E & R E C R E AT I O N

THEATER DISTRICT Alley Theatre

Houston Grand Opera

615 Texas Ave., Houston, 77002 www.alleytheatre.org

510 Preston St., Houston, 77002 www.houstongrandopera.org

One of America’s leading not-for-profit theatres calls the Houston Theater District Home – The Alley Theatre. The Alley Theatre is nationally recognized for their performing arts company lead by Artistic Director Gregory Boyd and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden. Specializing in productions of the classics, modern plays and premieres, The Alley Theatre produces more performances than all other performing arts organizations in the Houston Theater District.

Adding to Houston’s rich cultural environ-

Bayou Place

500 Texas Ave., Houston, 77002 www.bayouplace.com Bayou Place is Houston’s premier destination for great food and good times. Popular venues such as the Revention Music Center and Sundance Cinemas are located here as well as many dining options – most popular is Houston’s own Hard Rock Café. This mosaic of entertainment options makes Bayou Place a prime spot for the Houston Theater District.

Stages Repertory Theatre

ment, the Houston Grand Opera entertains with their innovative programs, community events and educational projects. Houston Grand Opera has a solid reputation for commissioning and producing new works, including 56 world premieres and seven American premieres since 1973. Stop in and visit and see why Houston Grand Opera has toured extensively, including trips to Europe and Asia, and is the only opera company to have won a Tony, two Grammy awards, and

800 Bagby St., Ste. 300 Houston, 77002 www.thehobbycenter.org The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts brings first-class entertainment and cultural enjoyment to Houstonians by way of the generosity of their donors. This arts complex is home to the Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS), and the Houston Broadway Series.

501 Texas Ave., Houston, 77002 www.houstonballet.org The Houston Ballet is a classically trained company with diverse repertory whose range includes the classics are well as contemporary works. This company attracts the world’s best dancers and choreographers. The Houston Ballet also has a world class Academy whose instruction levels vary from professional dancer to non-professional dancers.

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Society for the Performing Arts 615 Louisiana St. Ste. 100, Houston, 77002 www.spahouston.org The Society for the Performing Arts is the

Houston Symphony 615 Louisiana St. Ste. 102, Houston, 77002 www.houstonsymphony.org

largest nonprofit presenting organization of its kind in the entire Southwest region. SPA is renowned for delivering to Houston inter-

The Houston Symphony’s mission is to

nationally acclaimed artists from the entire

“inspire and engage a large diverse audience

performing arts spectrum, and has been

in Greater Houston and beyond through

doing so for over 50 years.

exceptional

orchestral

and

non-orches-

tral performances, educational programs

Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS)

and community activities.”

800 Bagby, Ste. 200, Houston, TX 77002 www.tuts.com

By 2025, the

Houston Symphony aims to be one of top-ten orchestras.

Jones Hall 615 Louisiana St., Houston, 77002 www.houstonfirsttheaters.com Jones Hall is a monument to the memory of Jesse Holman Jones, an eminent figure

A non-profit based in Houston, Texas, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) offers a world –class musical theatre experience that ranges from full-scale Broadway productions to educational initiatives that extend beyond the stage and into the community. TUTS is equipped for actors and aficionados of all ages and abilities.

in Houston during the first half of the 20th Century. Today, Jones Hall is home to the

Wortham Theater Center

Houston Symphony and the Society for the

501 Texas Ave., Houston, 77002 www.houstonfirsttheaters.com

Performing Arts. More than 400,000 visitors attend some 250 events annually.

Houston Ballet

Stages Theatre is one of only two theatres in the region that offers year-round employment for actors, directors and additional staff. Stages contributes much to the Houston community, including the availability of thrilling live performances. The Theatre produces daring and innovative plays focusing on new off-Broadway hits and world premieres.

two Emmy awards.

America’s most relevant and accessible

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

3021 Allen Pkwy. Ste. 101, Houston, 77019 www.stagestheatre.com

Main Street Theater 2450 Times Square Blvd., Houston 77005 333 S. Jensen, Houston, 77003 www.mainstreettheater.com Main Street Theater was founded in 1975 and has been opening doors for locals of all ages to engage in the performing arts. They offer classes for children and adults and hold performances by both local authors and established writers.

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

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Houston’s largest performing arts complex, is home to the Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera and is partnered with Da Camera of Houston and Mercury the Orchestra Redefined. The Wortham Center features two theaters, the Alice and George Brown Theater at 2,405 seats used primarily for major performances and the Lillie and Roy Cullen Theater at 1,100 seat hosts smaller opera and ballet. Since its opening in 1987, Wortham has entertained more than 8 million people.


MUSEUM DISTRICT

Photo courtesy of The Art Car Museum

The Art Car Museum 140 Heights Blvd., Houston, 77007 www.artcarmuseum.com Otherwise known as the “Garage Mahal”, The Art Car Museum is dedicated to contemporary art. It is an exhibition forum for local, national and international arts with an emphasis on art cars, other fine arts and artists that rarely, if ever, are acknowledged by other cultural institutions. Most popular to Houstonians is the annual Art Car Parade.

Buffalo Soldiers National Museum 3816 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004 www.buffalosoldiermuseum.com The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum (BSNM) is proud to educate the public and preserve and promote the history, tradition and outstanding contributions of America’s Buffalo Soldiers from the Revolutionary War to the present. Here, you can find workshops, youth outreach programs and exhibits about the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and their service.

Children’s Museum of Houston 1500 Binz St., Houston, TX 77004 www.cmhouston.org A duck pond, playhouse, grocery store, Mexican village, puppet show and an infant play area are all under one roof. The fun-filled hands on experience at the Children’s Museum of Houston will not leave anyone bored. For nearly 30 years, the place for families to play, laugh, learn and grow.

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews

5216 Montrose Blvd., Houston, 77006 www.camh.org

survivors’ legacy. The Holocaust Museum

The Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston is an institution dedicated to presenting the best and most exciting international, national and regional art. Patrons of every age will appreciate the collections of work and dynamic exhibitions on display. CAMH is a nonprofit organization that relies on a variety of funding sources, including individual, government, and corporate, for its activities.

and other innocent victims and honoring the Houston has a permanent exhibition called “Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers,” as well as other pieces of history.

The Menil Collection 1533 Sul Ross St., Houston, TX 77006 www.menil.org The Menil Collection is an art museum that houses both permanent collection and welcomes special exhibitions. Making art accessible to all is vital to their mission, so no admission fee is charged and all public

The Health Museum

programs are free. They hope to educate

1515 Hermann Dr., Houston, 77004 www.thehealthmuseum.org

and inspire by being readily accessible to

The Health Museum is Houston’s most interactive science learning center and a member institution of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center. The Health Museum is the most visited health museum of its kind in the country. Popular exhibits include: DeBakey Cell Lab, Amazing Body Pavilion and the McGovern 4D Theater.

future generations. Menil philosophy is to foster each individual’s direct, personal encounter with works of art.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, 77005 www.mfah.org The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents its exceptional exhibitions and installations

The Houston Museum of Natural Science

to Houston residents and visitors alike. The

5555 Hermann Park Dr., Houston, 77030 www.hmns.org

the galleries year-round embracing every

As one of the most heavily attended museums in the United States, the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) seeks to enhance knowledge and delight in natural science and related subjects. It houses the Burke Baker Planetarium, Wortham GIANT Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center and a fascinating variety of permanent exhibit areas that examine astronomy, space science, Native American culture, paleontology, energy, chemistry, gems and minerals, Texas wildlife and more. www. hmns.org

Holocaust Museum Houston 5401 Caroline St., Houston, 77004 www.hmh.org

Museum has numerous collections that fill era of history from across the globe. Make time to visit the Bayou Bend Collection not too far away. From 2015 to 2019 the campus of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will transform into a magnificent two new buildings. Children 12 and younger are always admitted free.

Blaffer Art Museum University of Houston - 120 Fine Arts Bldg. Houston, 77204 www.blafferartmuseum.org Blaffer Art Museum helps the community to engage in contemporary art through exhibitions, publications and public programs. This art museum is free, and open to the public in an effort to promote participation in the arts. Blaffer Art Museum is also the

The Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the

gateway between the University of Houston and the City of Houston.

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DINING SCENE FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS

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Aling’s Chinese Cuisine 15425 SW Freeway, Sugar Land TX 77478 BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse 2231 Highway 6, Sugar Land TX 77478 Bacon Brothers Public House 2110 Town Square Place Sugar Land TX 77479

Longhorn Steakhouse 16746 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land TX 77479 Newk’s Eatery 2715 Town Center Blvd N Sugar Land TX 77479

Brookstreet Barbecue 1418 Highway 6 S. Sugar Land TX 77478

Nothing Bundt Cakes 1531 Highway 6, Suite 125 Sugar Land TX 77478

Brookwood Community 1752 FM 1489, Brookshire TX 77423

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro 2120 Lone Star Dr. Sugar Land TX 77479

Buffalo Wild Wings - Sugar Land 1401 Highway 6 Bldg. B Sugar Land TX 77478

Panera Bread 1928 Highway 6, Sugar Land TX 77478

Chick-fil-A at First Colony Mall 16535 Southwest Freeway, Suite 520 Sugar Land TX 77479 Chick-fil-A at Missouri City 6124 Highway 6 S. Missouri City TX 77459 Chick-fil-A at Stafford 12161 SW Freeway, Stafford TX 77477 Chick-fil-A at Sugar Land 2330 Highway 6 S. Sugar Land TX 77479 Churrascos 1520 Lake Pointe Pkwy, Suite 500 Sugar Land TX 77478

Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza 11609 S Highway 6, Sugar Land TX 77498 Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza 8770 Highway 6, Ste. 100 Missouri City TX 77459 Pepperoni’s 12807 Royal Dr. Suite 106 Stafford TX 77477 Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille 2115 Town Square Place Sugar Land TX 77479

Denny’s 6131 Highway 6 S. Missouri City TX 77459

Piada Italian Street Food 1930 Highway 6, Sugar Land TX 77478 Potbelly Sandwich Shops 1815 Hwy 6 S, Sugar Land TX 77478 Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers 1529 Highway 6, Sugar Land TX 77478

DoubleDaves Pizzaworks 4506 Highway 6 S. Sugar Land TX 77478

Ruggles Green 15903 City Walk, Sugar Land TX 77479

Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill 716 Highway 6, Sugar Land TX 77478

Spring Creek Barbeque 4895 Highway 6, Missouri City TX 77459

Fish City Grill 15980 City Walk, Sugar Land TX 77479

Sub Zero Ice Cream 15810 Southwest Fwy #300 Sugar Land 77469 Taco Bell 13325 University Blvd. Sugar Land TX 77479

Chuy’s 320 Highway 6, Sugar Land TX 77478

Freebirds World Burrito 15285 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land TX 77478 Fuzzy’s Taco Shop 4875 Highway 6, Missouri City TX 77459 Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen 12330 Southwest Freeway, Stafford TX 7477 Jason’s Deli 15275 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land TX 77478 Jersey Mike’s Subs 520 Highway 6, Suite100 Sugar Land TX 77478 Jimmy John’s 2276 Lone Star Dr. Sugar Land TX 77479 Kelley’s Country Cookin’ 11555 West Airport Meadows Place TX 77477 La Escondida Mexican Grill 7270 Highway 6, Suite 500 Missouri City TX 77459 La Cocina Mexican Restaurant 515 FM 359, Suite 100, Richmond TX 77469 la Madeleine Country French Cafe 2675 Town Center Blvd. Sugar Land TX 77479 Little Caesars 11538 Wilcrest Dr. Houston TX 77099

Taco Cabana - Missouri City 5850 Highway 6, Missouri City TX 77459 Taco Cabana - Sugar Land 16770 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land TX 77479 Texian Brewing Company 1125 FM 359, Richmond TX 77406 Thai Cottage II 4723 Sweetwater Blvd. Sugar Land TX 7479

SHOPPING

Brazos Town Center Reading Rd & Us-59, Rosenberg TX 77471 Colony Square 16762 Southwest Fwy, Sugar Land TX 77479 First Colony Mall 16535 Southwest Fwy Ste 520,Sugar Land, TX 77479-2324 First Colony Marketplace 3350 Highway 6, Sugar Land, TX 77478 Fort Bend Town Center SWC Fort Bend Pkwy. & Hwy. 6 Missouri City, TX 77459 Fountains on the Lake 12520 Fountain Lake Cir. Stafford TX 77477 Highland Square 3219 Highway 6, Sugar Land, TX 77478 Katy Mills Mall 5000 Katy Mills Cir. Katy, TX 77494 LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd, Katy, TX 77494 Lake Pointe Town Center U.S. 59 at Highway 6, Sugar Land, TX 77479 Missouri City Shopping Center 5950 Highway 6, Missouri City, TX Murphy Road Shopping Center 510 Murphy Rd. Stafford, TX 77477

The Bombay Palace, Indian Grill & Bar 15295 Southwest Fwy. Sugar Land TX 77478

Plaza Shopping Center 2816 Avenue H, Rosenberg, TX 77471

The Swinging Door 3818 FM 359, Richmond TX 77406

Riverpark Shopping Center 20030 Southwest Fwy, Sugar Land TX 77479

The Witt Pit 2516 1st St. Rosenberg TX 77471

Sugar Land Town Square Us-59 & Highway 6, Sugar Land TX 77479

Veritas Steak & Seafood 1550 Lake Pointe Parkway, Suite 500 Sugar Land TX 77478 Wings-N-Things 3375 Hwy 6 Sugar Land TX 77014 Willie’s Grill & Icehouse #6 945 Highway 6, Sugar Land TX 77478

Town Center Lakeside Us-59 & Highway 6, Sugar Land, TX 77479 Williams Trace Shopping Center Highway 6 & Williams Trace Blvd. Sugar Land, TX 77479 HOUSTONNEWCOMERGUIDES.COM

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SPORTS

& GOLF

Fort Bend County offers a wide variety of sports and recreational activities to please everyone: couch potatoes, weekend warriors, full-on athletes and die-hard fans love the sports scenes. With yearround mild temperatures, getting up and getting out has become a way of life.

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GOLF COURSES Public

Columbia Lakes Resort & Conference Center

979-345-515

columbialakesgolf.com

The Golf Club at Cinco Ranch

281-395-4653

golfclubatcincoranch.com

Greatwood Golf Club

281-343-9999

greatwoodgolf.com

Meadowbrook Farms

281-693-4653 meadowbrookfarmsgolfclub.com

Quail Valley Golf Course

281-403-5900

golfquailvalley.com

River Pointe Golf Club

281-343-9995

riverpointegolf.com

Sienna Plantation Golf Club

281-778-4653

siennagolf.com

Brae Burn Country Club

713-774-8788

braeburncc.com

The Club at Falcon Point

281-392-7888

clubcorp.com

Private

Black Hawk Country Club

281-494-4244

bhawkcc.com

Pecan Grove Golf Course

281-342-9940

pecangrovecc.com

Riverbend Country Club

281-491-2500

riverbendcountryclub.org

Shadow Hawk Golf Club

281-494-3533

shadowhawkgolfclub.com

Sugar Creek Country Club

281-494-9135

thesugarcreek.com

Sweetwater Country Club

281-980-4653

sweetwatercc.com

Weston Lakes Country Club

281-346-1228

westonlakes.net

Westwood Golf Club

713-774-3011

wwgolfclub.com

Willow Fork Country Club

281-579-6611

willowforkclub.com

Renovated, Rejuvenated and… Relaxed With our third fully renovated course ready in time for the 2017 peak golf season, now is the perfect time to join Sugar Creek Country Club. You’ll enjoy luxurious facilities, exquisite locker rooms and service levels found only in exclusive, member-owned country clubs.

Come see why newcomers love Sugar Creek’s familyfriendly atmosphere. Call 281.494.9131 to inquire about our limited and time sensitive membership incentives.

www.thesugarcreek.com • 281.494.9131 420 Sugar Creek Blvd. • Sugar Land, Texas 77478

GOLF

TENNIS

FITNESS

POOL

DINING

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L E I S U R E & R E C R E AT I O N

new up-and-comers, like Deshaun Watson.

park, many restaurants, clubs and music venues hop, especially on game day.

Sunday football is celebrated in NRG

The Houston Rockets

that includes fan favorites, like J.J. Watt, and

stadium cheering on the team, tailgating with friends in the parking lot before and Photos courtesy of Houston Texans

after the game, at many sports bars around town, or in front of your own television. Go Texans!

The Houston Astros

www.houston.astros.mlb.com Part of the West Division of Major League Baseball’s American League, the Houston Astros are on a roll. Currently the winningest team in baseball, the

PROFESSIONAL SPORT TEAMS The Houston Texans www.houstontexans.com

Football is huge in Texas and the Texans are huge in Houston. In their 16th season, this NFL professional team are the 2011, 2012 and 2015 AFC South Division Champions. Head coach Bill O’Brien and owner Bob McNair have put together an exciting roster

team and its fans are having a lot of fun. Playing in Minute Maid Park, one of the country’s few stadiums with a retract-

www.houstonrockets.com

The Houston Rockets are the city’s professional National Basketball Association team playing in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. Two-time world basketball champions, the Rockets are regular challengers in playoff action and always provide exciting end-to-end action in the Toyota Center. Many star players have passed through the team’s roster over its almost-fifty-year history and now James Hardin and the rest have launched the Rockets back into competitive contention.

The Houston Dynamo www.houstondynamo.com

able roof, the team serves up entertaining baseball action at home about 80 times over the course of the season. Fans enjoy gourmet hot dogs, pork sliders, tex-mex fare and many other delectable choices while enjoying the game. Around the

Founded in 2005, the Dynamo is Houston’s Major League Soccer Team. The team name is reflective, in part, of Houston: an energetic, hard-working, risk-taking kind of town. 2006 and 2007 MLS Champions, fans have lots to cheer about as this team continues to rank well both at home and internationally. The Dynamo play in BBVA Compass Stadium, an architecturally acclaimed venue, located east of downtown

GOLF Winters in Houston are mild and temperate, with the average high in January (the coldest month) at 62.9°F and the average low at 43.2°F. There are over 200 days of sunshine, so Houston is a golfer’s paradise. And there are plenty of places to play in West Houston. A wide range of municipal, public, or private courses, as well as country clubs offer varying terrain and challenges to suit every golfer’s taste. Here, you’ll find stunning courses designed by golf legends such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Fazio. Or watch the professionals grip it and rip it at the nearby Shell Houston Open. In addition, golf lessons, clinics, PGA professionals and First Tee Programs are offered throughout the greater Houston area.

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FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7


CALENDAR of EVENTS FORT BEND & SURROUNDING AREA EVENTS YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS

Photo courtesy of City of Sugar Land

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YEAR ROUND EVENTS Sugar Land Town Square Events www.sugarlandtownsquare.com/events

From Dancing Under the Stars to Movies Under the Moon, Vino and Vintage Vocals with Vino & Vinyl, Opry on the Square, Sugar Land Town Square hosts a fun event practically every week of the year. Check the website for details.

Imperial Sugar Land Events

comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Visit their website to see the year’s full calendar of concerts, festivals and family friendly events.

Fort Bend Museum Events www.fortbendmuseum.org

The museum offers many popular annual events, including the Children’s Day Festival in March, Texian Market Days in October, and Candlelight Tours of the historic Moore Home in December.

Farmer’s Markets Fort Bend honors its agricultural heritage with some of the best farmer’s markets in the region. These include the Richmond Farmer’s Market on Fridays and Sundays. On Saturdays, shop the Downtown Rosenberg Farmer’s Market and Imperial Sugar Land Farmer’s Market.

Smart Financial Centre Events www.smartfinancialcentre.net

This state-of-the-art venue opened in January 2017 with back-to-back performances by

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Sugar Land Skeeters

www.sugarlandskeeters.com Sugar Land can watch their very own minor league baseball team take on their opponents live at Constellation Field. 2017 season starts in April. Skeeters offer season tickets, mini-plans, group tickets, fundraising and Indicidual game tickets.

SEPTEMBER Fort Bend County Fair & Rodeo www.fortbendcountyfair.com

www.imperialsugarland.com

Imperial Sugar Land hosts many events, including a weekly Farmer’s Market on Saturdays 9:00 A.M. -1:00 P.M. rain or shine as well as events at Constellation Field. The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center features child-centered learning exhibits & special events, Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Photos courtesy of George Ranch

Photos courtesy of Fort Bend EDC

Photos courtesy of Imperial Sugar Land

L E I S U R E & R E C R E AT I O N

Fulshear Events & Festivals www.fulsheartexas.gov

Fulshear hosts several popular events throughout the year, including the Fulshear Festival of Lights in early December, and the Keep Fulshear Beautiful cleanup day in November. Fulshear celebrates July 4 with its Freedom Fest & Fireworks Show, and it also stages a St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Celebration downtown in March.

George Ranch Events www.georgeranch.org

George Ranch hosts many events through the year, including a Mother’s Day at the Park – Tea & Targets, a Juneteenth Celebration & Historic Lunch, a Labor Day Backyard BBQ, 34th Annual Texian Market Days Festival, Campfire Christmas, Christmas in the Park and much more. Visit their website for details.

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7

Now in its 81st year, this annual event includes a BBQ Cookoff, a Fair Queen contest, live music and a livestock show. It also features the Grapes on the Brazos wine event.

Health & Wellness Expo www.fortbendchamber.com

An opportunity to showcase the best, transformative, most innovative ideas, products and services that can directly impact the doctor, staff and patients.

OCTOBER Fort Bend Chamber Golf Tournament Golfers and non-golfers can participate in this annual Fort Bend Chamber event. Opportunities for networking, hole sponsorships and supporting members are available.


For more information or to register contact Matthew Ferraro at 281-491-0277 or matthew@fortbendcc.org.

Katy Rice Harvest Festival www.riceharvestfestival.org

Considered one of Greater Houston’s top festivals, the annual Katy Rice Harvest Festival celebrates the area’s historic farming roots with two days of family fun, including two stages with continuous live entertainment, crafts, food booths and more. This year marks its 36th year.

Texian Market Days www.georgeranch.org

Texian market days is a community event put on by the Fort Bend County Museum Association and held on the grounds of the George Ranch Historical Park.

Live Music with Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra www.fbso.org Join FBSO for spine-tingling music and interactive pieces in this Halloweeen-themed free outdoor “Hauntcert” at Sugar Land Town Square.

NOVEMBER Sugar Plum Market

www.sugarplummarket.com A project of the Fort Bend Junior Service League, the annual Sugar Plum Market raises money for Fort Bend charities. This is the 17th year for this fun holiday event. With more than 100 fabulous vendors, Sugar Plum Market patrons are able to experience a variety of merchandise including apparel, jewelry and accessories, home interiors, children’s items, food, and holiday gifts & décor.

DECEMBER CAFB Christmas Home Tour www.cafb.org

Christmas in the Park

New Year’s Eve On The Square

Christmas is coming to the Park in all of its

Mark your calendars for this year’s New Year Eve on the Square celebration. State of the art lighting effects and sound production will add soul and beat the the Square with modern lighting and audio to bring the buildings to life. Enchantment, wonder, and fun can be expected New Year’s Eve on the Square celebration. This event is free and open to the public.

www.georgeranch.org

historical glory. Travel through Christmas For 26 years, Child Advocates of Fort Bend has showcased lavishly decorated homes in Fort Bend’s most beautiful neighborhoods to raise money to support its programs. More than 2,000 visitors tour on a typical weekend, with over 90% of proceeds going directly to CAFB’s services for children.

pasts on a festive hayride (weather-permitting) explore the customs and decorations from 1830s to the 1930s. Make sure to stop by the 1860s Ryon Prairie Home for some wassail and Christmas treat samples or catch Tree-house Story Time with Santa Claus.

www.sugarlandtx.gov

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ad index

BANKS & CREDIT UNIONS

MUNICIPALITIES

Primeway Federal Credit Union.......................................... 37

City of Meadows Place....................................................... 25 City of Richmond................................................................. 26 City of Rosenberg................................................................ 27

BUILDERS Chesmar Homes................................................................... 19 Gracepoint Homes.............................................................. 13 Lennar Homes....................................................................... 11 Meritage Homes................................................................... 29 Princeton Classic Homes....................................................... 1

MORTGAGE Primeway Federal Credit Union.......................................... 37

REAL ESTATE & RELOCATION SERVICES

First United Methodist Church Missouri City....................... 59

Better Homes & Gardens Gary Greene Realtors............. 33 Keller Williams Southwest..................................... Back Cover RE/MAX Southwest.................................... Inside Back Cover

EDUCATION

REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENTS

Calvary Episcopal School................................................... 49 Fellowship Christian Academy........................................... 49 Fort Bend Christian Academy............................................ 51 Houston Community College Southwest.......................... 57 Montessori Kids Universe...................................................... 51 New Horizons........................................................................ 57 Primrose School of First Colony........................................... 53 St. Francis de Sales Catholic School.................................. 53 Trent InternationalE School................................................. 55 Westlake Preparatory Lutheran Academy....................... 55 Wharton County Junior College............. Inside Front Cover

Cross Creek Ranch.............................................................2/3 First Colony Community Association.................................. 22 Harvest Green.....................................................................2/3 Imperial Sugar Land............................................................2/3 Johnson Development.......................................................2/3 Kingdom Heights.................................................................. 23 Riverstone.............................................................................2/3 Sienna Plantation................................................................2/3 Veranda...............................................................................2/3

CHURCH

RECREATION

Enchanted Forest................................................................. 18 Enchanted Garden............................................................. 18 Enchanted Landscapes...................................................... 18

Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center.............................. 24 Quail Valley Golf Course..................................................... 92 Schlitterbahn ....................................................................... 81 Sugar Creek Country Club.................................................. 91 Sweetwater Country Club.................................................. 84 Texas Renaissance Festival................................................. 95

HEALTHCARE

RETIREMENT LIVING

GIFTS, LANDSCAPING, NURSERIES

Apollonia Dental.................................................................. 66 CHI St. Luke’s Health Sugar Land Hospital......................... 64

Overture Sugar Land........................................................... 73 Watercrest at Sugar Land................................................... 71

Excel Urgent Care................................................................ 65

TRANSPORTATION

HealthSouth Sugar Land Rehabilitation Hospital.............. 67

Fort Bend Public Transportation.......................................... 42

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital............................. 5

TV, INTERNET, PHONE & SECURITY

Memorial Hermann Hospital............................................... 61 UT Physicians......................................................................... 63

Comcast / XFINITY.............................................................9/41 TXU Energy.............................................................................. 7

HOTELS/TEMPORARY LODGING

WELLNESS

Hilton Garden Inn Houston / Sugar Land.......................... 35

Tan Masters / Laser Lipo...................................................... 32

Advertise in the next issue

Reserve your premium or preferred position today!

96

– S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 7 To learn more, visit www.HoustonNewcomerGuides.com

FORT BEND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWCOMER GUIDE


info@rmswhomes.com

www.RMSWhomes.com --------- SOUTHWEST ---------

When you are considering a home in the Sugar Land area contact RE/MAX Southwest for details on local homes prices and availability. RE/MAX Southwest is a full-service real estate company that has been proudly serving Sugar Land buyers and homes owners for 30 years. Our team of professional Realtors® is ready to personally assist you with all of your real estate needs. 

RE/MAX Southwest is proudly serving local communities in: • Sugar Land

• Richmond

• Houston

• Rosenberg

• Missouri City

• Katy

• And surrounding areas

s Call U Y!

TOD91A.1776 .4 281.4

RE/MAX Southwest 14905 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land, TX 77478


CULTURE.

noun. \kul-cher\ :the cumulative cumulati deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, and attitudes acquired by a group of people striving for together ness.

Yo u r Ag e n t Ma t t e r s

281.265.0000 WWW.KWSW.COM

Fort Bend Newcomer & Relocation Guide - Winter | Spring 2017  

Discover the best master-planned communities, healthcare, education, homebuilders & realtors (and much more). Let our Newcomer & Relocation...