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PEARLAND, TX-Population growth has fueled housing growth, which has fueled retail growth. Now Pearland, which is just south of the Texas Medical Center submarket, is ready for the next step: more office space.

Fred Welch, executive director with the Pearland Economic Development Corp., says amenities and infrastructure needed to be in place for office growth to follow. “We have the retail, medical, hotel and conferencing facilities to support office development,” he says.

Additionally, Welch says demographics are impressive, with the city going from 39,000 people in 2001 to 87,000 in 2007. Much of the growing population consists of young professionals who make the northward trip to Houston on a daily basis for work. “Hopefully we can persuade those companies to put their offices in Pearland so they don’t have to drive Downtown,” Welch says.

Some developers don’t need to be persuaded and have already staked claims in the area. Jumping into the development mix is National Realty Group Inc., which will break ground in the spring on a 41,000-sf spec office project, the Office Grove at Pearland Parkway. The $6.6-million building will sit on 3.9 acres at the junction with FM 518.

“We like these suburban markets that are high growth and those that are doing great permit activity on the residential and commercial side,” says Will Benson, a developer with Houston-based National Realty Group. He says Pearland also is attractive because of its growing retail activity, complete with national credit tenants. He tells GlobeSt.com that National Realty has more land under contract to put an industrial park in the area.

The city’s dynamics have brought several other developers to its midst. ZT Properties USA and co-developer and Wallace Bajjali Development Partners LP are poised to start the 160,000-sf first phase of ZT Shadow Creek Business Center. Signature Development, also from Houston, is planning several office buildings while Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. is among those building in the 1,000-acre Spectrum at Clear Creek, a retail and technology park near Beltway 8 South and Texas 288.

Welch says the Pearland EDC does have some incentives to bring more office space to the city, especially for corporate users. “Also, where it merits, we might be able to assist with infrastructure development to enhance the value of the project,” he adds.

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