The Houston economy is expected to see more moderate growth through the rest of 2019. Over the three months ending in July, Space City saw 3.1% job growth, with construction, transportation and utilities, and leisure and hospitality achieving the highest gains. Despite the manufacturing sector seeing a slight decline this quarter, unemployment remains at a healthy 3.8%.
This summer, officials broke ground on The Ion, which is expected to be the center of Houston’s new Innovation District. The Rice Management Co. is leading the project to redevelop the former Sears building in Midtown into 270,000 sq. ft. of offices, collaborative space, and contemporary retail and entertainment concepts in hopes of attracting top tech talent to the Bayou City.
Toy ‘R Us is slated to make its comeback this holiday season, with plans to open a new store in the Houston Galleria this November. The new and improved Toys R’ Us will have a much smaller footprint, with both stores expected to be around 6,500 sq. ft. and will offer an interactive store experience to shoppers.
Houston’s retail pipeline remains healthy with 3,164,449 sq. ft. of retail space under construction, making it one of the top cities for retail development right now. The largest project currently underway is Post Houston, in which the former USPS facility on the northwest edge of Downtown Houston will be transformed into 670,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurant, and creative office space, as well as an international market hall.