Lake Conroe Region Outlook Highlights Growth and Opportunity
28 Jun 2021
Business News, Staff News
The Lake Conroe Region Outlook brought hundreds of regional stakeholders together for an update on the economy, local development, and future growth. Held at Margaritaville Lake Resort on Lake Conroe on April 30, attendees heard from industry experts and local professionals for a robust overview and outlook.
Danielle Scheiner, Executive Director of the Conroe Economic Development Council (CEDC), presented at the event. Scheiner provided an update on Conroe’s booming development, hitting several highlights.
The presentation led off with a look at Conroe by the numbers. Scheiner focused on the population figures, specifically population growth. Conroe’s population grew 39.3% from 2010-2019 making it the 9th fastest growing city in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2019. As Conroe has grown, the city has attracted a younger, more educated population. Scheiner highlighted this point as a reason for business growth.
“Population growth in Conroe is not slowing. The increase continues to be steady,” said Scheiner to the audience. “Conroe’s median age and educational attainment is ideal for businesses looking to locate here.”
Residential construction continues to boom in Conroe and Scheiner offered statistics and comments on that sector. More than 700 home starts had been tallied in Conroe from January 1 to April 22. At that pace, home starts in 2021 would eclipse the 1,500 in 2020. 2020’s number was up 17% from 2019, showing the rapid growth of residential building in Conroe. Home ownership is increasingly popular in Conroe, according to Scheiner.
“There is a higher percentage of homeowners than renters in Conroe,” added Scheiner. “That has been very attractive to developers.”
Scheiner followed with an exciting update on development in Conroe’s two business parks, Conroe Park North and Deison Technology Park. She highlighted several projects under construction in each and described how the two parks have attracted desirable industries.
“Conroe is becoming a market for life sciences, as well as traditional advanced manufacturing,” said Scheiner. “Conroe Park North continues to attract exciting projects and grow substantially. Deison’s focus has been on research and development. I am proud to say that we have landed our first tenant out there in VGXI.”
The presentation concluded with descriptions of a few recent projects in Conroe, including Eleet Cryogenics, Sabre Industries, Margaritaville Lake Resort, and the Sam Houston State University School of Osteopathic Medicine. Scheiner also touched on the new Woodforest Bank Development in downtown Conroe and highlighted how it will help further the conscientious development of downtown.
Prior to Scheiner’s presentation, Robert Kaplan, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, offered the opening keynote. Kaplan’s comments focused on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a projection of the Texas economy, and thoughts on workforce development.
Kaplan communicated that Texas’s economy is basically mirroring the United States economy and that he expects a very strong 2021 for the Texas economy. He believes Texas can surpass that of its counterparts.
“Texas has a great chance to outperform the country for a long time,” said Kaplan.
His comments on workforce development, and his ideas on how to improve it, caught the ear of many business professionals in the audience.
“Texas’s population growth is key to economic recovery and workforce development. There is a need to improve skills training and public education to cultivate the workforce. Business leaders will play a big role.”
Kaplan added that getting high school educated and below into the workforce is a key toward filling the pipeline. Additionally, working women with children who left the workforce during COVID-19 should be a focus.
Other presenters and keynotes at the event included Heath Melton, Executive Vice President at Howard Hughes, Dave McCorquodale, Assistant City Administrator and Director of Planning and Development of the City of Montgomery, and Real Estate Economist, Dr. Mark Dotzour. The CEDC served as a Keynote Sponsor and co-host of the event with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and Conroe Lake Conroe Chamber.
Thank you to Melonhead Photo for capturing event photographs.