Houston Heights is a suburb in Harris County northwest of Downtown Houston known for its boutiques, mom and pop shops, unique architecture, and quaint character. Named for its site on high land, Houston Heights is considered part of “The Heights,” a community including several neighborhoods—such as Norhill and Woodland Heights—in the area.
Houston Heights is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the area because of its small-town feel, proximity to Downtown Houston, accessibility, and beautiful real estate. A National Geographic article said of Houston Heights: “Stroll the area’s broad, tree-canopied esplanades and side streets dotted with homes dating from the early 1900s, and you may think you’ve landed in a small town.”
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Office space seekers in Houston Heights will find very reasonable prices. The average asking rate for commercial real estate in the area is $23.90 per square foot, which is significantly lower than Houston’s overall rental average of $30.55/sqft. The neighborhood’s class A spaces tend to cost around $26/sqft, while the class B spaces go for just over $20/sqft. Vacancy rates in Houston Heights are relatively high; more than 20% of the total commercial real estate inventory is currently available to rent. If you need help navigating these vast options to find what’s best for you and your business, please contact one of our real estate brokers, who would be happy to help you.
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Houston Heights, which rests only four miles outside of Downtown Houston, is one of the state’s first planned communities. Interstate 610 borders Houston Heights on the north; Interstate 10 borders it on the south; North Main and Studewood Streets border it on the east; and North Shepherd Drive borders it on the west.
Even though Houston Heights has a small-town feel, many of its residents still use public transportation to get around. A common choice is the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), which provides bus, light rail, bus rapid transit, and paratransit service. Houston Heights residents use the Heights Transit Center. Plenty of locals use personal vehicles to commute to work as well. Those who need to travel within the states or internationally can use the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, which is only a 25 minute drive from Houston Heights.
A rails-to-trails project helped turn Houston Heights into idea grounds for getting around on two wheels. A concrete, 4.62-mile bike path runs from 26th Street to 7th Street and from Shepherd along 7th Street to Spring Street and connects to Heritage Corridor West Trail. It connects riders to a network of other bike trails as well, so biking to work or for recreation is very feasible. Houston Heights is also very safe for pedestrians.
Visitors and residents alike enjoy a vast array of small-town restaurants and coffee shops. Those lucky enough to work in the area will find no shortage of locations to hold business meetings outside the office or meet up with coworkers for lunch to break up the workday. Look up Cottonwood, Rainbow Lodge, King’s Bierhaus, Boomtown Coffee, or Cane Rosso to sample some of the best local options. Houston Heights also contains several parks which offer residents the opportunity to get out of the office and get some exercise. Try exploring the Heights Boulevard Park, Milroy Park and Community Center, Love Park and Community Center, and the Houston Heights World War II Memorial.
The tourist attractions and entertainment for Houston Heights residents are as unique as the neighborhood’s mom and pop restaurants. For example, Houston Heights has its own version of the Breakout Games escape room concept called the Crazy Cat Escape Room. Groups are faced with various puzzles and challenges they must solve in less than 60 minutes to “escape” the room. This activity is great for parties and also office team-building. The neighborhood has its own brand of the arts, too. The 14 Pews microcinema is a church that was remodeled to be a small movie theater that’s over used to screen independent films and documentaries. The neighborhood has its own community orchestra, too—the Houston Heights Orchestra. People of all ages are invited to rehearse and play concerts for the community.
Houston Heights History
In 1891, Oscar Martin Center and some other investors set up the Omaha and South Texas Land Company, which then bought about 1,756 acres of land. When Houston Heights was born, it was just a streetcar suburb for people who didn’t want to reside in the densest parts of the city. At first, it had its own municipality, but then the City of Houston annexed it in 1919. Everything changed following World War II when Houston Heights became more of an industrial area. For a while, it was a low-income area with high crime rates.
In 1973, the Houston Heights Association was established to help develop the area into an ideal place to live and work while still maintaining its history and original character. Now, 35 years later, the association still works to promote and foster “friendship, goodwill and community spirit within and around the Houston Heights” and focuses on issues surrounding neighborhood revitalization, crime prevention, and land use.
Beginning in the 1990s, young professionals began moving to the area and flipping homes to make then feel new but still retain their historic architecture. History has always been important to Houston Heights residents. By 1991, more than 100 structures in the suburb had been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over time, more and more upscale boutiques and restaurants have popped up in the area, giving Houston Heights the character it has today. Some have compared it to Bellaire, Lower Westheimer, and Upper Kirby. Today, young professionals continue to move to this area, drawn by its charm and proximity to Downtown Houston. In particular, Houston and its suburbs are known for their thriving startup community.