When you think about thriving communities in Texas, areas like Amarillo, Lubbock, Fort Worth, Dallas, Waco, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Galveston come to mind. But what few outside of the area know is that Sugar Land, Texas – roughly half an hour southwest of Houston – is one of the fastest growing and most desirable communities in the entire state.
Founded as a sugar plantation in the mid-1800s and incorporated in 1959, Sugar Land is a community of roughly 87,000 people. While the town’s heyday as an industrial destination for large companies may be over – it’s far more residential these days – Imperial Sugar is still headquartered here and plenty of old smoke stacks and warehouses remain to remind residents of the storied history of the town.
Today, life in Sugar Land looks a lot like it does in other suburbs of Houston. It’s a safe, growing, family-oriented community that readily welcomes newcomers with open arms. And people are certainly flocking to the town.
Sugar Land, Texas Geography
Bordered by Houston, Stafford, Missouri City, and Meadows Place, the city of Sugar Land has a total area of 34.0 square miles. Roughly 1.6 square miles is water. The elevation is somewhere between 70 and 90 feet above sea level. While the city has many artificial lakes, two major waterways – the Brazos River and Oyster Creek – run through Sugar Land.
Weather-wise, Sugar Land is a classic south Texas community. Highs range from 62 to 94 degrees throughout the year, while lows rarely average anything below 41 degrees. If you can deal with the heat of the summer, November through April are usually very pleasant.
Sugar Land, Texas Amenities and Activities
It may not have any national landmarks or tourist destinations, but Sugar Land has plenty to offer residents. Here are a few noteworthy amenities, attractions, and activities:
- Constellation Field. On a warm summer evening, there’s nothing better than spending some time at Constellation Field. Home to the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, Constellation Field is fun for the entire family. Tickets are cheap and there’s plenty for the kids.
- Sugar Land Memorial Park. Want to get out and enjoy nature? Sugar Land Memorial Park is a great place to escape after work or on the weekends. There’s a dog park, playground, and plenty of wildlife. Just make sure you watch out for the alligators!
- Houston Museum of Natural Science. This museum is great for the entire family. It has a number of permanent and rotating exhibits that allow you to make multiple visits and see something new each time. It’s also a popular place for hosting weddings and other events.
- Smart Financial Centre. You don’t have to go all the way to Houston to enjoy live entertainment. The Smart Financial Centre is home to a number of big acts throughout the year. In 2017 alone, individuals and groups like Steve Martin, The Avett Brothers, Adam Sandler, Jay Leno, Journey, and Rod Stewart will grace the stage.
There are dozens of other things to do and see, but these are just a few that are unique to the area. The more you explore, the more you’ll find.
Sugar Land, Texas Businesses
Sugar Land is a popular destination for a number of small and large businesses. This is partly due to the fact that the area is well educated. More than half of the workforce, 55 percent to be exact, has a bachelor’s degree or higher. There has also been a fairly aggressive economic development program in place for a number of years, which has brought in a variety of high profile companies.
Fluor Enterprises is the largest employer in the area, employing nearly 3,000 people. Other Fortune 500 companies with a presence in the city include Schlumberger Nalco Champion, Baker Hughes, Texas Instruments, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Crown Cork & Seal, Aetna, SABIC Technology Center, GE Oil and Gas, and more.
As far as corporate headquarters go, Accredo Packaging, Inc., HCSS, Healix, Houston-Sigma Technologies, Minute Maid, and Wholesome! call Sugar Land home. International businesses like SABIC Americas, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, and Servomex have offices in the area.
Sugar Land, Texas School Districts
The schools in Sugar Land are among the best in the state, which is why many young families gravitate towards the area. On the GreatSchools 10-point scale, Sugar Land schools get a cumulative rating of 9. Top-rated public schools include Colony Meadows Elementary School, Walker Station Elementary School, First Colony Middle School, and Susanna Dickinson Elementary School.
The Fort Bend Independent School District is the largest and consists of 74 different schools. Students generally attend the school that matches the attendance zone where they live. Highschoolers, however, can join an academy program that grants them access to specialized classes and an IB curriculum.
There are a total of 21 schools with a 9 or better rating on the GreatSchools scale and just a handful fall below a 7 rating. If good schools are important to your family, then you won’t have any trouble finding a fit for your children in Sugar Land.
Sugar Land, Texas Real Estate Market
Part of the reason people are flocking to Sugar Land is that real estate is affordable. But because so much growth is expected in the next decade, now is the time to buy. Property values will likely skyrocket in the coming years, making it a great place to buy and build equity.
According to the city, there are 30,172 total dwelling units in Sugar Land. The average residential value is $319,729. The most recent property tax rate was 31.595 cents. The land-use mix is as follows: 70.66 percent residential, 17.24 percent commercial, and 12.10 percent industrial.
For the most part, Sugar Land neighborhoods are master planned communities with classic features like parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, tree-lined streets, community pools, tennis courts, and clubhouses. Because there are more than 200 different subdivisions in Sugar Land, it’s best to start your search based on neighborhoods instead.
First Colony is by far the largest of its kind in Sugar Land. It’s a 9,700-acre master-planned community with more than 9,500 homes and 61 individual subdivisions. If you’re looking for an even more upscale neighborhood, Avalon is probably your best bet. Homes average more than $630k in value. Those with million-dollar tastes tend to gravitate towards Sweetwater. Other great neighborhoods to check out include Commonwealth, Riverstone, Telfair, Sugar Creek, and Sugar Lakes.
Avid golfers can find decent-priced homes in Sugar Creek, Greatwood, Pecan Grove, and Sweetwater. There’s a lot of new construction going up in Canyon Gate, Woodbridge, Old Orchard, Lakes of Bella Terra, and Bridlewood.
For those who need to commute to Houston frequently and want a quick drive, Sugar Mill, Sugar Creek, Sugar Lakes, Sugarwood, First Colony, and Venetian Estates are worth looking into.
Make Sugar Land, Texas Your Home
Sugar Land is one of the best-kept secrets in all of Texas. But it won’t stay that way for long. Word is getting out that this community – once nothing more than a sugar plantation – is safe, affordable, and family-friendly.
Whether you work in Houston and need a short commute to work, are relocating for a job, or you’re looking to settle your family down in a quiet Texas suburb, you can rest assured that Sugar Land will welcome you with open arms.
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