Uline, Google Transit, #1 growth, IAH, big homes, and Hot Town premiere
It's definitely time to clear out the rapidly accumulating list of small miscellaneous items:
- Christof has some good new posts on the Universities light rail line options in Neartown and having a one-seat ride from Downtown to Uptown.
- Speaking of transit, the NY Times had an interesting story on the Google employee shuttle in the SF Bay area - so large it rivals the transit systems of a lot of cities! It's a much-loved amenity by the employees, who can be productive (or not) with their laptops and wireless internet while they ride. I think it's a big real-world endorsement for the mobility solution I've proposed for Houston, we just need collections of employers at job centers (like Westchase, Uptown, Greenway, TMC, etc.) to step up rather than a single employer like Google.
- The Greater Houston Partnership announced this week that not only did we add more jobs in 2006 (99,100) than any other U.S. metro, we also added 187,380 residents (Census estimates July 2005 to July 2006) to 5.54 million, moving us just ahead of Miami (5.46m) as the sixth-largest metro in the country (behind NYC, LA, Chicago, DFW, and Philly). There's a good chance we'll pass Philly (5.8m) by the 2010 census. Some more details from the Partnership:
Since 2000, the Houston MSA has gained 824,547 residents — a number greater than the total populations of five states and the District of Columbia. The Houston MSA now has more residents than 30 states and the District.
Houston’s growth clearly reflects the influx of residents from southern Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in late August 2005. Over the previous five years, Houston’s annual gains attributable to migration within the United States averaged just 11,200. In this most recent 12 months, net domestic migration soared to nearly 87,000. In Harris County alone, net domestic migration was positive for the first time in many years, reaching nearly 40,000 after net losses averaging nearly 24,000 annually since 2000.
Net international migration, which averaged nearly 42,000 per year over the previous five years, slipped to 39,000 last year. Since the 2000 census, international migration has accounted for 32 percent of change in total population, while domestic migration has contributed 25 percent. The remaining 43 percent is the excess of resident births over resident deaths.
Harris County, which grew 3.3 percent over the most recent year, accounted for 66 percent of population growth in the metropolitan area, but three suburban counties grew faster: Fort Bend, up 5.8 percent; Montgomery, up 5.1 percent; and Brazoria, up 3.6 percent. Among the 247 U.S. counties with populations exceeding 250,000, Fort Bend and Montgomery respectively had the sixth and ninth highest growth rates between 2000 and 2006. Both grew more than twice the 17.5 percent grown of the entire MSA.
- The Census Bureau also announced that Harris County is #2 in the nation for population growth from 2000 to 2006, with 486K (to 3.9m), behind Maricopa County (Phoenix) with 696K (to 3.8m) - and they're likely to pass us soon for the title of third-largest county in the nation. That's just what happens when you have 9,224 sq.miles of land (!) to grow in vs. 1,778 for us.
- 2006 airport numbers are out, and thanks to strong economic and population growth, IAH turned in very strong 7.4% growth to 42.6 million passengers. Asian airports are moving up quickly, so our ranking isn't moving much (16th in the world), but we are 7th in the U.S., behind Atlanta, Chicago, LA, DFW, Denver, and Vegas.
- Zillow released a list of the top 50 streets in America for average house size, and Lazy Lane in River Oaks came in third at 14,525 feet, behind streets in Beverly Hills and Vegas. Don't worry for the owners - I'm sure they have conveniently-located "You are Here" maps and Segways for every visitor...
- The final cut of the wonderful documentary on Houston, "Hot Town, Cool City" is premiering March 30 thru April 1 at the Museum of Fine Arts. I saw the rough cut last summer, and it'll make you proud to be a Houstonian. A short Google video preview is available here. Buy your tickets before they run out!
Have a great weekend.