Sunday, August 23, 2009

Houston’s Texas Medical Center May Outgrow Downtown Dallas

A quick pass-along from Bloomberg. A few good excerpts:
Houston, the fourth-largest U.S. city, has been buoyed by construction in the Texas Medical Center, an area with 3,000 job openings that is likely to become larger than Dallas’s downtown, said Jeff Moseley, chief executive officer of the Greater Houston Partnership.

As a result of the medical center’s expansion, Houston may emerge from the economic decline quicker than the rest of the nation, Moseley said today in an interview.


Houston, which is known as the energy capital of the world, sees about 40 percent of its economy still coming from oil, natural-gas and renewable energy industries. Many of the 3,000 energy-related establishments based in Houston, including Apache Corp. and Schlumberger Ltd., have contributed to the loss of thousands of oil and gas jobs since December in the state.

‘Nothing Like It’

The Texas Medical Center, located less than 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from downtown Houston, continues to gain in size. Expansion plans over the next five to six years have the cluster of hospitals, medical schools and doctor offices outgrowing the current size of downtown Dallas, Moseley said. It’s already larger than the combined downtown districts of Texas cities Fort Worth, San Antonio and El Paso, he said.

“There’s nothing like it on the face of the globe, nothing even close,” he said. “It has been a tremendous help to this economy.”

The Texas Medical Center, which is made up of 47 institutions, has 72,600 workers, according to its Web site. The area occupies more than 1,000 acres and has 5.1 million patient visits a year. The center has $7.1 billion in approved building and infrastructure investments.

When they say "largest", they mean sq.ft., not jobs. See this graph on sq.ft. growth vs. downtown Dallas and Houston (which it will also pass in a few years). According to this fact sheet, downtown Dallas has 135,000 jobs, which is 20% of all jobs in Dallas (that's probably the city of Dallas, not the metro or DFW). The last job count I heard for TMC is 75,000 with rapid growth to over 100,000 by 2014. Why the space vs. jobs discrepancy? Normal commercial space is pretty much all for employees, while medical facilities use lots of space for patients and visitors. Still, nothing to sneeze at, and an incredible economic pillar and growth engine for Houston.

Hat tip to Jessie.

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