Downtown
  • Overview
  • Schools
  • Housing
  • Real Estate
  • Things To Do
Overview
Overview

The largest business district in Houston, Downtown is located near the geographic center of Houston’s metropolitan area and is enclosed by Interstate 10, I-45 and I-69. This 1.84 square mile area contains the original town site of the city of Houston. It has been Houston’s main commercial district since its founding in 1836.

Downtown Houston is home to at least nine Fortune 500 companies and is also a major entertainment and recreation destination. It contains nine major performing arts organizations and two major professional sports arenas—Minute Maid Park and Toyota Center.

Several sub-districts exist within Downtown Houston. The Ballpark district includes Minute Maid Park and surrounding areas. The Convention district contains the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Toyota Center and some of Houston’s largest hotels. The Civic Center district contains the core of Houston’s government. The Harris County district contains the Harris County courts complex. Other districts are the Historical, Medical, Shopping, Skyline, Theater and Warehouse districts.

The Neighborhood Experience
Excellent Shopping and Dining Abundant Entertainment and Recreation World-class Attractions Classic Historical Buildings Great Airport Convenient Access to Major Roadways
  • Location
  • Commute

Location

Downtown Houston is within the freeway ring that includes Interstate 10, Interstate 45 and Interstate 69. Downtown is bordered on the east by East Downtown. The Third Ward borders Downtown to the south, and Midtown provides Downtown’s border on the southwest. The Fourth Ward provides the western border, and the Sixth Ward bounds Downtown on the northwest. The Near Northside is Downtown’s northern border.

Nearby areas include Midtown and the Museum District to the south and Montrose and River Oaks to the west. West University Place lies southwest. Rice Military and The Heights are to the northwest, and the Greater East End lies to the east.

Commute

Over 105,000 passengers transit through Downtown daily. About 32% of downtown employees use public transit, including METRO Local Bus and Light Rail. Other alternative means of commuting, such as Houston’s BCycle bike share program, are available.

For car traffic, I-10 provides the primary entrance and exit points on north. I-45 is the primary entrance and egress route for areas west and south of Downtown. US 59 provides the main entrance and exit points to the east. Popular nearby residential areas such as The Woodlands, Sugar Land and Katy are all within a thirty-minute commute to Downtown.

Culture

Since Houston is a major center of manufacturing and health care, most people who live or work in Downtown are white collar workers. With the presence of The University of Houston and Rice University, many residents are younger, highly educated people.

The median age in Downtown is 38 years. Nineteen percent of residents are married with children under 18 living at home. Renters comprise roughly 80% of the population.

Downtown Houston is a cosmopolitan area that hums with energy. Residents of Downtown have broad access to shopping, dining and entertainment. The area is also filled with world-class museums and natural landmarks that draw local visitors and tourists.

Schools
Schools

There are several elementary schools that serve Downtown Houston. These include Young Scholars Academy for Excellence, Energized for Excellence Academy – Elementary School, TSU Charter Lab School and Crockett, Ketelsen, Sherman, Bruce and Blackshear elementary schools.

Middle Schools serving Downtown Houston include The Rice School, High School Ahead Academy and Pin Oak, Project Chrysalis, Hogg, Fleming, Marshall and Jackson middle schools.

Downtown Houston High Schools include The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Sam Houston Math, Science & Technology Center, Eastwood Academy, Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, Mount Carmel Academy and Carnegie Vanguard, Challenge Early College, North Houston Early College, Energy Institute, South Early College, East Early College, Reagan, Barbara Jordan, Wheatley, Davis and Liberty high schools.

There are several alternative schools that span primary and secondary grades and numerous private and parochial schools serving Downtown Houston, including All Saints Episcopal School and St. Mark Lutheran School.

Elementary Schools
10
Great Schools Rating
Crockett Elementary School
Address:
2112 Crockett St, Houston, TX 77007
Website:
Official Website

Crockett Elementary School is an above average charter school with 505 students in Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade. The student to teacher ratio is 20 to one. Based on state assessment tests, 92% of Crockett students are proficient in mathematics, and 87% are proficient in reading. Crockett Elementary ranks at 66 of 315 best charter elementary schools in Texas.

10
Great Schools Rating
Sherman Elementary School
Address:
1909 McKee St, Houston, TX 77009
Website:
Official Website

Sherman Elementary School has 659 students in Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade. The student to teacher ratio is 19 to one. Seventy-five percent of students are proficient in math, and 68% are proficient in reading. Sherman Elementary is ranked at 3,763 out of 4,777 most diverse public elementary schools in Texas.

10
Great Schools Rating
Ketelsen Elementary School
Address:
600 Quitman St, Houston, TX 77009
Website:
Official Website

Ketelsen Elementary School has 630 Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade students. There is one teacher for every 19 students. Seventy-nine percent of students are proficient in math, and 73% are proficient in reading. Ketelsen Elementary is ranked at 2,621 of 4,401 best public elementary schools in Texas.

Middle Schools
10
Great Schools Rating
Pin Oak Middle School
Address:
4601 Glenmont St, Bellaire, TX 77401
Website:
Official Website

Pin Oak Middle School is a highly rated school in Bellaire with 1,208 6th through 8th grade students. The student to teacher ratio is 19 to one. Ninety-four percent of students are proficient in math and 95% in reading. Pin Oak is ranked at 339 out of 2,066 best public middle schools in Texas.

10
Great Schools Rating
Hogg Middle School
Address:
1100 Merrill St, Houston, TX 77009
Website:
Official Website

Hogg Middle School has 710 students in grades 6th through 8th. There are 18 students to each teacher. Based on state tests, 68% of students are proficient in math, and 73% are proficient in reading. Hogg Middle School is ranked at 1,536 of 2,157 most diverse public middle schools in Texas.

10
Great Schools Rating
Project Chrysalis Middle School
Address:
4528 Leeland St, Houston, TX 77023
Website:
Official Website

Project Chrysalis Middle School is a highly rated charter school with 236 students in grades 6th through 8th. The student to teacher ratio is 17 to one. Ninety-six percent of students are proficient in math and 97% in reading. Project Chrysalis ranks at 526 of 2,066 best public middle schools in Texas.

High Schools
10
Great Schools Rating
Carnegie Vanguard High School
Address:
1501 Taft St, Houston, TX 77019
Website:
Official Website

The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is a top-ranked magnet school with 723 students in grades 9th through 12th. The student to teacher ratio is 16 to one. Ninety-five percent of students are proficient in math, and 99% are proficient in reading. This school is ranked at 12 of 1,594 best public high schools in Texas.

10
Great Schools Rating
Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
Address:
790 Austin St, Houston, TX 77002
Website:
Official Website

The Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is a top-ranked magnet school with 723 students in grades 9th through 12th. The student to teacher ratio is 16 to one. Ninety-five percent of students are proficient in math, and 99% are proficient in reading. This school is ranked at 12 of 1,594 best public high schools in Texas.

10
Great Schools Rating
Challenge Early College High School
Address:
5601 W Loop S, Houston, TX 7708
Website:
Official Website

Challenge Early College High School is a highly rated charter, magnet school that has 464 9th through 12th grade students and a student to teacher ratio of 26 to one. Ninety percent of students are proficient in math, and 98% are proficient in reading. This school ranks at 14 of 203 best charter high schools in Texas.

Private Schools
10
Great Schools Rating
All Saints Episcopal School
Address:
9700, 76108 Saints Cir, Fort Worth, TX 76108
Website:
Official Website

All Saints Episcopal School in Tyler is a highly rated Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade school with 650 students. This school offers a challenging college preparatory curriculum in a Christian environment. Students explore questions and interests in a hands-on, experimental learning environment. Through small class sizes and innovative programs, students are nurtured in creativity and self-expression.

10
Great Schools Rating
St. Mark Lutheran School
Address:
1516 Pech Rd, Houston, TX 77055
Website:
Official Website

St. Mark Lutheran School serves 395 students in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade with a student/teacher ratio of 11 to one. This school provides a technology-enhanced education with Apple and Google certified teachers and 1:1 iPad programs. Kindergarten classes at St. Mark have consistently scored in the 99th percentile on standardized tests.

Housing
Housing

Various housing types exist in Downtown Houston, including a number of single family houses. These houses are usually narrow, two or three-story homes. Eighty percent of Downtown Houston residents are renters, and apartments, condominiums and townhomes are the predominant residences. Only twenty percent of residents of Downtown actually own their homes.

Depending on the particular district of Downtown, buying or renting a home can be somewhat expensive. However, many homeowners in the Downtown area feel housing is affordable. Others feel that Downtown living is too expensive but that the expense is offset by living in close proximity to all Downtown’s amenities.

Hurricane Harvey caused a setback in the housing market in the entire Houston area for a time. Real estate developers responded, however, by turning to historic hotels and warehouse buildings for development of apartment units and condominiums. Between 2016 and 2019, development of apartments and condos added at least 3,250 new residential units to the Downtown area.

Single-Family Homes
There are a number of single family homes in Downtown Houston. Although there are some newer constructions, most homes in Downtown are older, brick or stone front homes. Nearly every single family home in the area is a two-story home. Most single family homes are narrow, and some even have three stories to counterbalance smaller lot sizes.
New Construction
There are many new construction projects for residential housing in Downtown Houston. These projects involve either apartment buildings or condos/townhomes. In 2016, a total of 48 new projects were either completed, under construction or planned. Projects underway or recently completed offer 3,250 new residential units and condominiums for the Downtown area.
High Rises
There are numerous high-rise residential buildings in Downtown Houston. As of early 2019, about 50 new luxury high-rise and mid-rise buildings were in various stages of construction. Some of these new buildings include the 32-floor, 274 unit Aris Market Square, the 28-floor, 361 unit Catalyst building and the 40-floor, 463 unit Market Square Tower.
Apartments
There are hundreds of apartment buildings in Downtown Houston. As of February 2019, there were over 200 apartment rentals available. A few of these buildings are Lofts at Ballpark, The Star and Skyhouse Houston. These apartments all include amenities such as fitness rooms and valet parking.
Real Estate
Real Estate

Although single family homes are on the market in Downtown, the majority of homes for sale are condominiums or townhomes. In recent years, real estate developers in Downtown Houston have taken on many historic hotels and warehouse buildings for development of loft-style condos. Prices for Downtown condos is at premium, but many buyers consider higher costs to be worthwhile in light of proximity to major areas of Houston.

With a diversified economy and large demand for housing, the Downtown Houston real estate market is one of the top markets in the country for real estate investment. Although Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Houston area in 2015, impacted the real estate market, the Downtown area has still shown a steady amount of growth over the last several years. For example, in January 2016, the median list price for homes in Downtown Houston was $369,000, and by January 2019, the median list price had risen to $409,000.

Things To Do
Things To Do

Downtown Houston is an extremely desirable place to live, and it continues to see a steady influx of people who want to make it their home. A big reason for this is because there are so many things to do in the area.

Some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment can be found in Downtown Houston. Downtown is home to shopping destinations like The Shops at Houston Center, Bayou Place and Green Street. These destinations offer a variety of retailers, services, restaurants and favorite entertainment venues.

Sports fans and theater enthusiasts alike will find more than enough options for entertainment in the Downtown district. Downtown is home to two major sports arenas—Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, and Toyota Center. Two excellent destinations for theater, ballet and opera in the area are Wortham Theatre Center and Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Among many other attractions is Houston’s signature event—the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Retail and Entertainment
The Shops at Houston CenterDowntown Aquarium
The Shops at Houston Center offers a variety of shopping, dining and services. The Shops features 25 restaurants, including Brooklyn Meatball Company and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Retailers include Trudy’s Boutique and Funatics. Services at the Shops include Lance Construction, Chase Bank and Precision Graphics. Medical services are also available.
Green Street
Spanning three city blocks, Green Street, formerly Houston Pavilions, is Downtown Houston’s premier dining, entertainment, retail and office hub. The open-air retail and entertainment center has 300,000 square feet of retail space in addition to 260,000 square feet of office space and a parking garage. Favorite destinations at Green Street are Lucky Strike Lanes and House of Blues.
The Wortham Theatre Center
Wortham Theatre Center, featuring two theaters, is home to Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera. The Alice and George Brown Theater has a 17,000 square foot stage and 2,405 seats and is used mainly for performances by Houston Ballet and Grand Opera. The Roy and Lillie Cullen Theater has 1,100 seats and is used to host smaller operas and ballets.
Minute Maid Park
Minute Maid Park is home to the Houston Astros major league baseball team. Houston’s first retractable-roof stadium, Minute Maid Park features a natural grass baseball field. It has a seating capacity of 41,168, with 63 luxury seats and 5,197 club seats.
Downtown Aquarium
The Downtown Aquarium is a public aquarium and restaurant complex located on a six-acre site. The aquarium houses over 200 species of aquatic animals. It offers programs like Sea Safari Camp and Biologist for a Day. The complex includes two restaurants, a bar and banquet facilities.
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is a theater on the edge of the Downtown Theater District that contains two theaters. The 2,650-seat Sarofim Hall features Broadway productions such as Hamilton and Waitress. Zilkha Hall is a 500-seat hall that showcases ensembles of the Uniquely Houston programs, including smaller performing arts groups like Psophonia Dance Company and Ars Lyrica Houston.
Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston is a science and space education center and a Smithsonian Affiliate museum. The Center hosts more than one million visitors annually in its 250,000 square foot education complex. Featured at the Space Center are over 400 space artifacts, exhibits, live shows and theaters. The center also hosts a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education program.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is also called RodeoHouston and is the largest livestock exhibition and rodeo in the world. The rodeo, held at the NRG Stadium, is considered Houston’s signature event. The 20-day event is kicked off by the Downtown Rodeo Roundup near City Hall, the Downtown Rodeo Parade and the ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run.
Discovery Green
Discovery Green, just west of the George R. Brown Convention Center, is one of Downtown’s main attractions. It has two restaurants, an amphitheater, a dog run, a jogging trail, multiple lawns and a 12-acre lake. Discovery Green was converted from parking lots to what is now one of Downtown Houston’s premier public spaces.
Bayou Place
Bayou Place is an entertainment complex with multiple bars, theaters and restaurants. At home at Bayou Place are establishments such as Hard Rock Café and AMC Houston 8. Also found at Bayou Place is Revention Music Center, which can be arranged in a variety of seating configurations. The music center hosts acts like Metric & Zoe and Judy Talk.