Living the Good Life in Fort Bend County, TX
Fort Bend’s housing, cultural, and entertainment options attract residents and visitors.
When it comes to quality of life, it’s not just about where you live, but how you live. And Fort Bend County provides the best of both. Outstanding residential communities, quaint, revitalized downtowns and wide-open spaces offer a variety of lifestyle options, while cultural attractions and proximity to Houston mean there’s always something interesting on the calendar.
Master-planned communities, in particular, set Fort Bend County apart from the usual suburban developments. Thirty-eight master-planned communities are in the county, including three of the top 10 fastest-growing in the country, an indicator of their attractiveness to those living in or relocating to the Houston area. These planned communities typically include quality residential and commercial development, amenities such as parks, trails, pools, tennis courts and green spaces, and outstanding architectural and landscaping elements.
“MPCs are important drivers of quality in new development, and protect business and residential customer investments through tight deed restriction and active home owners associations,” says Jeff Wiley, president and CEO of the Fort Bend Economic Council. “Typically, they also are low-density developments with a substantial majority of their housing units as high-value, single-family homes. This factor has greatly contributed to the quality demographics in Fort Bend, attracting families, people with high average household incomes and high educational backgrounds.”
Scattered around the county, MPCs each offer a distinct ambiance. Residents of the 7,500-acre Cinco Ranch in Katy enjoy a swimming lagoon and beach club, pocket parks, picnic spaces and a golf course. Riverstone’s 3,700 acres are planned for 6,000 homes and 18,000 residents over the next few years, and include many waterside properties and addresses in Sugar Land and Missouri City. Nearby Sienna Plantation, more than 7,000 acres in Missouri City, offers resort-style amenities that include Club Sienna, a 12-acre recreation complex, a water adventure park, 34 parks, walking trails and an 18-hole golf course.
Cultural Life and Entertainment
Life in Fort Bend’s communities is enhanced by their proximity to major professional and college sports, institutions such as the Rosenberg Railroad Museum and the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land. The 20,000-acre George Ranch Historical Park, a working ranch, provides a glimpse of ranch life from the 1820s to the present. And in Stafford, the Stafford Centre has become a popular convention center and entertainment venue that offers concerts, theatrical events and more. Constellation Field is home to the Sugar Land Skeeters minor league baseball team. The stadium has a 7,500 seating capacity expandable to 10,000 for concerts and year-round community events. “We’re a very diverse facility in terms of what we present,” says Bryan Blaum, president of FM Squared, which operates the center.
“This year alone, we have had Olivia Newton John, Peter Frampton, Michael McDonald and Heart on the mainstream side. But we’ve also had multiple Bollywood performances, Chinese opera and Russian cultural events – everything that’s really the fabric of our community here. It’s a very active, diverse community that’s refreshing because it’s people who get out and do things.”
Rosenberg has also recognized the value of promoting its cultural and historic heritage, refreshing its quaint downtown area, already bustling with two theaters, restaurants, antiques and boutique shopping. More than 40 downtown businesses worked hard to net the city’s designation as an official Cultural Arts District by the Texas Commission on the Arts in 2013. Since then, the city has seen a new Arts Alliance, sponsored an arts festival, and in 2015, saw the launch of its first Main Street downtown restoration organization. “In general, we see the Cultural Arts District as an opportunity to bring artists and more events that help to draw people to Rosenberg,” says city Economic Development Director Randall Malik. “We feel that due to its historic character and quaintness of the buildings, there’s some synergy there with the arts.”