The International Management District is ideally situated on the west side of the Beltway 8 toll road (West Sam Houston Parkway) which provides excellent access to the Port of Houston, Bush Intercontinental Airport and Hobby Airport. This is particularly important due to the anticipated increase in warehouse distribution facilities along the entire Beltway as a result of the $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion which will create a third lane with new locks at both ends resulting in a doubling of total capacity by 2014. A significant percentage of container and break bulk shipments which up till now have come in through West Coast ports and moved to the Midwest and Texas on the rail “land bridge” are expected to be rerouted through Houston to lower transportation costs. With respect to air cargo, significant improvements have been made to the air freight facilities at Houston Intercontinental Airport that enable the largest cargo aircraft to off-load and on-load making Houston an important air cargo gateway. These improvements and the overall growth in the Houston economy are expected to produce annual growth in air cargo volume at IAH of 2.5% through 2020. In addition, Beltway 8 provides quick access to the Greenspoint (25 minutes), Energy Corridor (10 minutes) and Westchase (5 minutes) office parks. Part of the IMD is also adjacent to Houston’s Southwest Freeway (US 59) which connects the district to the famous Uptown/Galleria shopping and office center and Downtown Houston to the northeast, and to Mexico five hours to the southwest. There are plans to upgrade this highway to interstate highway standards by 2021 at which time it will become I-69 linking Mexico, the U.S. and Canada and be known as the NAFTA Highway. Another key commercial artery is SH-6 which borders the west side of the IMD and provides access to the rapidly expanding retail and business centers in Katy, and in Sugar Land and other communities in Fort Bend County adjacent to the IMD.
To access the three major roadways described above, the IMD offers an excellent grid of high capacity streets. These include the east-west streets of Bellaire Blvd., Beechnut, Bissonnet and Bellfort, and the north-south streets of the Beltway 8 frontage roads, Wilcrest, Boone Road, Kirkwood, Dairy Ashford, Synott and Metro. The district also has an excellent utility infrastructure. The eastern two-thirds of the IMD is inside the City of Houston which has excellent water, sewer and storm drainage systems with considerable additional capacity available. The western third of the district lies in Harris County where more than adequate utility services are provided by three independently operated municipal utility districts. There are a number of electric power suppliers serving the IMD, principal among which are Reliant Energy and Texas Utilities who have a full range of options and additional capacity available. Gas service is provided by Center Point Energy.
The IMD is unique among the many business districts in the Houston metropolitan area in that it is totally international in character and business orientation. Matching its population diversity, its business base and leadership are truly international. Owners, managers, consultants and real estate professionals that have lived and worked in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America understand the international economy and marketplace. Yet they also function as recognized lenders in the Houston business community. They not only welcome new investment and businesses to the district, they will actively assist newcomers in getting established. Investors and business managers will find that a strong entrepreneurial spirit pervades the IMD.
The IMD has a workforce of nearly 60,000 highly motivated hard working men and women that possess a wide variety of skills. Over two-thirds of these workers are multi-lingual, speaking two or more of the English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and/or other languages. Many of them currently commute long distances to jobs scattered throughout the Houston metropolitan area and would welcome the opportunity to work within the management district in which they live.