Our History – 40 Years of Quality Growth

In 1979, the Association was established to collectively address the problems and potentials associated with a rapidly growing area with major employment and residential growth virtually assured for the next ten years. It was a unique attempt by Houston’s major land developers, financial interests, and large corporations to bring order and rational planning to the rapidly developing suburban areas on the west side of the City of Houston.

The original coverage area was bounded by Kirkwood Road on the east, Westheimer on the south, the town of Katy on the west, and FM 529 on the north. Over the years, our service area has expanded to include over 100,000 acres of the fastest growing and most environmentally sensitive part of the metropolitan Houston.

To learn more about The West Houston Association, please call: 713.461.9378 or email: acampbell@westhouston.org.


Recommendation & Creation

June 28, 1978
Recommendation & Creation

Rice Center commissioned original founders to perform a study that would result in the recommendation to create what is now the West Houston Association

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WHA Was Formed

June 28, 1979

The West Houston Association was formed when the following company representatives sat down and discussed the future of the region and the need to form a group of leaders who would be tasked with steering the quality growth of the area. John Sealey, David Wolff, Billy Burge Sr., Walter Mischer Sr., Marvin Leggitt, Harold Wallace, John Turner, Don Rogers & John Lear.

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West Houston Institute was formed

June 28, 1980
West Houston Institute was formed

West Houston Institute co-locating within the same building as the West Houston Association.

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WHA’s First Development Map & Economic & Demographics Report

June 28, 1980
WHA’s First Development Map & Economic & Demographics Report

WHA publishes the first Development Map and the the first Economics & Demographics Report.

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Willowbrook Mall Opens

July 11, 1981
Willowbrook Mall Opens

The mall was developed by, Homart Development Company, a unit of Sears. It opened in 1981, a time of high growth for the area, with anchors Foley’s, Joske’s, Montgomery Ward, and Sears. Macy’s opened a store in 1984 and J. C. Penney added a store in 1992, bringing the total number of anchor stores to 6.

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Brown & Root in the early 80s

July 11, 1981
Brown & Root in the early 80s

In the 60s, with Herman Brown’s health suffering, the company’s future seemed uncertain. Brown & Root was approached by Halliburton Company, an oilfield services business that bought companies with expertise in the oil and gas field. The Halliburton deal was finalized shortly after Brown’s death in 1962. Over the next three decades, Brown & Root distinguished itself as an industrial services contractor, delivering successful on-site maintenance, turnaround, and capital construction projects across the energy, industrial, power and facility sectors. In 1998, still a Halliburton subsidiary, Brown & Root merged with M.W. Kellogg creating KBR, one of the world’s premiere engineering, procurement, construction and services companies. In 2006, KBR separated from Halliburton. The industrial services organization (maintenance, turnarounds,…

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Opening of Phase I of Cullen Park

June 28, 1983
Opening of Phase I of Cullen Park

Cullen Park opened in 1983 and phase I & II were complete in ’86 & ‘89. The Cullen foundation had donated 10 million to go toward a new park and the West Houston Association was informed that if the money wasn’t applied by a certain time it would be reissued to the Cullen Foundation. So WHA stepped up to convince the City of Houston to get construction started. Nov 1984 – Pat Maddox gifts Cullen Park glassware to the CoH mayor, Kathy Whitmire, for the Cullen Park opening after WHA.

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Mischer Corp. Helps Finance one of the 1st MPCs

June 28, 1984
Mischer Corp. Helps Finance one of the 1st MPCs

Mischer Corp., U.S. Home, & American General acquired Cinco Ranch one of the 1st Master Planned Communities

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July/August – Groundbreaking for State Highway

July 26, 1985
July/August – Groundbreaking for State Highway

Green Ribbons Trail

June 28, 1987
Green Ribbons Trail

In the field around what was going to become Green Ribbons Trail and is now Terry Hershey Trail Meeting at the cars for the beginnings of Green Ribbons Trail, which is now Terry Hershey Trail

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Westside Command Station

July 11, 1987
Westside Command Station

Opened in 1987, the Ribbon Cutting for the Westside Police Station, the first command station in Houston pictures Police Chief Lee Brown, and then Mayor Kathy Whitmire. Brown headed the change Neighborhood Oriented Policing. The FBI reported that the following year was the first since 1977 that Houston had less than 400 homicides, with 339.

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U of H-Cinco

June 28, 1988
U of  H-Cinco

  U of H Cinco was created from what was originally the West Houston Institute, and then was sold in 2016 to merge with what is now U of H – Katy.U of H Cinco was created in 1988 when the WHI moved from Park 10 to a building & land donated by Cinco Ranch Ventures.    

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Beltway 8 from U.S. 59 to I-10

June 28, 1988
Beltway 8 from U.S. 59 to I-10

The opening of Beltway 8 from U.S. 59 to I-10

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Beltway 8 Opens From I-10 to U.S. 290

June 28, 1989
Beltway 8 Opens From I-10 to U.S. 290

In 1989, The Bangles performed at the opening of the segment of Beltway 8 between Interstate 10 (Katy Freeway) and U.S. Route 290.

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Grand Parkway Begins Construction

June 28, 1990
Grand Parkway Begins Construction

Conceptualized in the early 1960s, Six segments of the planned 184-mile Grand Parkway (State Highway 99) loop circling the Houston metro region are now open, and drivers can travel nonstop through the northwest side of Houston from I-10 near Katy to I-69/US59 north of Houston. In addition to helping alleviate traffic congestion in some of the area’s fastest-growing communities, the Grand Parkway provides additional hurricane and emergency evacuation routes for the greater Houston area. Once completed, the Grand Parkway’s 11 segments—designated A through I-2—will travel through seven counties.  In 1990, Bob Collie asked Pat Maddox, who went on to become 3rd Director of…

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WHA Moves Offices

June 28, 1990
WHA Moves Offices

WHA moves to Metronational’s Memorial Plaza

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WHA Report to Membership July-Aug 1990

July 25, 1990
WHA Report to Membership July-Aug 1990

WHA Report to Membership Nov-Dec 1990

December 12, 1990
WHA Report to Membership Nov-Dec 1990

John C. Sealey Memorial Award

June 28, 1991
John C. Sealey Memorial Award

John Sealey, the head of all Real Estate for Shell Corp. and David Wolff, CEO and Chairman of Wolff Companies, were the driving forces to found WHA. When John Sealey passed, Wolff reached out to Pat Maddox, the director of WHA, to create the John Sealey Memorial Award for outstanding membership.

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Hwy 99/The Grand Parkway’s First Section Opened

June 28, 1994
Hwy 99/The Grand Parkway’s First Section Opened

Hwy 99/The Grand Parkway’s first section opened extending from the Katy Freeway to FM 2759 in Sugarland.

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Creation of the Westchase District

June 28, 1995
Creation of the Westchase District

The 73rd Texas Legislature creates the Westchase District

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Katy Mills Mall Opened

June 28, 1999
Katy Mills Mall Opened

1999 – Katy Mills Mall opened near I-10 and Pin Oak Rd. representing continued westward development

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Energy Cooridor Management District

February 14, 2001
Energy Cooridor Management District

WHA creates the Energy Corridor Management District

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Interstate 10 West Turns into Toll Road

June 28, 2001
Interstate 10 West Turns into Toll Road

2001 – I-10 West’s promotion intensified with development efforts by WHA to focus on Harris County paying for and operating a four lane toll road in the center of the freeway. The Katy Freeway expansion was a project of such large scale that it will likely never again be matched…

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Creation of TARGET

January 1, 2003

2003 – Creation of TARGET (Texas Alliance for Responsible Growth, Environment and Transportation)

Texas Childrens Hospital Comes to West Houston

June 28, 2004
Texas Childrens Hospital Comes to West Houston

2004 – Texas Childrens Hospital Comes to West Houston

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Extension of Westpark Tollway

January 1, 2005
Extension of Westpark Tollway

January 2005 – WHA Promotes Extension of Westpark Tollway    

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QGP Program

January 1, 2006
QGP Program

The West Houston Quality Growth Partner Program was created  

Quality Planned Communities

February 1, 2006

In 2006 according to previous CEO & Executive Director, Roger Hord, the Quality Planned Communities Program was created

2050 Plan

June 13, 2007
2050 Plan

The West Houston Plan 2050 was published  

METRO’s Groundbreaking of the Kingsland Park & Ride

July 11, 2008
METRO’s Groundbreaking of the Kingsland Park & Ride

The Reconstruction of Katy Fwy

October 16, 2008
The Reconstruction of Katy Fwy

The Katy Freeway is the Houston region’s major east-west highway, extending 40 miles from the Central Business District west to the Brazos River. Constructed in the 1960s with three lanes per direction and two frontage lanes to accommodate approximately 80,000 vehicles per day, forty years later volumes were approaching three times those levels with chronic congestion lasting up to 11 hours a day. TxDOT completed a major five-year reconstruction of a 12-mile section of the Katy Freeway from west of SH 6 to the I-10/610 interchange in October 2008. The reconstruction widened the Katy to provide six general purpose highway lanes in each direction and two variably priced high occupancy toll lanes in the median of the highway. The financing of the $2.8 billion project has involved an innovative collaboration between TxDOT and the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA), combining toll backed debt with…

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Greater West Houston Transit Plan is Published

August 28, 2009
Greater West Houston Transit Plan is Published

Lobbying for Major State Transportation Funding Enhancement

April 1, 2010

Lobbying for Major State Transportation Funding Enhancement

WHA Updates the 2050 plan

July 28, 2010
WHA Updates the 2050 plan

WHA Updates the 2050 plan and the 2050 land use map

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Greater West Houston Demographic & Economic Profile was Published

April 2, 2011
Greater West Houston Demographic & Economic Profile was Published

Greater West Houston Demographic & Economic Profile was Published *click image for full profile*

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WHA & NHA partner to create the QPD program

June 28, 2015
WHA & NHA partner to create the QPD program

WHA & NHA partner to create the QPD program. The QPD seal presented by the West Houston Association and the North Houston Association signifies that a master-planned community or commerical or retail center has met the stringent madates of superior development found in the trendsetting quality living and working communities in Greater West or North Houston. To the home buyer, retailer, or commercial business, this is a sign that developers are committed…

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EPA & USACE Finalize Clean Water Act

June 29, 2015
EPA & USACE Finalize Clean Water Act

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized their joint Clean Water Act “waters of the United States” definition and rule.

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HGAC released the Greater West Houston Mobility Plan

December 2, 2015
HGAC released the Greater West Houston Mobility Plan

The Greater West Houston Mobility Plan is a comprehensive multi-modal transportation study that explores different land use and transportation scenarios for the Greater West Houston region. The study examines improved transportation strategies for freeways, toll ways, local streets, transit, and pedestrian and bicycle networks. A series of short, medium and long range projects were…

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The Sustainability Stars Program was formed

March 3, 2017
The Sustainability Stars Program was formed

The West Houston Association (“WHA”) Sustainability Stars Program recognizes qualified applicants for sustainability efforts in land development and infrastructure in Greater West Houston. This includes (a) Investigation; (b) Investment; (c) Integration into construction; (d) Inspiration; and (e) Innovation. A development project/team can receive multiple recognition/awards (e.g., Investigation + Investment = 2), up to 5 stars. WHA is not attempting to create new practices, just recognizing the practices and programs established by others. The major goal of…

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$2.5 Billion Harris County Bond Election was passed

August 25, 2018
$2.5 Billion Harris County Bond Election was passed

The Fight Flooding PAC is a group of Harris County businesses, organizations, and individuals who have come together to support the August 25th passage of Proposition A, because now is the time to address Harris County’s flood problem. 83 lives and $125 billion in economic losses—that is how much Hurricane Harvey impacted…

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The West Houston 2060 Plan was published

September 4, 2018
The West Houston 2060 Plan was published

As forecasted in our West Houston Plan 2050 (published in 2007), historic growth has brought increased levels of population, jobs, and income to the region. Greater West Houston absorbed 36% of the population growth of the Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area (Houston MSA) between 2000 and 2015. In 2007, our regional forecast predicted that Greater West Houston’s population would reach 1,834,000 by 2035 and 2,163,000 by 2050. Just ten years later, new regional forecasts predict that Greater…

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Houston Stronger was formed

September 3, 2019
Houston Stronger was formed

Houston Stronger is a coalition of civic groups, business associations and active citizens from throughout the Texas Gulf Coast region dedicated to working with local, state and federal officials to implement a comprehensive regional flood control plan that safeguards our citizens and property. Our goal is simple: to invest the resources required to help our entire region meet or exceed the 100-year flood plain standard. It is time for immediate action to finish the job that area leaders started to address in the 1940s, and FIX our drainage and flooding issues once and for all. We must act NOW. Since 2001, the Houston area had been affected by five major storms costing 283 lives and $130 billion in property damage. Hurricane Harvey alone inflicted over 50 inches of rain, with 82 lives lost, well over 100,000 homes destroyed, and totaling $80 billion in damage. Government’s first and most solemn responsibility is the protection of its citizens. We know more significant rain events will occur. We now face a moral imperative to act, and to act boldly.   Read more on the plan here: http://houstonstronger.net/resources/

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