ULI Houston – Talk with Mayor Sylvester Turner

By: Leticia Luna

“Be able to go to ANY neighborhood in Houston and see the greatness of our city.” That was according to Mayor Sylvester Turner during Urban Land Institute Houston’s Leadership luncheon on August 18. Our mayor conversed with ULI Chair Bill Odle before a room of Houston’s leading real estate professionals.

A few snippets from the Q&A included:

What should developers consider today? Just as the City of Houston has worked with METRO and TxDOT to continue improving transportation options, the mayor invited developers to think “what is needed to build a great city?” He reiterated transportation and walkability as important considerations when planning new developments to make Houston an equal competitor to cities like New York and Chicago. He argued that it is time for Houston to take its position on the world stage and urged developers to work with him to outline what they needed to help develop inside of the city.

What is needed to attract business to Houston? Since fall of 2014, Houston has taken a hit with the falling price of oil which in turn effects office space in downtown. The mayor expressed confidence in an oil and gas industry bounce-back and went on to say that the best opportunity for Houston to attract international business and young professionals from around the country is to invest in downtown. Spaces like Discovery Green and Market Square Park have inspired commercial and residential development in the city’s core. Further, the mayor urged tapping into the needs of the international and young professional communities and develop hubs where collaboration and innovation can thrive.

Photo Credit: dabfoto creative for ULI Houston