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Brining Back Main Street Cover
Downtown Redevelopmentdowntown
A thriving downtown showcases a community's vitality, and improving downtowns is a goal of many policy makers from across the region. In early 2015, the Houston-Galveston Area Council  hosted a series of workshops where experts from across Texas offered tips on how to create an economically-vibrant Main Street in the region's small cities and towns. Each workshop focused on a different component of the revitalization process to help participants create, realize, and sell their vision. The presentations are excellent resources for any community looking to improve a downtown environment. H-GAC's Andrew Pompei presented the workshops' findings to GCEDD in our first quarter meeting. These findings are consolidated into a guidebook available on the Bringing Back Main Street web page.
Economic Alliance Logo
State of the Port of Houstonpoh
The Port of Houston serves as a major gateway for international trade and consistently tops U.S. ports in foreign waterborne tonnage, imports, and exports tonnage. It is estimated that the port currently supports more than 1 million jobs, and Houston Ship Channel-related business generates $178.5 billion in economic activity. Chad Burke, President and CEO of the Economic Alliance of the Houston Port Region, presented a "State of the Port" address  to the GCEDD outlining the structure and mission of the Economic Alliance of the Houston Port Region and the Port of Houston's impact on economic development and freight mobility in the region.
Spotlight on Community Development Lendingspotlight

City of Liberty Firetruck The City of Liberty had difficulty ensuring that the city's fire hydrants had sufficient water pressure in case of emergency. Through the Government Loan Fund, the GCEDD provided funding for the City to purchase a new pumper truck, Tanker 28. Before the purchase of this truck, the Fire Department did not have a truck that could bring water to service local and area fire fighting needs. This truck can hold 2,500 gallons of water, providing first responders the water they need to respond to an emergency. Tanker 28 was purchased by the Liberty Community Development Corporation through the Government Loan Fund, which can provide loans up to $500,000 over 20 years at 4%. The Government Loan Fund is available to local government entities and special districts for infrastructure improvements, equipment, land/building acquisition, and other qualified projects in the region.

Regional Growth Forecastforecast
Screen Shot of Regional Land Use Information System
The Regional Land Use Information application  allows users to view forecasted land use for the 8-county H-GAC region.
First Quarter Update Available
The Regional Growth Forecast is updated by H-GAC on a quarterly basis for the 8-county region; the Forecast for the first quarter of 2015 is available now.

In addition to incorporating updated information on planned residential units and non-residential developments, the 2015Q1 regional growth forecast release includes new regional population estimates. These changes resulted in a 0.5 million increase in regional household population by 2040 as compared to 2014Q4 estimate.

The 13-county H-GAC region is expected to be home for 10 million people by 2040. The current release, predicts more population growth in the northeast Harris County, southeast Montgomery and southwest Liberty County as compared to the previous releases. This result accounts for major developments in and around Lake Houston Area such as Generation Park, Tavola, Valley Ranch, The Groves, Woodson's Reserve, and The Bridges of Lake Houston.
Regional Economic Trendstrends
Arrow above bar chart - illustrating trends
Regional Economic Indicators
The Gulf Coast Economic Development District is committed to providing you with the economic data you need to promote economic development in your jurisdiction.

If you would like to suggest other data to include in this report, please contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
The Economic Development Digest is published quarterly by the
Gulf Coast Economic Development District.