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Westchase is a business management district, with some residential and retail elements, located in western Houston, Texas,United States. The district is bounded roughly by Westheimer Road on the north, Gessner Road on the east, Wilcrest Drive on the west, and the Westpark Tollway on the south (although some portions extend as far north as Briar Forest Lane and as far south as Bellaire Boulevard). The Sam Houston Tollway and Richmond Avenue also connect the district to the rest of Houston. Westchase is considered a "Special district" under Texas law; the district has its own board of directors (composed of key leaders from businesses in the immediate area) and provides supplementary marketing, planning and public safety functions for local residents and business. Westchase is adjacent to the Sharpstown, International (which includes part ofChinatown) and Energy Corridor management districts, as well as the master-planned Royal Oaks Country Club subdivision; Westchase is immediately north and east of the Alief community, a largely residential and commercial district, and is sometimes considered part of Alief.
More than 1,500 businesses reside in Westchase. Several are associated with the petroleum industry, of which Houston is considered a major capital. Major employers that have offices in Westchase include ABB Group, BMC Software, Chevron,Phillips 66, Dow Chemical, Halliburton, and Jacobs Engineering.
The Westchase district is approximately 2,700 acres in size, with 16.3+ million square feet of office space contained in 118 office buildings.
History of Westchase
What is now Westchase was land under the family of R.E. "Bob" Smith, a Houston rancher and philanthropist (best known for partnering with Judge Roy Hofheinz, among others, in the early 1960s to create what would become the Houston AstrosMajor League Baseball franchise). In 1969 Friendswood Development Company purchased a section of Smith's land to form what is now Woodlake, an upper-middle-class residential subdivision off Gessner Road between Briar Forest Lane and Westheimer Road. In 1973 the Westchase Corporation purchased 760 acres of Smith family land. As development expanded, Chevron and Western Geophysical were some of the first companies to establish operations in Westchase. The section of Beltway 8 (Sam Houston Tollway) serving the area opened in 1988, increasing road access. It became clear that some sort of "master plan" was needed to provide for orderly development and marketing of the area.