These are exciting times for Houston's Energy Corridor. A T-shaped area that is located along IH-10 between Kirkwood and Barker Cypress roads (extending south along Eldridge and Enclave parkways), the Corridor contains almost 20 million square feet of mostly Class A office space and more than four million square feet of retail. Furthermore, the Corridor is at the center of a proposed master plan, which is expected to yield many more opportunities for restaurants, nightspots and recreation, in addition to Energy Corridor venues that are already established.
The "Energy Corridor" gets its name from an impressive lineup of prominent international energy and energy services companies based in the area, which act as principal employers for approximately 77,000 jobs. ConocoPhillips has its world headquarters here; and BP America, the U.S. division of BP, is headquartered here. Other oil industry companies include ExxonMobil Chemical, CITGO, Shell Oil and First Texas Energy Corporation. Non-energy companies include Cardinal Health Care, Sysco Corporation, Gulf States Toyota, Dow Chemical and Star Furniture.
With these corporations as their business base, Energy Corridor meeting venues are used to serving high-powered and demanding clients. The largest hotel function space is found at the magnificent 400-room Omni Houston Hotel Westside on Katy Freeway, featuring 25,000 square feet of meeting space and 25 newly renovated meeting rooms, including the 9,800-square-foot Texas Ballroom.
New to the scene is the new 37-acre mixed-use development CityCentre on Town and Country Boulevard, which features the Italian-inspired 244-room Hotel Sorella, a luxury property with state-of-the-art meeting and event facilities at Norris Conference Center, Monnalisa VIP lounge and the 7,800-square-foot Red Oak Ballroom.
CityCentre also features the 100,000-square-foot Life Time Athletic Club, with a variety of team-building activities like rock climbing wall, indoor/outdoor water parks and sport courts. Or meet at the Studio Movie Grill, an eight-screen cinema with in-theater dining. Event planners will help coordinate corporate breakfasts, lunches, buffets or all-day corporate packages, with a complete selection of audio-visual systems and extensive menus for meetings, parties or mix-and-mingle screenings.
The aforementioned master plan is expecting to develop the more than 26,000 acres of urban park area bordering the Energy Corridor, including the adjacent George Bush Park with its American Shooting Center; and Bear Creek Pioneers Park (which contains the top-rated Bear Creek Golf Course). More than 50 miles of recreational jogging, hiking, rollerblading and cycling trails will connect its neighborhoods and businesses in and around the Corridor.