Economic Development

Sugar Land focuses on supporting redevelopment of the Imperial Sugar site

The Imperial Sugar site was the start of what would become Sugar Land.  Imperial Sugar created jobs, and then homes and as it grew this economic engine was the corner stone of our community, our “company town”, for generations.

Today, Sugar Land is still a “company town” serving as a major employment hub in the Houston region with over 70,000 jobs.  And although the Imperial Sugar site is no longer operational, there is a desire to preserve and honor the City’s creation, our history.

The City does not own the Imperial Sugar site and never has. The site is privately owned and is looking for a developer experienced in historic preservation and who’s vision for the property aligns with the City’s. The City and owner have been actively working on attracting a developer, but the site is difficult to develop, and even temporary alterations could impact future historic preservation financing, which is why the site remains as-is.

Community concerns related to the future of the Imperial Sugar site are well known and shared by City leadership. However, this is a delicate situation, and the City is doing everything possible to support the owner in attracting the right developer to the site and will continue to do so. 

Sugar Land is built out; opportunities for growth are limited.  Our Community and City Council leadership have identified redevelopment as a key priority to increase revenue streams that will preserve Sugar Land’s quality of life for current and future residents. Five “Activity Centers,” one being the Imperial Sugar site, have been identified to expand our big city amenities while keeping our small-town hospitality.  These Activity Centers are envisioned as mixed-use, dense, and walkable areas.  The new tax base generated from growth in Activity Centers will help keep our tax rate among the state’s lowest while sustaining the high quality of life amenities and services that our residents, businesses and visitors expect.

The development of Activity Centers must start with housing.  It is not possible to develop new, attractive places without bringing more residents to Sugar Land, just like Imperial Sugar did decades ago.  A variety of housing options such as apartments, townhomes, duplexes and more will provide pathways to home ownership, a place nearby for family, and drive demand for new dining, retail, amenities, and attractions.

We’ve been changing to remain relevant and working to identify a bold vision for the future. We are also looking to carry this out in the most appropriate and thoughtful manner suitable for Sugar Land. The Imperial Historic District site once played a vital role in our city’s economy. Our vision is to preserve and reuse the historic buildings while developing a mixed-use, walkable destination.

Learn more about the City’s Strategic Outcomes, here:

Learn more about Regional Activity Centers, here:

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