Pearland

Pearland2 Pearland

Pearland (pronounced “pear-land”, like the fruit), is a city located along the Gulf Coast region in the US state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area and is in the counties of Brazoria, Fort Bend, and Harris. As of the census of 2000, the city’s population was 37,640. As of 2008, Pearland is estimated to have a population of 90,700 according to city limit signs. The 2010 census returned a population of 91,252.

In 2007, Forbes Magazine ranked Pearland as the 34th fastest growing suburb in the nation. It is therefore the fastest growing suburb in the Greater Houston area, and the 10th fastest growing in the state of Texas.

Geography

Pearland is located at 29°33?16?N 95°17?45?W? (29.554349, ?95.295959).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 39.4 square miles (101.9 km²), of which, 39.3 square miles (101.9 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.08%) is water.

In 2009 the city said that the city limits had 48 square miles (120 km2) and that the combined area of the city limits and of nearby unincorporated areas, including Country Place and Silverlake, was 72 square miles (190 km2).

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 37,640 people, 13,192 households, and 10,659 families residing in the city. The population density was 957.0 people per square mile (369.5/km²). There were 13,922 housing units at an average density of 354.0 per square mile (136.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city as of 2000, was 82.62% White, 5.33% African American, 0.42% Native American, 3.65% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.12% from other races, and 1.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.22% of the population.

There were 13,192 households out of which 43.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.6% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.2% were non-families. 15.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 116.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 122.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $64,156, and the median income for a family was $70,748 (these figures had risen to $83,706 and $92,096 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $49,359 versus $34,570 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,306. About 3.4% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.

According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the racial composition in 2009 was as follows:

* White: 68.6% (57.0% were non-Hispanic whites)
* Black or African American: 14.6%
* American Indian: 0.1%
* Asian: 9.5%
* Two or more races: 2.2%
* Some other race: 5.0%

* Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 17.1%

The City of Pearland stated in 2009 that the estimated population in the city limits was 91,000, and that city population and the population of nearby unincorporated areas, including Country Place and Silverlake, was 125,000 altogether.

From 2000 to 2010 the population increased by almost three times. Pearland itself is ethnically diverse; 62 languages are spoken in Pearland public schools.

History

The area that is now Pearland had its humble beginnings near a siding switch on the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway in 1882. When a post office was established in 1893, the community was originally named Mark Belt. On September 24, 1894, the plat of “Pear Land” was filed with the Brazoria County courthouse by Witold von Zychlinski, a man of Polish nobility. At the time Pearland had many fruits harvested by residents. Zychlinski saw the pear trees and decided that “Pearland” would make a good name for the community.

Pearland was promoted by some developers as an “agricultural Eden.” The first subdivision was called Suburban Gardens. The Galveston hurricane of 1900 and the Galveston hurricane of 1915, destroyed most of the fruit trees and slowed growth for a considerable period of time, and caused a period of desertification in the area. In 1914, with agriculture rebounding and the end of desertification, Pearland had a population of 400, but a devastating freeze in 1918 was another setback to the local farming enterprises. Oil was discovered nearby in 1934, which led to the development of the Hastings Oilfield, though did not spur a large amount of growth, as the population fluctuated from 150 and 350. From the 1970s, the town has grown to its present-day population.

Cityscape

In the 1800s present-day Pearland consisted of prairie. Residents harvested fruit and vegetables such as cantaloupes, corn, figs, pears, and watermelons. In the 1930s and 1940s Pearland had many dance halls and beer joints that entertained people from the Hastings and Manvel oil fields.

By 1990 the city limits had extended into Harris County. In the 1990s home developers began buying large tracts of land, changing the geography of the city. Former rice fields filled with houses. The historic town center of Pearland is at the intersection of Texas State Highway 35/Main and Broadway. Western Pearland has a lot of suburban development, while eastern Pearland has older houses and, according to Maggie Galehouse of the Houston Chronicle, Pearland’s “rural roots still show” in the east side. Pearland’s main east-west corridor is Farm to Market Road 518/Broadway.

Economy

Pearland does not have any major industry. The largest employers are a reflection of Pearland’s suburban economy, with some businesses related to the oil industry and biomedical industry. The largest employer is the Pearland Independent School District, employing 1,800 people. The second largest employer is Wal-Mart, which operates several stores in town and employs 800 people. The H-E-B Plus is the third largest employer in town employing more than 500 people. The City of Pearland is the fourth largest employer in town at 429 employees. Rounding out the top 10 are Randall’s (Grocery), 250; Kemlon (Oil field services), 275; TurboCare (Turbo machinery manufacturing and repair), 175; Target Stores (Retail) 150, Tele-Flow (Heating/ventilation/air conditioning) 140, Lowe’s (Building materials), 132.

Though formerly an agriculture-based town, Pearland is now predominantly white-collar (71%). “Professional and Related Occupations”, “Sales and Services”, and “Management, Business, and Financial Operations” are the three primary fields of employment (23%, 30%, and 18% respectively).

Many residents in Pearland work in the Texas Medical Center (in fact, of all neighborhoods and suburbs in Greater Houston, Pearland has the highest percentage of TMC workers).

Shopping and Entertainment

* Pearland Town Center – A 1,100,000 sq ft (100,000 m2). lifestyle center. Opened in July 2008. Includes Macy’s, Dillard’s, Sports Authority, and Barnes and Noble.
* Shadow Creek Town Center – A 640,265 sq ft (59,482.6 m2). retail center. Construction underway, rolling openings until Fall 2008.
* The Spectrum at Clear Creek – A 750,000 sq ft (70,000 m2). industrial/business park. Construction underway, completion date unknown.
* WaterLights District – a proposed 50-acre (200,000 m2) mixed-use development, went into foreclosure.
* Silverlake Village Shopping Center – Silverlake Village is anchored by Super Target, and features a host of other national retailers including Michaels, Marshalls, PetSmart,Ross,DSW,Office Depot and Randalls.
* Crossing at 288 – Best Buy,JC Penney,Old Navy,Bed Bath and Beyond,Half Price Booksand other stores and Restaurants.
* Shadow Creek Market Place – (Located at NW Corner of SC Pkwy & Hwy 288 ) Kroger Signature store,Cracker Barrel,Bank of America,Chase Bank and other Stores.
* Cinermark Movies 12 – A Decent and small Movie theater.

Health Care

* Reserve at SCR – Kelsey Seybold,Memorial Herman and HCA.
* Saint Lukes Emergency Center.

Government and infrastructure

City Elected Officials: Mayor: Tom Reid (D) [Term Expires May 2014]; Councilmember, Position 1: Woody Owens (R) [Term Expires May 2016]; Councilmember, Position 2: Scott Sherman (R) [Term Expires May 2012]; Councilmember, Position 3: Susan Sherrouse (R) [Term Expires May 2014]; Councilmember, Position 4: Felicia Harris (R) [Term Expires May 2012]; Mayor Pro-Tem, Councilmember, Position 5: Ed Thompson (D) [Term Expires May 2016] The official City of Pearland website is very helpful.

The city is represented in the Congress in the 22nd District by Republican Pete Olson, elected in 2008.

The United States Postal Service operates the Pearland Post Office at 3519 East Walnut Street and the Silver Lake Post Office at 2700 Cullen Boulevard.

Education

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Most of Pearland is a part of the Pearland Independent School District. Other portions of Pearland are part of Alvin Independent School District (including most of Shadow Creek Ranch), Fort Bend Independent School District (including some of Shadow Creek Ranch), Clear Creek Independent School District, Houston Independent School District, and Pasadena Independent School District.

* All schools in Pearland ISD, including Pearland High School and Glenda Dawson High School, serve the Pearland ISD portion of Pearland.
* The Alvin ISD portion is served by several elementary schools as well as Manvel High School (in Manvel).
* The Pearland ISD is an Exemplary school district per the Texas Education Agency.

Private schools

* St. Helen Catholic School, a K-8 Roman Catholic School operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
* The Eagle Heights Christian Academy is operated by the First Baptist Church and is located in Pearland on Pearland Parkway. It offers grades Pre-K – 12 and a rigorous and Christian education (http://www.fbcpearland.org/fbcp/home).
* Heritage Christian Academy is located in Pearland.

Colleges and universities

The Pearland ISD and Alvin ISD portions are served by Alvin Community College (ACC), and the Pasadena ISD portion is served by San Jacinto College. ACC operates the Pearland Community College Center in Pearland.

The University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) has a satellite campus, located within the city.

Public libraries

The Pearland Library at 3522 Liberty Drive is a part of the Brazoria County Library System. As of September 13, 2008 the library was closed for many months due to Hurricane Ike storm damage. It reopened in March 2009. There are many activities at all branches of the Brazoria County Library System. They are all free and open to the public.

Transportation

Metro Park and Ride

On Dec5th 2011,The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County has purchased 15.26 acres of land near Hwy. 288 and FM 518 in the Pearland area for a future “Park & Ride” facility. Alan Parker Properties LP represented the seller, Carolyn and Frank Wenglar, in the $3.95 million land sale. Metro, which currently operates 29 Park & Rides throughout Harris County, said the new facility will give Brazoria County residents another option for traveling to the Texas Medical Center and other downtown Houston destinations. The new facility is scheduled to begin operations in the fall of 2013.

Airports

Skyway Manor Airport, a privately owned airport, is located within the Pearland city limits. Pearland Regional Airport, a privately owned airport, is located in unincorporated Brazoria County south of the Pearland city limits. Both airports allow public use.

The closest publicly owned airport is the Brazoria County Airport, located in an unincorporated area.

Commercial airline service is provided out of Houston from William P. Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Freeway system

Pearland is served by State Highway 288 which connects the city to Houston. FM 518, locally known as Broadway, is considered the main east-west artery of the city. State Highway 35, locally called Main Street and known as Telephone Road, is the main north-south artery of the city. Given the spread out area, SH 288 serves the westernmost part of the city, while SH 35 serves the easternmost part as both connect Pearland to Houston (FM 865/Cullen Blvd also connects Houston as well in between). The Texas State Highway Beltway 8 (Sam Houston Tollway) services the northern part of Pearland. It is located adjacent to the northern Brazoria County and southeastern Harris County border. It also serves as one of the largest tollways in the Houston area.

Parks and recreation

* C.V. ‘Vic’ Coppinger Family YMCA Branch is located in Pearland.
* The Pearland Parks and Recreation Department is a large, active city entity
* The Pearland Natatorium and Recreational Center is a large facility dedicated to providing quality services that connects the community through people, parks, and programs.