Brays Oaks economic development plan, a ‘bible for investment,’ nears completion

Brays Oaks Management District
The Brays Oaks Management District is looking to better attract commercial investment in the area by leveraging assets such as the Willow Water Hole and trail network. (Courtesy Roan Matthews/Brays Oaks District)

The Brays Oaks Management District is looking to better attract commercial investment in the area by leveraging assets such as the Willow Water Hole and trail network. (Courtesy Roan Matthews/Brays Oaks District)

Officials with the Brays Oaks Management District are finalizing a package of studies, plans and recommendations that could guide economic development and infrastructure across the area for years to come.

The plan, part of a broader strategic plan and a Livable Centers Study scheduled for 2021, will help the management district educate and persuade investors to see the area’s potential, said Sheri Cortez, a member of the management district board of directors.

“This will be a bible for investment, for us to use to present to investors and get them on board,” Cortez said.

Some aspects of the plan are already underway, with the district looking to enlist an agency to help boost its image and branding. Another step is to pursue a streetscape master plan to define the look and feel of the roadways and intersections, said Ben Brewer, the executive director for the district.

“For some of these items, we don’t have the funding by ourselves as a district, but with the planning in hand, we can seek out partners and have guidelines and a vision to follow,” Brewer said.


Beyond capturing more business investment, the plan also recognizes the assets already in place that can be enhanced to raise the appeal of the area.

“We have such a green area and so many trails; there’s no place like it in the city, really,” Brewer said.

Cortez said the strength of the neighborhoods positions the district to be attractive as well.

“We’ve been told we don’t have the desired incomes, but it’s there, and it is growing. We have the rooftops and strong deed-restricted neighborhoods,” she said.

The plan could go before the board of directors for final approval later this spring.

Brays Oaks was formed in 2005 and comprises 15 square miles and 73,000 residents. It is funded by an assessment of $0.10 per $100 valuation of commercial properties only. Its 11-member board is appointed by Houston City Council.


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