Houston Neighborhood Profile: Sugar Land

Once a remote hamlet for plantation workers, Sugar Land has grown into one of greater Houston’s largest communities, making it an ideal location to take advantage of the VA loan’s financial benefits.

In the 1960s, Imperial Sugar started to sell some of its vast land holdings to help transform its company town into the 24-square-mile, master-planned community it is today. With 63,000 residents and a median family income of $110,000 per year, it’s one of the most affluent suburbs of Houston, making it an ideal location for Veterans families relocating to Houston.

The city straddles Highway 59 in Fort Bend County just outside Houston’s outer freeway loop, Beltway 8. It lies about 15 miles from downtown, West of Missouri City and south of Mission Bend.

The assessed value of the city’s homes averages about $250,000, which is above average in the Houston area. For the money, buyers find mostly single-family homes on lots averaging more than 2 acres. Even below $150,000, it’s possible to find a well-kept, 4-bedroom house on one of the city’s many shady cul-de-sacs. Lakeside subdivisions and those built along one of Sugar Land’s golf courses can command millions.

Well-heeled suburbanites have no shortage of stores catering to their fashion needs. More than 160 shops anchored by JC Penny, Macy’s and Dillard’s reside in First Colony Mall (16535 Southwest Freeway). For an outdoor shopping experience mimicking the downtowns of old, Sugar Land Town Square (15958 City Walk) weaves boutiques like Ann Taylor Loft and Jos A. Banks with offices, condos and a Marriott hotel and convention center. Veteran discounts are bountiful throughout the area.

Sugar Land Town Square offers the Amici casual Italian restaurant, Escalante’s Fine Tex-Mex, Perry’s Steak House and Grill, Shiva Indian Restaurant and a P.F. Chang’s. Like most Houston suburbs, popular chain restaurants are easy to find on major thoroughfares, and sprinkled about town are original concepts like Japaneiro’s Sushi Bistro and Latin Grill (2168 Texas Dr.) and The Burning Pear (16090 City Walk), which serves regional Texas cuisine.

A few sports bars, pubs and low-key drinking establishments give diners some after-eating options around town, though the nightlife is proportionate to the city’s modest size. Houston Veterans can grab a beer at BJ’s Restaurant and Brew House (2231 Highway 6 in Sugar Land Town Square) until midnight or later. Baker Street Pub (15970 City Walk) and ultra hip sports bar Loggia are nearby.

For Veteran sports fans, the Sugar Land Skeeters offer local family fun.  An American professional baseball team based in Sugar Land, Texas, they are a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent league not affiliated with Major or Minor League Baseball. Beginning in the 2012 season, the team has played its home games at Constellation Field. The Skeeters are the first Atlantic League team to play outside of the Northeast megalopolis; the team is also the first of a planned Western division to include four to six other teams. The Skeeters are also the first independent league baseball team in the Greater Houston metropolitan area since the Houston Buffaloes‘ final season in 1961.

With current VA mortgage rates being so low, the opportunities for Veterans living and working in Sugar Land are vast and ongoing.