Sugar Land, Texas

Article by Marilyn Lim
Photography by George Hosek

I am a city girl. And like most city girls, I spend a significant amount of time searching for the next best thing to do. My latest discovery? Soaking up upscale, urban living downtown. Downtown Sugar Land, that is.

Now urban and Sugar Land were not always compatible words. Ten years ago, Sugar Land was considered a quaint Houston suburb, more suitable for families and schools than luxury retailers and restaurants.

But a population explosion in the late 1990s paved the way for an edgier and trendier Sugar Land.

Ranked as #1 in growth in the Houston metropolitan area and #1 in growth among the state’s 45 largest cities, the city has worked to provide an increasingly urban atmosphere for its increasing population.

Sugar Land, however, is no stranger to growth and development. The city’s sugar industry began in 1843 with a sugar cane mill which was later expanded into a refinery.


In 1907, the refinery, sugar plantation, and surrounding farmlands were sold to W. T. Eldridge and I. H. Kempner, marking the beginning of the Imperial Sugar Company.

In the 1950s, the Sugar Company decided to expand the isolated company town’s population by creating Venetian Estates, a community of waterfront houses.

Master-planned communities such as Sugar Creek and First Colony were introduced in the 1960s, and by the time the early nineties rolled around, Sugar Land was home to major businesses such as Fluor Daniel and Unocal.

Today, Sugar Land is home to the Sugar Land Town Square Project: a mixed-use development which serves as Sugar Land’s new downtown.

An appealing combination of urban living and Southern comfort, the new downtown boasts upscale retailers and restaurants, as well as luxury living and grand architecture.

Trendy residencies such as the Tower Lofts, a 10-story luxury tower in the Town Square, and Lake Pointe Vista, a luxury mid-rise residential project near downtown, are impressively planned and sure to fill up quickly.

Those visiting Sugar Land might consider staying at the 300-room, full service Marriott Hotel, placed in the heart of Town Square.

Other notable architecture in the area is the new City Hall, nearby the Marriott. Look for more buildings to go up in the coming years in the form of class A office space in Town Square.

Complementing the fashionable living spaces and buildings are equally fashionable retailers and restaurants.

First Colony Mall is full of stylish stores such as Banana Republic, Gap, and August Max, while ritzy Town Square retailers such as Z Gallerie, Bombay, Annabelle’s, and Ann Taylor Loft, help to make the area a shopper’s paradise.

But you don’t have to enjoy shopping to enjoy Sugar Land. Restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory, Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille, Vineyard on the Square and The Burning Pear are reason enough to visit the city.

These restaurants offer a wide selection of delicious foods suitable for all palettes.

And that, perhaps, is what makes Sugar Land’s development stand out- it strives to please people of all walks of life.

You can spice up your life at Japaneiro’s dance club or Baker Street Pub, or stick to something mellow, like flipping through magazines at Barnes and Nobles or catching a movie at the First Colony AMC 24.

Needless to say, Sugar Land is no longer just a Houston suburb. While it may not offer as many venues as Houston, it has come into its own with an original ambiance that will only improve with time.

Sugar Land
2700 Town Center Boulevard North
Sugar Land, TX 77479

Fort Bend School






Photography Services

Writers Wanted

Content copyright George L. Hosek. The articles and photographs on this site are for viewing on your computer only, absolutely, no commercial or personal reproduction without written consent from George Hosek.