Entities that are essential, integral parts of our dynamic city were conceived and set into motion by Central Houston. Groups such as Buffalo Bayou Partnership, established in 1986 and the Theater District, created in 1987, were launched by Central Houston in collaboration with partners.
In 1992, the Houston Downtown Management Corporation was initiated by the City of Houston and in 1996 was replaced by the Houston Downtown Management District (Downtown District) created by the Texas legislature. In addition, in 1998, the Downtown Redevelopment Authority was created to facilitate positive development of the area with tax increment dollars collected within the boundaries of the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #3.
The Downtown District was formed by an act of the Texas Legislature in 1995 and has been in operation since 1996. During this time, Downtown has experienced an exciting renaissance and a remarkable economic rebound. Today more Houston residents as well as visitors see downtown as a place to do far more than work—downtown is now a place to live, dine, visit, play, enjoy the arts, worship and learn!
The Downtown District is bounded largely by the freeway ring around Houston’s central business core, including Interstate 10, Highway 59 and Interstate 45. The District is operated under the direction of a 30-member board of directors whose primary focus is to leverage public funds with private resources to improve facilities and services, as well as accelerate area improvements with widespread beneﬁt above and beyond the level presently provided by local government or voluntary effort.
Houston City Council created TIRZ #3 in 1995 to alleviate blight, deteriorated street and site conditions, obsolete transit services and facilities, and encourage the sound growth of the residential, retail, and commercial sectors in downtown. This is achieved through the design and construction of improved streetscape enhancements, pedestrian amenities, public utility system upgrades, parkland improvements and historic preservation. Most recently, Council approved an addition of all the property adjacent to the Buffalo Bayou from the Sabine Street Bridge to Shepherd Drive in 2011. The Zone is currently scheduled to terminate on December 31, 2043.
Central Houston Civic Improvement is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable affiliate of Central Houston, Inc. and serves as the fiscal agent for catalyst projects including the Downtown Business Development Program, Transportation Management Organization (TMO) Program, Main Street Square, the Urban Collaborative Program, Buffalo Bayou Sesquicentennial Park, Homeless Rapid Re-housing, and various sustainability initiatives.