New Money Secret's Out
The wealthiest community in Texas is in the Houston area, but it's not RiverOaks
A new report compiled by American City Business Journals — which publishes the Houston Business Journal — reveals that the Houston area now boasts four of the 10 wealthiest communities in Texas, including No. 1 Hunters Creek Village.
With more than 67 percent of its 4,537 population possessing household incomes of more than $150,000, Hunters Creek doesn't just rank highest in Texas. It's 11th in the entire country. Bunker Hill, West University Place and Piney Point closely came in at fourth, fifth and sixth respectively on the list for Texas — each with around 58 percent of its residents bringing in more than 150 grand. Numbers are based on 2009 income and tax data made available by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Communities Survey.
Hunters Creek mayor David Wegner was kind enough to offer CultureMap a quick history of the state’s wealthiest community and its five neighboring towns, which together make up the Memorial Villages located near the Memorial City Mall.
“Friends joke with me about being the mayor of one of the wealthiest cities in the country,” Wegner laughs. “But it really all depends how you read the data.”
"We’re able to do things as a small city on a scale that couldn’t normally be achieved in a bigger city like Houston,” Hunters Creek mayor David Wegner says.
“Hunters Creek Village has a lot of lawyers, accountants, and business owners — many of whom are involved in the oil and gas industry,” Wegner says. “It makes sense, since we’re only six miles from the Allen Parkway corridor.”
As the City of Houston annexed nearby unincorporated areas after the Second World War, the small communities of Hunters Creek, Piney Point, Hedwig Village, Bunker Hill, Hilshire Village and Spring Valley each incorporated in 1954 to remain independent. Electing their own mayors and council members, the Memorial Villages were officially born.
“The six cities pooled their resources to share water, police, and a fire department,” Wegner says. “Together they could provide better services than the City of Houston offered at the time.”
This November, Hunters Creek is set to complete a 17-year flood prevention project that's cost $34 million, preparing the entire community for storms that might occur once a century (as opposed to Houston’s two-year storm protection).
“We’re able to do things as a small city on a scale that couldn’t normally be achieved in a bigger city like Houston,” Wegner says, mentioning that 25 new homes are being built in Hunters Creek with the new flood control system.
“This was all country in the 1950s,” Wegner says. “Most people had their own water wells and septic tanks.” Almost 60 years later, Hunters Creek has an average home value of $3 to $3.5 million and some of the most sophisticated flood engineering in the city.