Forbes – Erin Carlyle
While the rest of the country struggled to recover from the recession, the economy in Texas has been on fire. Thanks to a boom in horizontal drilling and fracking, the state’s oil output has more than doubled over the past three years to 3.18 million barrels per day—a level not seen since 1976.
That’s sparked a surge in construction around the nation’s oil capital, Houston–residential, manufacturing, office, and even the occasional hotel–a development that makes it a poster child for the construction recovery happening around the country.
All that oil has meant plenty of jobs: last year alone, Texas added about 300,000, my colleague Chris Helman reports, and Houston has gained about 630,000 jobs since 2005. The Houston metro area is stepping up to house them, with residential towers rising in the Inner Loop, the downtown neighborhoods bordered by Highway 610. Among the most notable projects is the $147 million, 40-story Market Square Apartments, which will have luxury amenities like a poker room and a sauna, and possibly a grocery store in the retail ground space. Meanwhile, home prices in the neighborhoods close to downtown are quickly rising.
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