More than $2.8 billion in new construction projects have recently been completed or are currently underway in Houston’s vital urban center, an area defined by IH-45 to the west and south, Highway 69 to the east and IH-10 to the north. These projects include 16 residential properties, seven hotels, three high-rise office buildings, a new campus for the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), major improvements to the George R. Brown Convention Center and several public parking garages.  
 
Much of Downtown's growth can be attributed to the city’s focus on increasing the residential population in the area. There are currently more than 65,000 residents in Greater Downtown and 5,400 residents within the Downtown District’s boundaries, and that number is expected to more than double over the next few years.
 
Meanwhile, Downtown Houston remains a dynamic business center with a workforce of approximately 150,000 employees and 50 million square feet of office space; the largest concentration of employment in the region. Downtown remains the desired business location for prominent companies, offering competitive advantages such as proximity to the best talent, customers and business partners, public and private services, and a range of transit options.
 
Downtown Houston also offers more than 7,300 hotel rooms. Properties range from large convention hotels to luxury service hotels to boutique historic options. These diverse offerings make Downtown an ideal destination for business travelers and weekend wanderers, as well as conventioneers. Recent interior and exterior enhancements to the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB) include the addition of five new restaurants, a new grand entrance and a new plaza space called The Avenida that is perfect for events, public art and casual gatherings. Inside the 1.9 million square foot convention center, five previously separate convention halls are now interconnected with a concourse that runs the length of the ground floor.
 
Lastly, the Downtown area also continues to see the opening of restaurants by award-winning chefs and restaurateurs.  Hotspots are the area around Avenida Houston, along Main Street and in the Historic Market Square neighborhood.