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HomeOPINIONEven after a hurricane, Houston retail is booming

Even after a hurricane, Houston retail is booming

It just so happens that I am in Houston, Texas on my way to Washington DC. Given the fact that this city was badly hit a few weeks ago by a massive hurricane and extensive flooding, I thought readers may be interested in an update of how the area is coping.

“I am told that the area will take years to recover and recovery teams will be here for many months.” 

Just a few facts. There are six million residents in this city, and some 500,000 houses have been affected. At the height of the storm, the international airport was closed for five days and Air New Zealand crew who were caught up in the closure, lent their hands to helping others. This, wasn’t widely publicised but their efforts were commendable in difficult circumstances.

“So how is the recovery and is the city back to normal?”  

Well the average tourist simply wouldn’t know there was a problem. For all intents and purposes the city is operating normally. The fourth largest shopping centre in the USA “The Galleria” is just across the road from my hotel and was pumping, with its mixture of retailers, vehicle sales and an internal skating rink all operating with a high level of customers.

In discussion with locals, it is apparent that this has been an all hands to the wheel approach to get the city operating again to a level that some level of normality has returned for the locals. As very much part of the Texas state, it seems that these people have an ability to accept the good with the bad. It’s a good lesson for all of us in times of difficulty. Helping one another is the key to recovery! Of course the traditional values of Texas haven’t changed. Everything is big, from meals to monuments!

 Paul Keane is a registered property professional and has vast experience in New Zealand’s commercial property industries. He provides retail and property consultancy including development management to many New Zealand property owners, developers and city councils. This post originally appeared on RCG’s blog.

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