A Quick History of Sharpstown

 Sharpstown is a master-planned community in southwest Houston, Texas. It was one of the first communities to be built as a master planned, automobile centered community. Frank Sharp, the developer of the subdivision, made provisions not only for homes but also for schools, shopping and recreation areas. While this model has been duplicated countless times in the past fifty years, at the time it was quite revolutionary, attracting national media attention. The development was dedicated with much fanfare on March 13, 1955.

Overview

The residential architecture in Sharpstown consists of post-World War II bungalows, modern and traditional homes. The materials used in building these homes were of sound quality and have withstood the wear and tear of the baby boomer generation as well as the test of time.

Sharp also donated a 300-foot-wide strip of land through the development to the state of Texas for construction of U.S. Highway 59. This decision ensured easy access from Downtown Houston to homes in the neighborhood, as well as easy access to Sharpstown Center (1961), Houston’s first air-conditioned, enclosed shopping mall.

Sharpstown was affected by the Sharpstown scandal. The scandal combined with a set of apartment complexes that became run-down ensured that Sharpstown became a neighborhood surrounded by crime by the 1990s. However, with Sharpstown’s close-in location, there is renewed interest in revitalizing the neighborhood. In 2005, median home prices in Sharpstown had roughly doubled since 2000.

The City of Houston instituted the current nine city council districts in 1979. Sharpstown has been districted in District F since 1980. District council members elected to the Houston City Council have been past presidents of the Sharpstown Civic Association – John Goodner (1980-1993), Ray Driscoll (1994-1999), Mark Ellis (2000-2003), M.J. Khan (2004-2009), and Mike Laster (2012-Present).

Like most Houston neighborhoods, the diversity of the Sharpstown population has increased over time. It has been estimated that there are over 60 dialects spoken within the area immediately surrounding Sharpstown. It has a significant number of persons of Asian descent, especially, Chinese and Vietnamese. This population is most evident on the western edge of Sharpstown in a growing economic area known as Houston’s China Town. The economic strength of this population is best denoted by their formation of the Asian Chamber of Commerce which is a vibrant and growing force for business in Sharpstown and Southwest Houston.

Sharpstown has an active Civic Association, and recently saw the formation of an economic development authority to assist with planning future economic growth for the area. A part of this planning and development is the rebuilding of the infrastructure of the corridor down Bellaire Boulevard from Highway 59 to the Sam Houston Tollway and along Fondren from 59 to the Westpark Tollroad.

Sharpstown has a little league team called “Bayland Park Little League” (formerly Sharpstown Little League).

Education

Sharpstown is served by several schools in the Houston Independent School District. Bonham, Neff, Sutton, McNamara, and White Elementary Schools serve Sharpstown. From there, pupils progress to either Jane Long Middle School (any student zoned to Long may apply to Pin Oak Middle School’s regular program) or Sharpstown Middle School, followed by Sharpstown High School.

Two private secondary schools, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and Saint Agnes Academy, are located in Sharpstown.

The Sharpstown area is served by Walter Branch of Houston Public Library.

The campus of Houston Baptist University and a number of vocational schools also reside in the Sharpstown community.