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Pearland shoppers push retail growth to top of 5-year charts By Carol Christian | January 17, 2013 | Updated: January 18, 2013 8:35am Anyone who drives in Pearland, or commutes to and from the south Houston suburb, knows the community is booming economically. A recent report by the Texas Retail Survey confirms that, for the five-year period between 2006 and 2011, Pearland was the state's fastest growing retail market, with a growth rate of 9.2 percent. In 2011, Pearland had nearly $962 million in retail sales, according to the survey. The 2011 report marks the third straight year that Pearland's retail growth over the preceding five years was the highest among the state's 50 largest retail markets. By comparison, the state's retail growth for the five years was 2.7 percent. In 2009, Pearland's retail growth rate for the prior five years was 17 percent, far surpassing Sugar Land at 4.4 percent and Houston at 4.3 percent. Pearland's shopping centers have contributed to that retail growth, said Matt Buchanan, Pearland Economic Development Corporation president. He cited four major retail developments, all near Texas 288 and FM 518: Pearland Town Center, Silverlake Village, the Crossing at 518 and Shadow Creek Ranch Town Center. Pearland's retail sales are driven by strong population growth, Buchanan said. The 2010 U.S. Census showed that Pearland, with more than 91,000 people, grew about 142 percent since the 2000 census. That spurt made it the nation's 15th fastest-growing city among cities with at least 10,000 people and the second fastest growing city in Texas, Buchanan said. "People need places to shop and eat," he said. "It's a natural progression of the growth the community has seen for these retail numbers to play out the way they have." In the Houston metropolitan area, only Houston and Pasadena now have larger populations than Pearland, Buchanan said. He credited the population growth to the community's quality of life, with its good schools and a location convenient to various jobs in the region. The retail growth is not happening in a vacuum, noted Brad Lybrand, a land broker with TGB Croswell. "Importantly, in Pearland, it's not just the retail component," he said. "The medical component is also on fire." For example, he said, Kelsey-Seybold is building a corporate campus that will have about 1,200 employees and a separate medical office building, he said. HCA has announced construction of a $70 million hospital at Shadow Creek Parkway and Texas 288, Lybrand said. All this activity is drawing restaurants, with "many more coming," Lybrand said. In 2011, Houston ranked No. 10 among the 50 largest markets, with a 4.1 percent annual average retail growth rate over five years. Other Houston-area cities in the top 50 included Sugar Land at 2.6 percent; Pasadena, 2.3 percent; Conroe, 1.3 percent; and Baytown, 1.2 percent. Dallas was No. 44 with zero average growth in the period, according to Texas Retail Survey. http://www.chron.com...-of-4203343.php