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West University Place

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West University Place, often referred to by residents as West U, is located just off US 59 in the inner southwest portion of Houston, adjacent to Bellaire and Southside Place. Its location minutes away from Downtown, the Medical Center, and the Galleria/Uptown make it an ideal home for professionals.

West U is sure to have that extra something youʼre looking for, with the charm of the quintessential American town and a home for every kind of buyer from 1940s bungalows to luxurious showplaces straight out of Architectural Digest. Any first-time visitor would be surprised by its relaxed, small-town feel, given its location so close to the hustle and bustle of the big city.

The cityʼs population as of the 2010 census was 14,787; the city occupies 2 square miles.

The History:

West University Place was originally developed by former Tennessee governor Ben Hooper, and was named for its close proximity to Rice University. Long ago, the site was home to the Harris County Poor Farm, a far cry from its prestigious reputation of today.

As the story goes, a Rice University English student named Lilly Nicholson was asked by the city planner to name the townʼs streets. She turned to English literature and named many of them after well-known poets, such as Tennyson and Marlowe Streets. Other street names allude to prestigious American colleges and universities, including Sewanee Avenue and Georgetown Street, in keeping with the townʼs collegiate theme.

West U incorporated in 1924 because the city of Houston was reluctant to extend power lines to the city. Houston eventually annexed most of the surrounding areas, but in 1939 West U refused to be absorbed into the city of Houston and adopted a formal charter in 1940.

Development eventually slowed to a crawl, but in the late 1980s and especially in the 1990s, during Houstonʼs oil boom, construction saw a resurgence, with the bungalows of the early 20th century now accompanied by brick two-story homes. Because of its prime location and atmosphere, this building boom has continued today, with luxurious new homes standing side by side the charming original bungalows.

Good to Know:

West University Place operates as its own independent government. The Municipal Building, home to most city servicesʼ offices, is located at 3800 University Boulevard. Police protection is provided by the West University Place Police Department; fire protection is provided by the West University Place Fire Department. Both are also located at 3800 University Boulevard.

The city operates its own independent public works department, located at 3826 Amherst Street. For more information, visit www.westutx.gov.

West University Placeʼs post office is located at 5340 Weslayan Street.

Shopping and Dining:

West University Place is minutes away from Houstonʼs ever-popular Galleria, and is immediately adjacent to the unique Rice Village. One of these two great shopping destinations is sure to have just what youʼre looking for (And likely both!). Both of these areas are also home to many of Houstonʼs most popular eateries, and the nearby Upper Kirby district is also chock-full of No matter what youʼre hungry for, youʼre sure to find something nearby! In the mood for barbecue? Houston favorite Goode Co. Bar-B-Q is just down the street. Insatiable sweet tooth? Check out Rice Villageʼs The Chocolate Bar.

Convenience lovers will not be disappointed. A Whole Foods location is within the city limits on Bellaire Boulevard. Just beyond the West University Place city limits are an array of grocery and pharmacy locations, including the welcome recent addition of HEBʼs Buffalo Market.

Schools:

Itʼs no surprise that a city named for an institution of higher learning would be home to stellar schools. The exemplary West University Elementary School is located in the heart of the community, and all elementary school aged students are zoned to attend it. Middle School aged students attend Pershing Middle School in adjacent Braeswood Place with an option to attend Pin Oak Middle School, located in Bellaire. Additionally, students in grades K-8 can apply to attend HISDʼs magnet school the Rice School, located nearby. High school students are zoned to attend Lamar High School, located in the Upper Kirby neighborhood. For more information visit www.houstonisd.org.

Parents seeking private schools may send their students to St. Markʼs Episcopal School, which serves grades K-8 and is located in West U. Additional private school options nearby include Episcopal High School and the Post Oak School, which serves students from 14 months to 12th grade. Both are located in Bellaire. St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School (PK-8) is located in Houston.

Libraries, Parks and Recreation, and Other Amenities:

West University Placeʼs recently opened Recreation Center is located at 4210 Bellaire Boulevard. The facility is home to a heated indoor pool, squash/raquetball courts, a weight room and a jogging track. The Recreation Center also hosts classes for all ages, including yoga and pilates for adults, and swimming and gymnastics for kids.

The Colonial Park Pool is located at 4130 and features a rock wall, slide, and play structure for kids, as well as a zero-depth entry and in-water lounge chairs for adults. Thereʼs even a concessions stand run by Princeʼs Hamburgers!

Every summer, the city hosts Kidventure, a day camp for kids ages 6-12. Activities include arts and craft, science, and field sports. For more information, visit www.kidventure.com.

West U is home to several parks. Colonial Park features a playground, tennis courts, a volleyball court and pavilion, which may be reserved for parties. Huffington Park on Milton St. features a playground. Judson Park on Judson St. features an additional tennis court and a playground. These are only a few of the many parks operated by the city. Additionally, nearby Hermann Park is home to the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre and the Hermann Park Golf Course.

The West University Library is located at 6108 Auden Street and is operated by the Harris County Public Library system.

West U enjoys easy access to the Museum District, home to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Childrenʼs Museum, among many others.

Interested in calling West U home? Call us today!