In the late 1950’s, Houstonians viewed the fledgling Memorial Villages as an area of country estates where corporate executives could live in secluded distance from the bustle of their downtown business world. In the years since, urban development has joined the Villages to Houston, but they have maintained and enhanced their identity as serene and very private neighborhoods.
Residents of the area were gifted with great foresight. In the 1950’s, fearing annexation by the City of Houston and motivated by a desire for residential zoning, they joined together to create six independent villages: Hunters Creek, Piney Point, Hedwig, Bunker Hill, Spring Valley, and Hilshire Village. Referred to collectively as “the Villages,” the area is famous for its distinctive country-estate atmosphere and ranks as one of the most desirable places to live in Texas.
The affluent population of the Villages prompts comparisons with one of Houston’s other upscale neighborhoods, River Oaks. Both neighborhoods are home to Houston’s business leaders and boast some of the highest median household income in the country. The differences are pronounced, however; Villages houses are often much larger and occupy enormous lots, many of an acre or more. Lot prices begin in the upper $500,000s and home prices range from the $700,00s for older structures to upwards of $6 million for more recent homes on large lots.
While independent from the surrounding metropolis, the Villages provide quality municipal services, including top-notch protection from their own police force on continuous patrol. Commercialism and billboards are outlawed, and shopping centers are allowed only along the perimeters.
Close enough to freeways and downtown Houston to benefit from urban advantages but removed within their own municipalities, the Villages offer a lifestyle that is unique in the Houston market.