Rice Village

Rice Village is a large group of restaurants, stores, and pubs located to the west of the1.2 km2 or 300-acre from the Rice University campus.  Kirby Drive, University Boulevard, Tangley Street, Rice Boulevard, Greenbriar Drive, and Morningside Drive, form the core of “Rice Village,” which is bounded by University Boulevard, Kirby Drive, Tangley Street, Morningside Drive, Rice Boulevard, and Greenbriar Drive, though it has enlarged the retail area to expand businesses to the Bissonnet Street on the north.

Business

Rice Village has grown from its humble beginnings as an ad hoc collection of retail businesses in the 1930s to become one of Houston’s most popular shopping destinations. Rice Village is recognized for its many small and eccentric stores and boutiques, which are housed in a 16-block area. High-fashion clothing businesses and national retail venues have recently opened in the region as a result of recent expansion. Limited parking forced the closing of Rice Food Market, the last remaining Rice Village grocery store, as Village retail became denser in the 1990s. With the building of the Hanover Rice Village Luxury Apartments, residential real estate has re-entered the neighborhood.

Cityscape

Kirby Drive, Amherst, Morningside, and University are the boundaries of the Village Arcade. The project also encompasses the majority of the block between Kelvin, Amherst, Times, and Morningside.

History

Since 1938, Rice Village is Houston’s oldest commercial district. It’s high-density, an unplanned jumble of new and old retail establishments. Rice Village “packed up and blossomed” during the year the 1960s and 1950s, according to David Kaplan of Cite, but the agricultural growth in the 1970s in Greater Houston drove development to shift elsewhere. Beginning in the 1980s, he gave all the infusion of new families from Houston’s Southampton and Southgate neighborhoods, as well as the West University Place of the City, with rejuvenating Rice Village.

Rice University started purchasing property in the region of Rice Village in the mid-1980s. Rice Village University’s vice president Scott Wise was there for investments, is “strategically positioned” and allows for development and flexibility. The Rice Village was the setting for the first few minutes of the 1994 thriller The Chase.

Specialty

Rice Village is notable for its small, diverse stores and boutiques, which number over 300 in the immediate 16-block area. High-end clothing businesses and national retail chains such as Banana Republic, Mac, Kendra Scott, and Chico’s have recently expanded in the region. Hemline, Lily Rain, Em&Lee, and Impeccable Pig are just a few of the Village’s distinctive boutiques.

Rice Village also has some of Houston’s best and most diverse dining options, with restaurants specializing in Italian, French, Indian, Mediterranean, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.

Rice Village’s overall crime rate is predicted to be 26% lower than Houston’s average. This area is also deemed to be safer than 27% of Texas cities. The violent crime rate in Rice Village is 38% higher than the national average. In Rice Village, the chances of being a victim of a violent or property crime are about 1 in 27.

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