About Fifth Street
Fifth Street CDP (Census Designated Place), named after a street of the same name, is a community in east Fort Bend County near Houston. Still semi-rural and unincorporated, Fifth Street has roots that stretch back to the founding of the County and the State of Texas. Though the area was once home to self-reliant former slaves, Imperial Sugar Refinery workers, business owners, musicians, activists, and sharecroppers, the area eventually became colonia, and most recently an underdeveloped, low-income without amentities surrounded by middle- to upper-income suburban development.
About the Fifth Street Project
The Fifth Street Project is based on equitable development principles and asset based, as it builds upon the community’s rich and diverse heritage. The University of Texas at Austin (UT) through its Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) entered into an agreement with Fort Bend County government to perform project management, planning, assessment, community engagement, and research services to complete the Fifth Street Neighborhood Plan and Market Study.
The goal of the neighborhood planning process is to develop a new vision for the area that:
- Highlights the community’s unique character,
- Builds the capacity of residents to improve their neighborhood, and
- Raises the housing and retail development community’s awareness of the Fifth Street area’s potential for growth.
Project goals were achieved through a multiphase planning process, which included
- Making design and planning expertise available to area residents and stakeholders
- Rediscovering the neighborhood’s history and culture to develop branding strategy
- Guiding Fifth Street residents, neighbors, and stakeholders through a participatory action-based survey process
- Performing housing and business opportunity analysis
- Exploring, with residents, opportunities for the community new ways to attract and retain small businesses
- Conducting a combined community master planning and visioning event
- Completing and presenting a final report to local government, economic development leaders, residents, builders, and developers