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As we celebrate Houston’s 175th birthday and reflect on all that makes Houston great, news arrives that, thanks to statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics covering the years from 2006 through 2011, an estimated 109,700 jobs were created in Houston, the most in the U.S., making us the most prosperous city in the country.
Further, any number of respected business publications, including Forbes, Business Journals, and BusinessInsiders.com, rank Houston either first or second as the best city for finding work. Their economists note that Houston’s positive momentum and continued job creation isn’t limited solely to energy, since economic numbers also show growth in technology, services and industrial sectors. And if you don’t believe what economists are saying, consider this: Houston is ranked the #1 destination for relocation in the United States for the third year in a row by U-Haul International, Inc.
So, what is it about Houston that attracts companies and businesses that create these jobs that draw all these people here? Certainly one attraction is Houston’s entrepreneurial spirit, alive and well from wildcatter days onward. Another is its diversity – both as a cultural melting pot, and in the variety of opportunities available. It all adds up to a “can do” attitude that welcomes invention, ideas, and a strong work ethic.
These were the compelling reasons that inspired many now-familiar names, some from very modest beginnings, to take a risk on Houston in search of a dream and found phenomenal success – from Jesse Jones and the Hogg brothers to Jim Crane and Mattress Mac. But there are many other individuals and families, not so widely known, who’ve followed that entrepreneurial path, held onto their dream and reached great success. One such family is that of Zohrab (Bob) and Arpi Tcholakian.
As Bob and Arpi tell in a video available on their website at yumstop.com, they came from Lebanon to Houston back in 1977. Bob worked in architectural engineering, but had a long history of family members in the food business, he himself working in his parents’ small corner market as a child in Lebanon. And Arpi was a treasure trove of original Middle Eastern/Mediterranean-style recipes. So, when Houston experienced serious economic setbacks in the early ‘80s with layoffs looming, because the Tcholakians had three children to support and Bob couldn’t chance a dreaded “pink slip,” they decided to open a small sandwich shop and food store.
In 1983, Phoenicia Deli opened its doors with only 2,500 square feet of space near Beltway 8 on Westheimer. As word of mouth brought new customers eager to taste Arpi’s delicious recipes, and demand for their imported grocery items also grew, they were forced to rent adjoining storage space. Soon, retail and wholesale customers began drifting into that storage space looking for hard-to-find specialty items and, eventually, what had been a small grocery section within the deli expanded to become a specialty foods market and even more space was rented. Their following continued to grow as inventories expanded and were no longer limited to a Mediterranean focus, ultimately becoming a comprehensive and varied selection of products imported from around the world.
With so much success, the handwriting was on the wall. In 2006, the family took a huge step and further branched out, this time opening a 55,000 square foot international food market across the street from the original deli. The phenomenal reception given to this new flagship store grew throughout the next few years, leading family members to consider yet another leap of faith.
At the end of 2011, they opened their second location in the center of Downtown Houston. Located at 1001 Austin Street in the One Park Place luxury high-rise next to Discovery Green Park, Downtown
Houston’s first grocery store in over 40 years is a 28,000 square foot, state-of-the-art food market featuring more than 15,000 products imported from more than 50 countries. In the planning stages for two and-a-half years, it employs about 70 people and is run by the second generation of Tcholakians – son, Haig, and daughter, Ann-Marie.
Inspired by a must-see attraction from Phoenicia’s West Houston location – its 150-foot conveyor belt that transports freshly baked pita bread from the market’s mezzanine bakery to customers below – the new Downtown location has two of them! As with the original, the new store is a perfect marriage of delectable imports with much that is fresh and local – pairing imported delights such as coffees, olive oils and wines from around the world, a massive selection of store-brand spices, cheeses, housewares, sweets, the staples of many international cuisines, a 25-foot olive bar, and even cigars, with features like a butcher shop, seafood, produce and an array of delicious freshly prepared treats like pizza, sandwiches, salads, gelato, vats of hummus, tabouli and Phoenicia’s famous hand-carved shawarma – well, what’s not to love?
A special and unique addition to the downtown location is its MKT BAR, an in-house wine and beer bar, plus local artists’ gallery, seating up to 250 guests and serving freshly prepared international fare, including traditional mezzes, pizza, Moroccan sliders, and other signature Phoenicia dishes, all served against a backdrop of live music and entertainment. A calendar of events and performances is offered on their website at mktbar.com. Needless to say, MKT BAR has become a welcome destination for urban dwellers.
Speaking of destinations, since each Phoenicia happens to be located in market areas served by two Heritage offices – our Royal Oaks and Downtown locations – the management, agents, and staff of Heritage Texas Properties have maintained a particular interest in the Tcholakians’ progress and become loyal and frequent customers. In fact, before the downtown store opened, at least one inside-the-Loop Heritage staffer maintained an EZ Tag on her car just to facilitate trips to the original store via the Westpark Tollway. Not surprisingly, she celebrated the opening of the closer Downtown location.
If you’ve watched Phoenicia’s website video, you know that the Tcholakians continue to dream big and may ultimately take their concept to other cities or states. If so, their biggest challenge will be finding a place as welcoming and nurturing as Houston.
Houston Home inventory breakdown by property type
Of the 1,047 homes for sale in Houston, the breakdown of property types
is as follows:
43% Single Family, 14% Rental, 4% Townhouse, 3% Condo, 1% Land/lot, 0% Multi Family, 0% Residential and 35% Other.
Area details, home facts and figures
Information from in and around Houston...
You are Viewing 1 to 20 of 1047 homes for sale in Houston. These homes are comprised of Single Family, Rental, Townhouse, Condo, Land/lot, Multi Family, Residential and Other. The average list price of these property results is 831,480. Prices are displayed as US Dollar. For more information on these homes for sale in Houston please contact our member brokerages to schedule a showing or view an open house.
The 1047 homes for sale in Houston, TX are represented by 5 member brokerages serving the Houston area. Member brokerages representing the 1047 homes include John Daugherty Realtors, Heritage Texas Properties, Greenwood King Properties, WEICHERT, REALTORS® - The Murray Group and Bayou Realtors.