Harris County Improvement District #1

Harris County Improvement District #1 is a political subdivision of the State of Texas that was created in 1987 by special act of the 70th Texas Legislature. Utilizing a combination of powers made available to special districts by the Texas Constitution, the District works to obtain and provide a variety of services and improvements for the Uptown area. 

The District was created to leverage public funds with coordinated private resources to improve services and facilities. An ad valorem tax is levied on real and personal property within its boundaries. In tax year 2020, the District’s tax rate of $0.14345 per $100 of assessed value yielded approximately $9.6 million in revenue on a tax base of $6.7 billion. The District is also a direct recipient of federal grants and works cooperatively with the Uptown Development Authority to jointly implement mobility improvements.  The District’s work program focuses on the following areas:

  • Traffic Operations / Public Safety
  • Public Maintenance and Beautification
  • Infrastructure Improvements
  • Economic Development, Communications, and Marketing

Uptown Board of Directors

A twelve-member Board of Directors appointed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), governs the District.  Board members must be landowners, long-term tenants, or agents of landowners.

Kendall Miller
Kendall Miller

Kendall Miller, President of the Tanglewood Corporation, was responsible for reorganizing the corporate structure of Tanglewood as a family partnership, in addition to renovating and expanding Post Oak Shopping Center with the addition of the Maggiano’s and Starbuck’s buildings.  He joined Tanglewood Corporation fifteen years ago as the subsidiary business venture officer and a manager of its custom home building subsidiary.

In 1992, Kendall became the Vice President and Treasurer of Tanglewood Corporation, responsible for financial controls and analysis for its property management and development operations, and serving on the development team which expanded Oshman’s Super Store on Post Oak Boulevard and developed Tanglewood Center at Woodway and Chimney Rock.

Kendall is a graduate of Texas A&M University and received his Master’s degree from the University of Texas.  He is active in several organizations, including Bank of Texas Board of Advisors, Houston Real Estate Council, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) State Government Relations Chairman, C Club Treasurer and Westminster Weekday School Board of Advisors.  Kendall was appointed to the Uptown Houston District Board of Directors in 1999.

Jeb Bowden

As Chief Operating Officer, Jeb Bowden is responsible for the strategic oversight of Hanover Company’s Property Management, Asset Management, Human Resources, Information Technology and Accounting departments. Prior to his current role, Jeb led the disposition effort of over $2.0 billion in total assets. Jeb also played a major role in the creation of Hanover’s international initiative, Clairmont Global, a joint venture between Hanover and Metropolitan Life Company. Jeb graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Vanderbilt University.

Todd Casper

Todd Casper, is a Vice President with the Investment Properties – Institutional Group in Houston, Texas for CB Richard Ellis. With 20 years of commercial real estate experience, Todd specializes in the sale of office investment properties for institutional and private client investors. In addition, Todd continues to provide Asset Management services for several clients totaling approximately 2.5 million square feet of office space in Houston. Todd joined CB Richard Ellis in 2003 as Director of Asset Services in Houston with management oversight of Houston’s office and industrial buildings and retail shopping centers.

Prior to joining CBRE, Todd managed several high-profile, mixed-use complexes in the United States as a Vice President and General Manager with Urban Retail Properties and Simon Property Group. During his tenure, the Galleria completed a $25-million renovation and a $100-million expansion of the shopping center. Prior to the Galleria, Todd was the Vice President and General Manager of 900 North Michigan, a 66-story, 2.7 million square foot mixed-use complex anchored by Bloomingdale’s, an office tower, a Four Seasons Hotel and 125 luxury condominiums. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois.  Todd was appointed to the Uptown Houston District Board of Directors in 2000.

Irma Castor

Irma Castor is the general manager of Texas’ largest and most luxurious shopping destination.

Castor has had a long and rich journey with Simon and has led the charge at several strategic assets for the organization including The Domain in Austin most recently as well as Dadeland Mall in the Miami area. No stranger to Houston, she previously held the property manager role at The Galleria for several years. Her accomplished past has taken her on a grand retail tour of Texas including stints at La Plaza Mall in McAllen, Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio, Lakeline Mall in Austin and Midland Park Mall in Midland.

Originally from San Antonio, Castor graduated from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa. She earned a Texas real estate license in 2001 and is also is a certified commercial investment member.

Brad Dinerstein

Brad Dinerstein is a Managing Partner, Development & Design at The Dinerstein Companies.  Brad has been directly involved in the design and construction of over 9,500 multi-family units in multiple markets throughout California, Nevada, Texas, and the Southeastern United States. His primary responsibilities include overseeing TDC’s construction division as well as managing design efforts for the company’s student housing and market rate developments.

Brad is a licensed contractor in the states of Arizona, California, Nevada,  Arkansas, and Florida as well as a LEED AP with the US Green Building Council. A graduate of The University of Georgia, he began his career working in construction management with Atlanta based Perennial Properties.

Michael Hale

Michael Hale is Senior Vice President – Development & Leasing, leading the project leasing assignments for the company in the Dallas, Houston and Austin markets. His current focus is on driving developments across EDENS’ portfolio in Texas, in addition to cultivating new opportunities.

Michael brings 20 years of industry to this role, beginning with AmREIT and joining EDENS by way of its AmREIT acquisition in February 2015. His key projects currently include the redevelopment efforts of Uptown Park, Preston Towne Crossing and Springdale.

Michael has led the Dallas office since 2009, working on the redevelopment and re-merchandising of several high-profile assets in that region, including Preston Royal Village, Casa Linda Plaza, Preston Towne Crossing and Berkeley Square. He also oversaw the leasing of MacArthur Park, a 425,000-square-foot asset anchored by Kroger and Target.

He is an active member of ICSC, and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and General Business, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University.


Steve Lerner

Steve Lerner serves as the CEO of TRC Ventures, LP and TRC Capital Partners, LLC. Steve previously held the position of Executive Vice President of The Redstone Companies, L.P. and served as an Executive Vice President of numerous Redstone-related entities. Prior to joining Redstone full time in 1998, Steve was a partner at the Houston law firm now known as Schlanger, Silver, Barg & Paine, LLP.

Steve graduated with honors in Government from the University of Texas and is an honors graduate of the University Of Texas School Of Law in Austin, where he was a member of The Texas Law Review. He was appointed to the Uptown Houston District Board of Directors in 2009.

Sasha Levine

Sasha Levine joined Levcor in 2018. Sasha’s responsibilities with Levcor include leasing and marketing management, retail and restaurant tenant advisory, creative repositioning, mixed-use merchandising, and development strategy.

Sasha began her career in commercial real estate in 2012 with Urban Retail Properties in Chicago as a specialty leasing and development analyst, assisting in the examination of acquisition opportunities and the financial analysis of rent roll and leasing inquiries related to such transactions.

Sonny Messiah-Jiles

Sonny Messiah-Jiles is the CEO and Publisher of the Defender Media Group (formerly the Houston Defender Newspaper), Houston’s leading Black Information Source. The media group includes the Defender newspaper , the website http://www.defendernetwork.com and several social media sites.  She has been at the helm of the company since 1981 when she purchased the newspaper at age 27.

Messiah-Jiles served as the chairperson of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (The Black Press of America), a federation of African-American newspapers across the country. She also served as the National Alumni Chair for the Houston Alumni Organization (University of Houston).  Currently, Messiah-Jiles serves as Vice President and Director of Grand Slam, a marketing/investment consulting firm. Her professional activities include being the first African-American female board member of the Greater Houston Partnership, and she currently serves on the M.D. Anderson Board of Visitors. She has served on the Advisory Board of J.P. Morgan Chase-Houston, United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, Center for Houston’s Future, NAACP-Houston, JobPlus, Hester House, March of Dimes Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, American Diabetes Association, and American Leadership Forum.

Messiah-Jiles recently received the Houston Association of Black Journalists Trailblazer Award.  In addition she has been honored with many other awards including the Phenomenal Woman Award, NNPA Publisher of the Year, American Civil Liberties Freedom of Speech Award, YWCA Outstanding Woman of the Year, Jaycees “Outstanding Texan”, “Women on the Move”, UH Distinguished Alumni Service Award and the National Dental Association Civil Rights Award. She has been named by EBONY Magazine as one of the100 most influential Black Americans. She and her husband were awarded the “Community Service Award” by the University of Houston Downtown. In December 2008, Messiah-Jiles was inducted into the Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce inaugural Hall of Fame along with former first lady Barbara Bush and eight other women.

Messiah-Jiles received an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and did postgraduate work at Texas Southern University and Rice University.

Prior to purchasing the Defender, Sonny worked as a radio news reporter, a television talk show host, and an advertising account executive at the Houston Chronicle.

Messiah-Jiles is married to Jodie Lee Jiles an investment banker. They have two sons, Jodie and Clyde. She is a native of McNair/Baytown, Texas.

Gina Metzler

Gina Metzler oversees accounting, real estate, income tax and banking aspects of the Metzler Family LP. 

Gina’s career includes manage family commercial and residential real estate holdings, negotiate with sellers to buy residential properties, write leases and negotiate with tenants, research all tenants and rental rates, work with vendors on repairs, manage accounting and banking on a property by-property basis, and manage all accounting and banking, review all income tax filings & communicate with partners for eight partnerships that hold commercial buildings in Texas.

John D. Mooz

John D. Mooz serves as a senior Vice President for the Hines Corporation and as Project Officer responsible for the development and financing of projects in the Southwest region of the United States.

Since joining Hines in 1989, Mr. Mooz has contributed to the development and financing of more than 8 million square feet of commercial, medical and institutional real estate, representing approximately $2.5 billion. Some of his development projects in Houston include MainPlace, a one million square foot office tower currently under construction, the redevelopment of Shell Oil Company’s Westhollow Technology Center, the redevelopment of El Paso Tower and the development of Toyota Center, among his numerous other projects. He is a graduate from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. John was appointed to the Uptown Houston Board of Directors in December 2009.

Jonathan Zadok

Jonathan Zadok is a principle at Zadok Jewelers, the largest locally owned jeweler in Houston, Texas, where he has 20 years of experience with high-end retail on Post Oak Boulevard with clientele reaching globally. As founder and managing member of Gelem Equity Holdings, LLC, he directs and manages the acquisition, rehabilitation, leasing and sale of single family and multi-family lender-owned assets in California and Arizona.  Jonathan is also managing member of Gibraltar Developers, LLC, specializing in townhouse development in the Houston, Texas market. Other business ventures include Coffee Groundz, a specialty coffee café with two locations co-founded by Jonathan and sold in 2010.  

A graduate of the University of Denver with degrees in Finance and Marketing and a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America, Jonathan is a past Better Business Bureau Board member from 2004-2007, and past BBB Education Foundation Board member from 2005-2009. 

Jonathan is a present Board Member of Lemonade Day/Prepared 4 Life Charity, a program with the goal of exposing children to business and financial fundamentals at an early age. He was appointed to the Uptown Houston District Board of Directors in 2013.

Uptown District Staff

Michael J. Moore
Uptown TIRZ / UDA Administrator
J.C Breeding
Project Coordinator
Shannon Daniels, C.P.A
Director of Finance
Hannah de los Santos
Marketing Coordinator
Amy Escalante
Executive Assistant to the President,
Secretary to the Board of Directors
Bob Ethington
Director of Research and Economic Development
Kaleé Garvin
Marketing & Communications Manager
Betsy Kirkgard
Office Manager
Clark Martinson
Director of Public Space Design & Operations
Delia Mizwa
Director of Marketing & Communications
Robert Taube
Director of Engineering and Construction
Stephen Wood
District Counsel
Michael J. Moore
J.C Breeding
Shannon Daniels, C.P.A
Hannah de los Santos
Amy Escalante
Bob Ethington
Kaleé Garvin
Betsy Kirkgard
Clark Martinson
Delia Mizwa
Robert Taube
Stephen Wood

Uptown District Board of Directors Meetings

The Uptown District meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 2:30 p.m. (unless otherwise stated on the agenda).  Meetings are held at:

1980 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 1700
Houston, Texas 77056

The meeting notices and agenda are posted 72 hours prior to the meeting date at:

201 Caroline, Suite 460
Houston, Texas 77002

Meetings/Agendas (also available on YouTube)