Baytown is a city within Harris County and partially in Chambers County in the Gulf Coast region of the US state of Texas. Located within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, it lies along both State Highway 146 and Interstate 10. As of 2010, Baytown had an population of 71,802. It is the fourth-largest city within the metropolitan area.
he centerpieces of Baytown's economies are three industrial districts the city has created, all outside the city limits but within its extra-territorial jurisdiction. These districts primarily support petroleum and petrochemical processing. The anchors of the business community are ExxonMobil, Bayer, and Chevron Phillips. The ExxonMobil Baytown Complex, founded in 1919, is one of the World's largest industrial complexes. The Baytown Refinery located there, in fact, is the largest in the United States.
The Bayer Baytown Industrial Park is the largest of Bayer's U.S. chemical processing sites producing a variety of petrochemical products. The Cedar Bayou Chemical Plant is similarly Chevron Phillips largest manufacturing site. The Cedar Crossing Business Park is a newer and growing industrial district which is quickly acquiring new tenants such as Jindal Steel and Power Limited and Samson Controls. In addition to the heavy industry in the business community, major regional warehouse and distribution centers exist as well, including Home Depot and Walmart.
Tourism and recreation:
Baytown Nature Center, located on a 450-acre (1.8 km2) peninsula along the Houston Ship Channel and surrounded on three sides by Burnet Bay, Crystal Bay, and Scott Bay, is both a recreation area and a wildlife sanctuary that is home to hundreds of bird species, mammals, reptiles, and aquatic species. Houston Raceway Park is a motorsports complex featuring National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) races and a weekly drag racing program. Established in 1988, the venue accommodates 40,000 fans and included a high-banked dirt oval race track that hosts races each year from March through October.
San Jacinto Mall is a large regional shopping mall located in Baytown, Texas along Interstate 10. It is currently managed by Triyar Cannon Group. The mall has five anchor stores, a food court and Premiere Cinemas 11, although much of the mall's leasable space is unused. The Baytown Symphony Orchestra, in residence at Lee College, performs several concerts throughout the year for the enjoyment of the public.
Harris County Transit provides public transportation. The Baytown Park and Ride lot is located on the western side of San Jacinto Mall. Harris County Transit also offers a bus line that runs along Decker Drive, Garth Road, North Main Street, Baker Road, & Rollingbrook Drive connecting most of Baytown's major shopping areas with Lee College. Greyhound Bus Lines operates the Baytown Station at Baytown Travel Express.
Baytown Airport is a privately owned general aviation airport in unincorporated Harris County located north of Baytown. RWJ Airpark is a privately owned airport three miles (5 km) east of Baytown in Beach City. The closest airports with commercial airline service are William P. Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Baytown is served by Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) express route 236 Maxey Road/Baytown during the rush hours, sending commuters to downtown Houston. Baytown is linked to Interstate 10 (see map) by State Highway 146 (Lanier Freeway) and Spur 330 (Decker Drive). It is also linked by the Fred Hartman Bridge, which crosses into the city from nearby La Porte; the bridge was built in 1995, replacing the Baytown Tunnel, to allow a deeper ship channel.
Primary and secondary schools:
Baytown is served by the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District. Based in Baytown, the district has 14 elementary schools (grades K-5), 5 junior highs (grades 6–8), 3 high schools (grades 9–12), a career center, and two alternative centers for education. The district serves all of Baytown, Highlands, outlying areas of East Harris County, and a small portion of western Chambers County. The three local high schools are Robert E. Lee (opened in 1928), Ross S. Sterling (opened in 1966), and Goose Creek Memorial High School (opened in 2008).