04/05/16 10:00am

The Crossing, Towne Lake, Cypress, TX 77433

2013 Map of The Crossing, Towne Lake, Cypress, TX 77433A high-flying reader sends this mid-March progress shot of the segment of Cypress’s Towne Lake development known as The Crossing. The other major crossing planned for nearby — a continuation of Towne Lake Pkwy. over the less-holy water feature under construction to the south and east, as shown in this selection from the development’s master plan — looks to still be in the works. The parkway will eventually connect all the way down to the Kroger just south of Tuckerton Rd. 

The site also seems to have resolved some of its earlier crises of purpose: Originally the land just north of David Anthony Middle School was labeled as a potential church, but developer Caldwell Companies appears to have opted for the secular route since the 2013 version below was published:


Driving on Water
12/04/15 9:15am

Wildcat Golf Club, 12000 Almeda Rd., Pierce Junction, Houston

Looking for an overview of the new site of UT’s recently-announced Houston campus? Your best bet may be to stop in at the Wildcat Golf Club, located directly across Holmes Rd. from the site of UT’s planned purchase. Native Houstonians may experience a touch of vertigo trekking up the club’s grassy peaks to catch the view of NRG Park and downtown (see above) — hills on the site reach more than 115 feet above sea level in places. (Downtown, for comparison, stands at roughly 50 feet, and the big hill at Miller Outdoor Theater tops out around 65.)

The golf club’s topography is a byproduct of its original gig as a major municipal landfill, operating for nearly two decades until 1989; clay and topsoil were imported to sculpt the waste heaps into today’s smoothly rolling hills and water features:


Houston Hill Country
11/20/14 4:15pm



Lake Livingston laps near the lazy river meandering within a whopper-scaled waterfront pool (top) at a 2006 property that also boasts a “barndominium” (above) with its own 15-car garage, a pool house, a boat house, but no house house. Does it matter? The existing structures come with kitchens and bedrooms, and there are 6 acres of grounds to tend. Price? $2.995 million. That’s down from the $3.4 million asked in previous listings back in 2013 and 2012.

Ready for a flyover?


And a House, Someday
07/15/14 3:45pm




Jump or Dive? Try both. A Hill Country-like retreat in Memorial’s Sandlewood neighborhood is perched on a spring-fed lake — and comes with a pool, among other chill-worthy amenities. The asking price was set at $4.2 million in the property’s early June listing. Built in 1997 for its current owners, Midway Companies’ Brad and Claudia Freels, the fan-filled home appears to have waltzed across Texas to find some of the older touchstones incorporated into its finishes.


Breeze Ease
05/23/14 12:00pm


Now that Lake Conroe has filled up a bit, a Cape Malibu woods-and-waterfront property with dock is in the splash zone. The somewhat secluded 1975 property has a $489,000 asking price. Its back deck has this tidy, multi-level house attached:


01/28/14 11:45am



Taylor Lake is only part of the scene-setting found at this sprawling 1973 waterfront estate on a point of Seabrook’s El Lago Estates. While the lion’s share of the listing photos feature the tidy grounds and exterior’s grand-scaled impact, the interior delivers quite a cinematic cornucopia of thematic decor — and lighting, such as found in the fuchia glow of the Moulin Rouged bedroom pictured above. Scene it?


OMG Interiors
08/30/11 12:20pm

Drought has turned land that used to be part of Lake Houston into a jungle of 14-ft.-tall snake-infested weeds. Waterfront residents of Kings River Village, near the northern end of the lake in Humble, would like to knock down the vegetation that’s sprung up as the lake has receded, and that now surrounds their newly dry backyard docks. But some are proceeding with caution because they don’t own the newfound land and are wary of legal and ecological issues that might result from clear-cutting the newly exposed wetlands. “Right now, we are just in a situation where our kids can’t go back anywhere near the lake because of the weeds and the snakes that are back there,” Clear Sky Dr. resident David Labbe tells the Lake Houston Observer. “We’ve seen an abundance of snakes. We don’t know what rights we have, as homeowners, to go out there and try to remedy the situation.” Labbe has contacted the Army Corps of Engineers, the San Jacinto River Authority, and Houston officials, but hasn’t received an answer yet.

Photo: Stephen Thomas/Lake Houston Observer

09/18/08 6:36pm

House and Damaged Boat on Taylor Lake, Taylor Lake Village, Texas, after Hurricane Ike

A note from the City of Taylor Lake Village:

Taylor Lake is closed to recreation – swimming, boating, fishing, and water skiing. The Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority industrial wastewater treatment plant on Port Road was inundated during the storm and its ponds of untreated industrial and sanitary waste overflowed into Taylor Lake. The Lake may be contaminated with industrial pollutants (volatile organic and other compounds) and bacteriological contaminants. Residents should avoid all contact with Taylor Lake water until further notice.

Any other area industrial pollutants gone AWOL after Ike? Where did they end up?

Photo of house and damage on Taylor Lake: Flickr user Linda Railsback

04/16/08 10:08am

Snow Geese on the Katy Prairie

Here’s the kind of project that ought to excite every truly patriotic Houstonian: County Commissioner Steve Radack wants to build a 500-acre lake — for fishing — on the Katy Prairie! How will it get filled? With rain, of course . . . and those regular floods from Cypress Creek! Apparently, they’ll have to excavate five Astrodomes worth of dirt. Where will they put the other four?

Best yet: Radack’s gonna name it after the Pope!

Them Katy birds want their wetlands? We’ll give them wetlands!

Of course, there are some naysayers:

Because the lake will not have a constant source of flowing water, biologists remain worried that there will not be enough oxygen in the lake to support a viable fish population, said [Donna] Anderson of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Texas Parks & Wildlife has also questioned whether nitrates and fertilizer from farm runoff might pollute the lake, said Jamie Schubert, coastal biologist with the department.

Yeah, we’ve heard that line before. Isn’t that what they said about the Gulf of Mexico? Hey, maybe we’ll find oil here, too!

Photo of snow geese on Katy Prairie: Houston-Galveston Area Council

12/27/07 11:31am

Lake at Crown Oaks, ConroeThe charms of gated acreage near Lake Conroe: large, wooded lakefront homesites, plus only a 25 minute commute . . . to The Woodlands! Oh, and if we’re talking about 1400-acre Crown Oaks in Montgomery County, lots of lawsuits, too!

Last year, the Crown Oaks Property Owners Association, along with individual homeowners, sued Affiliated Crown Development LTD, citing poor structure of the two manmade lakes in the development, located outside Montgomery.

But so much has happened since then: After new board members decided the developer would finally work with them to solve the lakes’ problems, the property owners association dropped its suit this fall. But now two groups of 10 individual homeowners have hired separate legal teams to continue their lawsuit against the developer. And in turn, the developer is now suing the engineering and construction firms it hired to build the dams on both lakes.

But there’s even more lawsuit fun:

“The POA tried to get out of the suit as a plaintiff, so my group has also sued them,” [homeowner attorney Kevin] Forsberg said. “The individuals were not satisfied. … Even though the POA started working with the developer in the hopes that the lakes would be fixed, nothing has actually been done.”

What’s it like to build your home on a lake that doesn’t bother to show up? Thanks to the amazing power of the internets, you can experience all the highs and lows of manmade-lakefront real-estate investing yourself — from the comfort of your own computer! Watch videos and read details of the whole dam story . . . after the jump!