01/19/16 12:30pm

UT Houston Campus Site, Buffalo Lakes, Houston

The deal is sealed on the University of Texas’s purchase of a 100-acre hunk of land south of South Main St. as of last Friday. The sale marks the first concrete move toward UT’s planned Houston campus, though closings on the parcel patchwork comprising the rest of the 300-ish ac. likely won’t wrap up until early 2017, according to a press release from the school’s Office of Public Affairs.

The sold land is a forested tract northwest of the wiggly intersection of Willowbend Dr. and Buffalo Spdwy.; the property is split along a northwest-southeast diagonal by a linear drainage feature which makes an appearance in those preliminary campus designs (shown from the north in the image above).

That land was owned previously by Buffalo Lakes Ltd., an entity associated with UT grad John Kirksey of Kirksey Architecture. A plan for a Buffalo Lakes master-planned community (see below) was drawn up more than 4 years ago by Kirksey for the same space:


South Main Master Plans
07/29/14 4:45pm



So much blue in this home in Copperfield Middlegate Village. It’s in the swabs of color found in most of the rooms — or maybe the updated 1991 property is holding its breath? Its listing 2 weeks ago at $168,000 comes nearly 2 years after a previous unsuccessful effort aimed at $139,000 and an earlier failed market run in 2011 that started at $164,900 and ended 6 months later at $152,500.


Blue State
05/02/14 1:15pm



On a cul-de-sac’s wedge lot in The Woodlands neighborhood of Cochran’s Crossing, an updated 1987 home with an outdoor oasis (top) has back fence access to forested pathways and a putting green of The Woodlands Country Club’s Palmer course. The park-like property teed off in early April, but sank its asking price by $30,100 earlier this week to rest at $269,900.


Par Tee Time
10/23/13 10:00am

A developer out of California plans to begin building a 100-acre beachfront community along the Bluewater Highway on Follet’s Island, southwest of Galveston Island, next month. Developed by Salt Water Resorts, the so-called Seahorse Beach Club and Residences will sit across Christmas Bay from the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. A rendering of the 9,000-sq.-ft. eponymous beach club, above, shows a few of the planned amenities: pools, fitness center, spa, a bar, and 2 restaurants.


10/21/13 11:10am

These elevations show the Kroger Marketplace that’s under construction inside the Towne Lake master-planned community in Northwest Houston. The new 120,000-sq.-ft. grocery store, which will sell home goods, jewelry, and clothes, too, will be located in the so-called “commons area” of Towne Lake at the intersection of Barker Cypress and Tuckerton. Says Fred Caldwell, the developer of Towne Lake, about the new store: “[It] will have an architectural design similar to a Texas Hill Country look. It will be a lot different than the traditional grocery store people see.”


08/07/13 10:30am

Plans for what is to come to the master-planned, eco-minded Springwoods Village were revealed yesterday; this rendering shows the Town Center, to be located in this 1,800-acre development near the Grand Pkwy. and I-45, just a few miles south of the new ExxonMobil campus. What’s gonna be here? At first, anyway? 250 apartments — with ground-floor retail; 100,000 sq. ft. of other retail; a hotel; office space (including the brand-new Southwestern Energy HQ); stranded kayakers; and a bunch of hiking trails that encircle the Town Lake.


08/01/13 4:15pm

MONTGOMERY COUNTY MASTER-PLANNED COMMUNITY PICKED FOR MIDDLE-AGED DISTRICT Arizona homebuilder Taylor Morrison has just purchased 700 lots in the master-planned community Woodforest a few miles north of The Woodlands, and the Houston Business Journal reports that these lots — for which prices and plans are not yet available — in Johnson Development’s 3,000-acre community will be reserved for residents 55 and up. But this doesn’t appear to mean that Taylor Morrison, which is also building in Springwoods Village south of here, will be putting anyone out to pasture, writes Bayan Raji: “It’s committed to the homes fitting in.” [Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Riverbend in Woodforest: Woodforest

07/16/13 10:00am

Camp Strake, owned by the Houston arm of the Boy Scouts of America since the 1940s, is now under contract to Johnson Development, responsible for communities like Sienna Plantation in Missouri City and Imperial Sugar Land, to name just a couple. Nevertheless, Johnson Development declined to reveal any plans for the 2,083-acre lake-dotted property along the San Jacinto River and not quite 10 miles north of the new ExxonMobil headquarters. For what it’s worth, Jones Lang LaSalle did market the property to buyers as a master-planned community called Grand Lake Park, a plan for which you can see after the jump.


04/26/13 2:00pm

A poster on HAIF has leaked this rendering that might show what Southwestern Energy is planning to build to consolidate its employees in Springwoods Village. It was first reported to be a 10-story office building on 22 acres at I-45 and the future Grand Pkwy., just south of the ExxonMobil campus.


04/22/13 11:00am

HOMEBUILDERS PLAYING THROUGH OLD KATY GOLF COURSE Just flip the sand traps to sandboxes and the water hazards to water features, and you’re most of the way there: A 440-home master-planned community, reports The Rancher’s Zach Haverkamp, is aimed for the site of the old Green Meadows Golf Course in Katy: Lennar Homes, Meritage Homes, and Village Builders have started construction on the first model homes of the Falls at Green Meadows on the 242-acre, 36-hole course groomed out of the prairie near Franz Rd. and Avenue D. The course was open from 1965 to 2008. Developer Tim Fitzpatrick tells Haverkamp: “We wanted to be in the heart of Katy, and if you look around, this is one of the few tracts . . . that remain.” [The Rancher] Photo: Zach Haverkamp

04/11/13 12:30pm

Next month, reports Real Estate Bisnow’s Catie Dixon, construction’s supposed to start on 3 more segments of the Grand Parkway: That’s why F1, F2, and G on the map here are colored in that cautionary yellow. And where G ends? Not coincidentally, adds Dixon, at that future intersection with U.S. 59, planned to be completed by 2015, the 1400-acre master-planned Valley Ranch is getting ready to sprawl out.


04/09/13 10:00am

First things first: A sign off Hwy. 6 welcoming you to Imperial Sugar Land is so far the only part of the 716-acre master-planned community that’s under construction, touts a press release from the end of March. Up next? Starting this summer, adds the press release, something like the spout-centered roundabout shown here and a 254-unit apartment complex will begin going up around the minor-league Skeeters’ Constellation Field in the so-called Ball Park District. Plans show that that district will be flanked by a mix of uses:


04/04/13 10:30am

Construction’s expected to begin next week on this Whole Foods at that once-forested spot near Louetta and Cutten Rd. east of the Tomball Pkwy. The 40,443-sq.-ft. store in the master-planned community The Vintage, south of the path of the Grand Parkway, will be the first Whole Foods in North Houston. Houston Business Journal‘s Shaina Zucker notes that the Gensler-designed store will anchor the 18-acre Vintage Marketplace.

Image: Judy Nichols & Associates, via Houston Business Journal

01/30/13 12:53pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE IDEAL CITY “If you really want to give people a taste of American liberty, why would you build a master-planned community, where decision-making is taken away from the residents? Build a normal town with democratic institutions of government — a city council, school board, zoning commission, etc. Lay out the town on a grid — that way, no neighborhood is closed off and people grow up there with the feeling that everything in life is within reach. The centerpoint is trickier — do you go with the traditional town square with courthouse, or does the typical imposing courthouse create too much sense of the power of government? The grand centerpoint in the rendering looks a little fascist to me; too much ‘bow down before this.’ Maybe center things on an avenue instead of a square or circle and that way diminish the power of any icons. The courthouse can be consigned to a side street. Actually, the original layout of Houston did a pretty good job of conveying American ideals.” [Mike, commenting on Could Glenn Beck Bring Independence to Texas?]