A New York land development firm called Coventry Development has just announced grand plans to establish a giant eco-friendly, mixed-use development modeled heavily on the ecological principles first demonstrated decades ago by The Woodlands — on an 1,800-acre site just south of that community. It’s now a pine forest near the intersections of I-45 North, the Hardy Toll Road, and the projected path of the Grand Parkway, about 30 miles north of Downtown Houston. Some portions of that forest will remain: Plans call for a 150-acre nature preserve along one section of the community’s northern reaches, which stretch to Spring Creek. South of that, and along the northern border of the Grand Parkway, the developers are planning a town center with the hallmarks of major mixed-use employment centers: office space and retail, a medical district, townhouses and apartments, and single-family homes. But they’ve gone ahead and given the place a formula-tested suburban-housing name: Springwoods Village.
Springwoods Realty Company has owned most of this land since the 1960s. Why develop it now? Because it’s now pretty clear that the Grand Parkway will actually be built right at the property’s southern border, the developers say. Plus, there’s development on all sides now.
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The densest development is planned for the community’s I-45 border. Uses will get more residential and rural as you move west. Here’s a view of the approach from The Woodlands:
The nature preserve will be directly north, extending to Spring Creek. But what’s planned for the other sections of that forest?
A diagram of the “low impact” development plan: a gradient running from Spring Creek at the north to the planned Grand Parkway on the South, with the densest sections located furthest from the waterways, buffered by trees.
Among the cool ecological features: An overall street alignment designed to encourage and channel summertime breezes, which come from the southeast.
Coventry says it plans to begin infrastructure work — and start selling off parcels — next year. And then, after a couple of decades: 4,500 to 5,000 homes, 8.5 million sq. ft. of office space, and 1.2 million sq. ft. of retail.
- Springwoods Village [Coventry Development]