04/19/10 1:37pm

An amused reader points Swamplot to the HAR listing shown above for a newly discounted home in Bridgeland. Conveniently, HAR highlights MLS listing price drops — and the occasional price correction — of a certain weight. And which one is this? The price for this 4-year-old “hardly lived in” 4,061-sq.-ft. home was adjusted downward by a little more than $4 million on . . . April Fools Day.

02/17/10 10:04am

THE GREAT BIG MALL-AND-SPRAWL GET-TOGETHER What do The Galleria, the Houston Premium Outlets mall in Cypress, the Katy Mills mall, the Deerbrook Mall, The Woodlands Mall, the Baybrook Mall, First Colony Mall, the Willowbrook Mall, the 11,400-acre Bridgeland development way out 290, and 42.5 percent of The Woodlands Operating Company have in common? They’ll all be owned by the same company — if the Simon Property Group completes the proposed $10 billion buyout of bankrupt General Growth Properties it made public yesterday. That would make 550 Simon malls in all — more than a third of the U.S. total. [Developments]

09/01/09 11:28am

LOW-INCOME VETERANS’ HOUSING IN BRIDGELAND U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates presented the keys to a new lakeside cul-de-sac home in Bridgeland yesterday to Purple Heart recipient Capt. Daniel Moran, USMC (Ret.). Moran, who was severely injured twice while on duty in Iraq, qualified for a low-cost housing program for disabled veterans administered by HelpingaHero.org. “The new 3,300-square-foot home was funded by the Strake Foundation, Rex and Marilyn King and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Perry Homes built it with special accommodations for Moran’s physical condition. It features tinted windows, a high-efficiency air conditioner and heating system and other enhanced temperature-control measures because Moran is no longer able to control his body temperature. The lot was selected to allow the least amount of direct sunlight into the home. The house also includes an extended covered porch to allow him to spend time outdoors with his two children, Trey 4, and Macy, 2, without direct sun exposure.” [DefenseLink]

06/17/09 4:42pm

NO DEAL FOR BRIDGELAND Bankrupt General Growth Properties won’t be selling its Grand Parkway-lining sprawlchild to the Caldwell Cos. after all. The $95 million deal to sell Bridgeland’s 11,400 acres is off: Jim Graham, General Growth’s director of public affairs, released a statement on Wednesday saying all discussions have been terminated with parties interested in purchasing or investing in Bridgeland, but would not disclose any further details concerning the negotiations. Graham says the decision was made ‘very recently.’” [Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot]

05/22/09 11:46am

BUYING A BRIDGELAND The Caldwell Cos., possibly financed by Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., is in the process of buying all 11,400 acres of Bridgeland from bankrupt General Growth Properties for $90 to $95 million. “Caldwell notes the master-planned community will have the fourth-largest lake in Houston upon completion. The firm has spent three years moving more than 2 million [cubic] yards of dirt to create the body of water that’s large enough for boating and skiing, he says. The first part of the lake opened two weeks ago. . . . The master-planned community stretches between Katy-Hockley Road and Fry Road, south of U.S. Highway 290. The Grand Parkway will run right through the property. Construction on the roadway will begin in March 2010 with $180 million of federal stimulus money, according to The Grand Parkway Association.” [Houston Business Journal; previously in Swamplot]

05/04/09 8:24am

BRIDGELAND OVER THE FLOODWATERS Last week’s flooding in northwest Harris County provided only a taste of the problems likely to stem from development in the Katy Prairie along segment E of the planned Grand Parkway, say supporters of a Sierra Club challenge to existing floodplain maps in the Cypress Creek watershed. “An executive of Bridgeland GP, the company developing the 11,400-acre community, said in a Jan. 9, 2008, affidavit that the revisions sought by the Sierra Club would cost the company $28 million in flood mitigation measures that would ‘adversely affect’ the development. Despite the company’s efforts, the maps are being redrawn under U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal’s supervision. Rosenthal has stayed the lawsuit until October to allow time to complete the maps, but officials said they aren’t certain when the task will be finished. Preliminary revised maps [(PDF)] shown to the Houston Chronicle by [Sierra Club attorney Jim] Blackburn and the Harris County Flood Control District show a significant expansion of the flood plain in an undeveloped western segment of Bridgeland’s property and a reduction of the flood plain in other areas. . . . Asked if Bridgeland could assure Harris County residents that its development won’t worsen future flooding downstream, [Bridgeland VP of Sales] Houghton said, ‘I would have no problem guaranteeing that.'” [Houston Chronicle]

04/16/09 4:01pm

MALLS GONE BANKRUPT, PLEASE KEEP SHOPPING Deerbrook Mall and The Woodlands Mall both filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today along with their owner, General Growth Properties. The parent company owns more than 150 mall-like properties around the country, including Baybrook Mall, the First Colony Mall, and Willowbrook Mall. It also owns Grand Parkway booster Bridgeland and a portion of The Woodlands Operating Company. “General Growth is seeking protection from its creditors after failing to persuade a majority of its debt holders to give it more time to refinance billions of dollars in debt racked up during the housing boom. The company’s retail centers, office properties and master-planned communities ‘will be open for business as usual as the company restructures its debt,’ Thomas H Nolan Jr., General Growth president said in a conference call today. ‘Customers will see no change in the services and amenities we provide.'” [Houston Chronicle]

03/23/09 11:27am

GRAND PARKWAY SPRAWL STIMULUS The road exemplifies an unintended effect of the stimulus law: an administration that opposes suburban sprawl is giving money to states for projects that are almost certain to exacerbate it. A new master-planned community called Bridgeland is rising on the prairie along the proposed site of the road; once completed, the development is expected to have 21,000 new homes on 11,400 acres. Other developers are eagerly awaiting the new road so they can start building on their empty land, too. . . . [Roger H. Hord, the president of the West Houston Association] pointed out that the road would connect two existing highways and said it would ease congestion on some of Houston’s other beltways. He said that an existing leg of the Grand Parkway, just to the south of the proposed leg, would give a sense of what the new stretch of the Grand Parkway might look like when it is done. The existing stretch is lined with strip malls and gas stations and drug stores and a huge 7,600-acre residential development called Cinco Ranch that is popular with families.” [New York Times]

01/26/09 8:20am

General Growth Properties owns Baybrook Mall, Deerbrook Mall, First Colony Mall, Willowbrook Mall, The Woodlands Mall, and half of The Woodlands. And it’s holding onto all of those properties for now. But Jennifer Dawson reports in the Houston Business Journal that General Growth is trying to unload one of its specific growths: a portion of Bridgeland, the company’s 11,400-acre residential spread out in Cypress.

The name of the offered section is Lakeland Village, and it’s Bridgeland’s first, 2,370-acre phase.