04/12/17 4:00pm

9011 Breckenridge Dr., Magnolia, TX, 77354

The 5.38-acre estate at 9011 Breckenridge Dr., taken up in large part by the manufactured lake wrapping 360 degrees around the property’s 6-bedroom main house, is up for sale (with $2,999,900 as the current asking price). Digging on the water feature started around late 2005 and lasted for a few years — seemingly as the large pond next door was starting to get filled in and smoothed over. (That’s the spot where the Estates Woodlands apartment complex has since been constructed, curled loosely around a new, smaller detention pond):


Moats of Magnolia
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
11/08/13 1:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE BETTER LAKE “Wrong lake? Would you prefer rush hour on Lake Conroe? Shoulder to shoulder and all the noise? The area of Lake Livingston is 129.7 sq miles compared to Lake Conroe of 32.81 sq miles. Four times as large. Lake Livingston is fed from the Trinity River which flows from North of Dallas (almost Red River / Oklahoma line) while Lake Conroe is fed from the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. This matters greatly if it doesn’t rain or if Houston is too thirsty. Avg depth in Lake Livingston is 55 feet compared to 20.5 feet for Lake Conroe. In short Lake Livingston is far less congested, four times as large, much more stable water level, and much deeper. You choose but I chose Lake Livingston and love every minute of it and don’t forget the ability to head up the Trinity River a long long ways for other large bodies of water and calm surfaces for wake boarding and water skiing.” [Scharpe, commenting on A Newish Lakeside Estate in Coldspring Looks Back] Illustration: Lulu

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

05/17/11 11:09pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THERE’S A NEW DRY BUFFALO LAKE IN MY BACK YARD “I just did a google maps search of my place and I noticed the giant lake that they dug out in my ‘backyard’ for this mysterious Buffalo Lakes project. You would never [have] guessed something was going on back there because of the heavily wooded area. No water filled in yet but they cleared out the entire tract. I kept hoping something would develop back there and looks like there is finally some activity. . . .” [Chris, commenting on Gardening from the Sky] Plan: Kirksey Architecture

02/19/10 11:00am

STEVE RADACK’S NEXT LITTLE IDEA “When people find out this is here — you wait!” commissioner Steve Radack tells the Chronicle‘s Chris Moran. He’s talking about his new $2.3 million soapbox derby park, set to open shortly at 28515 Old Washington Rd. in Hockley. It’s a 985-ft.-long, 46-ft.-high hill built up from Katy dirt, with 240 parking spaces. But Radack’s got more schemes in mind for the little ’uns: “His idea for the next publicly funded signature park scales back his ambition from four wheels to three. But it demonstrates no less imagination than a man-made hill made out of the bottoms of man-made lakes. Precinct 3 could one day be home to a tiny tricycle city, where kids can pedal down a Main Street between rows of dollhouse-size buildings.” [Houston Chronicle]

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!