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:
Buffalo Lakes still owns several slivers of the land UT intends to purchase, including the areas directly abutting the intersection of Willowbend and Buffalo Spdwy. (depicted above as 4 slices of a water feature pie arrayed around the junction).
Across Buffalo Spdwy. from the freshly sold land, the Connection at Buffalo Pointe apartment complex (sketched in the northeast corner of the drawn portion of the above plan) have in fact come to be since the drawing was issued several years ago. And just south of the Connection, in the first blue block marked Residential, construction for another complex (the Beacon at Buffalo Pointe) began last fall. Both complexes sit inside the site boundary shown when UT’s intended land acquisition was announced last November:
- UT closes on 100 acres in Houston, plans to buy 200 more [Houston Chronicle]
- UT System closes on 100-acre land purchase in Houston [University of Texas press release]
- Buffalo Lakes Master Plan [Kirksey Architecture]
- Previously on Swamplot: What You’ll Find In and Around UT’s New Houston Campus; Comment of the Day: There’s a New Dry Buffalo Lake in My Backyard