People are wondering ...wassup in the woods?
The Woodlands, a master-planned community in south Montgomery County, has several developments and upgrades underway, including the widening of Kuykendahl from FM 2920 north to Woodlands Parkway.
Furthermore, a parcel of land recently cleared at the northeast corner of Augusta Pines and Kuykendahl has led to speculation of further homebuilding.
But that's not the case everywhere. Susan Vreeland-Wendt, director of marketing for TWDC, said "the Woodlands Development Company is doing pre-development work on a 5.5-acre commercial/church site. But, there are no immediate plans or details for the site."
What about the 1800-acre tract of land west of I-45 and north of the Hardy Toll Road in Harris County?
It will soon become the "nature-inspired, mixed-use" community of Springwoods Village.
Keith Simon, senior VP and director of development for CDC Houston, a subsidiary of Conventry Development Corporation, said Coventry has owned the land for almost 50 years.
"We've waited and waited and waited until the time is right," Simon said. "We think now is the time. Our market research shows residential growth has been in excess of 35 percent in the northwest side of Houston. Over the next five to 10 years, projected demand is for more than 100,000 new homes in this area. Those are good statistics that gave us the confidence to go ahead."
Simon said they're gearing up to award $80 million worth of public infrastructure construction projects this spring, followed in June by discussions with a variety of homebuilders.
"We typically like to have a range of product types, from apartments to townhomes to single-detached, at price points of $100,000 - $400,000," Simon said. "We want fairly small neighborhoods within Springwoods Village so we have a finer grain to the community. And frankly, with the economy these days, it's less of a financial commitment for homebuilders to develop a community of 50 homes instead of 200 homes."
Simon said CDC Houston is researching different builders they think would best fit their objectives, including "very good quality and a strong eye towards building in sustainable, green kinds of ways" in order to complement the 33-mile Spring Creek Greenway preservation.
When it's all said and done, 4,500 – 5,000 homes are expected to be built in Springwoods Village, along with more than 8-million square feet of commercial office space and 1.2-million square feet of retail space.
Long-term possibilities include a hotel or two, a medical center, and public transportation, Simon said.
Simon said the entire build-out is expected to take 15-20 years, creating up to 50,000 jobs.
Speaking of jobs…
The timing indeed seems right for development as speculation continues about Exxon's possible move to the area.
A recent article in the Houston Business Journal said Exxon is evaluating real estate options, with a formal study expected to be completed sometime in 2011.
"We really can't comment on Exxon at this point," Simon said. "We happen to think the time is right for Springwoods Village now anyway, given the progress of the Grand Parkway and other things coming up in this area."
For more details on Springwoods Village, including market conditions, projected growth and economic impact, click here.