Houston area's largest age-restricted community coming to Willis; local 'barndominiums' on the rise: 3 development updates to know

Barndominiums are steel-structured homes featuring high ceilings. (Rendering courtesy Stacee Lynn)
Barndominiums are steel-structured homes featuring high ceilings. (Rendering courtesy Stacee Lynn)

Barndominiums are steel-structured homes featuring high ceilings. (Rendering courtesy Stacee Lynn)

1,200-acre age-restricted community to debut in 2022 in Willis

Chambers Creek, set to be the largest age-restricted active-adult community in the Greater Houston area, will open in summer 2022 in Willis with more than 3,000 patio homes on a nearly 1,200-acre property.

With the median age in Willis ISD about 40, Population and Survey Analysts, a demographic tracking organization, anticipates 6% of upcoming housing in Willis over the next 10 years will be age restricted, according to a 2021 report.

Representatives with Caldwell Cos., the firm behind Chambers Creek, said they aim to fill the need for retirement communities, fielding interest from across the nation and the state.

“It’s people from California and Arizona and up north, and we definitely think Chambers Creek has the ability to [attract residents] not just locally within the Houston market,” said Jennifer Symons, the vice president of marketing at Caldwell Cos.. “There’s a huge relocation effort to Texas right now. People are seeing the value of living in Texas, and especially Houston has so much to offer.”

As Chambers Creek’s opening approaches, the development’s waitlist shows an “overwhelming interest,” Symons said.

Demand for age-restricted communities is also projected to grow as the baby-boom generation transitions to retirement, Symons said. Chambers Creek will offer houses designed for residents downsizing with sizes ranging from 1,500-3,500 square feet and prices starting from the low $300,000s. Homeowners association fees will cover front-lawn care.

The gated community will feature a golf course designed by professional golfer Tom Lehman, more than 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, and several lakes for fishing and boating, Symons said. Chambers Creek will also employ a lifestyle director to plan events for the community.

“We compare it to a cruise ship director,” Symons said. “You wake up that morning [with] an activity list of what else is going on that day, and it’ll be a similar vibe.”

Peach Creek Farms nearly sold out in Willis

Peach Creek Farms is located in Willis within the Sam Houston National Forest. All but two lots sold as of mid-June, said Jonathan Eller, CEO of ET Capital Investments, the developer for the project.

Eller said Willis is attractive for the project because it is away from what he called the “hustle and bustle” of Houston. Prospective homeowners can buy 1- to 5-acre plots of land in the community starting at $40,000 an acre, according to the community’s website, and choose to build a “barndominium” or farmhouse or buy a traditional move-in-ready home. Custom barndominiums—one option for landowners—can contain three bedrooms, a bunk room, an outdoor fireplace and kitchen, high ceilings and open spans, all made from a steel frame.

“Once you see one, they just have a ‘wow’ factor. You can accomplish things you just can’t do with a regular stick-and-brick or site-built home,” Eller said.••Eller enlisted the help of Stacee Lynn, a designer known as the “barndo lady,” to help design some of the homes in the community. Lynn said as people from the city have begun moving into the suburbs, more people are looking to have extra space.

“Where country property used to be not as sexy, now everyone wants a little bit of elbow room,” Lynn said.

Lynn said she is designing six of the homes in the community. She said she has seen a large demand for barndominium homes not only in Texas, but also across the country.

“People are looking for something different,” Lynn said. “They’re looking for something that’s stylish, that’s energy efficient [and] low maintenance.”

Eller said he noticed the demand, too, which is why he said he reached out to Lynn to help him create Peach Creek Farms. Lynn said Eller reached out to her in February, and they began selling lots that month.

Of the 32 lots in the community, 30 had been sold as of mid-June, Eller said. Eller said he and his company are developing five other barndominium-friendly communities in places such as Conroe and Austin.

“Pretty soon you’re going to be seeing barndo-exclusive communities [and] barndo-friendly communities like ours all over the place,” Eller said.

Construction continues on The Woodlands Hills

The Woodlands Hills is a growing, master-planned community developed by The Howard Hughes Corp. and located near I-45 just north of Conroe. When fully built out, the community is projected to have a population of 14,900 with 112 acres of open space; 20 parks; a church; 5,284 residential units, including 554 apartments and assisted-living units; and over 1.8 million feet of nonresidential space, including commercial, retail and hospitality space.

As of late June, The Howard Hughes Corp. reported 520 homes had been sold with build-out anticipated within 10 years.
By Chandler France

Reporter, Tomball/Magnolia

Chandler joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2021 after graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Southern California, where he was the executive editor of Annenberg Media. He previously interned with the company in Gilbert, AZ and with the Beacon Project, an investigative reporting team in Los Angeles. Chandler is originally from Laguna Hills, CA.

By Brooke Ontiveros

North Houston Intern, Tomball/Magnolia & Conroe/Montgomery & Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Brooke joined Community Impact Newspaper as an editorial intern for summer 2021. Brooke covers education, local government, business, real estate development and health. She goes to The University of Texas at Austin and has served as an editor and reporter for the University newspaper The Daily Texan.

By Eva Vigh
Eva Vigh joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 as a reporter for Spring and Klein. Prior to this position, she covered upstream oil and gas news for a drilling contractors' association.


As variants are isolated and identified, Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass believes the vaccines available can handle identified variants (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'The vaccines we have are effective against all the variants out there': Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass discusses variants, vaccinations

As Houston Methodist identified its first case of the lambda variant July 19, Dr. Glass believes vaccines can handle known variants.

Councilmember Julie Davis, second from right, argued for a 20% homestead exemption. (Screenshot via Montgomery City Council livestream)
Montgomery adopts 20% tax break on homestead property taxes

Some tension arose when Council Member Julie Davis said that the city has spent thousands of dollars on “goats and walkie-talkies."

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

Residents voiced concerned about the proposed Colliers Pointe development at Conroe's City Council workshop July 21. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Concern over Conroe's proposed Colliers Pointe development continues

Residents raised concerns about safety, flooding and access roads to the community.

A COVID-19 vaccine dose is administered to a person's arm
Montgomery County sees July increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

Active COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County climbed above 1,000 for the first time in two months, just after June recorded the lowest active cases since 2020.

Jacqueline Myers opened her gluten-free restaurant Broth and Brine in December 2020. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Gut health' priority at Conroe gluten-free restaurant, Broth and Brine Dedicated Craft Kitchen

Jacqueline Myers said she spent 20 years studying autism and the relationship between what she calls “gut health” and brain disorders.

The mural will be placed in Heritage Place Park. (Courtesy Conroe Art League)
Conroe seeking muralist for downtown project

The Conroe 360 Class has agreed to use a classmate's sketch of a train as a base design for the mural.

Memorial Hermann has locations throughout the Greater Houston area, including Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center. (Courtesy Memorial Hermann)
Memorial Hermann visiting policies change as COVID-19 cases rise

As of July 21, Memorial Hermann has changed its visitor policy in light of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Greater Houston area.

Houston unemployment is above state and national levels, while home sales in the region continue to be strong, according to a July 21 economic update from the Greater Houston Partnership. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Unemployment, strong housing sales mark 2021 Houston economy, Greater Houston Partnership says

While Houston job recovery lags due to the pandemic, area home sales are strong, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.

Conroe ISD provided recommendations for a safer return for the 2021-22 school year. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Conroe ISD sets COVID-19 policies for 2021-22 school year

The "Roadmap to Remaining Open" states policies and provides recommendations for students and faculty to better prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to the district.

Home prices continue to increase, according to local real estate data. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
DATA: All Conroe, Montgomery ZIP codes see home sales increase year over year

One ZIP code saw a 78% increase in number of homes sold.