A variety of residential and commercial projects are making progress in the Fulshear area as the affluent, largely residential city moves to further develop its downtown area.

A developing city in northwest Fort Bend County, Fulshear includes expansive master-planned communities such as Cross Creek Ranch in its city limits, with more in its extraterritorial jurisdiction—the unincorporated area outside of city limits.

Fulshear historically has relied on building permits and property taxes for its revenue, Assistant City Manager Zach Goodlander said. However, he said the city’s general fund has seen increasing sales tax revenue as further commercial projects are coming to the area. Sales tax revenue has increased by 60% over the past five years, according to budget documents.

“We’re getting a lot of ... nationally known tenants occupying [FM 1463],” Goodlander said. “That corridor is largely getting built out. And we’re slowly but surely starting to see a lot of the commercial interest move west into our downtown area.”

The downtown area is seeing new major residential developments alongside plans for a mixed-use project called the Fulshear Marketplace. The project is in a preleasing phase for retail, restaurant and office spaces, according to project documents. Additionally, another commercial development from company ICO Commercial in the downtown district is now leasing.

A new H-E-B is expected to come in the future on the opposite side of FM 1093 from the downtown area and act as a future “anchor” to the nearby Fulshear Marketplace. Goodlander said a timeline has not been shared yet.

Breaking it down

In terms of residential development, Fulshear is seeing a variety of projects in the downtown area from longtime west Houston homebuilder Tri Pointe Homes.

Tri Pointe has been building homes in the west Houston area for about 40 years, including homes in major communities such as Grand Lakes in the Katy area and Cross Creek Ranch, Marketing Manager Karyn Goertz said.

“In Fulshear alone, since 2008, we’ve sold and closed over 1,200 homes in Cross Creek Ranch,” Goertz said.

Cross Creek Ranch was sold to Johnson Development in 2012, and much of the master-planned community is outside of the city’s purview but inside its ETJ.

The company’s newest community, Pecan Ridge, opened in February 2023 and offers homesites that have a width of 45-60 feet. The upcoming Estates at James Lane residential development comes with 1-acre homesites.

What else?

As several jurisdictions across the Houston region entered into water conservation notices this summer due to extreme drought conditions, some parts of downtown Fulshear saw challenges with maintaining water pressure as the city grappled with high demand, Goodlander said.

While the city does provide water for many of its residents, not all parts receive water from the city, including acreage communities in the south and communities such as Jordan Ranch, despite having a municipal utility district called Fulshear MUD 3A.

On Oct. 17, City Council awarded a $7.6 million contract to expand the downtown water plant to add additional ground storage capacity and booster pumps to help maintain pressure in the system. Council also approved a $4.2 million expansion for the water plant in Pecan Ridge. Both projects are expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2025.

What to expect

The highest concentration of in-progress commercial development is occurring in the more built-out areas of the city, such as the FM 1463 corridor by the Fulshear Bend H-E-B.

Cheba Hut, Piada, First Watch, Houston Methodist, Jack in the Box, Five Guys and Coldstone Creamery are all slated to open in the FM 1463 area in the coming months, Goodlander said.

Goodlander said he hopes the city’s downtown projects can “keep up” and preserve the city’s unique character.

“I think our residents expect a lot of the city, a lot of the developers, ... rightfully so. I’m a resident, too, so I would expect nothing less,” he said.