Developers flock to West Lake Houston Parkway

Atascocita-area subdivision Bridges on Lake Houston is one of several home developments under construction along West Lake Houston Parkway.

Atascocita-area subdivision Bridges on Lake Houston is one of several home developments under construction along West Lake Houston Parkway.

More than 12,000 single-family homes are projected to be built in the Lake Houston area by 2025 as developers chase the area’s undeveloped land as well as its rapid job and population growth.


Much of the development is situated along the West Lake Houston Parkway corridor where several housing projects are under construction between Kingwood and Beltway 8, according to a study by demographics firm Population and Survey Analysts.


Raymond Besa, an agent for Coldwell Banker United Realtors, has been selling real estate in the area for the past 11 years and said demand for homes in the Lake Houston area continues to grow as amenities and retail options improve.


“People are willing to drive the distance because of the wooded area and fresh air, and you don’t have to drive all the way to downtown Houston for shopping because we have a lot of great new stores,” Besa said.



Developers flock to West Lake Houston ParkwayRapid single-family growth


There are 50 single-family subdivisions under development in the Lake Houston area, according to the Lake Houston Area Economic Development Partnership. The PASA study estimates 12,093 homes will be constructed in the area by 2025.


Friendswood Development Co.—the original Kingwood developer—is constructing 1,300 homes in new Kingwood development Royal Brook. The community sits on 510 acres north of the intersection of Mills Branch Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway with prices ranging from $300,000 to more than $600,000. It is the last piece of land slated for single-family homes in Kingwood, FDC officials said.


FDC decided to develop Royal Brook because of the demand for new homes in the area as well as the desirability of Humble ISD, said Kayla Steward, land analyst and marketing coordinator for the developer.


“It’s been about 10 years since we opened a new section in Kingwood,” FDC Senior Acquisitions Manger Michael Johnson said. “There’s some pent-up demand for a new home product in Kingwood.”


Farther south in Atascocita, several large housing developments are under construction on West Lake Houston Parkway, with neighborhoods, such as The Groves, Lakewood Pines and Bridges on Lake Houston, under development. More than 2,500 rooftops are planned in these three communities, according to the PASA study.


Just northwest of the intersection of West Lake Houston Parkway and Beltway 8, Land Tejas Companies is planning Phase 2 of master-planned community Park Lakes. The development is a subdivision named Balmoral and is projected to include more than 1,600 homes, according to PASA. The 900-acre development is projected to begin producing homes by 2017.



Driving demand


Many factors, such as a desirable school district, retail development and job growth, are driving demand, said Michael Prats, vice president of LHAEDP.


Between 2010 and 2015, the Lake Houston area’s total population grew to 257,759 by an estimated 33,000 new residents. The population is predicted to rise by 12 percent to 288,599 by 2020, according to the LHAEDP.


The population growth spurred by single-family development is also attracting large-scale retail developments near West Lake Houston Parkway, such as Westlake Marketplace and Main Street Kingwood, LHAEDP CEO Charlie Dromgoole said.


“It’s an area that hasn’t had as much retail and community development as other areas of Houston, and people are finally discovering the area,” Dromgoole said. “Land availability and development have developers creating housing, and retail and other projects are following.”


Two major east-west transportation projects—the Beltway 8 extension in 2011 and Segment G of the Grand Parkway—have also ignited growth in the area, Dromgoole said. Combined with Hwy. 59, the relatively unclogged traffic arteries provide easy access to the Greater Houston area, he said.


“You’ve got good access to downtown Houston, The Woodlands, the ship channel and all major employment centers,” said Nicole Zimmerman, project manager for Crescent Communities, The Groves’ developer. “Beyond that, there’s just the natural beauty of the landscape.”



HISD effects


The rapid single-family growth puts more students within HISD’s boundaries. The district is planning six new schools, including a seventh high school in Atascocita, by 2022. Five of the planned schools are located in the southeast quadrant of the district, four of which will be located on or near West Lake Houston Parkway.


HISD has $155 million in authorized bond funds from a 2008 election to purchase property for the six new campuses, build three of the schools and provide some funding toward the construction of a fourth school, Superintendent Guy Sconzo said. The district is planning a 2018 bond referendum to fund the remaining schools, he said.


The district added about 4,600 students to its enrollment between 2009-14, a trend that is projected to continue to increase over the next decade, according to the PASA demographics study.


“For next school year, and maybe the following, growth is going to slow a little bit,” Sconzo said. “And that has everything to do with the price of oil, but that slower growth for us is in the 1,000-to-1,100-student range. After that, it starts escalating.”

SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Harris County commissioners voted 3-2 at a Feb. 25 meeting to begin a search process to replace Chief Budget Officer Bill Jackson (far right). (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County commissioners vote to replace budget director

Dissenting commissioners said they were caught off-guard by the move.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo proposed establishing an immigrant legal defense fund for county residents at the Feb. 25 commissioners court meeting. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Harris County looks to establish immigrant legal defense fund

Hidalgo said this program would “inject a measure of fairness into our justice system” for individuals and families who do not have access to legal services.

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, along with the rest of the Commissioners Court, accepted the 2019 racial profiling report Feb. 25. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office releases 2019 racial profiling report

The report concludes the office does not have a racial profiling problem.

Lone Star College-Kingwood will break ground March 2 on the new Lone Star Health Professions Center. (Courtesy Lone Star College-Kingwood)
Lone Star College-Kingwood to break ground on new health professions center

Lone Star College-Kingwood will break ground March 2 on the new Lone Star Health Professions Center, which will be the home of five different health-related industries beginning in fall 2021.

Early voting is underway in Harris County for the March 2020 primary elections. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Voter turnout starts strong in Harris County primary elections

The early voting period runs through Feb. 28.

More than 20,000 Montgomery County residents have voted early since polls opened Feb. 18. (Courtesy Folio)
Montgomery County early voting turnout not on pace to meet 2016 rate

Local turnout appears to be falling below 2016 levels halfway through the county's early voting period.

Houston's first chief transportation officer will help the city coordinate its urban planning efforts with other agencies such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Texas Department of Transportation. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Shifting focus from car culture, Houston hires first chief transportation planner

Houston's first chief transportation officer will help the city shift its focus from car-centric urban planning.

The special meeting Feb. 20 lasted nearly five hours. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Jacinto River Authority votes to continue Lake Conroe lowering with modifications

The board ultimately voted to change fall lowering while keeping spring lowering the same.

Levitated Metals will open in September in the East Montgomery County Industrial Park. (Courtesy East Montgomery County Improvement District)
Levitated Metals to bring specialty recycling to East Montgomery County Industrial Park

Levitated Metals, a specialty metal recycling company, broke ground Jan. 15 on its manufacturing facility at 18920 Celia Way, New Caney, in the East Montgomery County Industrial Park.

Jordan Brooks, market specialist at ALN Apartment Data, speaks at the Houston Apartment Association’s Montgomery County State of the Submarket Breakfast on Feb. 18. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Moderate growth in apartment rent, occupancy on Montgomery County's horizon

Experts: County well-positioned for moderate rent growth, average to above-average apartment occupancy for 2020 and 2021

Cheetos Cheese Pickles from Biggy's (Courtesy Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo)
Cheetos cheese pickles, mac and cheese eggrolls, deep-fried cheesecake: 93 food spots to try during the 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

From tried and true to something new, the food options at this year's Rodeo include classic staples and crazy concoctions.

Lone Star College System has $185 million remaining from its 2014 bond referendum. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lone Star College System updates 2014 bond project progress

Lone Star College System continues to make improvements to campuses through an $485 million bond that passed in 2014.

Back to top