The 2,000-acre sustainable, master-planned community, which is located along Spring’s northern border, is a project that Coventry Development Corp. began construction on nearly a decade ago. The development, which has prioritized commercial space over residential space is now home to five corporations, retail offerings and nearly 950 multifamily units.
However, the community has fewer than 100 single-family homes, according to Warren Wilson, executive vice president of Coventry Development Corp.
“Springwoods Village is the most important development asset in north Harris County,” said Bobby Lieb, president and CEO of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce. “With the thought that’s gone into the spaces they’ve created and the businesses they’ve been able to attract, I would argue that compared to the other large commercial master-planned developments in Houston, it would be at the top.”
Wilson said the company is now focusing on residential build-out with the Dec. 1 announcement that Hewlett Packard Enterprise would be relocating its global headquarters from Silicon Valley to Springwoods Village.
Tech moves in
Originally pitched as a regional campus to replace HPE’s existing flood-prone campus at Compaq Center Drive, construction on the tech giant’s new global headquarters began in February 2020 and will wrap up in spring 2022.
“Houston has always been HPE’s largest employment hub in the U.S., and we decided to relocate corporate headquarters to the region due to our business needs, opportunities for long-term cost savings, and our team members’ preferences about the future of work moving beyond the pandemic,” said Adam Bauer, the director of issues management and policy communications for HPE.
While Bauer said he could not release site-specific figures or information on potential employee relocations from the company’s current headquarters in California, he said HPE has about 2,600 employees in the Greater Houston area—the majority of which will likely use the new campus.
Lieb said he hoped the move would prompt other tech companies to follow.
“It puts Houston on the map to be a destination for tech,” he said.
Retail ramps up
Retail business has slowed in Springwoods Village as the occupancy of on-site offices has diminished throughout the pandemic, said Andrew Giammalva, assistant project manager with CDC Houston, a subsidiary of Coventry Development Corp.
“The office occupancy is really what feeds our retail right now. It’s been a struggle, but we’re optimistic,” Giammalva said. “Hopefully, office occupancy will pick up as we move along in 2021 now that the vaccine is being rolled out.”
Despite this slowdown, Springwoods Village continued to expand its retail offerings in 2020. Focus Optical, Island Grill and Common Bond Bistro & Bakery opened last summer in CityPlace, the community’s 60-acre mixed-use urban center.
“Since we are surrounded by so many businesses that most employees are working from home, we are seeing less foot traffic,” Common Bond CEO George Joseph said.
Chipotle opened in February, while Sushi Rebel, Edward Jones and Bread Zeppelin—a sandwich and salad eatery—will open in CityPlace later this year. Giammalva said First Tech Federal Credit Union is also planning to open in CityPlace, but an opening date has not been announced.
Also opening in 2021 is Beard Papa’s, a cream puff bakery that will be in The Market at Springwoods Village. As Phase 1 of the shopping center continues to edge toward full occupancy with four remaining spaces available, Wilson said the retail center’s leasing company, Regency Centers, is continuing to recruit retailers for Phase 2. However, a timeline for construction has not been announced.
While the pandemic may have slowed business for retailers, Giammalva said he believes the global health crisis has made Springwoods Village a more attractive community to potential residents who are looking for more green space.
Currently home to more than 1,000 residential units between multifamily and single-family housing, at build-out, Wilson said the goal is for Springwoods Village to house 15,000 residents across 4,500-5,000 units.
“It’s been a great commercial market, [and] so now, to be a complete community, we’re going to start accelerating residential,” Wilson said.
Most recently, residents began moving into The Canopy at Springwoods Village in December. The 332-unit complex is the third multifamily community in Springwoods Village by Martin Fein Interests Ltd.—joining The Belvedere and The Mark, which opened in 2014 and 2017, respectively.
As of Feb. 18, The Mark and The Belvedere had occupancy rates of 89% and 94%, respectively, while the Canopy—70% of which is still under construction—had 24 units available, according to Apartments.com.
“Leasing has gotten off to a very good start [at The Canopy],” said Rebecca Luks, vice president of development with Martin Fein Interests Ltd.
In terms of single-family residential, the community is still in its first phase, which began in 2013 with the construction of two neighborhoods: Audubon Grove and Harper Woods.
Construction finished in 2019 on the sold-out 51-home Audubon Grove community, developed by Taylor Morrison. However, build-out continues in the 88-home Harper Woods, developed by Sullivan Brothers Builders. Per the neighborhood website, 52 homes have been sold with seven available and 29 coming soon.
The remainder of residential development in Springwoods Village will take place on undeveloped land located along East Mossy Oaks Road west of Springwoods Village Parkway. Wilson said developers will be undertaking some infrastructure improvements this year to open up that part of the project for build-out.
“We’ve been working extensively in 2020 on the master plan for residential—we’re not ready to announce those [plans] yet but [will be] soon,” he said.
While details about the remainder of the community’s residential plans have not yet been made public, Wilson said development will continue for many years to come.
“We’ll be here building for a long time into the future,” he said.