Formerly known as Springwoods Village, the 2,000-acre, master-planned community near Spring’s northern border is now City Place, according to Warren Wilson, executive vice president for CDC Houston, a subsidiary of Coventry Development Corp.
According to Wilson, the rebranding effort draws from the popularity of the existing CityPlace, a 60-acre mixed-use development within the master-planned community that includes a central plaza; office buildings; multifamily residential units; lodging; and an expanding roster of restaurants, retail and entertainment offerings.
“CityPlace ... has become such an important part of what this project is,” Wilson said. “[CityPlace is] a city. It’s really becoming a city, ... and the name Springwoods Village seemed increasingly outdated.”
The transition to City Place comes more than a decade after the community broke ground in 2008. The community is now home to major corporations, retail offerings and more than 1,000 residences. Wilson said the next phase of development will add roughly 600 units of single-family and multifamily housing by 2023.
To date, approximately 2,500 residents live in City Place, and roughly 20,000 individuals are employed by businesses within the development, officials said.
Wilson also noted two road extensions being constructed by Harris County Improvement District No. 18 are underway. Energy Drive is being extended south to a new connection at I-45, and Springwoods Village Parkway is being extended to connect to its interchange with the Grand Parkway. The projects will be completed in 2021 and late 2022, respectively.
Planning for a new generation
Wilson announced CDC Houston will be partnering with community-planning firm DMB Development on City Place’s new residential growth. The Arizona-based company has developed residential communities across the western United States for more than 30 years. Brent Herrington, president and CEO of DMB Development, said the goal for City Place will be to create an “inside-the-Loop” vibe.
“Imagine this community where tens of thousands of people work and tens of thousands of people live, and all of the things that they need in their daily lives are there—shopping, dining, entertainment,” Herrington said.
He said a system of bike paths and walkways will allow residents to get anywhere within the community without a vehicle. The commitment to walkability is part of the development’s focus on sustainability, Herrington said.
“The ideas of acceptance and inclusivity and sustainability—these values are near and dear to [millennials],” Herrington said. “If we expect this community to be relevant to them, ... we’ve got to get with the program.”
He said housing would be representative of the community’s diversity, offering varying price points for homeowners at different stages in their lives. Officials noted the new housing units will range from about 1,600-2,800 square feet with prices ranging from $350,000 to $600,000.
Rooftops follow retail
Alex Sutton, who retired in late 2020 from his role as co-president of The Woodlands Development Co., was coaxed out of his brief retirement to take on the role of general manager of the CDC Houston/DMB Development joint venture. Sutton said the development of City Place has not followed a typical route.••“The mantra, as you say, is ‘retail follows rooftops,’” he said. “We’ve reversed that.”
Bobby Lieb, president and CEO of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce, said City Place’s focus on bringing in major employers has spurred business growth in and around the master-planned community. ••“You first focus on what we call your primary jobs, or your primary employers,” Lieb said, pointing to corporations such as ExxonMobil and Southwestern Energy that are housed in City Place. “Those companies are generating new wealth by exporting their goods or services and bringing that revenue that’s coming from outside the area into the area.”
Those primary employers, he said, then lead to the development of secondary employers, which include local services such as grocery stores, restaurants and retail. Lieb said the new planned housing in City Place could further spark business growth.
“Those people have incomes, and they have needs within the community,” he said.
Robert Fields, president and CEO of real estate firm Patrinely Group, praised City Place’s ability to expand while retaining a close-knit feel. Patrinely partnered with CDC Houston and USAA Real Estate to develop City Place’s urban core, bringing in corporations such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which will complete its new headquarters next spring.
“In terms of corporate relocation and where they want to be, we’re seeing that primarily happen in the suburbs,” Fields said. “The fact that you can live close to where you work, ... it’s unbelievably appealing.”