For several years, the intersection of FM 1488 and FM 2978 in Magnolia was little more than vacant land with roads leading to Conroe and The Woodlands.
In the past decade, several businesses and housing developments, such as the Westwood Village Shopping Center, Pinewood Plaza and The Estates Woodland, have quickly filled in previously empty tracts of land. By the end of the year, two additional major developments are slated to open along FM 1488—a new H-E-B grocery store and the Triumph Center, a muti-tenant retail space.
“I remember a few years ago looking at Lake Wincrest—the only thing that was out here was an A&W [restaurant],” said Deborah Rose Miller, J Properties Realtor and Magnolia resident. “There was just a gas station down at the corner of [FM] 2978 and [FM] 1488, and that was it.”
H-E-B is poised to complete construction by the end of the year on its first Magnolia location at FM 1488 and Tamina Road, joining other major retailers, such as Target, Kroger, Home Depot and Walgreens, in what is now one of the major corridors of Montgomery County. Much of the development was only possible after FM 1488 was widened in 2010 from outside the city limits to Mostyn Manor Estates, Miller said.
“It was totally undeveloped, but ever since [Montgomery County] widened the road on [FM] 1488, that was the beginning,” she said. “It used to be that people weren’t coming through here, and [now] you can’t ignore it.”
Several new housing developments are also planned along the western portion of FM 1488, including an expected 240 homes in Reynolds Reserve and 1,100 townhomes in
Much of the development surrounding the FM 1488 and FM 2978 intersection lies within the Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District, which was created in 2003 as an offshoot of the Southern Montgomery County Improvement District.
The district is run by a board of property owners. Taxes are collected from businesses within the district in exchange for providing utilities and road improvements, WMPID board member Tom Grayson said.
One cent of sales tax revenue from businesses within the district is collected and used for various improvement projects within the district. Such projects include the extension of Research Forest Drive in 2013 and the widening of Honea Egypt Road completed this year. Most of the funding for both projects came from the WMPID, Grayson said.
Greg Holcombe, owner of Holcombe Real Estate, said properties along the FM 1488 corridor are selling quickly as major retailers begin to buy up land.
Development is expected to continue as transportation projects are completed.
“It’s going to fill up within the next two years,” Holcombe said. “All of the other parcels are being bought up. It just keeps moving farther and farther toward Magnolia.”