A new $16.5 million library and community center, revitalized retail centers, and a new clock tower are all part of a massive plan for the Grogan's Mill Village Center approved Sept. 26 between Montgomery County and Howard Hughes.

What you need to know

Howard Hughes unveiled official plans Sept. 26 to construct a 48,000-square-foot South Montgomery County Library and Community Center to replace the existing structures on Lake Robbins Drive. The new site is in the former Randalls space at Grogan's Mill Village Center, which closed in 2020. The new facility will have a variety of amenities, including:
  • A 5,000-square-foot ballroom
  • 11 rentable study rooms
  • A full-service conference room
  • A 100-person capacity theater-style classroom shared between the library and community center
  • A rentable podcast room
  • A film-producing room
According to the presentation, the county will take ownership of the new facility and 7.8 acres of land at the Grogan's Mill Village Center, which according to a county news release will have a total value of over $30 million. The shopping center's retail outlets will remain under the ownership of Howard Hughes. The county will then turn over the 5.72 acres occupied by the existing library and community center buildings and property to Howard Hughes.

The deal came after Howard Hughes acquired the Grogan's Mill Village Center in May, and negotiations began with the county shortly after.

What they're saying

“We watched as this fell into vacancy and disrepair, and decided we wanted to be part of the solution,” said Jim Carman, president of the Howard Hughes Houston region. “We want this to be an amenity for all of Montgomery County, and certainly for The Woodlands and the residents of Grogan’s Mill.

"This is going to be a true game changer for South Montgomery County and the rest of Montgomery County," Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said.

"It's very exciting," said Brad Bailey, a member of The Woodlands Township board who attended the meeting. "It's the start of the revitalization of our aging village centers that have needed a lot of attention. I see this as like step one. The next step is to work collaboratively with the Grogan's Mill Village Association and the County to connect our existing trails and pathways and improve the farmers market."

"We're excited that we were able to be part of that all together in such a short amount of time," The Woodlands Township board member Linda Nelson said. "Grogan's Mill has been on the radar of many people for many, many, many years, and I think it's just the relationships that people have and bringing people to the table to make something like this happen within eight months of us coming on board."

What's next

Construction on the new facility is not expected to begin until 2024 with an estimated completion time of 2025, Carman said. The library and community center will stay operational until the new facility is fully opened. Carman said Howard Hughes did not have an immediate plan for the land it is acquiring on Lake Robbins Drive, but it will be working on developing the retail portion at Grogan's Mill Village Center.

Editor's note: A quote in this article was edited for clarity and to correct the square footage of the project.