The development company, which plans to move its headquarters to The Woodlands later this year, is nearing completion on several multifamily projects. Following the completion of Two Lakes Edge, additional developments planned to open in the next year include residences near The Woodlands Waterway and Creekside Park Village Center.
Two Lakes Edge
Crystal Bledsoe, national multifamily asset manager for Howard Hughes, said despite Two Lakes Edge’s opening coinciding with the coronavirus outbreak this spring—leasing began March 1—the complex is now 10% occupied and 17% leased. Bledsoe said some operations at the complex were adjusted due to the virus, including a temporary halt to in-person visits, and new sanitary and distancing requirements.
“[It’s] very, very challenging, but I think quickly we realized that things were going to change. But we wanted to be onboard and ahead, so we were all very involved with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and [National Apartment Association], really respecting their guidelines,” Bledsoe said. “For 2 1/2 months, we were open for online and FaceTime and virtual tours only.”
While limited tours and leasing activity has resumed at Two Lakes Edge, Bledsoe said the virtual tour option proved successful in driving engagement in the community. Despite initial reservations, the company plans to use similar virtual content for future facility openings.
“Once we got the virtual tours up ... people [started] actually going on and talking about our property, and the digital engagement increased by 25%,” Bledsoe said. “The response was very, very positive.”
The 386-unit complex features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, including smaller studio spaces that Bledsoe said are not common in The Woodlands. Two Lakes Edge also features amenities along Lake Woodlands designed to be unique to the waterfront location.
Expansion in Town Center, Creekside Park
Howard Hughes’ next multifamily project opening in The Woodlands is in Town Center. The Lane at Waterway, now under construction along Six Pines Drive, was designed to match the Waterway area’s urban downtown character.
The 163-unit, seven-floor property is set to be completed this summer, with leasing set to begin in the fall. It will feature dozens of apartments but is built around a base of two-story, street-level townhomes resembling a city block, Bledsoe said.
Howard Hughes also continues to work in Creekside Park. Following the company’s launch of the Creekside Park West retail center last year, a new 360-unit multifamily project is under construction.
The Phase 2 apartment community was announced last November and will be Howard Hughes’ second multifamily project in the village after Creekside Park The Residences opened in early 2019. It is slated to open next May, with preleasing to begin in early 2021.
Bledsoe said the community will complement The Residences with an open design, including a large outdoor pool area and backyard space.
“The difference is we’re bringing in a more modern feel,” she said. “The difference that we’re doing in our amenity spaces is really having the main very large gathering spaces. We feel like what we’re building and what we’re trying to target, those demographics like the sense of community and sense of gathering.”
Two Lakes Edge, The Lane and the new Creekside project will bring more than 900 housing units to The Woodlands in little over one year. As Howard Hughes moves toward residential build-out in The Woodlands, and despite uncertainty related to COVID-19, Bledsoe said the developer expects to continue adding to its local multifamily portfolio in the future.
“On the multifamily forefront, it’s definitely a focus if the land makes sense and if the project makes sense for ... our land,” she said. “We are very positive with what’s going on. ... The same business plan that we had a year ago ... is where we stand.”