As population growth continues to push developers into outlying areas to meet housing demand, three new master-planned communities totaling a combined 1,400 acres are under construction or planned for the Magnolia area outside city limits.

“It’s an absolutely gorgeous piece of property with a lot of trees that are being protected. It creates challenges, but I think it will provide some great amenities.” —Karl Mistry, Toll Brothers Houston division president

NorthGrove at Spring Creek

For the past few months, development has been underway on the new 600-acre luxury master-planned community known as NorthGrove at Spring Creek, said Karl Mistry, Toll Brothers Houston division president.

“It’s an absolutely gorgeous piece of property with a lot of trees that are being protected,” Mistry said. “It creates challenges, but I think it will provide some great amenities. We will eventually have a signalized intersection along [FM] 2978.”

The first phase of the community will feature 175 homes with lot sizes beginning at 60 feet wide and ranging up to 85 feet wide in a gated section along FM 2978. The builder lineup will be announced within the next few months, Mistry said. The first model homes are scheduled to open in September, and the first residents could move in by spring 2016, he said.

At build-out in five to seven years, the subdivision, which is being constructed around the bordering Spring Creek flood plain, will feature 800 to 900 new homes within the $300,000 to $600,000 price range, Mistry said. Construction on an amenity center in the subdivision will begin this summer and is scheduled for completion in 2016, he said.

“We’ve really started to see other master-planned [communities] benefit from the spillover in The Woodlands,” Mistry said. “We are now seeing there’s a recipe for success that can be had outside of The Woodlands.”

Sheldon Tract

During an April 21 meeting, Montgomery County commissioners approved a preliminary master plan for the 585.5-acre Sheldon Tract in Magnolia bordered by FM 1774 to the south and Mill Creek to the north.

The mixed-use development is proposed to offer about 430 acres of residential sites, 38 acres of commercial space and 16 acres of drill sites throughout the property with additional acres for development, according to plans by consulting engineering firm Binkley & Barfield Inc. In the design plans, developers have outlined 77 acres bordering the 100-year Mill Creek flood plain that will not be developed in accordance with new Federal Emergency Management Agency maps effective Aug. 18, 2014.

Montgomery Country officials have created Municipal Utility District No. 116 to serve the future property with water and sewer utilities. An estimated 325 home lots are planned for construction with multiple build-out phases over the next few years, according to a site plan by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP.

Lakes at Mill Creek

The Weems Group has listed the 302-acre Lakes at Mill Creek land tract for sale along the nearby flood plain, partner and broker Tim Weems said. Though the property is in the early planning stages, 576 home sites could be constructed, Weems said.

“The model we’re doing in the master plan is similar to The Woodlands,” he said.

A proposed 6-mile, two-lane Woodlands Parkway extension—included in Montgomery County’s $350 million May 9 road bond—from FM 2978 to Hwy. 249 would intersect the center of the land tract for about a half-mile, according to site plans.

The Weems Group plans to allocate $2 million to fund the portion of the proposed roadway expected to run through the property, Weems said.

“We’re working closely with the county judge and [Precinct 2] commissioner,” Weems said. “We’ve agreed completely [that] we will dedicate a portion of right of way.”

Last year Montgomery County officials approved the creation of MUD 136 to provide utilities for the proposed community, which has not yet been purchased for development, Weems said.