Commercial, residential development continues in Fairfield's master plan

Since its inception, the 3,200-acre master-planned community of Fairfield has seen the development of more than 4,800 new homes, several public swimming pools, parks and trails along with its 15,000-square-foot athletic club. There is no indication further expansion is slowing down.

"Fairfield is on the rise," said Tim Fitzpatrick, community development manager with Friendswood Development Company, the developer of several master-planned communities within Houston. "Lot sales in 2012 topped 271, up 35 percent over 2011. Home sales in 2012 were also up 35 percent. January sales thus far are up over 144 percent over January 2012."

Various commercial projects are also in progress following the opening of an H-E-B in the community last fall near Hwy. 290. Construction of the Fairfield Plaza shopping center behind the new grocery store initially began in 2008 and re-convened in late 2012, and it is taking applications for tenants and buyers.

Situated at Fairfield's main entrance, Stream Realty representatives said they expect the high amount of traffic flow and partially built condition to attract potential buyers and tenants. The strip center is estimated to cost about $2 million and will contain more than 300 parking spaces and 82,230 square feet of retail and dining space once completed.

Adjacent to the Fairfield Plaza, the Simon Property Group has plans to build the Fairfield Town Center along Cypresswood Drive near Houston Premium Outlets, which is also owned by Simon Property. The center has expanded several retail and dining options such as Diesel, along with Francesca's Collections—a boutique for women.

Once the scheduled build-out in mid-2015 is complete, Fairfield will boast an estimated 5,300 homes, dozens of retail and dining options and new apartment dwellings. While there are currently no apartment complexes within the community, the Fairfield Place Apartments broke ground in January and are expected to be open in early 2014, said Roland Vogel, property superintendent. Once completed, the complex will be directly behind the Premium Outlet Mall near Fairfield and will house 240 individual units ranging from one to three bedrooms. Amenities will include controlled gated access, a fitness center, an outdoor cabana and pool, a clubhouse and a media lounge.

The potential for a second apartment complex has also been discussed by developers, Fitzpatrick said.

"Fairfield [offers] a wide variety of housing choices, [and] the vast majority of Fairfield's commercial property has already been sold to commercial developers," Fitzpatrick said.

Market conditions and consumer demand will determine future development within Fairfield, Fitzpatrick said. With most of the demand for apartment living along the Hwy. 290 corridor, residents will likely not see more than two apartment complexes serving the community.