Johnson Development named as Camp Strake buyer

Johnson Development, the same company that owns Woodforest north of The Woodlands, has been announced as the buyer of the 2,000-acre Camp Strake site. Camp Strake is owned by the Boy Scouts of America and is currently one of the largest contiguous parcels of undeveloped land in the Greater Houston area.

In March, the BSA hired Jones Lang and LaSalle to put the property on the market and broker the deal. According to Johnson Development, the deal will be finalized in the next two to three months. Terms of the sale were not announced.

"The natural beauty of the property along with its accessibility makes it a true crown jewel," says Larry Johnson, president and chief executive officer of The Johnson Development Corp. "We're excited about the possibilities for the land and understand the importance of protecting its natural beauty."

A confidentiality agreement as part of the sale prevents representatives from Johnson Development from discussing specifics of the sale, including the companies plans for the site.

Johnson Development specializes in master-planned mixed-use developments, such as Woodforest, Harmony, Cross Creek Ranch, Imperial, Riverstone, Sienna Plantation, Edgewater, Fall Creek, Tuscan Lakes and Willow Creek Farms.

In June, Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, said the Camp Strake site was identified as a potential site for the Houston Astros AAA franchise. This spring, Astros owner Jim Crane announced the team was seeking a new location for its AAA franchise, which is currently located in Oklahoma City.

The Astros' deal with Oklahoma City is set to expire in 2016. The BSA will continue to use Camp Strake until 2015, according to Johnson Development.

Phone calls and emails to the Astros for comment on this story were not returned.

The BSA acquired Camp Strake in 1943, a site that features six lakes of about 130 acres. The BSA will move Camp Strake to a location in New Waverly and Cold Spring in 2015.

"We are happy that the sale will fall in local hands that are sensitive to the community's needs," said Steve Strake, co-chair of the committee that selected the site for the new Camp Strake. "The sale will allow us to continue the legacy of Camp Strake and my grandfather's vision for Scouting."

According to Johnson Development, the BSA will use the proceeds from the sale of the current property to pay for its relocation, build a state-of-the-art adventure camp, and endow the operations and maintenance of the new Camp Strake in perpetuity.