Nestled among estate properties between Conroe, Magnolia and Montgomery, Woodforest plans to build a community of 5,700 homes with 10,000 to 18,000 residents over the next 15 years.
Within the forested backdrop, it will offer a variety of housing options, parks and open spaces, a marketplace and retail center, medical and commercial offices, 27 holes of golf, and 25 miles of hike and bike paths.
“We are the small town charm,” said Virgil Yoakum, general manager of Woodforest. “We think we are here as the community for the next generation of families in the county.”
While the community eventually will have its own amenities, it is located in the heart of Montgomery County, between recreational opportunities on Lake Conroe and metropolitan offerings of The Woodlands. The 3,000 acre development is located along the Fish Creek Thoroughfare, which is expected to become a major north-south artery in the county.
“It has a rural feeling here, but it is in the middle of everything,” said Dustin Dye, a sales counselor for D.R. Horton, one of the builders in the community. “It is six miles to Lake Conroe and five miles to The Woodlands. It is so quiet here. All you hear is nature all the time.”
Woodforest current has 66 homes, ranging from the entry level model at $190,000 up to million estates on the golf course. It features five builders, including D.R. Horton, Pulte Homes, Plantation Homes, Highland Homes, Newmark Homes and custom builders, like George Weaver, Inc., Jeff Paul Custom Homes and Meadowlark Homes.
The neighborhood winds through a forested setting, with the Woodforest Golf Club on the perimeter. It also features two fountained ponds, totally 2.5 acres.
“We will be at a meeting and see the deer come out,” said Kristi Steward, director of marketing. “It’s almost like they said ‘Cue deer.’”
The first phase of the project will target 239 lot sales in all price ranges, Yoakum said. The development will include pond and neighborhood parks as well as an aquatic center with a resort style pool with a slide tower and lap lanes. The community will also add seven tennis courts as well as a sprayground for children with pop up fountains.
The community will be served by both the Conroe and Montgomery school districts. Conroe recently purchased a 16.5 acre site to build its first elementary school in the development and there are ongoing talks with Montgomery also to build a school here. A second site also has been reserved for an intermediate CISD campus within the community.
Woodforest is owned by the Johnson Development Co., which built Sienna Plantation and Riverstone in the Sugar Land area, Tuscsn Lakes and Edgewater near Baytown and Fall Creek in Humble. They have sold 52 homes to date -- 30 sites since January alone -- and half of their new residents are coming from The Woodlands, with others coming from nearby communities.
Corey Powell, a construction manager for D.R. Horton, said many of the resident comment that Woodforest is what The Woodlands used to be.
“It is an upscale community, with a small town feeling like in The Woodlands,” Powell said. “But it is in the country.”
Future housing options will include patio homes, active adult homes, condominium and townhome, Yoakum said.
Like The Woodlands, Woodforest also will preserve the forest, leaving 700 acres, 33 percent of the community, as open space. It too includes covenants to preserve trees on home sites.
Woodforest has converted the old entrance to the area, Mulligan Drive, into a 1.5 mile pedestrian only corridor that offers a spectacular glimpse into the ecology of the area. Located along the Lake Creek Watershed, Discovery Trail will be a place for kids to “hike, bike, scooter and drop a line in the creek,” Yoakum said.
“When the fauna is in bloom, it is very colorful,” Yoakum said. “It looks like the Yellow Brick Road.”
The community will also include 29 miles of pathway to link the parks and the future retail centers.
Future plans for the development include a 40 acres retail center, anchored by a grocery store and a 45 acre mixed use Marketplace center with on-street parking. The community will offer retail and office sites near Fish Creek Thoroughfare.
“I don’t think any place has as complete amenities are Woodforest wiil have,” said Stephen Bigelow, a sales counselor for Plantation Home. “This community is going to turn out to be the most beautiful, the most picturesque and the most premier community in the area.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Woodforest, the largest new development in Montgomery County, is located along Fish Creek Thoroughfare, between FM 1488 and FM 2854. Following are the key features of the new community:
• 5,700 homes
• 3,000 acres
• Neighborhood parks, playgrounds and sports fields
• 90 acres of commercial and retail mixed use
• 27 hole golf course
• 25 miles of hike and bike trails
• 29 acres of lakes
• Conroe and Montgomery Independent School District
For more information, call 936-447-2800 or visit www.woodforestdev.com