Developers planning master-planned community in Cypress


More businesses are opening in Bridgeland near Highway 290 and Fry Road. Developers out there will tell you their long-term aim is to look and feel a lot like The Woodlands.

If you haven't been to Cypress lately, it probably looks a lot different from when you were last here -- businesses opening, new home building, dirt turning, and this is just the beginning.

"We're definitely growing out here, and we need it," Cy Fair Chamber of Commerce President Leslie Martone said.

Martone estimates right now, the home-to-business ratio in far northwest Harris County is 75 percent to 25 percent.

But that's changing.

"We're getting there," said Peter Houghton, vice president of master planned communities for the Howard Hughes Corporation.

And Bridgeland is part of that change.

"As of this year, we will probably sell 400 homes, which will make us No. 3 in Houston and No. 8 in the United States," Houghton said.

Once farmland for rice and cattle, the Howard Hughes Corporation is transforming 11,400 acres off of Fry Road near State Highway 290 into a master planned community. There will be new homes, schools and eventually a town center with shopping, restaurants and entertainment along serene waterways.

"Pearland's got a town center, Sugar Land, The Woodlands," Houghton said. "Ours will look very similar to that," Houghton said.

The future Grand Parkway will bisect Bridgeland's town center, which means more business and a more mature Cypress.

"It's just another opportunity for them and a reason to move out to Cy-Fair, is if they can have a place to live, work and play all together," Martone said.

The long-term timeline is 30 or 40 years, but developers hope to start Phase 1 of town center in 2014 or 2015.

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