The Woodlands set a new standard for planned communities, which is reflected in the surrounding village associations and communities that also provide an outstanding quality of life for all ages and interests.
The Woodlands has grown from a developer’s dream 45 years ago to a community that includes more than 117,000 residents, nearly 2,200 businesses, some of the highest-ranked schools in the Houston area, award-winning medical centers and a variety of places of worship.
The founder of The Woodlands is George Mitchell, who opened the community as a Houston suburb in 1974. It evolved into one of the best-known master planned communities in the country, covering 28,000 acres.
The Woodlands includes nine villages – Alden Bridge, Cochran’s Crossing, College Park, Creekside Park, Grogan’s Mill, Indian Springs, Panther Creek, Sterling Ridge and Carlton Woods along with a Town Center.
- Almost 8,000 acres of open space, including 147 neighborhood parks, 220 miles of hiking and biking trails, pools and public art and seven championship golf courses.
- Employers ranging from start-ups to multinational corporations, providing about 68,000 jobs within the development.
- Schools within the Conroe, Tomball and Magnolia independent school districts, plus 10 private schools and 50 preschools.
- Upscale shopping opportunities, more than 200 restaurants and several entertainment venues.
An ideal mix of the historical and modern, this community is near the Sam Houston National Forest in western Montgomery County.
Montgomery started as a trading post in 1826 and is considered the birthplace of the Texas Lone Star Flag. The town’s rich history is captured in Fernland Historical Park in downtown Montgomery. Visitors can learn about early Texas life through hands-on exhibits and by viewing the traditional architecture. The park features cabins and log homes that are some of the oldest standing structures in the state.
Lake Conroe is a star attraction in the town, and the exclusive developments around it include some of the most sought-after homes in the area. Local residential developments include:
- The Estates of Mia Lago, a 123-acre gated community with water access to Lake Conroe. Home plans start at a minimum of 3,500 square feet for 1-acre to 2.5-acre tracts. Rolling hills and trees such as pinewoods surround the development.
- Waterstone, the newest waterfront community on Lake Conroe. The gated development is just minutes from the main body of the lake.
- Buffalo Springs, which is within a short walk of local shops, an elementary school, library and restaurants. It is made up of custom homes on lots from one-third-acre to more than 1 acre.
- Town Creek Village Apartments, which have many luxury amenities, including a resort-like pool, clubhouse, fitness center and half-acre wooded park and pond.
Oak Ridge North
As you travel on I-45 about 30 miles north of Houston, you’ll find this small community surrounded by large oak trees.
The city of more than 3,000 residents was incorporated in 1979 and its residents consider it “What a Hometown Should Be.” The community is small enough to not feel overcrowded and close enough to all the amenities you could want.
The city is also business friendly, containing two mixed use business parks as well as retail shopping, restaurants and local businesses.
The city also maintains three parks for residents’ use – The Park at Oak Ridge Grove, which is a pocket park; Teddy Bear Park, which is geared toward smaller children; and Marilyn Edgar Park, which includes a swimming pool, volleyball court, basketball court and ballfields.
There are many reasons why the City of Shenandoah is considered an outstanding place to live. In addition to impressive housing options, the city has an abundance of shopping, business opportunities, a private parochial school and the lowest property taxes in Montgomery County.
The city has grown from a small community of 500 homes. It incorporated in 1974 and now has about 3,000 residents within its two-mile limits along I-45.
The top shopping area is the Portofino Shopping Center, which features popular anchor and retail tenant stores along with impressive Venetian architecture. There are stores and restaurants to visit at Research Plaza Shopping Center and the Sam Moon Shopping Center as well. There are also over 40 restaurants in the city limits, with variety to please any taste.
In spring 2019, the AMC Metropark Square 10 with IMAX opened, the first new AMC Theatres Cineplex to open in the Houston area in 20 years. The 10-screen complex includes the AMC MacGuffins adult beverage concept and expanded menu.
The city also has one of the top three Aveda training centers in the country – Aveda Institute Shenandoah. People can visit the training institute for a significant amount of spa services.
The city is home to impressive sporting facilities as well. The Conroe ISD Natatorium is a seven-lane, 65-meter competition swimming pool and diving facility used by high school and college teams and has hosted NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving National Championships three times. Next door is Woodforest Bank Stadium, a 10,000-seat artificial turf stadium and track that hosts high school competitions. In 2018, it was the site of the NCAA Division III Football Championship Stagg Bowl and will again host in 2019.
Falls at Imperial Oaks
The amenities are spectacular at Falls at Imperial Oaks, a gorgeous master-planned community north of Houston, near Spring and The Woodlands.
This collection of homes amid oak and pine trees is near many of the top attractions of the suburban area, including restaurants, retail stories, movie theaters and entertainment centers.
The heart of The Falls of Imperial Oaks is the Lake Club, a 4,200-square-foot facility that offers swimming pools, tennis courts, a fitness center and restaurant. Also, The Retreat recreation center includes pools, a splash pad and grilling areas.
There are plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities as well, with kayaking, nature walks and picnics available on or around the 100-acre Lake Holcomb. The area is near the Spring Creek Greenway Project and Nature Center, a 12,000-acre nature sanctuary where people take part in hiking, canoeing, fishing and horseback riding.
The neighborhood, which also includes a dog park, plays host to more than 50 community events per year.
By 2022, the YMCA of Greater Houston plans to build the two-story, 41,000-square-foot Holcomb Family YMCA. The facility will be built on 10 acres that overlook Holcomb Lake.
This 692-acre master planned community provides a distinctive lifestyle that is conveniently located near I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road and along the Grand Parkway in southern Montgomery County. Woodson’s Reserve features an elite collection of homes by several award-winning builders along with 4.7 acres of amenities such as:
- The Woodson’s Club, a 9,000-square-foot facility that includes a 24-hour access fitness center; resort-style pool, lap pool and lazy river; and a children’s play garden. It was named Best Recreational Center in the Houston’s Best Prism Awards in 2018.
- More than 115 acres of nature areas.
- Two lakes that feature catch-and-release fishing.
- A one-acre dog park.
Community get-togethers include book clubs, fitness classes and activities for children. Schools are an important feature of the community as well. Conroe Independent School District serves Woodson’s Reserve, and two schools – Grand Oaks High School and Clark Intermediate School – are in the neighborhood.
The convenient location allows residents to easily access nearby shopping centers, health care facilities and offices, such as the ExxonMobil Campus.
The goal of the developers of Woodforest was to create a master-planned community that felt like a retreat among 3,000 acres of woodland along Woodforest Golf Club. Woodforest is continually listed among the country’s 50 top-selling communities, an obvious indication they accomplished this goal.
The community is proud of its small-town feel, as much of the natural beauty of the wooded area has been preserved.
A variety of housing choices are available, from homes valued in the $190,000s to those in the millions. Fifteen builders now homes in the community, in neighborhoods such as Bonterra, which is focused on 55-plus residents; and the gated residences of Pine Island.
Numerous amenities include:
- More than 700 acres reserved for parks and recreational areas that include two pools and many miles of trails.
- Numerous activities, many of them planned by the community’s own Director of Fun.
- An on-site school – Stewart Elementary.
- A church – the Church at Woodforest.
- About 90 acres dedicated to businesses, including The Shops at Woodforest and Pine Market.
- A 27-hole championship golf course that borders the community.
Residents also have quick access to nearby communities such as Conroe and The Woodlands.
Grand Central Park
A variety of homes, nearby retail and dining and an abundance of outdoor space are all part of Grand Central Park, a 2,046-acre master planned community just 5 miles north of The Woodlands along I-45 and S. Loop 336.
The outdoor amenities are stunning. The 2,000-plus acres of wooded land features seven lakes – led by the 88-acre Grand Lake – and 10 miles of trails. Hiking, biking, jogging and fishing are among the many outdoor activities enjoyed every day in Grand Central Park.
The development is planned for approximately 1,700 single-family homes, townhomes and patio homes. Nine builders offer a variety of designs, with prices ranging from the $190,000s to the $600,000s.
Excellent shopping opportunities abound, as well as a 560,000-square-foot-center called 336 Marketplace, which includes many national retail and restaurant options.
The Lake House, currently under construction, will be a popular gathering place, and include a fitness center, pool, clubhouse and yoga lawn when open.
Residents also get to know each other through activities planned by the Director of Fun, such as holiday celebrations, book club and wine club.
This South Montgomery County development has been named one of the Top 50 selling master-planned communities in the U.S., featuring homes from 11 nationally known builders.
With a convenient location at Grand Parkway and Rayford Road, Harmony is close to medical facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, schools and entertainment venues.
Homes in Harmony begin at the mid-$200,000s price range and feature townhomes, patio homes, traditional family styles and gated residences.
On-site amenities in the 1,000-acre development include:
- Two on-site pools and recreation centers – Barefoot Park, which features a resort-style pool, covered pavilion, splash pad, a Sport Court, tennis court and a playground that is shaded; and The Thicket, which also has a resort-style pool, 5,100-square-foot clubhouse and a tree-lined playground.
- Parks, plus access to the Spring Creek Greenway for hiking and biking.
- On-site early education centers and three schools that are part of the Conroe Independent School District.
- On-site fire station.
- Restaurants, a pediatrician’s office and other attractions at the entrance of the community.
- Also, a Lifestyle Director is in charge of organizing a variety of community-building activities.