News Article | 10/3/2007

Hillwood plans Houston-area development

Hillwood has bought 3,827 acres near Houston for a residential and commercial development, the company said Wednesday.

The property, Sienna Plantation South, between the Brazos River and F.M. 521, is adjacent to the 10,500-acre Sienna Plantation development in Missouri City.

Dallas-based Hillwood’s plans call for 7,000 homes . It said it will set aside 300 acres for commercial use. Hillwood also has allotted room for schools, churches and 1,000 acres for parks and open spaces.

Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

The development marks Hillwood’s first entry into the Houston market.

“What makes it attractive is the Houston job market is similar to Dallas in that the job market is growing tremendously,” Hillwood spokesman David Pelletier said, adding that the Houston area is adding in the realm of 70,000 to 80,000 jobs a year.

The area also just completed the Fort Bend Parkway tollway which gives great access from the planned Hillwood development to Houston’s Central Business District.

“So you can live in this area and get downtown in 25 minutes. You can also get to the medical district and energy district,” Pelletier said.

The property’s proximity to the adjacent Sienna Plantation development also made the property an attractive venture for Hillwood, Pelletier said.

“By the time ours is up and running, theirs will be close to build-out so there’s an opportunity to capture some of that (business) as well,” he said.

Homes in the Hillwood development will sell for $160,000 to $1 million. Homebuilders for the project have not been selected.

Hillwood has begun engineering and initial development work on the property, with construction of infrastructure scheduled to begin next year. The first lots are expected to be available in mid-2009, Hillwood said.

Hillwood is a development company founded by Ross Perot Jr. Its other projects include the $420 million American Airlines Center and Victory development near downtown Dallas and the 17,000-acre AllianceTexas development in and surrounding Fort Worth.