Bridgeland Community, Texas

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Bridgeland Community is an 11,401-acre (46.14 km2) master-planned community under construction in unincorporated Harris County, Texas to the northwest of Houston between U.S. Highway 290 and Interstate 10. Bisecting Bridgeland will be Segment E of the Grand Parkway, a 15.2-mile thoroughfare that broke ground in 2011 and is expected to open in late 2013.

Planned for 20,000 homes and approximately 65,000 residents,[1] Bridgeland is being developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation, which also develops The Woodlands, Columbia, and Summerlin. Bridgeland was named Community of the Year in 2009 by the National Association of Home Builders and was Developer of the Year in 2011 by the Texas Association of Builders.

History[edit]

The parcel of land now known as Bridgeland is located along the eastern boundary of the Katy Prairie and traversed by a portion of the Cypress Creek riparian corridor. In the mid-1800s, European settlers began to establish small farms within the Katy Prairie, growing corn, potatoes and cotton and raising cattle. The land primarily became used for rice farming during the 1940s and through the next two decades. After rice production ceased, the fields were converted to improved pastures to provide foraging areas for cattle.[2] Approximately 10,167 acres were purchased for development in 2003 and sales of new homes in Bridgeland began in 2006. An addition of 1,234 acres acquired in 2007 increased the development’s total acreage to 11,401 acres.

Geography[edit]

Bridgeland comprises 11,401 acres of flat to gently rolling terrain in northwest Harris County. It is located on and along the eastern margins of the Katy Prairie. The property’s northern boundary abuts the Cypress Creek Corridor. In addition to Cypress Creek, other existing natural and constructed features of note include Mallard Lake and Ramey Lake, Longenbaugh Pond, Langham Creek and the K-150 Canal. Developers follow a detailed conservation plan to protect the area’s natural features, many of which are being incorporated into the community’s amenity plan. The Bridgeland master plan details 3,000 acres of open and/or recreation space, including 900 acres of lakes.

Recreation[edit]

Bridgeland’s master plan provides for abundant recreational choices for residents. Already open is the first of four planned recreation complexes — Lakeland Activity Center, which includes a freeform pool, junior Olympic-size pool, spray park, tower slides and diving platforms, as well as tennis courts, a playground and a 6,000-square-foot clubhouse that offers meeting rooms and a full fitness center.

More than 60 miles of trails are planned for the community, with many miles already open, including the first phase of Cypress Creek Nature Trail, a wooded trail in the Cypress Creek Corridor that has educational signage and wildlife observation areas.

Bridgeland residents can enjoy catch-and-release fishing and non-motorized boating on Lake Bridgeland and the 200-acre Cypress Lake. Residents have complimentary use of seasonally available canoes, kayaks, sailboats, fishing equipment and other recreational items.

Dozens of parks already exist in Bridgeland, with the master plan providing park space no more than a quarter mile from each homesite. The 30-acre Oak Meadow Park includes a 10-acre disc golf course and Festival Park offers a concert pavilion. Bridgeland’s array of parks also includes themed parks, such as Butterfly Garden, Central Park, Maze Garden and a formal Rose Garden.

Bridgeland also has planned sites for churches within the community including "The Crossing At Cypress" which launches in 2014. The Crossing will meet in the Bridgeland Elementary School right in the heart of the Bridgeland Community. Learn more at www.crossingchurch.tv

Special Events[edit]

Bridgeland hosts several large-scale events each year attended by residents and others from the surrounding area. Nature Fest began in 2008 and has been attended by more than 16,000 people since its inception. Each year, proceeds have benefited the Katy Prairie Conservancy and Habitat for Humanity Northwest Harris County, with the event raising approximately $18,000 for the two organizations through 2011. The event moved from a fall activity to the spring in 2011. The 2012 event takes place April 28.

The development debuted Howl-O-Ween Fest in 2009, an annual event for dogs, dog owners and other animal lovers. To date, more than 9,000 people have attended the Howl-O-Ween Fest, which has raised thousands for local pet rescue groups. The community embarks on the next event Oct. 27, 2012.

Nearly 3,000 athletes have competed in the annual Bridgeland Triathlon, a USA Triathlon-sanctioned race that began in 2009. The next triathlon is scheduled for Aug. 5, 2012.

Education[edit]

Students in Bridgeland’s first village to be developed, Lakeland Village, attend schools in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. For the 2010-2011 school year, campuses serving the community are Warner Elementary School, Smith Middle School and Cypress Ranch High School. District trustees have approved the 2012 construction start of Elementary No. 53, to be built on a 14.5-acre parcel of land located in Bridgeland.[3] Pope Elementary opened in August 2013, it is the first of nine on-site schools planned. Bridgeland’s master plan also includes on-site preschools and childcare facilities.

Future phases of Bridgeland will be served by Katy Independent School District and the Waller Independent School District.

Villages[edit]

Lakeland Village[edit]

Bridgeland’s master plan comprises four distinct villages: Lakeland Village (under development now), Creekland Village, Prairieland Village and Parkland Village. Each village will have clusters of neighborhoods anchored by a village center with amenities, retail, restaurants and more. Schools and parks also will be strategically located within each village.

Central to all villages will be Bridgeland Town Center, offering residents a convenient place to shop, work and have fun. The town center may include hospitals, schools, retail, entertainment, employment and more.

Lakeland Village consists of the following sections (neighborhoods):

  • The Shores: The Shores is located approximately two miles west of Bridgeland’s main entry on North Bridgeland Lake Parkway at Fry Road. It was the first community of new homes to be offered in Bridgeland and is slated for just under 600 homes. Surrounded by more than 100 acres of lakes, The Shores is located across the street from Oak Meadow Park and Cypress Creek Trail. House-Hahl Trail also runs through the neighborhood. Several playgrounds also are located within The Shores.
  • First Bend: First Bend is located off North Bridgeland Lake Parkway approximately 1.5 miles from Bridgeland’s main entry. The community welcomed its first residents in May 2007. First Bend has 402 homesites in six separate neighborhoods and is surrounded by more than 60 acres of lakes. The community also is home to Turtle Lane and Butterfly Garden.
  • The Cove: The Cove is located just west of The Shores along North Bridgeland Lake Parkway. It will be home to a Cy-Fair ISD elementary school, planned to open in August 2013.[4] The Cove also features areas that are unique within Bridgeland’s master plan, including an aromatic garden, an island park, a formal rose garden and a lakeside maze. A central park area offers one of several open play fields, a playground with equipment for toddlers and older children and a rain garden with butterfly houses. Bordering the park is an extension of the House-Hahl Trail, with several reforestation-planting beds to enhance the area’s landscape. Bridgeland’s model home park also is located in The Cove.
  • Water Haven: Water Haven is located just west of The Cove along North Bridgeland Lake Parkway. Development of the community started in 2010. Water Haven devotes approximately 22 acres to parks, most of which will offer playground equipment. The House-Hahl Trail also weaves through Water Haven.
  • Lakeland Heights: Lakeland Heights is located on Fry Road just south of Bridgeland’s main entrance. It was introduced in 2010 as a Traditional Neighborhood Development. In designing Lakeland Heights, architectural firm Looney Ricks Kiss extensively researched traditional Houston neighborhoods, including West University Place, The Heights, Southampton and Southside Place, for architectural inspiration. The result is an unincorporated community that incorporates Craftsman, English Tudor, Classical and French housing styles to create neighborhoods that appear to have evolved over time. The community is planned for 350 homes and will also include Lakeland Heights Village Center, which will be home to retail, restaurants and services. Lakeland Heights is adjacent to Lakeland Activity Center and has several public spaces, including Central Park, Rabbit Run, Waterway Park and Festival Park, which offers a performance pavilion for community concerts and other productions.

References[edit]

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