Developing Houston: Into the Woods

by Melanie Kalmar

Set in a pristine forest, off the beaten path, is a master-planned community that gives residents little reason to leave home; most of life’s conveniences are a golf cart ride away.

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Woodforest by award-winning Johnson Development Corporation offers all categories of buyers—from first time to move-up to luxury and adults aged 55 plus—new construction in up-and-coming Montgomery County. “It’s a lifestyle destination,” says Virgil Yoakum, senior vice president of Woodforest Development. “You can come here, relax, take a deep breath and decompress.”

From 2012 to today, Johnson Development has sold more than 350 homes each year at Woodforest  and it’s easy to see why. The community checks all the boxes on buyers’ must-have lists: prime location, high-performing schools, new construction by the country’s top homebuilders and fantastic amenities. “We have created multi-generational lifestyles,” Yoakum says. “Children are moving here to be near their parents and grandparents are moving here because of their grandchildren.”

Buyers can choose from townhomes, luxury patio homes, single-family and custom-built properties, priced from $200,000 to $2 million, by such renowned builders as: Chesmar; Lennar; Perry; Gracepoint; Huntington; Brooks Harris; Jeff Paul; Mary Ross and Tipler.

One-of-a-kind amenities

Woodforest’s exciting amenities inspire neighbors to go outside and experience nature in all its glory. “Everyone is friendly here and willing to welcome people who are new and make them part of the community,” says Alisha Darby, new home consultant with Chesmar Homes-Cheswood Forest at Woodforest.  Living up to the tagline “creating environments that celebrate life,” the community has a full-time “director of fun” who plans activities that keep residents busy year-round, making wonderful memories with their families and each other.  

Shaded by a canopy of mature trees, more than 13.5 miles of scenic hiking and biking trails connect residents to the area’s 11 uniquely themed parks, which include an ADA accessible playground and a scooter park that makes it easy for parents to watch their kids while they zip around the track.

Perfect your swing or learn how to play the game at Woodforest Golf Club, a 27-hole championship golf course designed by PGA veteran Steve Elkington. “The golf is fantastic,” says realtor Eric Depoy of Depoy Realty Group, Keller Williams The Woodlands. “I’m a golfer and appreciate good courses.”

Open to the public, the three-course greens accommodate both beginning and seasoned golfers. Flanked by fragrant pine trees and gorgeous, mature oaks, Woodforest has hosted major professional and amateur tournaments. In 2019, the Dallas Morning News ranked it sixth among thousands of public golf courses across Texas. Dress for success at the pro shop, named “Outstanding Golf Shop” by The Association of Golf Merchandisers. Or relax and have a drink in the 10,000 square-foot clubhouse.

The Stampede Sportsplex, which is managed by the Woodforest Owner’s Association and the Houston Dynamo/Dash Youth Soccer Club, features three soccer fields for youth clubs to practice and hold competitions. In the near future, Johnson Development will add additional athletic fields for various other sports. “It will drive a lot of people into the neighborhood who don’t live here and make them realize this is a fantastic place where they should live,” Darby says.

Destined to become a resident favorite is Woodforest’s Christine Allen Nature Park, an ethereal venue for music festivals and art fairs. At nighttime, festoon lights glisten in the trees, creating the perfect backyard setting for catching up with neighbors, sharing a picnic at the long, rustic table or making s’mores by the firepit.

The community has an outlet for residents of all ages who want to keep active. Woodforest Island is a 16-acre tennis and aquatic center, featuring two tennis courts, a basketball court, an enormous free- form pool with tanning shelves, a 42-foot slide tower and splash areas. The recreation center includes a lap pool for exercise and competitive swimming, as well as a sundeck for relaxing.

Woodforest also boasts a splash pad for little ones to cool off in summertime, a pond with catch-and-release fishing and a dog park to leave four-legged friends satisfied and, perhaps more importantly, tired. It’s amenities like Stampede Sportsplex, the nature park and golf course, which are open to the public, that Yoakum thinks will turn Woodforest into a regional destination, drawing more businesses and retailers to the community.

Convenient location

“What we typically see throughout Woodforest is people who want to enjoy nature, the amenities and peace and quiet yet still be close enough to The Woodlands and Lake Conroe,” Darby says. A shopping, employment and entertainment hub, The Woodlands is about a 15-minute drive away. Lake Conroe, a haven for water sports enthusiasts, clocks in at about 10 minutes by car. “Woodforest is a complete community,” Yoakum says. “You don’t have to go far to get to the grocery store, Target or Home Depot.”

Being located near major thoroughfares I-45 and Grand Parkway 99 makes Woodforest convenient for residents who commute to work in the city or need to be close to the airport. It’s about a 45-minute drive to Houston and approximately a half hour to Bush Intercontinental Airport. For these reasons, in the past four years, Darby has sold a lot of townhomes to flight attendants, pilots and buyers who travel often for work. Based on her high referral ratio at Woodforest, she has been nominated “2019 Salesperson of the Year” by the Greater Houston Builders Association.

Why buyers are taking the leap

In Depoy’s opinion, Woodforest’s onsite elementary school, fire station, church, mixed-use retail establishments and the major grocery store slated to open soon help motivate buyers to establish roots in the area. “I’ve been a part of Woodforest since it started 10 years ago,” Depoy says, noting that he has sold a number of homes for custom builders. “One of my clients is resident number thirteen. They have since moved up in the community and are on their second house now.” After carefully listening to a relocation client from Arkansas tell him about the golf course community they came from and how much they enjoyed living in that type of close-knit environment, Depoy directed a client to Woodforest. The client chose a single-story home for their family of four. It’s a style of home they grew accustomed to back home, and look forward to walking their two kids to school each day.

Desirable schools

Woodforest’s youth attend school onsite at Stewart Elementary. The community is served by the highly rated Conroe Independent School District and Montgomery Independent School district, ranked #1 and #2 respectively among the Best School Districts in Montgomery County by Niche.com. The school districts were singled out based on academics, teachers, clubs and activities, diversity, college prep, and health and safety. Serving residents’ childcare needs are Kiddie Academy and Children’s Lighthouse.

Visit Woodforest today

“Our most important values as a company are providing quality environments to create everlasting lifestyles and memories for the consumer,” Yoakum says. “We’re not a short-term player. We look at everything long-range and build sustainable communities.”

See firsthand how new construction and modern amenities convene with nature at Woodforest’s model home park, located at 251 Central Pine Street, Montgomery, Texas, 77316 or visit www.woodforesttx.com.

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