Houston developer launches 1,200-home community in Brazoria County with focus on affordability

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A Houston-based developer focused on entry-level buyers has announced a planned community for 1,200 homes in the village of Bonney along the Texas 288 corridor north of Angleton as part of its ambitious growth plans in the Houston market.

Maple Development Group will break ground this year on the 433-acre Pecan Ranch development on the west side of Texas 288 near County Road 48 in Brazoria County. The first phase will have 500 lots with the first units available in the first or second quarter of 2023.

Homes will be built on 40ft and 50ft wide lots to allow builders to keep prices down. The builders have not yet been named.

Growth in housing starts on lots 50 feet or less has outpaced larger lots in the Houston area over the past year, according to housing data firm Zonda. The average base price for a new home in Houston hit $398,000 in the first quarter, a 20% jump on the year.

“Affordability is front and center today. Homebuyers are overpriced,” said Maple Development CEO Itiel Kaplan. “In today’s prices, it’s the width of the lots you need to be able to sell a house in the $200,000 and $300,000 range.”

The community fits Maple Development’s criteria of being located near major roads in the path of growth with access to major employers. It is about 35 miles south of Houston, halfway between Texas Medical Center and Freeport. The land, which was used for cattle grazing, was purchased from the Avex Group in Dallas in December.

Kaplan, who was born and raised in Israel, developed projects in New York before coming to Houston in late 2017 to focus on residential land development. After starting with a small community in southeast Houston, the company set its criteria for future projects with Maple Heights, a 900-lot development in the Porter/New Caney area where Century Communities is building homes. The company aims to develop communities between 200 and 500 acres that can be brought to market relatively quickly.

Pecan Ranch, located in the Angleton Independent School District, joins another recent development in Bonney: Pradera Oaks, a community of new rental homes near Wan Bridge.

With an emphasis on healthy living, plans include walking trails, parks and dog runs, a clubhouse, playground, and community pool. The developer provided three acres of land to the town of Bonney for public safety purposes, such as a police or fire station. Commercial development is planned near Texas 288.

Prices are expected to range from $290,000 to $410,000, depending on the developer.

Pecan Ranch is among five communities slated to start in the next 18 months, according to Kaplan. The company has a pipeline of around 7,000 lots with another 1,000 to come.

Then it will start this year at Maple Grove in the Brookshire area. Other communities under construction include Maple View in Alvin, Maple Woods and Maple Reserve.

Investors in the private company Maple Development include capital groups from Israel, Latin America, the East Coast and Houston.

The logistics park is growing

Liberty Development Partners, a venture between Houston-based Connor Investment Real Estate and Dayton-based Logistics and Development Resources, has acquired CMC Railroad and Gulf Inland Logistics Park, a 1,158-acre industrial park near Grand Parkway and the ‘US 90 northeast of Houston.

The park, which is served by BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad, will be transformed into a manufacturing, distribution, storage and transportation center for industrial companies. Trez Capital provided a $66.5 million loan for the acquisitions.

Cushman & Wakefield represented Liberty Development Partners in the acquisition of the property and will lead marketing efforts and provide brokerage and advisory services for the development.

EYP acquired

Two architectural firms operating in Houston have joined forces.

Page, based in Washington, DC, announced the acquisition of EYP of Albany, NY. The combined company, which will operate as Page, will have more than 1,300 employees worldwide. Page has 210 employees in Houston, while EYP has 95.

“Bringing our two companies together allows us to work on increasingly complex projects that benefit from our expertise across disciplines and market sectors,” Page CEO Thomas McCarthy said in a statement.

Page provides architectural, interior design, planning, consulting and engineering services worldwide.

katherine.feser@chron.com


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