Texas Master Planned Community Developers Buy the Farm — Literally — to Compete for Business

Young woman on the market
As more families seek luxury homes with plenty of amenities inside and outside, master planned community developers are becoming more competitive in terms of what they can offer their residents. Nowhere is that more evident than in Houston, TX, where some of the top developers in the nation are competing for business with more and more specialized amenities.

One that is sure to attract eco-friendly families and individuals is Johnson Development Corp.’s latest master planned community in development, Harvest Green. As the city’s first “agri-hood,” the community will feature a working farm, a farm-to-table restaurant, and an events barn for weddings, birthday parties, and other celebrations.

Harvest Green, which will have up to 2,000 homes, will be located on 1,300 acres of corn and cotton fields off the Grand Parkway and West Airport Boulevard. The Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) co-op farm will sit on four to five acres, be managed by professional farmers and produce fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to about 70 CSA member households, to start.

Also included in the community is another nearby 300-acre farmland to support more households in the future.

The neighborhood is the brainchild not only of Johnson Development but its consultant Daron Joffe. Also known as “Farmer D,” Joffe is an eco-entrepreneur from South Africa who has created several sustainable properties in the past.

Environmentally friendly homes are big for home buyers these days. For example, those who obtain a green certification label for their homes are likely to see an average of 9% more resale value than those with outdated or energy inefficient home fixtures.

Yet it’s not only the environmental factor that influenced Johnson Development to break ground on Harvest Green. Health also sells, especially among younger home buyers.

“We’re seeing a generational shift where the younger generation is a little more concerned about health and healthy eating,” said Shay Shafie, general manager of Harvest Green. “We wanted to build a healthy place and make agriculture a big part of the community.”

Giving residents the opportunity for plenty of physical activity also influences home buyers to choose one master planned community over another, no matter where they live in Texas, especially.

In San Antonio, Brass Real Estate Funds, along with Convergence Communities of Wyoming, is planning a $100 million master planned community on more than 880 acres situated among two golf courses, the Briggs Ranch Golf Club and Golf Club of Texas.

Although that project won’t break ground for another 14 to 18 months, another community in Houston is expected to open in June this year.

Woodson’s Reserve, built by the Toll Brothers, will feature plenty of indoor and outdoor amenities for residents, including a 24-hour fitness center, a dog park and a resort-style pool, along with tree-lined lakes perfect for walks with the family.

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