Magazine Biz

A Master of Master-Planned Communities: Howard Hughes

Creating something from nothing happens to be the infamous Howard Hughes’ specialty, who has developed 11,400 acres into a residential dream come true

By Abby Pittman

Lakeland Heights 2.jpg
When completed Bridgeland will include more than 20,000 homes.

Creating and developing a master- planned community is a daunting task – the logistics alone can make any person desperately wish they had rethought every career decision leading up to this singular moment of truth. But the Howard Hughes Corporation, a master of master-planned developers, and a long time business powerhouse, has once again created acres and acres of something out of nothing.

Pictured here is one of Highland Homes 18 single-family homes on 80’ lots.

“The inspiration for Bridgeland was to create a community that combines masterful design with a dedicated environmental and sustainable approach, which not only fosters connections between neighbors, but also focuses nature and the outdoors essential elements of daily life,” Heath Melton, Vice President of Master-Planned Communities, Residential at The Howard Hughes Corporation, explained.

Located in Cypress, Texas, and nestled within one of Houston’s fastest growing corridors, Bridgeland is situated along 3,000 acres of devoted and protected outdoor space. Bridgeland’s amenities help foster an enhanced lifestyle where community and nature thrive. Throughout the development, green space can be found no more than a quarter mile from each home site, allowing residents easy access to parks and open play areas.

The Villa Patio Homes will offer seven open floor plan options plus elevations insprired by mid-century modern styles.

When completed, Bridgeland will include more than 20,000 homes for 65,000 residents, with more than 3,000 acres devoted to lakes, trails, and open spaces. Additional community amenities include a Junior Olympic-sized pool, parks and open play areas, catch and release fishing, full-time activities director, more than 60 miles of interconnecting trails, and 900 acres of lakes and waterways.

Bridgeland will also provide educational opportunities for residents with a comprehensive signage system detailing indigenous plants and animals, flowers to attract butterflies, and “smart” landscape components, such as native plants, to minimize the need for frequent fertilization, irrigation, and maintenance.

Bridgeland is comprised of four distinct villages, each designed with unique characteristics to give residents within the villages pride and a sense of community. “Lakeland Village is the first of our four villages, centered around a theme of abundant lakes, waterways and formal landscaped areas, and connected through a system of trails and iconic bridges,” Melton detailed. “While the bridge theme will continue throughout all of Bridgeland, there are a variety of differences in our next phase – Parkland Village. Based on the overall concept of living within a park, Parkland Village continues Bridgeland’s theme of sustainable development and is inspired by the Prairie School style of architecture and placemaking park space successes such as the Emerald Necklace in Boston. In addition, the Parkland Village experience offers an overall look and feel that is uniquely its own, with looser landscaping that incorporates meadow-like plantings, wildflowers, pockets of forestation, and ornamental grasses layered throughout the village’s open spaces.”

A kitchen from one of eight single-family homes on 80 lots.
Buyers are able to choose form 14 different floor plans to best suit their individual needs.

Within Parkland Village is a trendy neighborhood by Trendmaker Homes. A subsidiary of TRI Pointe Group, Trendmaker Homes is building 47 Villa patio homes on 50’ lots and 18 single-family homes on 80’ lots.

The Villa patio homes will offer seven open floor plan options and elevations inspired by mid-century modern styles. Ranging in size from 2,127 square feet to 2,542 square feet, the one- and two-story homes include two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and two car garages. Prices start at $349,900.

The more traditional styled one- and two-story single-family homes will range in size from 3,614 square feet to 4,932 square feet. Buyers can choose from 14 floor plan options, which include four to five bedrooms, three to four bathrooms, and three-car garages and start at $548,900. Sales are currently underway at Trendmaker’s neighborhood, with two model homes available for touring daily.

Many houses in Bridgeland offer large sunlit windows, a popular amenity for prospective buyers.

“Trendmaker has been a builder partner in Bridgeland since the community began in 2006, and we are now building in the current sections of Hidden Creek and Parkland Village,” said Joe Mandola, President at Trendmaker Homes.

“We are thrilled to be offering our homes in such a popular, well-respected master-planned community with a developer that has a reputation for creating thoughtful places to live. The community offers buyers not only a close connection to nature, but easy access to Houston, schools, shopping, and employment. We are seeing a wide range of interest from second- and third-time move-up buyers and empty nesters, to business professionals and families.”

Providing a little something for every buyer, Bridgeland leaves no bridges burned. “Collaboration is key to building a cohesive, high-quality community,” Melton said. “We work closely with our builder partners on design features that will complement each neighborhood appropriately while offering unique architectural features that buyers desire, often not available in surrounding communities. These design features are also carried into our commercial buildings, schools, and churches to create continuity throughout Bridgeland.”

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Collaboration, and having a clear design or ‘look’ in mind, is key to having a cohesive, thoughtfully developed master-planned community. Bridgeland will continue to make headway as lots are sold and built, with full build out estimated to be 2040. Future phases will include Creekland Village and Prairieland Village, which also will have unique design features. “As our home sales continue to increase year-over-year, we plan to capitalize on this momentum and are forecasting to sell a record number of homes in 2019,” Melton said. “This accomplishment should also move us to the top-selling MPC in Houston.” But, they will cross that bridge when they come to it. For now, for more information on Bridgeland, please visit the website www.

Abby Pittman is Editor for Builder and Developer Magazine. She may be reached at

To view this feature in the magazine, please click here.

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