The Woodlands was conceived after the oil industry investor George P. Mitchell. It was dedicated by George P. Mitchell in 1974 and managed by The Woodlands Corporation as an extension of Mitchell Energy & Development. Mitchell, an oil businessman, planned to establish a conference center, hotels, office parks, retail malls, schools, large distribution centers, and golf courses. Houses would range from affordable to expensive and large.
The Woodlands Corporation was acquired in July 1997, by a partnership between Morgan Stanley and Crescent Real Estate Equities. In December 2003, The Rouse Company acquired Crescent's interest, and Rouse was bought by General Growth Properties on November 2004. In 2011 The Woodlands was sold to the Howard Hughes Development Corporation.
The land was previously occupied by the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Mill, hence Grogan's Mill and Cochran's Crossing neighborhoods, called "villages". The original planning utilized many of the planning concepts and design consultants employed in other well-regarded new communities of that era such as Columbia, Maryland, Irvine Ranch, California and Reston, Virginia. The original development plan included environmental design principles espoused by Ian McHarg, a distinguished landscape architect, teacher and author of the seminal work Design With Nature.
It continues to grow residentially and commercially as many companies are moving there. In addition to Chevron Phillips, Huntsman, Anadarko, Hewitt Associates, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Mersk Sealand, Chicago Bridge & Iron, M&S Engineering and Woodforest National Bank have set up operations. The Town Center includes shopping and eating facilities, a waterway resembling the San Antonio River Walk, and water taxis known as "Waterway Cruisers" that are enclosed and cooled for added comfort.
The Woodlands offers many entertainment venues including two movie theaters, over 150 restaurants, a publicly accessible waterway, dancing waterfalls with music, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, summer home of the Houston Symphony and catering for many large acts (rock bands to classical). The Woodlands Waterway will eventually be more than 1/2 mile long, reaching from The Woodlands Mall around to Lake Woodlands and with wide, lighted sidewalks along both sides and Waterway Taxis. Other attractions include Market Street, an old style "Main Street" pedestrian shopping district, home to a movie theater and a variety of shops and restaurants. The Woodlands Mall borders the waterway and is adjacent to Market Street, forming a large pedestrian-friendly shopping district. Each of the "villages" in The Woodlands has its own shopping center with a core grocery store and shops, banks, gas, restaurants, etc.
Click the SUBDIVISIONS tab above for the stats on the major subdivision in The Woodlands Area and direct access to current listing in each subdivision.
The Woodlands Area Facts
- Population: 112,505
- Total Households: 41,849
- Deed Restrictions: Enforced
- Government: The Woodlands Township, Montgomery County Sheriff and Harris County, Precinct 4
- Education: Conroe ISD and Tomball ISD
- Rush Hour Drive to Downtown: 45 minutes