What's Driving The Woodlands?
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The success of Springwoods Village and The Woodlands isn’t just from Exxon’s campus or the live/work/play environment. Caldwell Cos CEO Fred Caldwell (snapped with colleague Ronnie Hale at Bisnow’s Future of The Woodlands and Springwoods Village event yesterday) says there are a confluence of factors driving the success of the area. Rapid population growth is a major one, and healthcare activity and a strong education system (including college programs) are big factors. And although everyone talks about the Grand Parkway creating demand, Fred says building it is a continuation of what’s been going on in the region a long time, not the cause of the boom.
The population of Montgomery County is expected to double in 15 to 20 years, says Marcus & Millichap’s Nate Newman (whom we found with colleague Aaron Morris and Chicago Title’s Steve Sapio). That creates lots of opportunities for everyone, he says, especially apartment and retail developers. (Multifamily isn’t an option so much in The Woodlands proper, but the general area—especially along 1488—is blowing up with apartments.) Investors see The Woodlands as a flight to quality, stable, and supply-constrained so cap rates are down. Last week, Nate talked to a New York investor who didn’t want to buy in Houston right now, but said he would do deals in The Woodlands.
700 attendees joined us yesterday at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott. The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership CEO Gil Staley shared some fast facts on the area: In 2015, new businesses entering The Woodlands will add 1,650 jobs and 567k SF of office. Expansions are adding 1,011 jobs and more than 1M SF of office. There’s 1.1M SF of spec office under construction or recently completed, and 225k SF of spec industrial. Class-A office ended with 6% vacancy and $33.17 rents.
We've got more coverage from our event on Monday!