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Grand Parkway opens up unique opportunity for Tomball master-planned community

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Grand Parkway opens up unique opportunity for Tomball master-planned community

By Paul Takahashi| Houston Business Journal

In 1994, Hank DeShazer bought 360 acres of undeveloped land to build his ranch in Tomball. Back then, the local businessman paid a mere $1,350 an acre for the property, and eventually turned his ranch into a multimillion-dollar equestrian business.

For more than two decades, DeShazer Arabian Horse Farm bred, raised and sold Egyptian Arabian horses for a half-million dollars apiece. Sheikhs and other royalty would fly over from the Middle East to inspect and purchase the racehorses from DeShazer’s show barns.

Fast forward 22 years. Tomball’s bucolic countryside, once dotted with horses and cattle, is now in the path of Houston’s residential growth. Developers, spurred by the opening of the Grand Parkway, are building new master- planned communities across the northwest Houston region to meet growing demand for new homes.

“Everything’s changed out here,” DeShazer said. “(Highway) 99 did it. It’s a game changer.”

DeShazer has decided to hang up his cowboy hat and get out of the horse business. He listed his now 344-acre property for $60,000 an acre, which, if sold at that price would fetch a whopping 4,344 percent return.

DeShazer is under contract to sell his ranch to Harrigan Development Partners LLC, which plans to redevelop his property into a one-of-a-kind amenity for its new master-planned community.

Rosehill Reserve, located off FM 2920 between state highways 290 and 249, will span 670 acres once the acquisition of DeShazer’s ranch is closed in June.

Harrigan plans to convert a 6,000-square-foot show barn and 7,000-square- foot breeding barn into a five-acre amenity center called The Reserve. The community center will feature a residents clubhouse with a banquet hall and homeowners association offices, a courtyard with games and a resort-style pool for residents.

Plans for a covered basketball court, playground and fitness center are also being considered. Other community amenities include lakes, parks, splash pads and trails.

“When we saw this property, we knew this would be the focal point of the neighborhood,” said developer Christopher Gilbert. “We could have built a new recreation center or repurposed what we have here, but we knew what we had to do. We have an amenity that most developers can’t build.”

Harrigan is currently developing the first 282 lots for nearly 1,600 homes planned for the new community. The developer is working with five homebuilders — Ashton Woods, CalAtlantic Homes, Drees Custom Homes, Highland Homes and Mihomes — to build homes from the $250,000s to $800,000s. Model homes will be ready for preview in May with the firstmove-ins planned in 2017.

As for DeShazer, he’s not fully retiring yet. He is keeping about 10 acres in front of FM 2920 to develop into a commercial site — three restaurants, bars and shops — for Rosehill Reserve.

 

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