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East Shore The Woodlands


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http://www.thewoodlandsreport.com/news/bet...20040602_02.htm

June 2, 2004, 5:21PM

Woodlands rolls out new development plans

Lake project to begin building of first section

By BETH KUHLES

Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

EAST SHORE

It has been affectionately dubbed Mount Woodlands. But the pile of dirt on the East Shore of Lake Woodlands soon will be transformed into a new urban community with opportunities for residents to stroll down replicas of some of the most famous streets in the country.

The Woodlands Operating Co. recently unveiled its plans for public amenities on the East Shore of Lake Woodlands to The Woodlands Association at its annual retreat. In addition to estate homes, row houses and townhomes, a new breed of parks is being planned for the latest addition to The Woodlands' downtown.

Urban living

"East Shore is a downtown area, but it will be more of a garden district," said Robert Heineman, senior vice president of planning for The Woodlands Operating Co. "This is going to be different than the rest of the neighborhoods in The Woodlands. It will be more pedestrian friendly, with an emphasis on architecture."

The developer plans to make the East Shore of Lake Woodlands a showcase of 2,000 residential units, with the urban living of Town Center at the front door and the natural elements of the community at the back door.

This development is expected to stretch from Woodlands Parkway to north of Research Forest Drive, across from the Hewitt Associates complex. There are also plans for commercial opportunities on Grogan's Mill Road, south of Research Forest.

Heineman said the proposed development would be reminiscent of River Oaks and North and South Boulevards in Houston, Oak Park in Chicago, Point Park in St. Louis, Clifton in Cincinnati and Back Bay in Boston.

First phase

Plans for the first section of East Shore, a peninsula that lies just north of Woodlands Parkway, are nearly finalized. It includes three new parks, a central boulevard leading to the lake and a traditional pathway right on the lake. All of the amenities will be open to the public.

"The forest has been the unifying element in the community," Heineman said. "The forest has defined the open spaces. As we get into Town Center and as we get into East Shore, architecture plays more of a role ... Rather than buildings surrounded by open space, what we are trying to create is open space defined by architecture and more interesting landscapes. We are creating outdoor rooms defined by landscapes and streetscapes."

More lake access

Out are the traditional parks with playground equipment, tennis and basketball courts and soccer fields. In are gardens, sculptures, arbors, water features, open spaces, sidewalks, entryways and decorative pavers.

East Shore Drive, a major new lake loop road going in just north of Woodlands Parkway on Grogan's Mill Road and ending at Lake Front Circle, will provide unobstructed views of Lake Woodlands for drivers and pedestrians. A traditional 8-foot pathway will be built parallel to the shore, unlike the limited opportunities for lakeside access on the West Shore.

"We will bring roads, sideways and pathways to the lake," said Jim Wendt, also of the planning department of The Woodlands Operating Co. "It will provide more access to the lake."

At the tip of the peninsula will be a long, narrow park on the lake, to be called East Shore Point. The landscaped area will include benches, lighting, shade structures and a pier out over the water, Wendt said.

While East Shore Point is open to the public, there are plans for an East Shore Club, with swimming facilities and a boat house, that will be located on the lake but open only to East Shore residents, Wendt said.

Another major road leading into East Shore from Woodlands Parkway is East Bay Boulevard, which will provide a long linear view to the lake. The neighborhood will be patterned after the row houses found in Charleston, S.C., where front porches seem to spill out onto the streets. While the center of the boulevard will have colorful landscaping, trees and grass, there will be shaded sidewalks featuring all

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Heineman said the proposed development would be reminiscent of River Oaks and North and South Boulevards in Houston, Oak Park in Chicago, Point Park in St. Louis, Clifton in Cincinnati and Back Bay in Boston.

Translation = these are going to be some pretty pricey digs, baby!

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  • 1 year later...

I'd say one of the greatest ammenities of East Shore is the proximity to Wal-Mart, which I believe there are several of to choose from in the Woodlands area. They could possibly use this as a selling pitch. Yes, people will initially be attracted to the meticulously planned beauty of East Shore, however, the thing that will finalize their decision to buy real estate there will be the convenience of the Wal-Mart shopping within a few miles of the community!

I really hope Wal-Mart closes at least one of its stores there in the next few years. People in the Woodlands do not like that store enough to justify 3 stores. I'd like them to close all 3, but nobody is that lucky.

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:D

unfortunately, all the walmarts are constantly packed. the new walmart at 2978 looks better than your average walmart and now walmart has unveiled a new "upscale" prototype in plano. wouldn't it be crazy if the new "better than average looking" walmart at 2978 is formatted after the new prototype?

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I don't see how the Wal-Marts are all packed. The Woodlands is about quality and aesthetics and Wal-Mart has neither. But back on topic, I didn't even know about East Shore until today. How far along is it? I can't wait to see how it looks.

I think that with this and the new buildings going up along the Waterway, the Woodlands needs to draft a plan to incorporate. If it does this, it will be a one-of-a-kind edge city in America.

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there are homes under contruction and on the boards in east shore that are taking/will take the better part of a year to build. there is a "brownstone" development that people are moving in to and town homes going up. there are street lights in and hundreds of trees. if you go to the woodlands website http://www.thewoodlands.com/#moviestop and click on the east shore link. there is an interactive layout of the current phase of development.

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  • 2 months later...
I don't see how the Wal-Marts are all packed. The Woodlands is about quality and aesthetics and Wal-Mart has neither. But back on topic, I didn't even know about East Shore until today. How far along is it? I can't wait to see how it looks.

I think that with this and the new buildings going up along the Waterway, the Woodlands needs to draft a plan to incorporate. If it does this, it will be a one-of-a-kind edge city in America.

So, those rich and ritzy people still would shop at Walmart. Not all of the Woodlands is upscale.

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I don't see how the Wal-Marts are all packed. The Woodlands is about quality and aesthetics and Wal-Mart has neither.

Q & A doesn't really matter when it comes to buying cokes, toilet paper, and laundry detergent. Its all the same, why pay more?

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If anyone (and I'm sure some of you have) has read any of the "Millionaire Next Door" books they would realize that rich people simply live BELOW their means. Its as simple as that. I'm not surprised that residents of TW shop there at all.

And as a future millionaire myself I can say I shop in there also. WHy would I spend $4.00 on a box of cereal at Randall's when I can get it at Walmart for $2? It just doesn't make economical sense.

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I was hoping to talk more about East Shore, but to reply to what's been said, I believe that people would give more of their money to a store that is locally owned, or, if a corporation, is more locally sensitive, environmentally sensitive, and has a more pleasant shopping ambiance. The people in The Woodlands can afford the difference in laundry detergent prices or a two dollar difference in cereal prices. Truthfully, I wasn't even impressed with Wal-Mart's prices the last time I was in there. The lower priced stuff was junk, and the name brand stuff like Kellogg's Cereal or whatever was the same price as in any other store such as H.E.B.

Why would you want to support a store that cut down every tree on the property, between the store and the road in a community that is famous for preserving its natural beauty? I wouldn't. Shop at H.E.B. They are more of a regional store, have good prices, and the quality of their produce and meats is far better. Even if you just need toilet paper, shop at H.E.B. They deserve your money more than WM does.

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Hey, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, my mother dated one of the H.E.B. brothers. Just a little F.Y.I. But only at Wally's World can you find a giant bin full of some awesome movies for a few bucks. Lethal Weapon, Used Cars, Total Recal, Harlem Nights, etc, etc. In fact, I think over 90% of my DVD collection came from low priced bin at Wal-Mart. So what if a few trees were injured or cut down in the building of this facility. Perhaps mothernature sould have designed trees to defend themselves before she created her next abomination, Man! Oh, well I'm not going to lose sleep over it. In fact I think I'll watch one of my newest movies I picked up from there the other day. :D

Edited by new major on the block
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http://www.grogansmillvillage.com/ne_walmart.htm

there have been meetings with walmart and grogan's mill residents. the items covered are at the link above. although it doesn't seem that the meeting went well, walmart claims that they are keepin a 100 foot buffer between the new development and the high oaks neighborood as well as preserving many of the large oak trees on the property.

east shore is going to be stately. the garden trails running through the neighborhood are inviting as are the parks. some of the townhomes and apartments are very close to woodlands parkway and grogan's mill. also, wulfe & co own the property fronting grogan's mill and in front of east shore. it will be interesting to see if they are sensitive to other developments around the area. there is no retail at this intersection. in fact, most of the office buildings are completely hidden behind trees and bushes.

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They are having some problems moving the homes at the pricepoints they are setting there in East Shore.

I thought it would be a easy sell. Lake front, right off 45 and WP, but people just aren't buying like they hoped. Especially in the condo area.

To make matters worse, the builders that are building there are delaying many of their owners more than a year and a half triggering a rather large sell-off of home sites.

I think it will even out with time as the development progresses.

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"The forest has been the unifying element in the community," Heineman said. "The forest has defined the open spaces. As we get into Town Center and as we get into East Shore, architecture plays more of a role ... Rather than buildings surrounded by open space, what we are trying to create is open space defined by architecture and more interesting landscapes. We are creating outdoor rooms defined by landscapes and streetscapes."

Translation: "The Woodlands was originally themed around lots of trees, and we ran out of land with trees on it, so in an effort to squeeze every last buck out of the existing land, we're starting a new neighborhood without any trees to speak of, simply so we can make as much money as possible."

Oh, and...

"And we'll throw in a couple token, tree-less parks to give lip service to the nature theme."

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I'm still not sure what style and time period that East Shore is trying to emulate. Is it colonial or southern/deep south? Or is it a modern look that is being compared to because it bears some resemblance to the older American styles?

As for the trees, even though they are the unifying element in the Woodlands, I wouldn't say they're the only thing that makes it appealing. You could have a road with nothing but clutter and business sprawl running through the Woodlands without cutting down any trees and people would hate it.

As for the lack of trees in East Shore, I don't see how there can be a section of tree-less land while being completely surrounded by trees, but then it is right up against the lake, and maybe there was a natural clearing right there. Nevertheless, there will still be a backdrop of trees no matter where you are, but it's nice that they are starting to focus more on architectural style with their new residential stuff. My only complaint is that it wasn't done in an Eastern European gothic style.

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if you look at the website, notice the names: charleston park, colonial park, southern coastal. charleston park is classic american. colonial park is southern colonial. the homes along east shore drive will be american coastal styles with spanish, french and english influences. if you haven't checked out the interactive map of east shore, you should. it details the home styles. the east shore website also offers links to websites of each builder. some of the builders' web pages offer renderings and floor plans.

also, the streets of east shore are lined with oak trees. it is by no means "treeless". it is a more formal setting.

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i ran over and took some pictures.

parkineastshore.jpg

a park in east shore

georgiandrive1.jpg

a house on georgian drive

eastshorebrownstones3.jpg

east shore brownstones 1

eastshorebrownstones2.jpg

east shore brownstones 2

eastshorebrownstones1.jpg

east shore brownstones 3

eastshoredrive2.jpg

east shore drive 1

eastshoredrive1.jpg

east shore drive 2

charlestonpark2.jpg

charleston park 1

charlestonpark1.jpg

charleston park 2

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i ran over and took some pictures.

eastshorebrownstones3.jpg

east shore brownstones 1

eastshorebrownstones2.jpg

east shore brownstones 2

eastshorebrownstones1.jpg

east shore brownstones 3

Would anyone mind explaining to me why brownstones are considered attractive? I've run into several folks today that are hot on brownstones...I just don't get it.

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Hmm. That picture of the Brownstone 3 almost looks like any luxury apartment complex in a nice area. When I was reading about East Shore, it said the emphasis would be on architecture, but unless I'm just not looking closely enough, I'm not that impressed with East Shore so far. I'd rather live in one of the other villages with the ordinary houses. Maybe I'm just too picky. If anyone has ever seen the Renoir lofts on Shepherd Dr. as you move through the River Oaks area, I was only mildly impressed with that. I really liked the gothic-looking touches to the shopping center on I-45 just past the Woodlands though. I still feel like creating East Shore with an Eastern European look would have been cooler than a colonial or southern American look. Maybe I should have bought the architects and developers of East Shore a vacation to the Czech Republic before they decided on styles. Something was said about Spanish, English, and French influences. I'm curious to see how that will mix with the American styles.

Maybe I'll like the end product when it's completely finished. I'm still not sure if I'll end up living in an East Shore townhome or an apartment or condo in the Town Center development district. Bachanon, since you live there already, what would you suggest for someone who'd be in his late 20s by the time he got around to moving there? Keep in mind, I wouldn't mind a rental place as well as owning.

Edited by PureAuteur
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The Boardwalk on The Woodlands Waterway might be a good place to start until you get a feel for the area. The prices will be comparable to living in Midtown. You would be right across the waterway from The Pavilion, Market Street, etc. You wouldn't be far from a water taxi stop either.

link

the link takes you to a town center page with a nice rendering of the project. there is a link on the town center page that will take you to the website. it is under construction, but there is quite a bit of info, floorplans and so on that have been added recently.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We get diversity in The Woodlands out of this. However, nature surely suffers as a result. Yes, these type of architectures are appealing to some (not me) who I am afraid will move to other areas of The Woodlands and try to change the neighborhoods. And yes, we have deed restrictions but like one of my neighbors said after I was shocked by her changes to her yard, " it was lacking a theme". So the couple replaced the vegetation with palm trees and conventional sunlit plantscape. Oh yes, there were many tree limbs and small trees that went down. I am unsure if any large ones were cut, because I believe the prior owner managed to remove them. Second and third generation house owners are a threat to the community's forest.

Edited by woody_hawkeye
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And yes, we have deed restrictions but like one of my neighbors said after I was shocked by her changes to her yard, " it was lacking a theme". So the couple replaced the vegetation with palm trees and conventional sunlit plantscape.

And you thought HGTV was a harmless cable channel. :o

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Would anyone mind explaining to me why brownstones are considered attractive? I've run into several folks today that are hot on brownstones...I just don't get it.

Original brownstones, like those built in turn-of-the-century NYC, are beautiful and have a charm and personality that you seldom see in architecture today. The stuff being built in The Woodlands is a thrown-together shadow of the real thing, without the quality, detail, or durability of genuine brownstones. But then, most, if not all, of the construction in The Woodlands is uninspired and built with no real care or attention to detail by builders who hire the cheapest labor they can find, i.e. workers who know how to hammer in a nail and can do it quick. I'm sure the same can be said for neighborhoods all over the country, but having lived in this area for thirty years now and witnessed a lot of it up close and personal, I know that here it is true. Builders these days are more concerned with stuffing their pockets with cash than with creating a lasting work of architectural art. And what are we left with? Crappy, ugly junk buildings that all look the same and will be candidates for a wrecking ball within twenty years.

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If anyone (and I'm sure some of you have) has read any of the "Millionaire Next Door" books they would realize that rich people simply live BELOW their means. Its as simple as that. I'm not surprised that residents of TW shop there at all.

And as a future millionaire myself I can say I shop in there also. WHy would I spend $4.00 on a box of cereal at Randall's when I can get it at Walmart for $2? It just doesn't make economical sense.

:huh: I don't think I've ever seen a cereal $2 less at Wal-Mart than anywhere else?

Even still, gas is almost $3.00 a gallon--if your Randall's is right next door and your Wal-Mart is two miles away, how long will it take before that $2.00 is sucked up? Here is what I found when I shopped at Wal-Mart for groceries: Wal-Mart's meat SUCKS, so I ended up going to Randall's/Kroger/HEB anyway. Kinda defeats the purpose. Good luck though on being a millionaire, I'll be right there with you hopefully, as soon as we pay off our house. :)

Is this that neighborhood that they mowed down every single tree on the lake? I thought I was going to cry/vomit/scream when I saw all that.

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  • 2 months later...

I agree w/ what a lot of you are saying. If you're going to spend half a mil on a tiny brownstone, or $2-3M on an urban, packed-in house, why don't you move into a rea city, like, say, Houston? or New York? or LA? Or you could put your millions into a nice heavily wooded acre or two in Grogan's Point or Carlton Woods. What is up with these developers? Is this what George Mitchell intended?

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no, i don't think it is. the woodlands was a utopian experiment. market forces are the rule of the day now. the primary ideology that created the woodlands is dead. there are elements of it that exist, but the sensitivity to diversity and mixed incomes is definitely over. :(

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  • The title was changed to East Shore The Woodlands

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