District to draw thousands of new students
The population of Cy-Fair ISD reached more than 112,000 this fall, and the third largest school district in Texas shows no sign of slowing down, with more than 10,000 new students projected to enroll in the next decade.
CFISD’s student growth is following new housing demand, as more than 33,000 additional housing units are projected to be built in the district by 2022. About 21,000 of them will be located in the far western portion of the district, according to a study released this year by demographic firm Population and Survey Analysts.
“Cy-Fair ISD has had a history over the past couple of decades of high housing growth,” said Stacey Tepera, data manager for PASA. “They have a desirable school district, good transportation access to employment centers, and it’s a general area of Houston people want to live in. There is also available and undeveloped land, so all those factors have worked together to drive significant housing growth.”
The developers expected to build the majority of the new housing units in the next 10 years include existing communities such as Bridgeland, Towne Lake, Canyon Lakes West and Fairfield, but several newcomers will enter the Cypress housing market.
“Newland Communities just closed a deal at FM 529 and [the Grand Parkway], right between Cy-Fair and Katy,” said Veronica Mullenix, broker and owner of Veronica Mullenix Real Estate Group. “That was strategic.”
The development will sit on 2,500 acres and is expected to take up to 10 years to complete, Mullenix said. Newland Communities could not comment on the land acquisition, but the company has built several other master-planned communities in Houston, including Cinco Ranch, Summerwood and Telfair.
“It’s about the lifestyle and quality of life in a development like that,” Mullenix said. “All the stores are there, the schools are there. It’s just a higher quality of life for residents.”
Although Cypress is considered a suburban area and has a large population of children due to the growing school district, more multifamily and mixed-use concepts are planned for the area in the next decade—nearly 9,000 units by 2022, according to the PASA data.
Multifamily spaces in Bridgeland, Towne Lake and Fairfield alone are expected to account for about 3,500 of the new units.
“When mixed-use concepts got started a few years ago, people assumed there would be no students, just young professionals,” Tepera said. “We’re finding that in highly desirable school districts there are families with young kids who will move to a good school district and live in these type of developments.”
Some established developments in the western portion of Cypress that previously had not seen multifamily units might see future construction of them, Tepera said.
“Fairfield is an example of an area that has previously built single-family homes, but later in the lifespan of a development the multifamily comes in,” Tepera said.
Four multifamily projects planned or under development in the community include the Fairfield Place Apartments, Remington at Fairfield, Fairfield Creek Estates and a 12-acre site under contract inside the planned Fairfield Town Center.
“The geographic area of Cy-Fair ISD is enormous, and while there are portions that are built out, that doesn’t discount future housing potential in the west,” Tepera said.
Segment E of the Grand Parkway will be complete by the end of the year, providing northwest Harris County residents with faster access between I-10 and Hwy. 290, but developers also expect it will drive new development.
“The enhancements to [Hwy.] 290 coupled with the Grand Parkway will spur continued demand and growth for people to live in our area,” said Fred Caldwell, president and CEO of Caldwell Companies, which is developing the master-planned community of Towne Lake.
Near the border of Cy-Fair and Katy ISDs, there is a 70-acre tract of land planned for the Grand Parkway Industrial Park at Clay and Peek roads that will house several future businesses.
“Those sorts of projects are important for our area,” said Lance LaCour, president and CEO of the Katy Economic Development Corporation. “Some [projects] will be light industrial, but you’ll also have a tremendous amount of residential in the area.”
Mullenix said she expects the areas adjacent to the Grand Parkway to feature mixed-use and commercial properties, with easy access to nearby residential areas—a sight similar in other areas such as Katy and Sugar Land.
“The frontage arteries are open land for commercial properties, and communities for residential will be fed through Hwy. 99 for easy commuting back and forth,” Mullenix said.
Although land in Cy-Fair ISD is about 70 percent built out, that does not discount future growth in the western areas, where there is still undeveloped land.
“There are still a lot of changes happening and considerable potential for housing growth in the west,” Tepera said.