MONTGOMERY, Texas – In an off-market transaction, a Houston-based investor has acquired 1,623 acres in western Montgomery County, placing an all-cash bet on the demand for residential and commercial development with the future expansion of the Aggie Expressway in the emerging 249 corridor.
Infrastructure work is expected to begin in late 2022 on the site, which is bordered by FM 1486, where it has one mile of frontage and more on Jackson Road, a parallel artery in Montgomery. First to come out of the ground will be single-family development sites of one to three acres on the eastern side of the massive tract of land. The freeway-fronting land is reserved for a commercial project.
“The Aggie Expressway is the driving force for land sales in the SH 249 corridor. This property was bought by an investor who saw the long-term growth trajectory,” says Joe Burke, vice president of NewQuest Properties’ Land Advisory Group. He and Rob Whitaker, also a vice president, represented the buyer, 1623 Magnolia North LLC, in a direct deal with the Eugene Campbell Family Partnership LP.
The as-yet-unnamed development will be situated midway between College Station and Houston. It is directly across the street from the 755-acre Bluejack National, a world-class, Tiger Woods-branded residential golf community, and caddy-corner to Dobbin Dog Ranch, a 20-acre facility offering training, grooming/spa, boarding, and daycare services for well-heeled pet owners.
“There were at least five other entities making runs at this property. We happened to be the winner,” Whitaker says, noting the acquisition was closed within four months.
The four-lane toll road will connect Houston to College Station, or as it’s often called “Aggieland,” home to Texas A&M University. The $767 million freeway expansion recently was named the transportation project of the year by the Texas chapter of the American Public Works Association. If all goes as planned, the connector’s four segments will be completed by 2026.
“College Station is a destination as is Houston – and just as close,” Whitaker says. “There is a strong market in both directions for homes with elbow room on large tracts with amenities commonly found in denser subdivisions.”
Western Montgomery County is one of two major development hotspots for land sales. In the past two years, the county’s population has spiked to nearly 620,500 from 602,000, making it the sixth fastest-growing county in Texas and 11th most populated in the state.
The NewQuest brokers, who live in the area, anticipate the 249 corridor will be their focus for the foreseeable future because of its fast-paced growth and development potential. The just-sold site represents the largest land sale in Montgomery County to date this year.
“This was a high-water point for us in 2021. We’re seeing a lot of opportunities in the 249 corridor and vying for several other tracts,” Whitaker says. “We know how to get to the finish line.”
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