Houston Chronicle | September 10, 2021
By Katherine Feser
The development of Moran Ranch, a 500-acre former family ranch property in the Willis and Conroe area, is taking shape with new residential and retail projects coming soon.
Two years after acquiring the land from the heirs of oil and gas magnate W.T. Moran, Houston-based Satya and Stolz Partners of Alpharetta, Ga. announced the sale of 262 acres to M/I Homes and Lennar Homes for single-family homes.
The land, at the southeast corner of Interstate 45 and FM 1097, is across from The Woodlands Hills, a 2,000-acre residential development of the Howard Hughes Corp. Todd Edmonds with Colliers International represented the buyers in the purchase from MRSS Partners, the venture of Satya and Stoltz Partners.
The project is being developed to serve households in a growing region of Montgomery County, said Sunny Bathija, CEO of Satya.
To provide access to the southern portion of the development, an extension of the frontage road on Interstate 45 is planned by summer of 2023, according to Satya.
Another 100 to 110 acres remains to be sold for commercial development in Moran Ranch. There are a number of possibilities.
“It could be in the form of day cares, movie theaters, hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, retail, multifamily,” Bathija said.
One piece of that puzzle has begun already.
Houston-based Fidelis Realty Partners broke ground on its first Moran Ranch project. The company owns 69.7 acres in the development. It started construction on the Market at Willis Shopping Center, an H-E-B-anchored center. The first phase, slated to open in 2022, is expected to bring more than 200,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and services.
“With the closest retail shopping center over five miles away, this property will provide much needed restaurants and shopping options to the immediate area,” Fidelis Co-President and Chief Leasing & Development Officer Lynn Davis said in an announcement.
The company owns 69.7 acres in the development, and construction of phase two, which will include stores, services, restaurants and a 250-unit apartment complex, is expected to begin in the third quarter of next year.
Fidelis Residential, a division started in late 2019, will be developing the multifamily complex, according to the company. Fidelis is nearing completion on its first project, Fidelis|Cypresswood, and expects to open Fidelis|Grand Central, within its 336 Marketplace in Conroe, in May 2022.
Future apartment developments include Westlake Marketplace near Humble, another in Cypress and the third at Rayzor Ranch Town Center in Denton, according to the company.