Houston Chronicle | October 15, 2019
By Nancy Sarnoff

stolz moran ranch
Photo: Courtesy Of Satya And Stolz

The Moran family ranch is just south of FM 1097 and east of Interstate 45. It is being redeveloped into a residential community.

A pair of developers have closed on their acquisition of the Moran family ranch, a 500-acre tract in Montgomery County where the new owners are planning a residential community of more than 850 homes and multiple commercial sites.

Houston-based Satya Inc. and Stolz Partners of Alpharetta, Ga., purchased the property from the heirs of oil and gas magnate W.T. Moran. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The land is south of FM 1097 and east of Interstate 45. It is across I-45 from The Woodlands Hills, the newest development from Dallas-based Howard Hughes Corp.

The property is split between the extraterritorial jurisdictions of the cities of Conroe and Willis. The cities will eventually annex the community, the new owners said.

“This project is going to bring huge tax bases and economic development to both of those cities,” Sunny Bathija, Satya’s chief executive, said.

The new owners have sold 36 acres to retail developer Fidelis Realty Partners for what is expected to be a grocery-anchored shopping center. Fidelis has an option to buy an additional 31 acres.

Bathija said a national homebuilder, whose name he declined to disclose, is under contract to buy 240 acres slated for housing. The homes are expected to be built on a range of lot sizes with prices from around $250,000. Construction could begin in about two years.

The property is in an Opportunity Zone, which can provide tax benefits to investors who own land in the area for a set amount of time.

Satya and Stolz have created two in-city municipal utility districts to bring utilities to the community. The portion of the land in the city of Willis is also within a TIRZ, or Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone.

In all, the developers expect to spend as much as $40 million to develop the site’s infrastructure, including a feeder road along Interstate 45.

The new owners, who have had the property under contract for several months, intend to call the community Moran Ranch.

“It’s such a historic farm,” Bathija said. “Why try to create a new brand?”

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