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HOUSTON-A local land developer has signed a contract to acquire the last large development tract in northeast Houston. The escrow for the 400-acre purchase is scheduled to close in May, opening the door for a $90-million to $120-million plan to add residential and retail space along Lake Houston.

Parke Patterson Land Development Inc. and a local real estate veteran, Jim Box, are under contract to buy land along West Lake Houston Parkway near Beltway 8 from the McAlister Co., also from Houston. The as-yet unnamed development will consist of townhouses, up to 15 acres of retail and single-family dwellings. When the deal closes, the buyer will begin developing single-family lots to sell to homebuilders. The project is being billed as a “green” one due to a design aimed at reducing energy and water usages.

David Crawford, vice president of Yancey-Hausman’s land division, represented the buyers for the acquisition. He says the first phase calls for townhouses to rise on the banks of Lake Houston. “There are 64 acres on the lake side of the parkway, which will contain the gated, higher-end homes and the townhomes. But, it hasn’t been determined how many will go in there yet,” he says.

Crawford tells GlobeSt.com that the retail development will likely go vertical two or three years in the future. “This will be a neighborhood retail site to serve the local residents,” he adds.

Crawford says land in the northeast quadrant of Harris County is becoming scarce. Most land surrounding the project has been bought up and built out, predominantly with residential product. “This was the last tract available for development there,” he says. “Land by the lakeside is becoming a hot commodity.”

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