The Woodlands was conceived after the oil industry investor George P. Mitchell attended a symposium by the Rouse Company subsidiary American City Corporation and developer of Columbia, Maryland. on how to develop new towns using the HUD Title VII program. It was dedicated by George P. Mitchell in 1974 and managed by The Woodlands Corporation as an extension of Mitchell Energy & Development. Mitchell, an oil businessman, planned to establish a conference center, hotels, office parks, retail malls, schools, large distribution centers, and golf courses. Houses would range from moderately low to expensive and large. Bill Schadewald of the Houston Business Journal said that Mitchell wanted the development to "entice city slickers looking for far-flung suburban quality of life". Schadewald said that local sources stated that the HUD New Town program, a federally funded program, had a "low survival rate" and questioned whether The Woodlands would succeed.
The Woodlands Corporation was acquired on July 31, 1997, by a partnership between Morgan Stanley and Crescent Real Estate Equities. In December 2003, The Rouse Company acquired Crescent's interest, and Rouse was bought by General Growth Properties on November 12, 2004. In 2011 The Woodlands was sold to the Howard Hughes Development Corporation.
The land was previously occupied by the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Mill, hence Grogan's Mill and Cochran's Crossing neighborhoods, called "villages". The original planning utilized many of the planning concepts and design consultants employed in other well-regarded new communities of that era such as Columbia, Maryland, Irvine Ranch, California and Reston, Virginia. The original development plan included environmental design principles espoused by Ian McHarg, a distinguished landscape architect, teacher and author of the seminal work Design With Nature.
It continues to grow residentially and commercially as many companies are moving there. In addition to Chevron Phillips, Huntsman Corporation, Hewitt Associates, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Maersk, M&S Engineering and Woodforest National Bank have set up operations. The Town Center includes shopping and eating facilities as well as a waterway resembling the San Antonio River Walk.
On September 13, 2008, it sustained extensive damage from Hurricane Ike. Sustained winds of 85 mph (137 km/h) brought down thousands of trees, powerlines, and billboards in the area and severely damaged the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Ike was the first hurricane to directly affect the area since Hurricane Alicia in 1983.
The summer of 2011 brought an unprecedented drought throughout Texas, which caused thousands of trees to die and requiring they be taken down, a process that continued into 2012.
In 2011, Schadewald said "Now: Obviously, The Woodlands had quite a future. Somewhere between First Colony and The Woodlands, I realized why visionary real estate developers strike it rich more often than skeptical real estate reporters."
In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau designated the area around The Woodlands and Conroe as a "large urbanized transit area", defined as having over 200,000 residents, making it eligible to receive federal transportation funds.
From 2004-2018, water taxis known as "Waterway Cruisers" traveled along The Woodlands Waterway. On November 13, 2018, after suffering damage from Hurricane Harvey the year before, the six Waterway Cruisers were removed from the waterway
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For Sale|2,192 sqft|3 beds|2.5 baths|0.0735 acres|#19919866
For Sale|3,657 sqft|5 beds|3.5 baths|0.2473 acres|#52143434
For Sale|1,938 sqft|3 beds|2.5 baths|0.2458 acres|#97444520
For Sale|1,818 sqft|3 beds|2.5 baths|#47542128
For Sale|2,212 sqft|4 beds|2.5 baths|0.2084 acres|#81301736
For Sale|1,647 sqft|3 beds|3 baths|#10545979
For Sale|993 sqft|1 bed|1.5 baths|#21959823
For Sale|1,916 sqft|3 beds|2 baths|0.1639 acres|#67944446
For Sale|2,331 sqft|4 beds|2.5 baths|0.2825 acres|#8857520
For Sale|2,226 sqft|4 beds|3.5 baths|0.1418 acres|#81040213
For Sale|2,279 sqft|4 beds|2 baths|0.2361 acres|#42027351
For Sale|2,461 sqft|5 beds|3 baths|0.1664 acres|#92537018
For Sale|2,954 sqft|4 beds|3.5 baths|0.3655 acres|#76222478
For Sale|2,224 sqft|4 beds|3 baths|0.2479 acres|#37462136
For Sale|2,774 sqft|5 beds|3.5 baths|0.1765 acres|#58607202
For Sale|2,377 sqft|4 beds|2.5 baths|0.1905 acres|#23486903
For Sale|1,259 sqft|2 beds|2 baths|#10583657
For Sale|2,001 sqft|4 beds|2.5 baths|0.1952 acres|#79014268
For Sale|2,740 sqft|5 beds|2.5 baths|0.2488 acres|#32944415
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For Sale|1,465 sqft|3 beds|2 baths|0.1221 acres|#49474487
For Sale|2,873 sqft|4 beds|3.5 baths|0.2104 acres|#28851315
Pending|1,140 sqft|2 beds|2 baths|#56216449
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For Sale|1,928 sqft|3 beds|2 baths|0.1628 acres|#35344766
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For Sale|1,330 sqft|3 beds|2 baths|0.3476 acres|#92329576
For Sale|2,761 sqft|4 beds|2.5 baths|0.1536 acres|#64204855