The Woodlands Business Jun 2015
ZAK HUDNALL NAMED LEASING AGENT FOR TWDC
The Howard Hughes Corporation recently announced that Zak Hudnall has been named as Leasing Associate for the company. Hudnall will handle commercial retail leasing for The Woodlands Development Company (TWDC) and Bridgeland, wholly-owned subsidiaries of The Howard Hughes Corporation. In this role, Hudnall will be responsible for leasing sites in The Woodlands Town Center, including The Waterway Square® District and Hughes Landing®, as well as Creekside Park Village Center and Lakeland Village Center in Bridgeland.
Prior to joining The Woodlands Development Company, Hudnall was an Associate with Colliers International where he specialized in landlord representation. He is a member of the Commercial Real Estate Association of Montgomery Country (CREAM) and an active member of International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Hudnall is also a member of The Association of Former Students – Texas A&M University and a member of The Century Club. Hudnall graduated Cum Laude from Texas A&M University, holding a Bachelors of Science in Finance and Real Estate.
“Zak has a vast knowledge of the local retail market,” said Rip Reynolds, Director of Leasing & Commercial Land for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “He is a welcome addition to the commercial team at The Woodlands and Bridgeland, especially as we continue to add retail, dining and entertainment developments to these two award-winning, master planned communities.”
TRENDMAKER HOMES LAUNCHES NEW LENDING SERVICE IN TEXAS
Trendmaker Homes, a member of the TRI Pointe Group, announced the launch of TRI Pointe Connect as its in-house mortgage company, making Texas one of the first four states in the nation to offer mortgage services through the new company. Formed as a joint venture between Trendmaker Homes and imortgage, a division of loanDepot LLC, TRI Pointe Connect opened its doors in Texas following launches last month in Arizona, Colorado AND WASHINGTON. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT TRI POINTE CONNECT WILL CONTINUE TO EXPAND AND OPERATE IN EIGHT STATES. IMORTGAGE IS ONE OF THE NATION’S TOP FIVE nonbank retail mortgage lenders whose imortgage builder platform has produced the highest customer service scores of all U.S. lenders, as measured by Eliant in 2014.
“We’re always looking for new ways to make purchasing a Trendmaker Home easier for our buyers,” said Will Holder, president of Trendmaker Homes. “Providing a service that personalizes the financing experience, and enables communication between all parties, ensures a smooth process from beginning to end.”
The rollout of TRI Pointe Connect in Texas follows less than a year after one of the largest mergers in homebuilding history, wherein Quadrant Homes and four other builders became part of TRI Pointe Group in the company’s 2014 merger with Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (WRECO). The merger made TRI Pointe Group one of the top 10 largest public homebuilders by market equity capitalization in the United States. TRI Pointe Connect is the company’s first lending service and will be launched across all six TRI Pointe Group homebuilding brands. TRI Pointe Connect will offer an integrated team of mortgage loan consultants on-site in the Houston area market, who will provide personalized service, competitive rates, and a wide portfolio of mortgage products to TRI Pointe home buyers — all intended to make the home buying process simple and smooth.
“We look forward to a successful relationship with Trendmaker Homes, and are thrilled to roll out TRI Pointe Connect in Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Washington,” said Dan Pena, senior vice president of imortgage.
AREA CITIZENS RECEIVEGOVERNOR’S 2015 CRIMINAL JUSTICE VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARDS
Jessica Middleton of The Woodlands and Terry Theall-Jones of Tomball were presented with awards during the Governor’s 2015 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program recently. Both awards were presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell and TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony in Austin.
Middleton received the Pathfinder Award, which is given to an individual or group that has demonstrated leadership qualities in their volunteer service and made significant contributions to the welfare of victims. She volunteers much of her time as a victim impact specialist in the Sex Offender Rehabilitation Programs at the Goree Unit (Huntville) and Hightower Unit (Dayton).
Theall-Jones was presented the “Religious Service” award. She first volunteered in a correctional facility 18 years ago and found the experience very rewarding. She then started Truth and Compassion Ministries as an outreach project with three other women who volunteered once a quarter to visit a prison. A year later they were ministering to three or four units once a month.
Truth and Compassion Ministries now has 42 volunteers who run a faith-based life skills class called Quest for Authentic Manhood, an Adults Relating to Kids (ARK) parenting class, a class discussing the Seven Areas of Life Training (S.A.L.T.) and Voyager classes.
Marriage and anger management seminars are now part of Truth and Compassion Ministries as well. The outreach program has also been instrumental in assisting with offenders’ needs at the Stringfellow Unit in Rosharon.
GRACEPOINT HOMES OPENS NEW MODEL HOME IN LILY
Gracepoint Homes has opened a new model home in Lily, a new development in Shenandoah that features courtyard home designs and rear alleyways. The grand opening was held on May 16.
The 3,776-square-foot Azalea plan showcases the courtyard home design found in all of the eight homes crafted specifically for the neighborhood. Like the Azalea, all of the designs feature generous porches and balconies, open-concept great rooms, kitchens defined by centerpiece islands and upstairs master suites. Several of the designs also feature private studies or guest suites detached from the home and accessed via the porch.
“Indoor and outdoor living blend seamlessly in these signature floor plans, with walls of downstairs and upstairs windows overlooking the porch, balcony and courtyard,” said Tom Cox, Jr., president of Gracepoint Homes. “Buyers will be impressed as they walk through front doors or entry gates to see the spacious designs.”
Homes are priced from the $590,000s in Lily, which is located off Wellman Road in Shenandoah just minutes from I-45. Only 62 homes will be built in the 12-acre community, which is being developed by Gracepoint Homes. Rear alleyways help preserve the streetscape within Lily and residents will enjoy a community park. Young residents will attend schools in the Conroe Independent School District, including Lamar Elementary, Wilkerson Intermediate, Knox Junior High and The Woodlands College Park High School.
STRYKERS ADD A PITCHING DUO
The Strykers are proud to announce the signing of Jerry Murillo and Raul Baduel. Jerry is a freshman catcher/pitcher from McLennan Community College and Raul is a freshman pitcher from Frank Phillips College.
Murillo is a native of Houston. He stands at 6’0’’ and went to St. Pius X High School. He was a four-time all-district selection and two-time all state selection and has appeared in 18 games for McLennan this year, posting a .182 average with one homerun and four RBIS. Murillo has also made seven appearances on the mound with eight strikeouts and one save in 8.2 innings pitched.
Baduel is a native of Venezuela. He is a freshman pitcher at Frank Phillips College with 11 games – 10 of them being starts. He has posted a 4-2 record in 43 innings pitched. He has recorded 19 strikeouts and an ERA of seven.
Head Coach John Villarreal states, “We continue to build our roster with quality players. We are very excited to welcome both Jerry and Raul to the Strykers.”
For more information about the Strykers, visit woodlandsstrykers.com.
HOUSTON’S FIRST LOLLI AND POPS TO DEBUT AT THE WOODLANDS MALL
This summer, The Woodlands Mall introduces a new Lolli and Pops store to the city of Houston. Self-proclaimed and affectionately known as purveyors of sweetness, Lolli and Pops offers unique sweets from all over the world, including chocolates from Madagascar, sour belts from Spain, sodas from Japan and much more.
The Lolli and Pops store is designed to delight its guests, bringing wonder and joy to all ages. From the English apothecary to the good old-fashioned American ice cream parlor, the retailer has found inspiration from sweet sources of all sorts to build a store that truly enchants the senses.
The Woodlands location will feature 1,960 square-feet of space devoted entirely to delicious treats and sweet gifts. Filled with collections of confections from wall-to-wall, the retailer offers candies sourced from world-wide famed producers as well as local Texas artisans. Choices change daily, depending on batch size and availability but there is always something good in store.
The new Lolli and Pops will be located on the lower level near Dillard’s and will be the company’s 13th store with more opening in 2015. _________________________________________________________________________________
DAVID WEEKLEY HOMES NAMED NATION’S LARGEST PRIVATELY-HELD HOME BUILDER
David Weekley Homes, which is headquartered in Houston, has announced its ranking as the largest privately-held home builder in America and 16th overall, according to BUILDER Magazine’s BUILDER 100 list, published May 7.
“We are honored to have again achieved this coveted spot on the BUILDER Top 100 list as the nation’s largest privately-held home builder,” said David Weekley, company chairman. “David Weekley Homes is experiencing outstanding growth and we would not achieve such great success if it were not for our committed and talented Team Members.”
David Weekley’s growth allows it to continue its purpose of “Building Dreams, Enhancing Lives” for more customers in each of its markets. The company operates in 20 cities across the coutnry. Homebuyers can have confidence buying from David Weekley Homes because of its longstanding reputation for delivering quality homes, customer satisfaction and warranty service.
The BUILDER 100 list is compiled from data collected by Builder magazine via survey of the nation’s top builders. The BUILDER 100 (and the Next 100) list is comprised of both private and public builders and identifies the top home builders in America by annual closings, and provides information about gross revenue, rate of change year over year and what products they build and where.
CONROE ISD EARNS PLATINUM LEADERSHIP CIRCLE AWARD
Conroe ISD has earned a Platinum Leadership Circle Award from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The District scored 23 of 23 possible points on the rating’s criteria which focus on online financial transparency. In order to receive the Platinum Award, Conroe ISD demonstrated a level of transparency above and beyond expectations by providing clear, consistent pictures of spending and sharing information in a user-friendly format that allows taxpayers to easily drill down for more detail.
“Financial transparency and efficiency is very important to Conroe ISD,” stated Superintendent Dr. Don Stockton. “Using taxpayer dollars responsibly and providing easy access to our detailed financial information is essential.”
The Comptroller of Public Accounts launched the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle program in December 2009 to recognize local governments across Texas that are striving to meet a high standard for financial transparency online. Conroe ISD has received the highest Leadership Circle Award in each of the six years.
DARLING HOMES NAMED THE WOODLANDS’ 2014 BUILDER OF THE YEAR
Darling Homes has been named 2014 Builder of the Year for The Woodlands as presented by The Woodlands Development Company for selling the most new homes in Texas’ most celebrated master-planned community.
With new homes in The Woodlands from the $400’s to the $700’s, the luxury homebuilder’s award-winning designs feature inspiring gourmet kitchens, spacious family rooms, media rooms with state-of-the-art home theater systems, game rooms, spacious master suites, glorious master baths, guest casitas, private courtyards and more.
“Our success in The Woodlands is due in large part to our outstanding construction team and our commitment to making the home buying process enjoyable and easy,” notes Sue Wood, community sales manager for Darling Homes in The Woodlands.
Wood also was honored with The Woodlands Development Company’s Exceptional Performance Award for the second consecutive year
In addition to its presence in The Woodlands, Darling Homes offers new homes in several of the most sought-after master-planned communities of Fort Bend, Kingwood, Spring, Montgomery, Humble, Cypress, Fulshear and Richmond. Established in 1987, the company builds high-quality homes combining custom details, home design options and flexible floor plans.
NEW HOST FOR THE WOODLANDS IDOL COMPETITION
The annual Woodlands Idol, the popular local amateur singing competition that has showcased hundreds of musical hopefuls since 2007, has a new host. Donna Wick Public Relations – a.k.a. Wicked Publicity – has taken over the duties previously held by The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce.
Ashley Byers, director of Special Events for The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “Over the years, this event has gradually changed from a Chamber event focused on promoting our own members to more of a community event. To ensure the spirit of the competition kept up its increasing community involvement, the board of directors at the Chamber felt that The Woodlands Idol event would better further thrive under another organization. Donna Wick Public Relations was, we decided, the perfect fit.”
Donna Wick, CEO of Wicked Publicity, likewise feels that the area will experience a whole new competition event, with greater community involvement, upscaled sponsorship opportunities, larger prizes and higher stakes. “As a Woodlands-based public relations and publicity firm that enjoys strong relationships with area businesses and media outlets, we are excited to host a competition that caters to our core strengths,” she said.
The competition is based in Montgomery County but has applicants from all over Texas. Singers voted through the preliminary and semi-final rounds perform in the final round; the winner takes home a substantial prize package. Preliminaries begin in September. Visit thewoodlandsidol.com for details.
2015 TSTA-CONROE ISD TEACHERS OF THE YEAR
The Conroe Chapter of the Texas State Teacher Association (TSTA) held their “Salute to Education” Banquet on May 5 at the Lone Star Convention Center to honor outstanding employees, teachers, and volunteers who make a difference in the lives of students and provide a positive influence on the culture of the schools they serve. Humanitarians of the Year, Teachers of the Year and Friends of Education were recognized at the annual event. During the evening, Jamie Straughan, a fifth grade teacher from Deretchin Elementary, was named Conroe ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Sabrina Pomales, a teacher at The Woodlands High School Ninth Grade Campus, was named Conroe ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.
NEW HOMES IN HARMONY
Several leading home builders have initiated pre-sales of new, single-family homes in three new neighborhoods of Harmony, the fast-growing Spring master-planned community by The Johnson Development Corp. Perry Homes, Westin Homes, Darling Homes, Highland Homes are now pre-selling new luxury homes in Harmony Pines, Harmony Oaks and Harmony Woods.
Ashton Woods and Village Builders also will add new luxury homes in Harmony Oaks. Combined, the six home builders will add 300 new homes in the Spring master-planned community ranging from 2,000 – 4,900 square feet priced from the $270s to the $600s. Plans will include open living and entertaining spaces, gourmet kitchens with granite countertops, inviting master suites, media and game rooms, spacious secondary bedrooms, outdoor summer kitchens and three-car garages. Perry Homes will offer two different home series in the new Harmony neighborhoods. Located at Riley Fuzzel Road (soon to be replaced by the extended Grand Parkway) and Rayford Road, Harmony is located minutes from the new ExxonMobil corporate campus, Haliburton, Baker Hughes and other employers.
“Harmony remains popular with Spring residents in the market for a new home as well those relocating to the area,” says Harmony Realtor Relocation Manager Faith Bailes, who says 2014 new home sales in Harmony were up 92 percent from the previous year.
Harmony offers two on-site early childhood education facilities, a Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center and a new Primrose School opening this summer. Its all-new Barefoot Park features an aquatics complex with resort-style pool, splash pad, fountains and a shady, tree-lined playground. Children in Harmony attend schools in the Conroe Independent School District.
Residents also enjoy a year-round schedule of festivals, community events and other neighborhood gatherings planned by a community Lifestyle Director.
ANTHONY & SYLVAN POOLS EARNS ANGIE’S LIST AWARD
Anthony & Sylvan Pools has earned the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award – reflecting an exemplary year of service – provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014. This is the second year in a row the company has received the honor.
“The foundation of our corporate culture is superb customer service and being honored by Angie’s List two years running reinforces our commitment to our current and future customers,” said Mitch Martinez, Las Vegas General Manager of Anthony & Sylvan Pools. “We will strive to continue in this same vein and hope to be awarded the Super Service Award for 2015.”
“Only about 5 percent of the pool sales, construction and installation companies in Las Vegas have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.