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The Woodlands Township
—  Special-Purpose District  —
Location in the state of Texas
Coordinates: 30°10′39″N 95°30′14″W / 30.1775°N 95.50389°W / 30.1775; -95.50389
Country United States
State Texas
County Montgomery (CDP)
Harris & Montgomery (Development)
Established 1974
 - Total 23.9 sq mi (61.8 km2)
 - Land 23.4 sq mi (60.6 km2)
 - Water 0.5 sq mi (1.2 km2)
Elevation 160 ft (49 m)
Population (2008)[1]
 - Total 88,428
 Density 2,328.4/sq mi (900.5/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 281 713 832 936
FIPS code 48-72656[2]
GNIS feature ID 1867568[3]
Downtown Woodlands
House in The Woodlands
Golf course

The Woodlands is a master-planned community of Montgomery County in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. The population was 55,649 at the 2000 census, a 90.5% increase over 1990 population.[1] As of 2006, the estimated population had reached approximately 84,418.[4] Much of the development is located in the city of Houston's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), but small portions of The Woodlands extends into the ETJ of Shenandoah and Conroe. Plans for annexation of both the Houston and Conroe portions were once in discussion, but regional agreements have been set in place to allow The Woodlands to incorporate itself.

The Woodlands is located 28 miles north of Downtown Houston along Interstate 45. Though it began as a suburban development and a bedroom community, it also has attracted corporations to the area. As a result, the area features several corporate campuses, most notably Chevron Phillips, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Baker Hughes, CB&I, U.S. Oncology and Hewitt Associates. The development won a Special Award for Excellence in 1994 from the Urban Land Institute.[5]

In addition to residential and corporate housing, The Woodlands features a shopping mall, seven golf courses and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, a regional concert venue, and the 4 star rated The Woodlands Resort. Over the past decade, The Woodlands has seen tremendous growth in terms of commercial/office space in Town Center. Many high-rise office and residential buildings have recently been built. Just completed is 24 Waterway Avenue, a 13 story class A office/retail building. Recently announced for The Woodlands are several new class A office structures and a 20-story condominium tower that will sit on the waterway next to 24 Waterway Ave.[6] A new satellite location for the Houston Museum of Natural Science is housed in the The Woodlands Mall.

On September 13, 2008, The Woodlands sustained extensive damage because of Hurricane Ike. Sustained winds of 85 mph brought down thousands of trees, powerlines, and billboards in the area and severely damaged the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Many of the native pine trees in the area fell or snapped on homes and cars. Power in the The Woodlands was knocked out for up to two weeks. Ike was the first hurricane to directly affect the area since Hurricane Alicia in 1983.


Activities and Entertainment

The master-planned community of The Woodlands features an ever-growing list of entertainment venues including an amphitheater, two movie theaters, over 150 restaurants, and a publicly accessible waterway complete with a colored light, dancing waterfall complete with music. The Woodlands Waterway will eventually be more than 1/2 mile long, reaching from The Woodlands Mall around to Lake Woodlands and featuring lighted, wide sidewalks along both sides as well as the Waterway Taxi. Additional attractions include Market Street, home to a movie theater and a variety of shops and restaurants, and The Woodlands Mall. Town Center Theatre the first localized professional theatre company in The Woodlands has offered plays and musicals to the community since 2007.


The Woodlands was founded by George P. Mitchell in 1974,[7] managed by The Woodlands Corporation as an extension of Mitchell Energy & Development. The Woodlands Corporation was acquired on July 31, 1997 by a joint partnership between Morgan Stanley and Crescent Real Estate Equities.[8] In December 2003, the Rouse Company acquired Crescent's interest in The Woodlands,[9] Rouse was itself sold to General Growth Properties Inc. on November 12, 2004.[10]

The tract of land where The Woodlands is situated was previously occupied by the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Mill[11] and are the namesakes for the Grogan's Mill and Cochran's Crossing neighborhoods. The original planning of The Woodlands 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 principals espoused by Ian McHarg, a distinguished landscape architect, teacher and author of the seminal work "Design With Nature."

The Woodlands continues to grow residentially and commercially as many companies are moving to The Woodlands. In addition to Chevron Phillips, Huntsman, Anadarko, Hewitt Associates, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Mærsk Sealand, Chicago Bridge & Iron, and Woodforest National Bank have set up operations in the development. The Woodlands Town Center area includes shopping and eating facilities, plus a waterway resembling the San Antonio River Walk.



Mitchell's original plan envisioned for The Woodlands to be annexed by the city of Houston. In the middle part of the 2000s decade, some Woodlands residents feared annexation by the city of Houston, as had happened to the Kingwood development almost a decade before. To counteract any possible move by the city, a movement began to create an independent city government.[citation needed] However, the formation of an independent government by The Woodlands would require authorization by the State of Texas and the City of Houston, as Houston held extraterritorial jurisdiction over the area.[citation needed]

In 2007, two state legislators representing Woodlands voters, Sen. Tommy Williams and Rep. Robert Eissler, created and passed two bills in the 2007 Legislature - House Bill 4109[12] and Senate Bill 1012.[13] HB 4109 called for a vote to allow expansion of an existing improvement district (now The Woodlands Township) and to allow The Woodlands to collect sales tax,[14] while SB 1012 allowed for the creation of regional agreements between governments. The passage of these bills allowed an opportunity for The Woodlands to incorporate itself.

To make the City of Houston agree to release the Woodlands from its ETJ, the city and the development entered into a regional agreement by which The Woodlands put 16 million dollars[15] into a fund the city of Houston can use for general improvements. In return, Houston will release the development from its ETJ allowing The Woodlands to incorporate through an election in 2014 and create a city government.[16]

In addition, The Woodlands entered into a similar regional agreement with Conroe to avoid annexation of a municipal utility district inside The Woodlands.[17] The Woodlands put $320,000 into a fund to serve mutual interests. In return, Conroe ended annexation proceedings and will release the district to The Woodlands in 2014.


  • 1980- 8443
  • 1990- 29205
  • 2000- 55649
  • 2006 (estimate)- 84818
  • 2008- 88428


Map of the Woodlands CDP

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 23.9 square miles (61.8 km²), of which, 23.4 square miles (60.6 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (1.97%) is water.

The development is situated in a heavily forested area and much of the community has retained trees for shade and decoration. The terrain is of small rolling hills.[citation needed]


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 55,649 people, 19,881 households, and 15,546 families residing in the CDP.[18] The population density was 2,328.4 people per square mile (900.5/km²).There were 21,014 housing units at an average density of 897.7/sq mi (346.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 92.36% White, 1.75% African American, 0.29% Native American, 2.80% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.43% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.64% of the population.

There were 19,881 households out of which 47.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.2% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.8% were non-families. 19.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 31.8% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $85,253, and the median income for a family was $98,675. Males have a median income of $78,642 versus $38,505 for females. The Per capita income for the CDP was $37,724. About 3.0% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the CDP had risen to $94,626, and the median income for a family had risen to $113,243.[19]

In 2006, the estimated population was 63,875 people.[20]


By 2000 a significant amount of corporate office space was under construction in The Woodlands. Of the 4,800,000 square feet (446,000 m2) of office space under construction in Greater Houston, over one third of it was in The Woodlands.[21]

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation has its headquarters in The Woodlands.[22] On February 11, 1999 Anadarko announced that it would purchase a 7.5-acre tract in The Woodlands from The Woodlands Land Company. There Anadarko planned to 800,000-square foot, 32 story headquarters building. Anadarko planned to open the headquarters in mid-2002.[23] As of 2000 the Anadarko building was the largest office project in The Woodlands.[21]

Chicago Bridge & Iron's worldwide administrative office is in The Woodlands.[24] The United States headquarters of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) are located in The Woodlands.[25]

In 2000 work began on a 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) building for Maersk Sealand in The Woodlands.[21]

In 2010 ExxonMobil was considering having a corporate campus constructed in an area south of The Woodlands. The complex, according to a January edition of the Houston Business Journal, will comprise twenty office buildings totalling three million square feet. The complex will house employees from Fairfax, VA, Houston and Dallas.[26]

Government and infrastructure

Bridge in The Woodlands

United States Postal Services post office include The Woodlands Post Office at 9450 Pinecroft Drive and the Panther Creek Post Office at 10800 Gosling Road.[27][28]


Pupils in the Montgomery County-portion of The Woodlands attend schools in the Conroe Independent School District. Pupils from the Creekside Park Village in Harris County attend the Tomball Independent School District. The Montgomery County Memorial Library System operates two libraries in The Woodlands, the South Branch and the George and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Library.

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

The Woodlands High School (TWHS) is the largest high school in Texas in terms of its size (it extends over two campuses).[citation needed] It serves the western portion of The Woodlands of Montgomery County. Refer to the Conroe School District for specific feeders. The school once had the largest number of students (over 4,900) until the opening of a second high school in The Woodlands. TWHS is ranked 760 on Newsweek's 2007 list of the 1000 Best High Schools in America.[29]

The Woodlands College Park High School, which opened in 2006, is a second high school serving the eastern portion of The Woodlands of Montgomery County. Refer to the Conroe School District for specific feeders. Tomball High School serves pupils residing inside the Harris County portion of the township.

Junior high schools

  • Montgomery County: Knox Junior High School, McCullough Junior High School
  • Harris County: Tomball Junior High School

Private schools

The Woodlands also has several private schools:

  • Christ Community School
  • Covenant Christian School
  • Oak Ridge Christian Academy
  • The Woodlands Christian Academy
  • The John Cooper School
  • Esprit International School
  • The Phoenix Academy
  • St. Anthony Of Padua Catholic School
  • The Woodlands Preparatory School
  • Cunae International School
  • Harvest Waldorf School
  • The Sherwood Academy


Organized into "villages" which are further subdivided into "neighborhoods."

  • Village of Alden Bridge: Northwest corner of development. Bordered by FM 2978 on the West and FM 1488 and the Jones State Forest on the North (opened 1993).
  • Village of Cochran's Crossing: location of The Woodlands High School. Named for the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Mill (opened 1983).
  • Village of College Park: location of Montgomery College, a public two-year community college. This village includes Harper's Landing neighborhood east of Interstate 45 (opened 1995).
  • Village of Creekside Park: The last new village development to be undertaken by The Woodlands Development Company. A portion lies inside Harris County. Creekside Park is planned to have 5,516 single-family production homes, 541 age 55 and over homes, 738 multi-family residences, and 298 Custom Homes and Estate Homes in the gated community of Carlton Woods Creekside (opened 2007).
  • Village of Grogan's Mill: The Woodlands' first neighborhood. Located near the Town Center. Named for the former Grogan-Cochran Lumber Mill (opened 1974).
  • Village of Indian Springs: lies on the northern border of Spring Creek (opened 1984).
  • Village of Panther Creek: The Woodlands' second neighborhood. Borders the west shore of Lake Woodlands (opened 1976).
  • Village of Sterling Ridge: location of The Woodlands High School Ninth Grade Campus. Includes the gated community of Carlton Woods, which initially existed as a village in its own right (opened 2000).
  • Town Center: a primarily commercial development. Location of Market Street, The Waterway District, The Woodlands Mall and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, along with hotels and a convention center (formerly known as "Metro Center").


  1. ^ a b "US Census Bureau Population Finder: The Woodlands CDP, Texas". Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "The Woodlands CDP, Texas". 2006 American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau). 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  5. ^ ULI Awards for Excellence Winners, 1979–2006. Urban Land Institute. (Link from Google Cache)
  6. ^ Proposed Condominium Tower,Page 10. [1]
  7. ^ Historic Houston, Who's Who: George Mitchell.
  8. ^
  9. ^ SEC Edgar document through (Link from Google Cache)
  10. ^ Washington Post 2005 Top 200, General Growth Properties.
  11. ^ With Grogan at Bivins and Magnolia (Gulf Coast Lumberman, 1939). Texas Transportation Archive.
  12. ^ 80th Texas Legislature, House Bill 4109.
  13. ^ 80th Texas Legislature, Senate Bill 1012.
  14. ^ Woodlands governing groups prepare for November election. Houston Chronicle. June 19, 2007.
  15. ^ Bill Seals Deal to halt Woodlands' annexation. Houston Chronicle. March 1, 2007.
  16. ^ Legislation puts Woodlands on track for future. Houston Chronicle. May 23, 2007.
  17. ^ Agreement will keep neighborhood in The Woodlands. Houston Chronicle. June 14, 2007.
  18. ^ 2000 US Census, The Woodlands CDP, Texas
  19. ^ 2007 American Community Survey Estimate via US Census Factfinder. 2007 American Community Survey Estimate via US Census Factfinder.
  20. ^ 2005 American Community Survey Estimate via US Census Factfinder. 2005 American Community Survey Estimate via US Census Factfinder.
  21. ^ a b c Bivins, Ralph. "The Woodlands becomes a leader in office construction." Houston Chronicle. Sunday February 13, 2000. Business 8. Retrieved on November 12, 2009.
  22. ^ "Office locations." Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Retrieved on August 14, 2009.
  23. ^ "Article: Anadarko to Build New Headquarters in the Woodlands." PR Newswire. February 11, 1999. Retrieved on August 15, 2009.
  24. ^ "Worldwide Offices." Chicago Bridge & Iron. Retrieved on August 14, 2009.
  25. ^ Barr, Gregg."Sanchez named Compass Bank CEO." Houston Business Journal. Monday November 17, 2008. Retrieved on September 22, 2009.
  26. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy. "Exxon Mobil is considering a move." Houston Chronicle. January 28, 2010. Retrieved on January 29, 2010.
  27. ^ "Post Office Location - The Woodlands." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on November 22, 2008.
  28. ^ "Post Office Location - Panther Creek." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on November 22, 2008.
  29. ^ America's Top Public High Schools.

External links


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