Houston 101

Houston By the Neighborhood: 2019's Top Master-Planned Communities

Cross Creek Ranch in Fulshear features Adventure Island with a splash and spray park, wading or lap pools, and a 140-foot water slide.
Cross Creek Ranch in Fulshear features Adventure Island with a splash and spray park, wading or lap pools, and a 140-foot water slide. Photo by Johnson Development
The Oscars have come and gone, but underneath all that hoopla a different awards season has quietly come to a close. Keller Williams Realty has weighed in on Houston's best master-planned communities, and the 2019 results are in.

Just like the Academy Awards, there are eligibility requirements. Instead of the film being more than 40 minutes long, the commute needs to be within 45 minutes of Houston. Instead of having a public premiere within the calendar year, the community should have top ranked schools and great amenities. And in lieu of rules about film or digital formats, the builder should have a quality reputation and the homes should be both affordable and with good resale trends.

We checked in with Paige Martin, a broker with Keller Williams and the official reader of this year's envelope, to find out which master planned communities were tops for 2019.

Sweeping the field in the south/southwest part of our region are, in alphabetical order: Cane Island, Cinco Ranch, Cross Creek Ranch, Harvest Green, Lakes of Bella Terra, New Territory, Riverstone, Shadow Creek Ranch, Sienna Plantation, and Aliana. Buyers will find these homes in Fulshear, Katy, Missouri City, Pearland, Richmond and Sugar Land.

Bringing home the win north of Houston are, in alphabetical order: Balmoral, Bridgeland, Creekside Park and Towne Lake. These communities are located in Cypress, Humble and The Woodlands.

click to enlarge Cinco Ranch in Katy has a water park, tennis courts and a children's garden, plus a Beach Club and Golf Club. - PHOTO BY NEWLAND COMMUNITIES
Cinco Ranch in Katy has a water park, tennis courts and a children's garden, plus a Beach Club and Golf Club.
Photo by Newland Communities
With similarly excellent schools and median prices ranging from $217,000 to $412,000 for three-bedrooms, we did some recon on those sweet amenities, which can turn a neighborhood into a lifestyle experience.

We're stoked that Travis Scott has inspired Mayor Sylvester Turner to move forward with his dream of making Houston a world-class city with a geographically desirable theme park but, until that happens, we've got some options.

Cross Creek Ranch has Adventure Island, a resort-style pool with a splash and spray park. It also has lap pools, a 140-foot water slide, 650 acres of lakes and ponds, and 32 miles of trails. Balmoral has a manmade lagoon and water theme park. Creekside Park has an aquatic center with lazy river, water slides, interactive aquatic structure and a lap pool. Towne Lake has a slalom water skiing course on a 300-acre private lake, a water park with water slides and a lazy river, and a boardwalk with restaurants and shopping.

click to enlarge Shadow Creek Ranch in Pearland is an entire lake-themed neighborhood with 300 acres of lakes, plus rec centers for swimming, volleyball, basketball and tennis. - PHOTO BY SHADOW CREEK RANCH
Shadow Creek Ranch in Pearland is an entire lake-themed neighborhood with 300 acres of lakes, plus rec centers for swimming, volleyball, basketball and tennis.
Photo by Shadow Creek Ranch
Bridgeland has a 3,000-acre nature reserve with lakes, trails and parks for kayaking, canoeing and paddle-boating. Cane Island has a treehouse-style cafe, yoga studio, fitness center, picnic grounds and a recreational pool. Harvest Green has 30 acres of lakes and waterways, 50 acres of parkland, and a walkable trail system. Shadow Creek Ranch has 300 acres of lakes, four recreation centers, and facilities for volleyball, basketball and tennis.

Sienna Plantation has Club Sienna Water Park with four resort pools, plus an amphitheater, sports complex, equestrian center, lake clubhouse, 18-hole golf course and walking trails. Cinco Ranch has a children's garden, tennis courts, a beach club, golf club and even its own water park.

Lakes of Bella Terra has dog parks, a pool with water slides, and two recreation centers for volleyball and tennis. New Territory has a dog park, a sports complex with soccer and baseball fields, and an 18,000-square-foot clubhouse with gymnasium, tennis courts and a cabana.

Riverstone has a fitness center, clubhouse, tennis courts, a resort-style pool and Splash Lagoon. Aliana has  two amenity complexes. The Club at Aliana has a resort-style pool, tennis court, ballroom and 24-hour fitness facility, while The Westmoor Club at Aliana has a game room, event lawn, tennis courts, 24-hour fitness center, and a pool and splash pad.

For more information about 2019's top master planned communities, as determined by Keller Williams Realty, visit houstonproperties.com/houston-neighborhoods/best-master-planned-communities.
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Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney