It was dedicated by George P. Mitchell in 1974, 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 affordable 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 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 andReston, 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.
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.
By 2000 a significant amount of corporate office space was under construction. Of the 4,800,000 square feet (450,000 m2) of office space under construction in Greater Houston, over one third was in The Woodlands.
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation has its headquarters in The Woodlands. On February 11, 1999 Anadarko announced that it would purchase a 7.5-acre (30,000 m2) tract from The Woodlands Land Company, to build a 800,000-square-foot (74,000 m2), 32-story headquarters building, to open in mid-2002. As of 2000 the Anadarko building was the largest office project in The Woodlands.
In January 2012, Anadarko announced the imminent construction of a sister tower on site, 31 stories high, of which ten will be for parking. According to a press release from the company, site work had already begun and construction of the tower would be complete by 2014. The building will be at the corner of Woodloch Forest and Lake Robbins Dr, and, with its completed sister tower, it will be the tallest building in Montgomery County and between Houston and Dallas.
In 2011 ExxonMobil announced plans to construct a new complex on a 385 acre plot of land near the intersection of theHardy Toll Road and Interstate 45, which is in the Houston ETJ and might be annexed by Houston. About 10,000 employees in the Houston area will relocate to the campus starting in 2014, with full occupancy by 2015.
The Woodlands offers many entertainment venues including two movie theaters, over 150 restaurants, a publicly accessible waterway, dancing waterfalls with music, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, summer home of the Houston Symphony and catering for many large acts (rock bands to classical). The Woodlands Waterway will eventually be more than 1/2 mile long, reaching from The Woodlands Mall around to Lake Woodlands and with wide, lighted sidewalks along both sides and Waterway Taxis. Other attractions include Market Street, an old style "Main Street" pedestrian shopping district, home to a movie theater and a variety of shops and restaurants. The Woodlands Mall borders the waterway and is adjacent to Market Street, forming a large pedestrian-friendly shopping district. Each of the "villages" in The Woodlands has its own shopping center with a core grocery store and shops, banks, gas, restaurants, etc.
The Woodlands is also the setting of the novel 'Absolutely Unforgivable' by Tracy Tegan.
As of 2011 the community is majority Christian.
In 2011 there were 350 Hindu families in The Woodlands. In a 15 year period ending in 2011 the Hindu population in the Woodlands increased by 300%, and Kate Shellnut of the Houston Chronicle stated that according to "Hindu leaders" every year the Hindu population in The Woodlands grows by 20 to 25 families.
The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands, the sole Hindu temple serving the northern part of Greater Houston, was scheduled to open in 2010. The temple, built for $3 million, is located in a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) stone exterior building on an 8-acre (3.2 ha) plot of land along the Woodlands Parkway. It serves Hindus living in The Woodlands, Conroe, Spring, Tomball, and northern Harris County. The planning, fundraising, and construction took six years. Before the temple was built, residents of the service area of the temple had to travel about one and half hours per direction to temples in Pearland and Sugar Land. Another Hindu temple, Char Dham Hindu Temple at Northway Drive at Texas State Highway 242, was founded by Surya Sahoo. By 2012 its construction was upcoming. At that time some area residents had concerns about forest preservation, traffic, noise pollution, and lighting.
Village of Alden Bridge: In the northwest corner. Bordered by FM 2978 on the west and FM 1488 and the Jones State Forest on the north (opened 1993).
Village of College Park: location of Lone Star College and Sam Houston State University-The Woodlands Center. Includes the area around State Highway 242and the Harper's Landing neighborhood east of I-45 (opened 1995).
Village of Sterling Ridge: location of The Woodlands High School Ninth Grade Campus. Includes the gated community of Carlton Woods, which was initially a village in its own right (opened 2000).
Village of Creekside Park: The new village development to be undertaken by The Woodlands Development Company, in Harris County. 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).
Justin Gilbert, NFL football player for the Cleveland Browns Dean Harman, Financial author, Financial Media, Former NFL Football Player
Notable locations in this zip code not listed on our city pages:
Notable locations in zip code 77382: The Woodlands Fire Department Station 5 - First Responders (A), The Woodlands Fire Department Station 4 - First Responders (B). Display/hide their locations on the map
Church in zip code 77382: Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church (A). Display/hide its location on the map
Streams, rivers, and creeks: Nickaburr Creek (A), Bear Branch (B). Display/hide their locations on the map