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Higher education institutions such as Lone Star College are rising to meet demand in the oil and gas industry with new facilities and programs available to prepare students to enter the workforce.

In 2012, 43,000 new jobs were added to the oil and gas industry in Texas, according to the Greater Houston Partnership, but there has also been an exodus of workers because of retiring baby boomers.

 The J. Beard Real Estate Company and Toll Brothers home builders announced plans to develop a 600-acre master-planned community east of FM 2978 and north of Spring Creek.

The community will feature about 900 luxury homes, with lots becoming available in early 2015, said Karl Mistry, division president for Toll Brothers.

“This acquisition reflects the thriving economic growth of the Houston market with the migration of large energy companies to the area and the expansion of the Grand Parkway,” Mistry said. 

 Three segments of the Grand Parkway—Houston’s third outer loop—are expected to bring improved mobility and new developments to northern Harris County after the roadway opens to traffic at the end of 2015. Segments F-1, F-2 and G of the Grand Parkway will connect Hwy. 290 to Hwy. 59, bringing the proposed 184-mile roadway one step closer to completion.

The Baker Hughes Western Hemisphere Education Center is set to open within the next couple of months in Tomball and is expected to not only bring tens of thousands of employees through the facility each year, but also to net millions of dollars in revenue for the city in its first 10 years.

Tomball is also garnering interest from a number of developers looking to build hotels and further develop the city’s east side, an area of town that has remained mostly undeveloped.

A team of developers presented plans for a mixed-use planned development near the northwest corner of FM 2920 and FM 2978 to the Tomball City Council. It is seeking approval from Tomball’s Planning and Zoning Commission to rezone the property from single-family housing to a planned development.

With less than two years remaining until the completion of the 38 miles of the Grand Parkway from Hwy. 290 to Hwy. 59, construction is well underway at Hwy. 249 and I-45, as well as other existing major thoroughfares.

 A local developer recently broke ground two miles south of the Woodlands on a 25-acre property he purchased two years ago in anticipation of a perfect storm.

That perfect storm involves thousands of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) employees relocating to a new campus near the Woodlands combined with a historically low inventory of single-family homes.

Local chambers of commerce and economic development groups believe 2014 will be a strong year for communities in the Tomball, Spring and Klein areas.

The communities, which are bracketed between FM 2920, Texas 249, FM 1960 and Interstate 45, are in the midst of massive growth and development, which is being fed by the development of the Grand Parkway and the transformation of Texas 249 into the Tomball Tollway.


In Tomball, the development has been steady, especially with mobility and the recent construction start of the Tomball Tollway in October.