Community Landmark Defines Popular Entertainment and Cultural District
Howard Hughes Holdings Inc. recently gifted to The Woodlands Township the award-winning The Woodlands Waterway—the 1.8-mile water amenity that defines the community’s Town Center as a vibrant entertainment and cultural district. The conveyance of The Woodlands Waterway to The Woodlands Township reinforces Howard Hughes’ dedicated stewardship and prioritization of nature-inspired amenities for residents, visitors and future generations to enjoy.
A linear park, recreational destination, and transportation corridor, The Woodlands Waterway begins at The Woodlands Mall, continues through The Waterway Square District, and culminates with a connection to 200-acre Lake Woodlands. A community landmark that helps define the active lifestyle of The Woodlands, the waterway offers urban walkability and connection to shopping, dining, and entertainment including the world-renowned amphitheater, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. It serves as the community hub for recreational water sports including kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, pedal boats, and water bikes as well as a popular route for running, walking and cycling. The Woodlands Waterway also provides access to Class AAA and Class A office spaces, multifamily residential living, public outdoor art, water sports, and gathering spaces including Town Green Park and Waterway Square®.
“We are pleased to officially endow The Woodlands Waterway to The Woodlands Township for the community. We are committed to providing nature-based amenities for the health and wellness of our residents and to enhance the overall quality of life in The Woodlands,” said Jim Carman, President, Houston Region for Howard Hughes. “We know that The Woodlands Township will continue to preserve and maintain The Woodlands Waterway for the community to enjoy, helping to ensure a sustainable future for The Woodlands.”
With the recent conveyance, Howard Hughes continues to uphold its ongoing commitment to the vision of the late founder of The Woodlands, George Mitchell. As part of that vision, Howard Hughes has devoted 28 percent of the community’s 28,500 acres to permanent open green space. The space includes forest preserves, 151 parks, 220 miles of trails, 14 pools and spraygrounds, which Howard Hughes constructed and gave to The Woodlands Township to operate and maintain over nearly five decades.
“The Woodlands Waterway is a centerpiece of The Woodlands, with its initial vision taking shape on a napkin more than 50 years ago,” said The Woodlands Township Chairman Dr. Ann K. Snyder. “Since its opening in 2002, the waterway has served as a vital connector for the many dining, entertainment and recreational offerings available throughout the Town Center. The Woodlands Waterway draws residents and visitors to its banks for everything from concerts to art shows to public celebrations, in addition to providing a scenic place to enjoy the outdoors. As a major landmark, the waterway embodies the ongoing partnership between The Woodlands Township and Howard Hughes, along with the numerous other partner agencies who contributed to this project over the decades. The Woodlands Township Board of Directors is pleased to accept the conveyance of The Woodlands Waterway on behalf of our residents.”
The Woodlands Waterway is a multigenerational amenity envisioned in 1972 with a diagram depicting a transit corridor in the heart of The Woodlands Town Center. The “napkin sketch” was created by Robert Heineman, former Vice President of Planning for Howard Hughes. The vision remained in the planning and design stages over the next 27 years. The development of The Woodlands Waterway began in 1999 in phases, with final completion in December 2017.
The Woodlands Waterway is a successful public-private partnership between Howard Hughes Holdings Inc. and numerous public entities including the Federal Transit Administration, Texas Department of Transportation, Houston-Galveston Area Council, The Woodlands Road Utility District, Town Center Owner’s Association, Montgomery County, and The Woodlands Township.
Under the guidance of Howard Hughes, numerous designers and entities were involved in the planning and development of The Woodlands Waterway including Ford Powell Carson, Cambridge 7, EDAW, Sasaki, Clark Condon, LJA, The Goodman Corporation, Brazos Transit District, and the internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry – further exemplifying a commitment to the long-range vision of The Woodlands.