From Humble Beginnings to One of the Nation’s Leading Developers
Growing up in a town of just 400 people, Larry Johnson was first introduced to Houston when his class of 25 seniors visited on a high school trip. After attending college in Lubbock and Austin, Larry was back in Houston, working for a real estate brokerage firm and finding his true passion.
It was an exciting time to be in Houston, which was experiencing expansive growth — of which the construction of NASA and the Houston Astrodome was no small part. In 1967, Larry and partner Glenn Loggins formed Johnson-Loggins, Inc., and had developed several residential subdivisions and five apartment complexes around the Houston area by the time the company merged with First Realty Investment Corp. in 1970.
Larry served on the board and expanded that company’s residential holdings, opening communities in Phoenix, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Colorado. He always saw Houston’s tremendous potential, however, and in 1975, forged the Johnson Development., now one of the nation’s leading developers.
Johnson Development’s first planned community was the 1,000-acre Steeplechase community in northwest Houston. Towne Lake Hills in Atlanta followed in 1986 and Las Colinas at Rialto in Los Angeles the following year. Recognizing the potential of several then outlying areas in suburban Houston, Johnson Development purchased large parcels of land in Pearland, Missouri City and the extra-territorial jurisdiction of Sugar Land as the company continued residential and commercial development in and around Houston.
In the 1990s, Larry purchased BridgeMill in Atlanta and a 1,000-acre Pearland community from a bankruptcy court that would become Silverlake. Also in the ‘90s, work began on Sienna, a 10,800-acre community in Missouri City. In 2000, the Fall Creek and Berkshire communities opened, followed by Riverstone — a 3,700-acre community with a Sugar Land address — in 1991. Silverlake, Sienna and Riverstone would prove to be a popular trio, all going on to be listed among the best-selling communities in the nation. Towne Lake Hills and BridgeMill were each a top-selling community in the Atlanta market.
The 2000s continued to be busy for Johnson Development, with the company acquiring or opening an additional 14 communities in the Houston, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta markets.