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Johnson Development unveils updated Camp Strake plans

August 25, 2014

Johnson Development Corporation officials revealed detailed plans for an estimated 2,000-acre, mixed-use development known as Strake–The Grand Central Park to be constructed about 4 miles north of The Woodlands.

The new development will be constructed at the former site of Camp Strake in Conroe at the corner of I-45 and Loop 336 beginning in early 2015. For about 70 years, the Boy Scouts of America owned and managed the property before the Johnson Development Corporation acquired it in 2013.

“There’s a strong scouting community and the Strake property holds a lot of things and promises to it,” said Virgil Yoakum, general manager of the Woodforest Development in Conroe at the Johnson Development Corporation. “So the difficult task will be to weave ourselves into this natural resource and come away with something prideful and the least impactful, so to speak. “

Strake–The Grand Central Park will be divided into several different sections with a variety of residential units, retail areas, corporate offices and green space.

“There are a multitude of potential uses for the development,” Yoakum said. “From traditional family to higher density units, to corporate retail and corporate office uses, to townhomes and many other forms,” Yoakum said.

The Johnson Development Corporation is working with Sasaki Associates—a planning and design firm based in Massachusetts—to develop plans for the Strake property, Yoakum said. Sasaki Associates officials are planning the architecture and landscape to resemble open designs inspired from the East and West coasts, he said.

The west village portion of the Strake property is proposed to include several traditional, single-family homes, Yoakum said. In addition, a 750,000-square-foot retail center is proposed along 100 acres across the northern part of the property near Loop 336. In the center of the Strake property, plans for a central district include urban living centers, corporate offices and retail centers.

“We hope that Sasaki’s planning will help us whip this center into a very desirable, very pedestrian-scale, friendly environment with entertainment,” Yoakum said.

The Strake property will also feature six existing lakes including the 80-acre Deer Lake along the southern boundary.

“If we can create a corridor of transportation and an entertainment corridor between Loop 336 and Deer Lake, that’s what we’d like to do,” Yoakum said.

Housing up to 5,000 residents, the Strake property could include about 2,500 to 2,700 residential units of various types including traditional houses, townhomes, apartments and live-work units, Yoakum said. At build-out, the property is proposed to include at least 1 million-square-feet of retail space.

“It could get into a strong employment corridor and a very strong residential live, work and play environment,” Yoakum said. “We think that this 2,000 acres can come alive. It can be an environment that satisfies the landscape, and it can be an environment that doesn’t overwhelm the community.”

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