By Lawanda Maxwell, MBA
WHA members taking part in the Rising Leaders program participated in two different tours this past month in Towne Lake and Bridgeland to learn more about the Quality Planned Development (QPD) program and the criteria to become a QPD recognized site.
The first tour took place on September 11th at Towne Lake, in Cypress, Texas. Towne Lake, a Caldwell Company property, was recognized as a Quality Planned Development (QPD) in 2013. This year, it has been recognized as a Houston Business Journal Landmark award-winning community.
Jesse Carrasco, a member of the fifth Rising Leader cohort and Development Associate at Caldwell Companies, gave a presentation to introduce the community and explain how Towne Lake met QPD standards. Attendees learned about the infrastructure that makes this area flood resistant and the amenities in the community that contribute to a better quality of life for residents. In order to take in the development from a more unique perspective and experience being part of the community, attendees went on a boat tour and ate lunch at the Boardwalk at Towne Lake.
The second tour took place on September 24th at Bridgeland, in Cypress, Texas. Bridgeland, a Howard Hughes Corporation property, received Quality Planned Development (QPD) recognition in 2012, and in 2019 was recognized as a Houston Business Journal Landmark award-winning community. Attendees met at Dragonfly Park in the Emerald Room where Lona Shipp, a member of the fourth Rising Leader cohort and Director of Residential Marketing for Bridgeland, gave a presentation on how Bridgeland qualified for QPD recognition by setting superior standards in the way they designed this master planned community.
Following the presentation, Tricia Brasseaux, a member of the third Rising Leaders cohort and Senior Design Project Manager for Bridgeland provided the attendees with a guided bus tour of the area. The tour included a discussion of the amenities that make Bridgeland among the country’s top ten best-selling master planned communities and a stop at the iconic Treehouse Park. Greg Lentz, P.E., MBA, a member of the second Rising Leader cohort and Director at Masterson Advisors LLC, a Quality Growth Partner, said that his favorite part was “learning about the construction techniques used to preserve the over 100-year old Oak Tree and the re-use of materials from an old barn to construct the roof.”
“These tours serve an opportunity to highlight to industry professionals the type of thinking that leads to Quality Planned Development recognition,” said Alan Steinberg, President of the West Houston Association. “Innovators, such as Caldwell and Howard Hughes take what others see as obstacles and turn them into opportunities. Developers seeking the QPD designation are choosing to go above and beyond traditional standards to create amazing places planned for the needs of the people who live and work in the Greater West Houston area.”
The Rising Leaders program began in 2016 and serves as an opportunity for WHA members to learn about the challenges and opportunities in Greater West Houston while building a network within the West Houston Association. These tours play an integral role in providing the Rising Leaders the opportunity to both learn and network. “My favorite part was the opportunity to meet and visit with others in the industry,” said Brasseaux. Each year, WHA’s Quality Growth Partners, organizations that are committed to the long-term financial sustainment of the association, nominate participants for each Rising Leaders cohort. To learn more about the Rising Leaders program, visit WestHouston.org.