Caldwell Communities breaks ground on The Highlands amenity complex with water park

Residents of Caldwell Communities’ 2,300-acre master-planned community The Highlands in Montgomery County will soon get a $20 million-plus amenity complex with a waterpark.

The developer broke ground this month on the first phase of Discovery Cove, a 20-acre park that will include a resort-style pool with a natural feel, tall water slides, a lazy river with grottos and coves, splash pads, tennis and pickleball courts, an event lawn, pavilions, recreational fields and a main building with a gym and community areas.

“It will contain just about every element of an amenity center that you can imagine,” said Peter Barnhart, president of Caldwell Communities, the development arm of Cypress-based Caldwell Cos. “And that really is the culmination of a lot of our learning from all of the other many centers we’ve built throughout the years.”

Caldwell is doing the construction in house. Barnhart declined to name the architect.

The waterpark is slated to open next summer. Then construction will start on the second phase, which will include the fitness center building. What gets added in the third phase will depend on community preference.

“We really want to watch how the community uses all these different amenities,” Barnhart said. “If there’s something that we need to add more of, we can add more of (that in) the next phase, or if there’s something that we just see is not utilized as much, then we might pivot and change to something that’s more desired by the community.”

Caldwell broke ground on The Highlands, along the Grand Parkway between Spring and New Caney, in 2020 and opened the community in 2021.

It now has more than 400 homes occupied and is approaching 500 sales, Barnhart said. At build-out, the community could have between 3,500 and 4,000 homes.

Thirteen builders offer homes ranging from about 1,600 to more than 5,000 square feet on 40- to 75-foot lots. They are priced between $360,000 and more than $1 million.

Homebuilders are Caldwell Homes, Beazer Homes, Coventry Homes, David Weekley Homes, Drees Homes, Empire, Highland Homes, Lennar Homes, Newmark Homes, Partners in Building, Perry Homes, Ravenna Homes and Village Builders.

Current community amenities include The Highland Pines Golf Course, which opened last November, dozens of miles of walking trails and recreational lakes. It also offers lifestyle events and outdoor activities for residents under the direction of a lifestyle director.

The New Caney Independent School District plans to build Highlands Elementary School in the community to be ready in time for the 2025-26 school year.

Other master-planned communities in Caldwell Cos.’ portfolio include Towne Lake in Cypress, Bridlecreek in Cypress and Willowcreek Ranch in Tomball.

Caldwell opened Chambers Creek, a 1,200-acre active-adult community at Lake Conroe, last November and recently surpassed 150 home sales. Last month, it opened the 90-acre Lehman Park with an 18-hole putting course in the community.

The company’s multifamily portfolio includes Lakeview Lofts, a 366-unit apartment community near Towne Lake, as well as College Station’s Thomas Park Lofts. Caldwell also recently opened the 189-unit Cadence Creek at Gosling, a new active-adult apartment complex in Spring for residents 55 and older, and it plans to open Cadence Creek at Towne Lake, which has 153 apartment homes and 84 cottage homes, in September.

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