Following last week’s pronouncement that the long-awaited Meridiana project will be moving forward this fall, Rise Communities announced an official ground breaking ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, April 15. The event will be held at the location of the development’s primary entrance on SH 288, currently designated as CR 56. The new road, to be named Meridiana Parkway, will work its way east through Iowa Colony to CR 786 and then meander in a northeasterly direction through Manvel eventually terminating at SH 6 where it meets McCoy Road across from Manvel High School. Plans call for a bridge on McCoy that will cross over the railroad track that runs parallel to SH 6. The 2,700 acre master-planned community reportedly includes more than 5,500 single family homes.
The development is located within the boundaries of the Alvin Independent School District which will feel continued pressure to meet the demand for new schools. The district has proactively planned a new elementary school near the development that is scheduled to open in time for the 2016-2017 school year. The school will comprise 12 acres on the west side of SH 288 at CR 48 and CR 56 in Iowa Colony.
The project has been percolating for years. In November 2009 Manvel city council approved preliminary plats for the project which at that time was to be called Seven Oaks. Developers then expected homes to be on the ground in Late 2010 or early 2011. Public hearings were held on the creation of a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) in April 2010 that would allow the city to realize infrastructure improvements with the developer fronting the costs. Reimbursement for those costs would be paid through property tax and sales tax revenue earned on the increased property values resulting from the development. City council ultimately approved the creation of the TIRZ in May 2010. It was in December 2010 when city council granted the developer’s request to change the name to Meridiana. A national economic recession filtered down locally and the project was put off. Developers returned to city council to renew plats and development agreements according to requirements but not until recently has serious intent to break ground been forthcoming.
The project follows the recent groundbreaking of the Pomona development on the west side of SH 288 and CR 58 which comprises 1000 acres and eventually 2100 single family homes. Lakeland and Sedona Lakes continue to build at a healthy pace and just last month a zoning change moved closer yet another residential development, NewPort Lake Estates, which could deliver another 200 single family homes in the city’s northwest ETJ. The unfolding of brisk residential development that the city has expected appears extant.