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Shadow Creek Ranch is close to buildout

Pearland population boom erases glut as businesses crowd to be in a hot market

Rather than head off to spend their golden years in Seattle as they once thought they would, John and Sue Stewart felt the pull of children and grandchildren, lower taxes and old friends bringing them back to the Houston area.

With one son of their three sons living in The Estates in Shadow Creek Ranch and another in Silver Lake, the couple said that buying a house in Shadow Creek Ranch in Pearland was a no-brainer.

The Stewarts moved in 2005 from New Jersey into their five-bedroom home in The Gables, a community in Emerald Bay, one of four villages in the Shadow Creek Ranch master-planned community.

"It's like living in a park," John Stewart said. "The flowers, lawns, trees - it's very relaxing and quiet. There's lots of birds - blue herons - you have to have bird book handy."

Their spacious two-story, lake view home has ample space for grandchildren and visitors and a room for John's electric trains. The three-car garage accommodates John's cabinet-building hobby.

Located off Texas 288, the 3,500-acre community is split into four villages - Village of Emerald Bay, Reflection Bay, Diamond Bay and Biscayne Bay - each of which has its own recreation center.

The first homes in the development were sold in 2001. A third of the home sites are waterfront, and most have clear lake views.

Diamond Bay is zoned to the Fort Bend Independent School District, while the three other villages are zoned to Alvin Independent School District.

Shadow Creek houses many commuters who work in the Texas Medical Center and other parts of Houston. Traffic on the highway into Houston - Texas 288 - backs up during rush hours, and residents are cheering plans to construct toll lanes in the road's median to relieve some of the congestion.

Shadow Creek Ranch features 700 acres of green space, 300 acres of lakes, a 22-mile hike and bike network, a town center with shopping and dining, a corporate campus, hospital, daycare facilities, churches and schools.

Sue Stewart said she loves the diversity of the community. She said the shopping has improved, and there's a selection of restaurants nearby.

Sue said the location provides easy access to downtown, for when they meet up with old friends for a dinner and Alley Theatre outing and the Texas Medical Center.

The Stewarts are among many retirees who move to Shadow Creek Ranch, adding to the diverse population of residents, who come from across the nation and around the globe. Many work in the medical field and want to be close to work.

"It's one of the closest suburban communities to downtown (Houston) where you find a nice affordable house and still have very good schools," said Realtor Jenifer

Duguay Mikeska of ReMax Pearland. "The main attraction for residents is its location. We have a hometown feel, but it's so close to all the cultural activities in Houston."

"There's so many opportunities to get involved with the community and meet people," Duguay Mikeska said.

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pearland/news/article/Shadow-Creek-Ranch-is-halfway-to-buildout-6229502.php - with some corrections