October 1, 2004
Go Behind-the Scenes and Learn The Story Of The Woodlands
A new book from the Urban Land Institute —
The Woodlands: The Inside Story of Creating a Better Hometown
This book tells the story of The Woodlands, one of the most successful master-planned communities in the United States. Built from the ground up near Houston, beginning in the 1960s, The Woodlands is not just another suburban housing development. It is a new “hometown” where people live, work, shop, and become involved in their community in a way not often seen in modern-day America.
Told as a first-person series of reminiscences by an insider directly involved in The Woodlands’ development, this book takes you “behind the scenes” and tells you the stories of the people who were instrumental in building the community and of the challenges they faced. It provides a little-known account of how they wrangled with governments and school districts, dealt with near bankruptcy, figured out what worked and what didn’t, and influenced and changed the decisions of the planners and developers along the way.
A novel concept for its time, The Woodlands was born from the vision of George Mitchell, a self-made oil and gas tycoon, who turned to real estate development to diversify his business, and the federal government’s experiment in support of the development of new suburban towns that would attract people from problem-plagued cities.
Brought back from the brink of financial disaster in its formative years, The Woodlands grew into a healthy adulthood and a solid business success. Today, The Woodlands is home to over 75,000 residents and 3,000 employers, and it is still growing. What makes it a real hometown is not just where people sleep at night, but where and how they spend the rest of the day: The Woodlands community has won international acclaim for its successful mix of commercial, retail, and residential components; its ability to attract and sustain jobs; and for its protection of the natural environment.
About the Book:
The Woodlands: The Inside Story of Creating a Better Hometown (Urban Land Institute, 2004, ISBN 0-87420-931-5) is available at bookstores, Amazon.com, www.bookstore.uli.org, or directly from the publisher by calling (800) 321-5011.
About the Author:
Roger L. Galatas is president and chief executive officer of Roger Galatas Interests, LLC, a Woodlands, Texas--based firm that provides advisory and development services to owners, investors, and management executives of real estate ventures that specialize in master-planned communities. Previously, he was president and chief executive officer of The Woodlands Operating Company, L.P., where he directed real estate activities and the development, marketing, management, and financial performance of the corporation’s assets. Over the past 25 years, Galatas has also contributed to the development of other major communities in the Houston region, including Kingwood and Woodlake. He has been involved in resort development on Texas’s Galveston Island and in Aspen and Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
In addition to his real estate career, Galatas is actively engaged in a number of professional, community, and civic activities and is the founding director of The Woodlands Hospital; a board member of the Memorial Hermann Hospital System; a founding director of the John Cooper School, where President George H.W. Bush delivered the first commencement address; and president of the Conroe Independent School District, where an elementary school was named in his honor in 1992.
Jim Barlow is a journalist who has worked in television, radio, and newspapers and with the Associated Press international wire service. He has also been a lobbyist, a political consultant, and a public relations executive for educational institutions. Barlow served as the business columnist for the Houston Chronicle for 15 years.
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide responsible leadership in the use of land in order to enhance the total environment.