By Elsa Maxey
In a ceremony acknowledging First Colony’s 40th anniversary, community leaders and guests at the Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey law office in Sugar Land Town Square celebrate the significance and success of the all-inclusive master planned community on Nov. 1.
Former mayor James Thompson emceed the occasion on, which included proclamation presentations by Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert and Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman. The community that continues to drive master planned community development to this day, First Colony is close to 10,000-acres and spans through a large portion of Sugar Land with some of it in Missouri City.
Principal with Planned Community Developers (PCD) Don Janssen presented a Cousins Properties and Sugarland Properties book to Allison Wen, representing the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. It details the proposed development of the community after the purchase of the First Colony property. PCD’s Les Newson, a familiar face to the development community, joined the celebration along with other local leaders.
The vision for First Colony was set in motion by Houston real estate developer Gerald D. Hines, founder of Gerald D. Hines, Interests, now one of the largest real estate firms in the world. Hines purchased most of the land comprising First Colony in 1973 from Sugarland Industries, which owned the sugar factory. Later, more acreage was purchased and added to the First Colony development from the notable Frost Ranch.
The creation of Sugarland Properties in 1973 followed the initial land purchase to manage the property, and later it formed Planned Community Developers. Sugarland Properties sold its last piece of real estate in First Colony this year.
The Star Spotter salutes the First Colony as an exemplary master planned community with a visionary, entrepreneurial plan that looked to the future for growth and opportunity, and also Sugarland Properties for its 45-year success in an impactful community that has forever changed Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, and Texas.