Pictured is the entrance to Richmond's Candela subdivision.

Growth in the western part of Fort Bend County continues at an astounding rate, with the developers behind a subdivision recently purchasing an additional 120 acres and selling land for a new $26.7 million school.

Representatives for Houston-based Johnson Development Services recently acquired about 117 acres of land that will be added to the company’s Candela development in Richmond, according to Haunani Shipper, a spokesperson for the company.

The news comes as Lamar Consolidated ISD just broke ground on a new $26.7 million elementary school, Bernard Clifton Terrell Jr. Elementary School, that is slated to open in 2023 in Candela.

“Historically, Fort Bend County has seen strong growth through multiple market cycles,” said Michael Cox, president of Johnson Development Services. “People love Fort Bend County.”

Once complete, the Candela master-planned community will feature more than 1,000 homes, Cox said. The development company initially purchased 460 acres for the development, but recently expanded it with the purchase of 117 acres because the land became available, Cox said.

The new section of Candela will one day house more than 345 homes in a mix of 40-, 50- and 60-foot homesites, according to the developer.

Hundreds of homes have already sold in the development since sales began in late 2020, according to the developer.

“The growth is moving out, as far as Cross Creek, Jordan Ranch and Candela,” Cox said. “Johnson Development is seeing strong growth in Fort Bend County and many other markets.”

The demand for housing is strong, and is fueling growth across the region, Cox said.

The population in Fort Bend County has grown rapidly in recent years, and experts expect it will only continue. According to one such analysis by HireAHelper, Fort Bend County is the second fastest-growing county in the United States. Between 2015 and 2020, the county’s population increased from about 715,260 up to 839,706 residents, according to the report.

Voters in Lamar Consolidated ISD in 2017 approved more than $445.5 million in bonds, some of which are being used to construct Bernard Clifton Terrell Jr. Elementary School.

The developer sold the land to the school district for the elementary school.

The elementary school will be the district’s 30th when it opens, likely sometime in 2023.

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