lush land

Innovative Houston 'agrihood' grows impact with new land acquisition

Harvest Green — a unique and innovative community in the greater Houston area — has added a mammoth parcel to its agrihood. Photo courtesy of Harvest Green

One of the hottest trends in Houston's scorching real estate market is the rise of the "agrihood" — what's defined as an "organized community that integrates agriculture into a residential neighborhood."

Now, a suburban neighborhood/agrihood has announced a major expansion, aimed at adding more homes and to the fast-selling community.

Harvest Green, nestled in the Richmond area, has just acquired 630 acres adjacent to the neighborhood, according to ownership company Johnson Development.

That massive addition means some 1,400 homes that will be added to the agrihood-based development. Homesites should be ready for builders by the second quarter of 2022, per Jerry Ulke, general manager of Harvest Green, with sales expected to begin fall of 2022.

A key draw for Harvest Green is its 12-acre farm, which features fields of produce, an orchard, a vineyard, and pens for goats and chickens. Residents can join the farm club and access plots to grow their own produce (under the guidance of professional farmers). A popular farmers market is held the third Saturday of each month.

Meanwhile, future residents can also look forward to the Farmhouse recreation complex, with its fitness center and resort-style pool, trail, and a number of parks and playgrounds. The Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen (read the CultureMap story here) is also located onsite.

This new section will feature a variety of home styles, with designs for properties ranging from 40 feet wide to 75 feet wide, per press materials. Also on tap are additional community amenities, with parks, trails, green space, and a pool planned.

Residents will have access to existing Harvest Green amenities, including the Village Farm. As locals know, Oyster Creek winds through the new property for nearly two miles.

Currently, Harvest Green offers reasonably priced homes starting in the $300,000s by builders including Coventry Homes, David Weekley Homes, and Perry Homes.

"Our farm-themed community has resonated with buyers looking for a more sustainable lifestyle," Ulke continued in a press release.

"The past two years, Harvest Green has ranked among the nation's 50 top-selling master-planned communities, and last year we sold nearly 500 new homes. Because of last year's robust sales, builders had fewer than 100 homesites for all of 2021. This additional land will meet that obvious demand."

For more information, visit the official Harvest Green website.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

After working with thousands of interns, Allie Danziger of Ampersand Professionals says she's now got a product to upskill and train new hires for employers. Photo courtesy of Ampersand

After seeing success with her internship training and matchmaking platform, Allie Danziger, founder and CEO of Ampersand Professionals, has expanded the concept to include a new hire training service that allows employers to better optimize the onboarding process and have a well-trained new staff member from day one.

In just over a year, Ampersand has worked with over 7,000 professionals through its original concept of upskilling and matching young professionals to internship programs. A few months ago, Danziger and her team expanded to include career development training for students first entering the workforce with the City of Houston's Hire Houston Youth program. Danziger says it was developing out the platform for this program that proved there was a need for this type of training.

"While we have focused on matching professionals with businesses for paid internships, we recognized a further gap with employers that have their own recruiting/talent acquisition teams, or just their own preferred way of bringing on entry-level talent, and didn’t have a need for our matching platform," Danziger tells InnovationMap. "But, they recognized the benefit of our proven training platform that pre-vets and de-risks their hires, and still wanted access to the training for their own hires."

The new program has evolved from training interns to new hires, so parts of the program that focuses on interviewing or applying for a job have been removed. Instead, the 8.5 hours of training focuses on networking, best practices for working with a manager and team, performance reviews, common software training, and more.

Danziger says usually new hires need the most experienced mentor or manager, but they don't usually get that support — especially when it comes to businesses that don't have their own built-out mentorship or training program.

"Ampersand’s new training product fills that gap — it gives employers of any size any easy solution to provide basic job readiness training to employees, access to our team of dedicated coaches, and a detailed report at the end of their training summarizing how their new hire did in the training and any trends recognized and tips for managing this employee based on what the platform uncovered," she says. "Businesses can also sign up for additional coaching sessions and customize training materials, as an add-on if interested."

The program costs the employer $100 per new employee, and checkout online takes less than a minute. Through both this program and the original internship program, Ampersand is constantly evolving its training content.

"These professionals are going through the same training experience that we have proven out over the last year, and we are constantly adding to based on data we see in the user experience," Danziger says.

Danziger recently joined the Houston Innovators Podcast discuss some of the benchmarks she's met with Ampersand, as well as the importance of investing in Gen Z hires. Listen to that episode below.


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