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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2 Houston startups selected by US military for geothermal projects

hot new recruits

Two clean energy companies in Houston have been recruited for geothermal projects at U.S. military installations.

Fervo Energy is exploring the potential for a geothermal energy system at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada.

Meanwhile, Sage Geosystems is working on an exploratory geothermal project for the Army’s Fort Bliss post in Texas. The Bliss project is the third U.S. Department of Defense geothermal initiative in the Lone Star State.

“Energy resilience for the U.S. military is essential in an increasingly digital and electric world, and we are pleased to help the U.S. Army and [the Defense Innovation Unit] to support energy resilience at Fort Bliss,” Cindy Taff, CEO of Sage, says in a news release.

A spokeswoman for Fervo declined to comment.

Andy Sabin, director of the Navy’s Geothermal Program Office, says in a military news release that previous geothermal exploration efforts indicate the Fallon facility “is ideally suited for enhanced geothermal systems to be deployed onsite.”

As for the Fort Bliss project, Michael Jones, a project director in the Army Office of Energy Initiatives, says it’ll combine geothermal technology with innovations from the oil and gas sector.

“This initiative adds to the momentum of Texas as a leader in the ‘geothermal anywhere’ revolution, leveraging the robust oil and gas industry profile in the state,” says Ken Wisian, associate director of the Environmental Division at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Geology.

The Department of Defense kicked off its geothermal initiative in September 2023. Specifically, the Army, Navy, and Defense Innovation Unit launched four exploratory geothermal projects at three U.S. military installations.

One of the three installations is the Air Force’s Joint Base San Antonio. Canada-based geothermal company Eavor is leading the San Antonio project.

Another geothermal company, Atlanta-based Teverra, was tapped for an exploratory geothermal project at the Army’s Fort Wainwright in Alaska. Teverra maintains an office in Houston.

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This article originally ran on EnergyCapital.

Report: Houston secures spot on list of top 50 startup cities

by the numbers

A new ranking signals great promise for the growth of Houston’s startup network.

Houston ranks among the world’s top 50 startup cities on a new list from PitchBook, a provider of data and research about capital markets. In fact, Houston comes in at No. 50 in the ranking. But if you dig deeper into the data, Houston comes out on top in one key category.

The city earns a growth score of 63.8 out of 100 — the highest growth score of any U.S. city and the seventh highest growth score in the world. In the growth bucket, Houston sits between between Paris (64.4) and Washington, D.C. (61.7).

The PitchBook growth score reflects short-term, midterm, and long-term growth momentum for activity surrounding venture capital deals, exits, and fundraising for the past six years.

PitchBook’s highest growth score (86.5) goes to Hefei, a Chinese manufacturing hub for electric vehicles, solar panels, liquid crystal displays, home appliances, and Lenovo computers.

The overall ranking is based on a scoring system that relies on proprietary PitchBook data about private companies. The system’s growth and development scores are based on data related to deals, exits, fundraising and other factors.

Houston earns a development score of 34.1 out of 100, which puts it in 50th place globally in that regard. This score measures the size and maturity of a city’s startup network.

Topping the overall list is San Francisco, followed by New York City and Beijing. Elsewhere in Texas, Austin appears at No. 16 and Dallas at No. 36.

The ranking “helps founders, operators, and investors assess locations when deciding where to expand or invest,” says PitchBook.

“Network effects matter in venture capital: Investors get more than half of their deals through referrals, according to research led by Harvard professor Paul Gompers,” PitchBook goes on to say. “So it stands to reason that dealmakers should seek these networks out when deciding where to do business.”