Preston Harbor: Closer to Reality

All the Denison City Council members voted to approve a “new” development agreement with Waterfall Development Partners for Preston Harbor on May 15, 2023. The Preston Harbor development has sat on the back burner from its inception over 20 years ago. It comprises 3,100 acres on the western side of the Little Mineral Arm of Lake Texoma, south of Grandpappy Point and Rocky Point, and across from Preston Point. 

In 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers transferred 600 federally owned acres to be included in the Preston Harbor development property. The City of Denison signed a development agreement with George Schuler in 2013. In 2022, the Preston Harbor property went up for sale. Mr. Schuler’s health had declined, and he passed away in April 2023. The 2013 development agreement came after 12 years of planning, debating, and organizing Preston Harbor. 

Mr. Schuler developed planned communities in Crandall, Denison, Kaufman, Plano, Richardson, and Rockwall, Texas, over his real estate development career. He was the primary developer of the McKinney airport where Schuler Development headquarters were until 2013, when he and his wife moved to Lake Texoma, and he moved his company to North Texas Regional Airport in Grayson County.

Since the development agreement was signed between the City of Denison and Schuler Development in 2013 after Schuler slowly bought up Preston Harbor property, they built a sewer line and 10-inch water line into the development. Before 2013, the years rolled by with collaborations between county, state and federal officials to make the Preston Harbor development a reality. 

After a thorough environmental impact study, which required approval via a congressional act, the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, the act gave the Secretary of the Army authorization to deed federal property to the Preston Harbor development. The agreement signed on May 15, 2023, finally moves the Preston Harbor development into fruition. 

The 2023 development agreement with David Craig of McKinney’s Craig Ranch and Waterfall Development Partners, entirely replaces the 2013 agreement. Mr. Craig began developing Craig Ranch in 2000, a nationally acclaimed master-planned community today. Craig International and its partners plan to develop Preston Harbor to include 7,000 to 7,500 residences, a resort hotel, a private marina, and a town center for retail businesses and events with nine miles of lakefront.

Preston Harbor’s residences will include apartments, single-family homes, and townhomes. The developers have planned a 200-room hotel and slated the marina to be state-of-the-art and have 400 to 600 slips. The town center will feature businesses and restaurants that overlook Lake Texoma. Craig International’s chief operating officer, Miles Prestemon, has recently reported that, “...Lake Texoma has a very tired product of marinas.”

Craig International reported to the Denison City Council that, “his firm has the capital for the purchase and a contract with the Schuler family to buy the land.” When the sale goes through, it will be Grayson County’s largest property transaction. Denison Mayor Janice Gott believes that Preston Harbor will fundamentally change Denison as it goes through its development stages. 

The estimated value of the Preston Harbor property is $4 billion. Denison saw a population growth of 8% in 2020. Grayson County is becoming a hub for semiconductor chip-producing companies with Texas Instruments, GlobiTech, and Finisar building semi-conductor plants in the county. It appears that a real estate developer land-grab is in swing for the employees of these and other companies who are expected to move into Grayson County. 

For example, in Grayson County, Risland US Holdings, Hong Kong’s subsidiary of privately held Risland Holdings, bought property in 2019 for 6,000 homes on its 2,900-acre Mantua project. Centurion American bought 680 Acres for the Cottonwood master-planned community in 2022. Linesight Development bought 19.5 acres for its Hickory Hill, a mixed-use master planned community in 2022.

Moody's Analytics is a company that provides data analysis and financial intelligence products that helps companies and clients understand a constantly changing marketplace. Moody’s reported in 2022 that Boise, Idaho, was a 73% overvalued real estate market and the most overvalued market in the U.S., and the Sherman-Denison real estate market was 60% overvalued.  

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Fishing Report from TPWD (Jul. 10)

GOOD. Water stained; 75 degrees; 1.96 feet above pool. Striped bass fishing is great using live bait, slabs or topwaters on the right day. The weather should fire them up this week, watch for birds bouncing around the banks and hovering over schooling fish in deep water along river channels and main lake ledges. Bass fishing is slow using top waters early along the bluffs and using electronics to fish brush piles in coves 10-20 feet of water. Slow and shrink your approach to match the hatch and the heat. Crappie fishing is good jigging brush piles using electronics in the little mineral arm of the lake and near docks. 12-15 feet of water finding structure and roaming fish on chartreuse and black jigs. Catfishing is good seeing channels coming off baited holes and punch bait in 15-25 feet of water. Blue catfish are roaming the deep water in 40-50 feet of water eating cut shad. Fish the rocks and deep flats. Report by Jacob Orr, Guaranteed Guide Service Lake Texoma. Stripers are excellent on topwaters, and the slab bite has really kicked off landing the larger fish. Live bait bite has slowed. Water clarity has improved and the recent flooding has subsided so the summer pattern has resumed. Look for white egrets feeding on fish midlake to direct the way to fish. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

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