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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GOOD. Water normal stain; 38-41 degrees; 0.06 feet below pool. Striped bass are fair on flukes drifting 35-45 feet of water near the rivers as we get closer to the spawn. Slow rolling swimbaits in coves and on points in 8-15 feet of water are still working for bigger fish. Glow and smoked shad are colors of choice. Crappie are slow on minnows in 10-12 feet of water on brush and dock piles. Look for the fish to move into the coves and creeks with the warmer weather. Catfish are slow on dead shad drifting 30-40 feet of water on ledges for keeper size fish. Bigger fish are shallow, look for dirty warmer water with inflow from rains. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are fair on swimbaits in stumps on points in 8-12 feet of water, and swimbaits along the bluffs in the backs of the coves on warmer days. Report by Jacob Orr, Guaranteed Guide Service Lake Texoma. Striped bass are starting to gorge on bait, so fish can be slow to bite but overall the bite is good. The most active bite in 3-30 feet of water on the humps and ledges using Alabama rigs, swimbaits, and some anglers are having success long lining. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

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