Land Development

Johnson Development Acquires 1,500 Acres of Property from The George Foundation

Parcel in West Fort Bend County is First Significant Land Sale in Foundation’s 80-Year History, Designed to Boost Its Charitable Mission Long-Term

In a historic first for the 80-year-old The George Foundation, its Board of Trustees this week announced that it has selected Johnson Development as the buyer of the first significant parcel of land the nonprofit has ever sold — 1,500 acres in west Fort Bend County for a new-home community. Sold for an undisclosed price, the property is located off of FM 2977 at Koeblen Road.

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees vote to sell this tract of land was driven by its fiduciary responsibility to fulfill the charitable distribution amounts required by the IRS, said Ruthanne Mefford, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The George Foundation. As a private foundation, IRS regulations require The George Foundation to distribute 5 percent of its total assets annually, which includes the asset value of the foundation’s vast land holdings.

“This transaction underscores our long-term commitment to supporting the citizens of Fort Bend County by ensuring we have the liquid assets we need to fulfill our charitable mission,” Mefford said. “In fact, The George Foundation is intent on awarding hundreds of millions of dollars to local scholarship recipients and nonprofit partners serving our community over the next century, and this transaction will help us realize this dream.”

The majority of the foundation’s 21,000 acres are leased to farmers and ranchers, and the average lease rates generate less than $100 per acre of income annually, said Roger Adamson, Chief Executive Officer of The George Foundation.

“The IRS, however, assesses the land at fair market value for the purpose of calculating our yearly charitable distribution requirement,” he said. “With the surging real estate values in Fort Bend County, we have to be strategic to ensure future distributions are sustainable and not rely solely on our investment portfolio to fulfill the 5 percent charitable distribution requirement. This is a welcome obligation for The George Foundation and is the very reason we exist – to serve the citizens of Fort Bend County.”

Michael Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson Development, acknowledges the significance of being selected to transform George Ranch farmland into a new large-scale community.

“This is a historic moment in land development in Fort Bend County and the Houston region,” he said. “The George Foundation and The George Ranch are the essence of Fort Bend County and to be selected to develop part of this George Foundation property into a master-planned community is a huge honor. Like The George Foundation, our company — founded by Larry Johnson in 1975 — is taking the long view and investing in this community for a vibrant and sustainable future. We look forward to showing regional residents the value and quality of life we can bring to the table and will be careful stewards of the land as well as the legacy of Larry Johnson and The George Ranch.”

Smith said the property has tremendous potential. “Residents will have excellent access to destinations in Fort Bend as well as the rest of Houston while fostering an environment where life is lived, memories are made and life grows.”

No timeline has been given for when construction of the property might start or when home sales might begin.

Over the past year, Johnson Development has announced several new communities. Last January, it released information about a new venture with Plow Realty to develop an 1,146-acre tract in Waller County. In July, it released the name of a new community in Magnolia, Kresston. Both communities are expected to begin home sales in 2025. A third new community, Jubilee in Hockley, started home sales at the end of 2023.

The George Foundation community will be the ninth Fort Bend community for Johnson Development, which — with nearly 24,000 acres under development — is currently the largest developer of master-planned communities in Fort Bend County.

Other Fort Bend communities by Johnson Development include Sienna in Missouri City — the largest master-planned community to date in the history of Fort Bend County; Riverstone and Imperial in the Sugar Land region; Veranda and Harvest Green in Richmond; and Cross Creek Ranch, Jordan Ranch and Cross Creek West in Fulshear.

Other Houston-area communities include Grand Central Park in Conroe, Woodforest in Montgomery, Edgewater in Webster and Tuscan Lakes in League City. Johnson Development also develops Viridian in Arlington, Trinity Falls in McKinney, Bryson in Leander and Lake Arrowhead in the Atlanta region. Over the past decade, Johnson Development has had more top-selling master-planned communities in the nation than any other developer.

For more information on Johnson Development, visit Information about The George Foundation can be found at

Photo Information

The George Foundation has sold 1,500 acres to Johnson Development for a new residential community in west Fort Bend County. The move was made to boost the foundation’s charitable mission long-term.

About Johnson Development

Dedicated to creating vibrant, sustainable and connected neighborhoods, Johnson Development was founded in 1975 and is a nationally recognized, award-winning residential and commercial land development company. Now celebrating 49 years, the company has set the standard for successful master-planned communities in top residential markets around the country, including the Houston-area communities of Sienna, Woodforest, Cross Creek Ranch, Grand Central Park, Veranda, Harvest Green, Jubilee, Kresston, Edgewater, Riverstone, Cross Creek West, Jordan Ranch, and Tuscan Lakes. The company also is developing Viridian and Trinity Falls in the Dallas region, Bryson in the Austin area and Lake Arrowhead north of Atlanta. Johnson Development has had more top- selling master-planned communities than any other developer in the nation over the past decade. An affiliate of Johnson Development — Johnson Development Services — manages development of boutique communities within the Johnson portfolio, including Amira and Candela in the Southwest Houston area, and Nolina in Georgetown. For more information, visit or LinkedIn.

About The George Foundation

Albert and Mamie George established The George Foundation in 1945 with the purposeful intent to give back to the community that blessed their lives. Its purpose is to partner with the community to leverage the Foundation’s resources to positively impact Fort Bend County and its residents. Since its founding, The George Foundation has awarded nearly $270 million in grants to Fort Bend County nonprofit organizations and scholarship recipients. For more information, visit