The Ralph Bivins Project – Podcast Guest: Mike Miller of The Signorelli Co.

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – The latest episode of The Ralph Bivins Project features Mike Miller of The Signorelli Group. The development firm, founded in 1994 by Danny Signorelli, creates master planned communities and other commercial developments around the state of Texas.


RALPH BIVINS: Welcome to the Ralph Bivins Project. Today we are talking about master planned communities, land use and places where people live. In Texas, there are a lot of master planned communities — 1,000-acre projects, 3,000-acre projects and larger ones such as 25,000-acre projects that are nearing the end of their development phase.  Our guest is Mike Miller, senior vice president of land for The Signorelli Company.

RALPH BIVINS: Signorelli made big news last year with Austin Point, a 4,700-acre development in Fort Bend County southwest of Houston. Tell us a little about it. The Austin Point story was huge for our website, The story went viral and was getting clicks from everywhere.

MIKE MILLER: The Austin Point development will be larger than my hometown of Charlottesville, Va. It will eventually have a total of 14,000 homes with a residential population of 50,000. We are slated to break ground later this year in the area north of FM 762, the Moore Family Ranch.

Austin Point is slated to be the biggest master planned community built in Fort Bend County in the last 30 years. Two major highways will one day intersect with Segment C of the Grand Parkway. We are developing a regional transformational Texas town that will become the geographic and human heart of Fort Bend County of the future. There will be a lot of opportunities, with 15 million SF of office, medical, life sciences and retail space. It will be the next master planned development frontier for the future of Houston.

RALPH BIVINS: 14,000 homes and a lot of commercial development….

MIKE MILLER: Absolutely. It will truly be an integrated city, with every aspect of living, working, shopping, playing, residing, enjoying, etc. We will have every segment that a community can offer under the sun.

RALPH BIVINS: 15 million SF, that’s a lot of commercial and multifamily. You are familiar with the John Burns research organization. Burns coined the phrase, “sur-ban,” a blend of urban and suburban. I look at Austin Point as being one of these sur-ban projects that have some of rhe qualities of the city in the suburbs. Isn’t that the kind of blend you are offering?

MIKE MILLER: The term “sur-ban” as a reference to this project is absolutely correct. We are not building homes and then selling the commercial property on the outskirts through a third party. We are putting everything into the same area so they can play off against each other. Who wouldn’t want to live, work, shop and play in an area where all aspects are thought out and thoughtfully integrated together?

RALPH BIVINS: What is your time frame on this?

MIKE MILLER: Right now, we are working with nine of the best-in-class home builders. We will probably release their names this summer. We are working to sign them up even as we speak. The schedule for breaking ground is probably late summer if all goes according to plan. From a residential point of view, this is a long-life project with a residential component that will continue for about 15 years, depending on the marketing conditions and the timing of the segment connecting to the Grand Parkway. One of the main barriers – the one that’s considered the biggest catalyst — is crossing the Brazos River and the subsequent installation of all the intersections. This is really important for the commercial aspect of Austin Point. So important, in fact, that we are already doing the planning for this segment. It will be several years before work actually begins on this commercial segment of the project, but we are working on it now, absolutely planning this effort from a hometown perspective.

RALPH BIVINS: Tell me a little about what you are planning.

MIKE MILLER: Ralph, we are talking about Fort Bend County, the third fastest growing county in Texas. It is the Mecca of master planned communities. It is the most diverse county in Texas. The population is expected to double by 2040. For every business that is there now, we will have to build another business. We have a big opportunity here. We are dealing with an affluent population – households with the largest median income in Houston. When we have the connection to the Grand Parkway, we will have mobility that is advantageous. We are creating a mixed-use strategy with various zones and districts. With the potential of a population of 50,000, we may be looking at downtown Austin Point.


Mike Miller biography

Mike Miller joined The Signorelli Company as senior vice president of land with emphasis on the development of master planned communities. In this role, he co-leads TSC’s land division and is instrumental in helping manage current assets and further propel the firm’s master planned development footprint across Houston — including Austin Point. Mike will also assist expansion efforts into the Austin, Dallas and San Antonio markets.

Mike was most recently vice president — Houston for Ashlar Development, where he was primarily responsible for the Groves, a 1,000-acre master planned community in northeast Houston.

MAY 9, 2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023


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LISTEN: THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with  Mike Spears of Lee & Associates Houston

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The Ralph Bivins Project is produced by Realty News Report

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