From the rooftops: A development firm is reporting brisk sales in Lago Mar, where crews have completed the first model house in a Texas City community expected to eventually be home to more than 4,000 families.

Land Tejas, the Houston-based developer of Lago Mar, reports 12 sales to date in a 2,033-acre community off Interstate 45. Completion of the model home is a major milestone in community that’s been 10 years in the making.

The first phase of Land Tejas’ Lago Mar development — the two main entrances are at Exit 16/Holland Road and at Lago Mar Boulevard, a mile south of there — will include 520 home sites.

Land Tejas controls 2,000 acres on the west side of I-45 and alone plans to develop about 4,000 home sites. Unaffiliated owners control the land on the east side of I-45.

Developers announced the project 10 years ago. But the residential part was slowed by the real estate market crash of 2007. Homes in Lago Mar are priced from the mid-$200,000s.

Commercial projects in Lago Mar include Buc-ee’s and Tanger Outlets.

Not Crystal clear: Meanwhile, some readers are buzzing about Crystal Lagoons U.S. Corp.‘s plans to open two new lagoons in Texas in partnership with Land Tejas.

Land Tejas, according to the report, has acquired the company’s lagoon technology to anchor two master-planned communities in Houston. One of those Land Tejas communities is Balmoral in northeast Houston. But the second location is undisclosed, raising questions about whether Land Tejas had Lago Mar in mind for a lagoon.

The 580-acre Balmoral development would feature a 1.5-acre lagoon with surrounding white beach, a clubhouse, kayaks and paddle boarding. The undisclosed community would feature an 8.5-acre lagoon with all the amenities.

Land Tejas officials on Wednesday did not immediately confirm nor deny whether Lago Mar was the undisclosed community to get a lagoon. Stay tuned.

Inn is out: As promised, Mariner Inn, 1602 Seawall Blvd., has closed as owners prepare for demolition and to build a 59-room property in its place.

Owners Jalaram Enterprises closed Mariner Inn in late December and caused a bit of a stir by erecting a fence around the property to keep people out. Neighbors complained about the fence and it turned out the owners didn’t know they needed a permit for it. But all is resolved and Jalaram Enterprises is pricing demolition.

Jalaram Enterprises two years ago confirmed plans to build a new hotel to replace the old one. But issues over parking slowed the development. Fitting that many rooms on the property, while meeting setback and open space requirements, was an issue. The city at the time required one parking space per hotel room. But newer zoning rules allow three-quarters of a parking space per room, which resolved some issues. Now, plans are moving ahead, the development’s architect, Michael Gaertner, said. No word on a demolition date. Stay tuned.

Raise your steins: A German cuisine restaurant will be the first tenant in a 12,000-square-foot retail center underway at 828 W. FM 646 in League City, the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership reports. Houston-based King’s BierHaus plans a 5,000-square-foot restaurant in the center, which should be completed in the spring.

Seat warmer: Here’s a tantalizing preview for moviegoers: Cinemark 18 in Webster plans to renovate and upgrade its theater, 20915 I-45, adding luxury lounger recliners to all the auditoriums, the partnership reports. Also, look for the movie theater to add a lobby bar serving beer and wine. Work is expected to commence in the spring.Reach reporter Laura Elder at 409-683-5248 or

Reach reporter Laura Elder at 409-683-5248 or

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