Meristem starts “agrihood” in Richmond

750-home Indigo master-planned project in Fort Bend County will center on a farm 

From left: Meristem Communities' Scott Snodgrass and Clayton Garrett with Agrihood
From left: Meristem Communities' Scott Snodgrass and Clayton Garrett with Agrihood (Getty, Meristem Communities)

Meristem Communities is set to start construction on a master-planned development, Indigo, this week, the Houston Chronicle reported. Located in Richmond, about 15 miles southwest of Houston, this “agrihood” community is expected to include 750 homes sitting on 235 acres in the seat of Fort Bend County.

The development will also feature a 42-acre farm, a kind of communal centerpiece, and a 25-acre lake. Meristem Communities is hoping to disrupt the typical master-planned community concept by clustering most of the homes together on smaller lots, enabling the developer to dedicate more than half the community to open space and green areas.

Indigo is the latest example among a trend of “agrihoods” springing up in the Greater Houston area. The Real Deal previously reported on the emerging trend back in 2015 as suburban developers sought a unique selling point to better market their developments. Last year, Johnson Development’s 1,300-acre Harvest Green, the city’s first agrihood, got a 420-lot expansion to its master-planned community just north of Richmond.  

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These farm-centric communities blend neighborhoods with agricultural elements. The farm at Indigo will be managed by Aaron Snodgrass and Jesse Garrett, who previously operated a farm on the same land, producing direct-to-consumer vegetable boxes for 350 families across Houston every week.

Every other block will have car-free zones. Meristem Communities is also developing a 70,000-square-foot commercial center, called the Indigo Commons, with an emphasis on walkability. It will offer retailers, dining spots, small shops and kiosks. Meristem Communities plans to sell some of the commercial space directly to small businesses to give them more autonomy over the direction of this central commerce hub.

Indigo will offer townhomes and single-family homes ranging from under $300,000 to the mid $500,000s. Weekley Homes, Highland Homes and Empire Communities will lead the homebuilding.

The first residents are expected to move into Indigo in February 2024, with additional phases opening over the next two years. Architectural companies CultivateLAND and DAHLIN are working with Meristem Communities to design green spaces, linear parks and the overall walkability of Indigo.