The Woodlands residents remember legendary developer George Mitchell

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by Shern-min Chow / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 26, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 27 at 5:21 PM

THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- George Mitchell, the Galveston born billionaire, left many legacies when he died Friday at age 94.

He may have been proudest though of the master-planned The Woodlands community he built when many thought it would fail.

Today, The Woodlands off I-45 North in Montgomery County almost seems too good to be true.

Beautiful homes, beautiful parks, fishing, boating and much more are just a short walk for residents from their homes.

Guillermo Luna, 33, moved here less than a year ago.

“I love having this as my backyard,” Luna said.

There are 100,000 residents and 1.900 corporate headquarters here.

Many people are familiar with Mitchell’s ties to the Woodlands.

“I know he had the pavilion named after him,” Luna said.

Many may be more familiar with Mrs. Mitchell’s name because of the concert venue.

George was the son of Greek immigrants, who proudly graduated from Texas A&M and made his fortune as an oil wildcatter.

With that money, he bought 28,000 acres out here nearly 4 decades ago.

He said, “The Woodlands is a tremendous project.”

Kristin Gyldenege recalls The Woodlands in almost two decades ago.

“I had friends who moved out here in the early 90s and we thought they were crazy,” Gyldenege said.

Mitchell refused to cut corners and was dedicated to quality. Last year, The Woodlands was the third best-selling master planned community in the nation.

Architecture schools come to study the place.

“There are so many master planned communities that are modeled after The Woodlands,” Gyldenege said.

Those who may not know George Mitchell’s name are familiar with his influence.

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