The new EarthQuest development will encompass retail stores, an outlet mall, restaurants and hotels, a convention center, office space, a research facility, a zoo — and "green" homes, according to Don Holbrook, president and CEO of the EarthQuest Institute.
"We're excited about it.Î¾ I mean, it's — we've been in the process of planning this for six years, so we think the kind of a perfect storm came along and helped us.Î¾ But we're going to break ground probably next year — first or second quarter of 2010 — with opening planned in 2012, late 2012.Î¾ My original undergraduate degree was in urban planning and environmental studies.Î¾ So I joke that I've been a 'green' developer for all my career, which I won't say how many years that is, but it's getting up there now, at this point."
EarthQuest Institute is a non-profit entity advocating green technologies.Î¾ The institute is overseeing a planned museum and various education components in conjunction with the "green" vision of this master-planned community, according to Holbrook, who attended a recent forum on alternative energy.
"We're excited by it.Î¾ We're hoping that President Obama will get the credit markets opened up!Î¾ We're not worried about the equity, we're worried about the debt markets!Î¾ But very excited, we think Houston's a great place for this.Î¾ It's the energy center of the country.Î¾ There's no one pixie dust solution for all this. It's a collaboration of all the energy companies and technologies that we believe are going to create the solutions.Î¾ And so we're excited to be kind of that showcase, to show those off for people here in Houston — to make Houston not only just a huge eco-tourism and green tourism destination in the country, but a great place to come and learn about sustainable energy, clean technologies, energy conservation and see things from around the world."Î¾Î¾
The EarthQuest Resort will be located off of highway 59 in New Caney.Î¾
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.