Tour a Canadian developer’s largest residential community in Houston

By Houston Business Journal | November 3, 2016

Empire has unveiled Dellrose, a new residential community northwest of Houston.

Dellrose, named after a species of rice grown on the former farmland, is the Toronto-based developer’s largest community in the U.S. The Canadian developer plans to have hundreds of homes on 600 acres at U.S. Highway 290 and Bauer Road, just north of the Grand Parkway.

Five homebuilders — Beazer Homes, CalAtlantic Homes, Empire Communities, Plantation Homes and Princeton Classic Homes — are under construction on the first 40 homes in Dellrose. Homes in Dellrose will range from the low $200,000s to more than $350,000.

Empire Continental Land, the company’s land division, has delivered 275 home lots in the first phase of the new community with another 273 home lots planned for the second phase. The developer is offering a range of lot sizes, from the 50s-foot, 60s-foot and 70s-foot home sites.

Dellrose, which began opening its first models in the summer, has attracted a range of homebuyers, from young families and working professionals to empty nesters and some foreign buyers, officials said.

Empire plans to develop Dellrose’s amenity center, which will feature a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, a resort-style pool, splash pad, tennis courts, tot lots, pocket parks and playground, courtyard with an outdoor fireplace and walking trails.

Dellrose is zoned to Waller Independent School District, which is planning to build an elementary school on 16 acres within the community. A timeline for the school’s construction has not yet been announced. Currently, children in Dellrose will be zoned to Roberts Road Elementary, Waller Junior High and Waller High schools.

Empire, one of Canada’s largest master-planned community developers with more than 300 employees, began expanding to Houston about four years ago with several small residential communities in and around the Bayou City.

The Canadian developer, which has built more than 10,000 homes and condominiums in the Toronto and Ontario area over the past two decades, has launched a new U.S. homebuilding division called Empire Communities and is under construction on its first home in Dellrose.

Empire — led by brothers Daniel Guizetti and Andrew Guizetti, and Paul A. Golini Jr., all sons of the company’s founders — earlier this year hired Houston homebuilding veterans James Miller as Empire Communities’ U.S. division president, Carl “Wade” Bradow Jr. as Empire’s executive vice president and John S. Arditi as controller. Miller and Bradow were previously with MHI Homes.

Houston is attracting several Canadian investors and developers as they look for new real estate opportunities in the Bayou City amid the oil slump. For example, Surge Homes, a Houston-based developer originally from the Montreal, Canada, last year launched a wave of new residential projects across Houston.