A new subdivision is taking shape in the Annaville area where a commercial development project had previously been opposed by the Tuloso-Midway Independent School District.

Extreme Homes of Texas L.L.C. has plans to build homes on about 172 lots along Up River Road near Interstate Highway 37.

Robert Viera, vice president of LNV Engineering, who is working with Extreme Homes on the project, said contractors are currently in the process of clearing the land, which was overrun with trees and high grass. They will also install plumbing and drainage, and work on streets and sidewalks, he added.

The subdivision project is currently planned to take place in three phases, with Phase 1 involving the development of about 13 acres of land, or 54 lots, at a cost of about $1 million. Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in mid-February, Viera said.

No schedule has been set for Phases 2 and 3, which will cost an additional $1.5 million, but Viera said they may be worked on jointly.

"When they start just depends on how fast they sell those lots," Viera said.

Each lot, which sits on about 35 acres, varies in size from 6,000 to 8,000 square feet, he added. The price of the homes, which are scheduled to be constructed in late February or early March, will range in price from $120,000 to $160,000.

Extreme Homes had planned on building a commercial strip mall on the 35 acres, but pulled the project in July after TMISD raised objections to the developer's application for a zoning ordinance change. The request sought to classify the lot as a neighborhood business district, which would have allowed for the sale of alcohol.

Superintendent Cornelio Gonzalez said in July that TMISD was under the impression the developer was "going to build office spaces for professionals," but soon felt that wasn't the case. Viera said the developer wasn't trying to blindside the school district, but just wanted the zoning ordinance change to attract businesses.

Rather than raise any more controversy, the developer chose to pull the plug on the strip mall and opted instead to build the subdivision, which Gonzalez said the school district would welcome.

Viera said work on the $2.5 million project began earlier this month and should be completed by mid-February.