Hillwood Communities, the award-winning master-planned community developer based in Dallas, partnered with award-winning Texas home builder Highland Homes and national non-profit Building Homes for Heroes, broke ground this weekend on a mortgage-free home for U.S. Army Specialist Jason Wheeler and his family. The new home is located in Hillwood Communities’ Union Park, a 1,100-acre master-planned residential Live SmartSM community in Little Elm, Texas.
Specialist Wheeler first joined the military in 1991. In 2002, he was severely injured in a parachute training accident. Complications arose after treatment and his health began to decline, eventually resulting in the amputation of both of his legs.
In addition to the daily challenges resulting from the amputation of his legs, Specialist Wheeler also suffers from vision loss, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and severe PTSD since the accident. However, he has continued to keep a positive outlook and is working hard to overcome these setbacks and inspire others through yoga, meditation and exercise.
“We are honored to be able to support Specialist Wheeler and his family with this mortgage-free custom home,” said Christie Christian, Building Homes for Heroes director of Texas. “Though we will never be able to fully repay him for the sacrifices he made on behalf of our country, we offer this home as an expression of our gratitude for his commitment and life of service.”
Representatives from each of the three organizations, along with the Town of Little Elm Mayor and residents of Union Park, surprised Specialist Wheeler and his family with the news of the mortgage-free home during a Veteran Appreciation parade before the official groundbreaking.
“We are proud to be able to honor Specialist Wheeler and his family and welcome them to the neighborhood,” said Elaine Ford, senior vice president of Hillwood Communities. “Specialist Wheeler has done so much for our country, and we wanted to give back to a man who has exemplified bravery and selflessness. Union Park is full of wonderful families who are excited to have the Wheeler family join them.”
Built with Specialist Wheeler in mind, the home is customized to allow him to live more independently. In addition, removing the financial burden of a long-term mortgage will give him, his fiancé and their family the peace of mind to fully enjoy their life as they continue to recover and heal.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Hillwood Communities and Building Homes for Heroes to create a Highland Home that truly works for the Wheeler family,” said Highland Homes senior vice president, Aaron Graham. “Providing the Wheeler family with a new home that is both beautiful and functional is a small token of our appreciation for all of the sacrifices Specialist Wheeler has made for our country.”
Located in Little Elm, Union Park offers convenience and connection — including front yard maintenance, home automation, and hundreds of community events each year. This 1,100-acre community has 160+ acres of open space anchored by a central park linked by miles of path and trails. Union Park also has unique amenities such as a food truck park, bark park, pavilion, and much more. In addition to its 3,400 single-family homes, Union Park features an on-site school and 75 acres of mixed-use space.
Hillwood, a Perot company, is a premier commercial and residential real estate developer, investor and advisor of properties throughout North America and Europe. With a diverse portfolio of properties and home to many of the world’s leading companies, Hillwood is committed to bringing long-term value to our customers, partners and the communities we serve.
Through its Communities division, Hillwood has delivered more than 30,000 single-family lots in 90 master-planned communities across 13 states and two countries. These communities continue to raise the bar in terms of quality, innovation, and the unmistakable sense of community that sets each property apart. Before laying the physical groundwork for any new residential development, Hillwood Communities takes the time to focus on the ideals that draw people together — and the everyday interactions that strengthen those bonds. By purposefully designing its walkways, gathering spaces, and structural amenities to spark spontaneous encounters and foster shared interests, Hillwood Communities creates community in every sense. For more information, please visit www.hillwoodcommunities.com.
About Building Homes for Heroes:
Counting thirteen consecutive years of record-setting growth, Building Homes for Heroes® builds and gifts mortgage-free homes, and completes home modifications, for veterans and their families, and provides further services along their road to recovery to help them live a promising and fulfilling life ahead. The organization is strongly committed to rebuilding lives and supporting the brave men and women who were injured while serving the country after September 11, 2001, during the time of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. The organization has received a perfect 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for four straight years, including a 100% in transparency and accountability. It’s our honor to support the men and women who have loyally and courageously served our country. To learn more about the organization, visit www.buildinghomesforheroes.org
About Highland Homes:
Highland Homes was founded in 1985 by brother-and-sister team Rod Sanders and Jean Ann Brock. Today, Highland Homes builds approximately 3,000 homes a year in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Highland Homes is an employee owned company, dedicated to providing the best possible homebuilding and home buying experience. The company has remained successful for more than 30 years, even through considerable real estate fluctuations, due to its commitment to providing a level of quality, customer service and architectural beauty that is unique among homebuilders. This dedication has earned Highland Homes many industry awards, including consistent high rankings by J.D. Power and Associates, making the top 20 in “The Builder 100 List” and winning the People’s Choice Builder of the Year award for the 8th consecutive time. Most importantly, it has earned countless referrals from homeowners and Realtors. For more information, please visit www.highlandhomes.com.
Hill + Knowlton Strategies