Lake Houston - Humble - Kingwood Edition | January 2021

2021 LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION

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A N N U A L C O M M U N I T Y G U I D E

VOLUME 5, ISSUE 9  JAN. 27FEB. 23, 2021

ANNUAL COMMUNITYGUIDE 2021

TOP STORY TO WATCH IN 2021

At least $12M of new infrastructure, such as roads and trails, will break ground by the second quarter of 2021.

Despite a global pandemic, development in Generation Park continued in 2020. This year, McCord Development will break ground on several projects. Industrial tenants and Generation Park’s rst hotel are also set to open. PHASE The next

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1 event venue will break ground.

1 144-room hotel will open.

2 new businesses will open.

1 apartment complex will break ground.

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SOURCE: MCCORD DEVELOPMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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An event venue and several restaurants are headed to Generation Park’s Redemption Square. (Kelly Schaer/Community Impact Newspaper)

McCord Development, the company behind the 4,200-acre Generation Park development o Beltway 8, did not sit still in 2020. The developer launched a hospitality and restaurant group, opened two restaurants and completed a $25 million road extension. In 2021, the developer plans to open new restaurants and retail, increase tourism and attract tenants to expand the company to accelerate infrastructure plans in Generation Park. He said his team designed roughly $25 million of additional infrastructure during the pandemic—roughly half of which will begin by the second quarter of 2021. The infrastructure designs include roads to continueRedemptionSquare’s build-out to the south, amenity lakes CONTINUED ON 16 GenerationPark sets sights on hospitality, life sciences BY KELLY SCHAFLER Generation Park’s job oerings. Still, like most businesses, interest in Generation Park has suered during the pandemic, McCord Development President Ryan McCord said. “A large number of transactions we were pursuing at the beginning of [2020], they eectively pushed pause in terms of other companies looking to come to Generation Park,” he said. However, McCord said the commercial pause enabled

FLOOD PROJECTS

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DEVELOPMENT

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COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON . Join your neighbors with a contribution of any amount to CI Patron. Funds support Community Impact Newspaper ’s hyperlocal, unbiased journalism and help build informed communities. Choose IMPACT . Make a CONTRIBUTION . Strengthen JOURNALISMFORALL . S nap or visit

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LAKE HOUSTON - HUMBLE - KINGWOOD EDITION • JANUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

FROMKIM: Welcome to 2021 and our Annual Community Guide, where you will nd useful information on local restaurants, shopping, transportation, development and so much more. With this new year, it is time for us to look toward the future and what each of us have in our lives. Each day is an opportunity for us to celebrate growth and be the best that we can be. Happy New Year! Kim Giannetti, GENERALMANAGER

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Kim Giannetti, kgiannetti@communityimpact.com EDITOR Kelly Schaer REPORTER Andy Li GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ronald Winters ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lagala Doran

BECOMEA #COMMUNITYPATRON Please join your friends and neighbors in support of Community Impact Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making

FROMKELLY: Our front-page story for our Annual Community Guide looks at the booming development in Generation Park. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, McCord Development launched a new hospitality and restaurant group and opened two restaurants in 2020. This year, the company will begin construction on a second apartment complex, welcome new industrial tenants and bring new tenants to Redemption Square, the development’s lifestyle district. Kelly Schaer, EDITOR

a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON CONTACT US 8400 N. Sam Houston Parkway W., Ste. 220 Houston, TX 77064 • 2814696181 PRESS RELEASES lhknews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2021 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper MANAGING EDITOR Matt Stephens ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Aubrey Galloway CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES &MARKETING DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, TX. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across ve metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve.

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CORRECTION: Volume 5, Issue 8 The median build-out year and square footage as well as the number of homes for Valley Ranch mistakenly did not include the Azalea District in the southern portion of the community.

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • JANUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

COMPILED BY ANDY LI & KELLY SCHAFLER

7154 Atascocita Road, Humble. The business oers 45-minute, high-intensity cardio and strength workouts for all tness levels. The facility also oers two camps each day for women only, with four camps oering complimentary child care. 832-409-2876. www.burnbootcamp.com/atascocita-tx 4 Taco Nail , a locally owned business, opened an Atascocita location in November at 18455 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. 140. The salon oers classic manicure and pedicure services, specializing in dip powder and shellac manicures. Taco Nail operates primarily by appointment only to ensure customers get personal and timely service, but limited walk-ins are available. 281-358-6001. www.taconail.com 5 Wells Fargo Bank opened a new branch Jan. 7 at 1319 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood, in the Shoppes at Kingsgate center. The full-service bank features three teller stations and six banker desks, and meetings with a banker are by appointment only. 281-706-8350. www.wellsfargo.com 6 IHOP opened a new location Dec. 4 at 23746 Hwy. 59 N., Kingwood. The 24-hour diner chain specializes in classic breakfast items, such as pancakes, omelets, French toast, hashbrowns and waes. The eatery also serves some lunch and dinner items. 713-568-6261. www.ihop.com COMING SOON 7 DNA Studios LLC broke ground on its new studio at 90 Isaacks Road, Humble, on Jan. 7, according to a press release. The media company plans to complete the building by May and will give it the ability to produce 12 live events simultaneously. Owned by Sam Schrade, the company provides production support with mobile broadcasting, video streaming, LED screens and access to its digital studio. The new studio will also have 3,000 square feet of oce space available for rent. 281-657-7292. www.dnastudios.tv 8 DECA Beer Co. , a new brewery in Porter, plans to open its family-friendly taproom Feb. 5 at 25428 Loop 494, LAKE HOUSTON

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Bocca Italian Kitchen

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Ste. G. The taproom will feature a bar, indoor and outdoor seating, food trucks and a small selection of wines from a Texas winery. Some brew styles on tap will include stouts, Indian Pale Ales, berliner weisses and brown ales. 281-747-7746. www.facebook.com/decabeer 9 Northern Tool + Equipment will open a new store Jan. 28 at 18780 Hwy. 59, Humble, in the Park Air 59 development. The store will be the ninth Houston-area location for the Minnesota-based hardware store oering various construction tools. The store will bring about 20 jobs to the area, according to a news release from the company. 832-412-1818. www.northerntool.com

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NOWOPEN 1 Bocca Italian Kitchen and

281-741-0203 (Bocca), 281-741-0342 (Lupo). www.boccahtx.com, www.lupohtx.com 2 Banking company Frost opened the Kingwood Financial Center on Dec. 28 at 2710 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood, according to a press release. Frost operates 155 centers across Texas and plans to open three more locations in the Houston area in the next few months. 713-388-7236. www.frostbank.com 3 Burn Boot Camp , a national tness franchise, opened Jan. 10 at

Lupo Pizzeria , two new Italian concepts, opened Jan. 15 at 250 Assay St., Ste. 100, Houston, in Redemption Square. The concepts, which replaced Wholesome Pies and Wholesome Kitchen & Bar eateries, began their soft opening phase Dec. 18. Bocca Italian Kitchen serves seasonal, Italian-inspired dishes, such as polenta and various pastas. Lupo Pizzeria serves wood-red, New York-style pizzas made with locally sourced ingredients.

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • JANUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER IS PROUD TO SAY THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS 2021 A N N U A L C O M M U N I T Y G U I D E

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Lone Star College, a leader in health care training, is working hard to keep our community safe and healthy. LSC oers associate degrees (RN) and now bachelor’s degrees in nursing to help meet the serious shortage of qualied health care workers in the region and beyond. LSC also trains rst responders including emergency medical technicians and reghters, professions that provide essential services we count on during an emergency. LSC oers exible class options that include 3- to 16-week programs available online, day and evening, or weekends. LSC can also assist you in nding nancial aid to help pay for college. If you are ready to make a dierence, LSC is ready to help you get trained and get hired. Find out more at LoneStar.edu.

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COMMUNITY SNAPSHOT

Data and analysis on local communities

COMPILED BY KELLY SCHAFLER

PHOTOS BY ANDY LICOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

ATASCOCITA HUMBLE

KINGWOOD

The unincorporated area of Atascocita is east of Humble and south of Kingwood. Atascocita has the fastest- growing population in the Lake Houston area, with the population increasing 18.86% from 2014-19.

The city of Humble, which includes only about 10 square miles, has maintained a mostly steady population in recent years, with the city only adding about 450 residents in the last ve years.

2020 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of Kingwood, a master-planned community developed by Friendswood Development Co. in the 1970s. For this page, Kingwood includes ZIP codes 77339 and 77345.

SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY 2019 5YEAR ESTIMATESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

POPULATION CHANGE

MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $82,361 $100,292 2014 2019

EDUCATION LEVEL High school diploma or higher achieved 91.6%

+18.86% +2.99% 2.64% Five-year change

80.7%

96.2%

$42,129 $41,845 $121,224 $137,519

2014 2019 2014 2019

Bachelor’s degree or higher achieved

39.3%

11.2%

50.4%

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • JANUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DINING&SHOPPING

Restaurants that opened in 2020 or are coming in 2021

2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

JAPANESE 9 Miya Ramen Bistro 4535 Kingwood Drive, Ste. 100, Kingwood 832-777-1973 www.miyaramenbistro.com $ K MEDITERRANEAN 10 Hash Nash Cafe 22730 Loop 494, Kingwood 832-208-2927 $$ MEXICAN 11 Chachi’s Next Door 2845 W. Town Center Circle, Kingwood 346-345-2076 www.facebook.com/108543984269156 $$ H 12 El Tiempo Cantina 1414 Northpark Drive, Kingwood 281-973-2424 www.eltiempocantina.com/kingwood $$ 13 Los Hermanos Taquerias 5006 Atascocita Road, Ste. A, Atascocita 281-973-4548 www.facebook.com/lhtacos $ PIZZA 14 Dolce & Cannoli Pizzeria 20131 Hwy. 59 N., Ste. 1150, Humble 346-323-7476 www.dolceandcannoli.com $$ 15 Lupo Pizzeria 250 Assay St., Ste. 100, Houston 281-741-0342 www.lupohtx.com $$ B H SEAFOOD 16 AV Star Fish 23741 Hwy. 59, Ste. B-04, Porter 281-747-7082 www.facebook.com/av.starsh $$ SHOPPING CLOTHESSHOES 17 The Beehive Boutique & Garden 20334 Hwy. 59, New Caney 832-793-5445 www.thebeehiveboutiqueandgarden.com 18 Feign by Feign Boutique 11503 N. Sam Houston Parkway E.,

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Blue Lagoon Bar & Grill

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Average entrees $ Up to $9.99

$$ $10-$19.99 H Happy hour

$$$ $20 or more

N . L A K E H O U S T

B Breakfast/brunch

K Kids menu

Sanna Baby and Child

5 Taste of Paris Creperie & Cafe 12230 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. 115, Houston 832-243-5028 www.tasteofpariscreperie.com $ B K GREEK 6 Taste of Greek 4526 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood 832-335-7587 www.tasteofgreek.wixsite.com $$ K ITALIAN 7 Bocca Italian Kitchen 250 Assay St., Ste. 100, Houston 281-741-0203 www.boccahtx.com $$$ B H 8 Italiano’s Restaurant 1414 Northpark Drive, Kingwood 281-747-7243 www.italianosrestaurant.net $$ K

COURTESY SANNA BABY AND CHILD

COMPILED BY ANDY LI & KELLY SCHAFLER

FOODBEVERAGE 20 DECA Beer Co. 25428 Loop 494, Ste. G., Porter 281-747-7746 www.facebook.com/decabeer COMING FEBRUARY 2021 21 Kingwood Nutrition 1964 Northpark Drive, Ste. A, Kingwood 281-973-8939 www.facebook.com/kingwoodnutrition 22 Sweet Land 18445 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Humble 281-318-7281 www.facebook.com/sweetlandtea HEALTHWELLNESS 23 Kingwood Bicyles 4003 Rustic Woods Drive, Kingwood 281-768-4155 www.kingwoodbicycles.com 24 Monarch Health & Wellness Boutique 1414 Northpark Drive, Ste. H, Kingwood 281-747-7014 www.monarchhealthboutique.com

DINING AMERICAN 1 Big City Wings 9240 N. Sam Houston Parkway E., Ste. 101, Humble 832-781-4950 www.bigcitywings.com $$ H COMING LATE JANUARY 2021 2 Blue Lagoon Bar & Grill 15808 Crystal Terrace Drive, Humble 281-609-4033 www.bluelagoonbargrill.com $$ H K 3 Burger Buzz 20131 Hwy. 59 N., Ste. 2132, Humble 346-345-0017 www.facebook.com/burgerbuzzon $ K 4 Pit Row Pit Stop Diner 19857 FM 1485, New Caney 832-479-8885 www.facebook.com/108027110617260 $ K

Ste. H, Humble 346-907-5737 www.feignboutique.com 19 Sanna Baby and Child 1550 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood 281-312-0992 www.sannababyandchild.com

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • JANUARY 2021

TRANSPORTATION

Updates on key transportation stories

OTHER PROJECTS TO FOLLOW IN 2021

TOP TRANSPORTATION STORY OF 2021 CORRIDOR WIDENING

The Texas Department of Transportation will break ground this year on two projects to expand FM 1960 from four to six lanes. The rst ranges from Business FM 1960 to east of Twigsworth Lane; the second ranges from Twigsworth Lane to west of the San Jacinto Bridge.

UNION PACIFIC CORP. RAILROAD

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Northpark Drive expansion The Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority aims to break ground on the Northpark Drive overpass project this year. The project will expand the road from four to six lanes between Hwy. 59 and Russell Palmer Road and add an overpass over the Union Pacic Corp. railroad. The project could bid in June or July, with construction estimated to begin later this year and last about 36 months, LHRA Administrator Ralph De Leon said. The LHRA will also begin preliminary designs on the $48.4 million Northpark Drive reconstruction project that is set to begin in 2023. This project will expand the road from four to six lanes between Russell Palmer Road and Woodland Hills Drive. Timeline: 2021-24 Cost: $52 million (overpass project) Funding source: LHRA (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10)

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Business FM 1960 to Twigsworth Lane

Twigsworth Lane to San Jacinto River bridge

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PROPOSED OVERPASS

FUTURE LANES

EASTBOUND

WESTBOUND

ELEVATED ROADWAY EASTBOUND FEEDER

WESTBOUND FEEDER

Cost: $70.2 million

Timeline: late 2021-2024

Funding source: TxDOT

Funding source: TxDOT

Cost: $63 million

Timeline: mid-2021-2023

SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FM1960expansion to improvemobility, safety along corridor

BY KELLY SCHAFLER

Perez said the two projects will expand the road and improve safety along the corridor by widening its current four-lane road with a continuous center turn lane to a six-lane road divided by a grass median with 5-foot pedestrian sidewalks. The outer lane of the eastbound and westbound sides will also feature a shared-use lane for cyclists—a feature contended by at least seven individuals who submitted comments at TxDOT’s public meeting for the project in February 2016. Perez said widening the sidewalks would have required signicantly more right of way, so TxDOT did not pursue this feature to avoid further aecting businesses along the corridor. Perez said contractors should begin work on the rst project—the $63 million western side—in mid-2021 and complete it in 2023. Another contractor hired to complete the $70.2 million widening and overpass on the eastern portion will also begin work in mid- or late 2021. Perez said TxDOT estimates the eastern project will wrap up in 2024, but the timeline

could change due to construction- related factors or inclement weather. TxDOT public meeting documents from 2016 also show some business owners were concerned about accessibility to their business during construction as well as the overpass reducing trac to some businesses. “There will be some impact, of course, but we work with folks in the community. We address their concerns,” Perez said. “If someone has a business, the goal is to ... not have their business impacted.” Mark Mitchell, the chief economic development ocer of Partnership Lake Houston, said road improvements that connect motorists to other major thoroughfares can be a tool used to attract development to the Lake Houston area. “Those types of projects for us are really great sales tools in terms of both local projects that are looking to expand … and then larger national projects,” he said. “Projects like this give us the ability to ... show companies we can get you from Point A to Point B … very expeditiously.”

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The Texas Department of Transportation will break ground on two projects this year to improve mobility along FM 1960, the major east-to-west corridor between Atascocita and Humble. The rst project widens FM 1960 between Business FM 1960 in Humble to east of Twigsworth Lane in Atascocita; the second widens the road from Twigsworth Lane to just west of the San Jacinto Bridge and adds an overpass over the West Lake Houston Parkway intersection. The average daily trac count along the corridor increased in the last 10 years, according to TxDOT data collected at two points between Business FM 1960 and West Lake Houston Parkway. Between 2009-19, 1,346 more vehicles per day were clocked at one location, while 3,774 more were recorded at the other. “We wanted to make sure that we’re keeping up with that momentum and addressing the growth in the area,” TxDOT Public Information Ocer Danny Perez said.

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Loop 494 expansion The Texas Department of Transportation is set to nish reconstructing Loop 494 between Sorters McClellan Road and Northpark Plaza Drive in the third quarter of 2021. The project expands the road from two to four lanes and adds a raised turf median and center turn lanes at intersections and sidewalks. TxDOT Public Information Ocer Emily Black said utility issues delayed the completion date from the second quarter of 2021. The cost also increased slightly from $14.3 million to $15.1 million because TxDOT had to redesign a portion of the project to work around utility issues and reduce the eects on trac, Black said. Timeline: July 2019-third quarter 2021 Cost: $15.1 million Funding source: TxDOT

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION

Updates on key education stories from Humble & New Caney ISDs

2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

OTHER STORIES TO FOLLOW IN 2021

Lawmakers, districts consider budgets ahead of session TOP EDUCATION STORY OF 2021

Humble ISD to conduct facility assessment, move toward bond In early to mid-2021, Humble ISD ocials will assess future needs of campus facilities. This fall, a committee will review the report and prioritize projects to begin forming a bond package. The district could call a bond election in May 2022. package—the largest the district has proposed—was approved by voters. New Caney ISD looks to hire new superintendent HISD’s last bond election was in May 2018. A $575 million bond New Caney ISD will soon hire a new superintendent after former Superintendent Kenn Franklin resigned in mid-November after roughly 11 years with the district. Franklin was charged with submitting at least $2,500 worth of fake travel expenses to the district. He was booked Jan. 7 in the Montgomery County Jail with two felony charges. NCISD wrapped up a survey Jan. 8 that sought community input on characteristics and work experiences they wanted their next superintendent to have. Deputy Superintendent Matt Calvert is serving as interim superintendent.

BY KELLY SCHAFLER

not going to do that; we made the commitment to not do that.” Huberty said the overall decit will be oset by the rainy day fund and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. He said there is also leftover funding from House Bill 3, the school nance reform bill approved last session. Humble ISD trustee Robert Scarfo, who chairs the district’s nance committee, said at the Jan. 12 board meeting HISD is expecting a surplus for the scal year 2021-22 budget. “Assuming ... there’s no change to the allotment, we anticipate a slight surplus for the 2021-22 budget year,” he said. “I think we’ll be ... in pretty good shape.” While the Legislature will not feature an education overhaul like in 2019, Huberty said he plans to propose several bills to amend education bills. He will propose changes to HB 3 and House Bill 22, which he authored in

previous sessions. HB 22 created the TEA’s AF accountability ratings system in 2017, which is largely determined by results of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exam. Huberty said he would like to keep the testing rubric but place less weight on the STAAR exam. WHAT IS KNOWN The 87th legislative session began Jan. 12 and runs until May 31. There is uncertainty regarding how the pandemic will aect school nancing. Here is what is known so far. • The state is facing a budget decit of $1 billion. • Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, plans to change House Bill 3, the school nance reform bill. • Huberty plans to change the STAAR test’s weight for A-F ratings. SOURCES: TEXAS COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE, REP. DAN HUBERTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

With the 87th legislative session kicking o Jan. 12, lawmakers will need to fund necessary education programs amid an economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic. According to the State Comptroller’s Oce, the budget will be at a $1 billion decit. The decit has made some school districts and education advocates fearful of potential budget cuts. On Dec. 14, a group of 23 education organizations sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott and Mike Morath, the commissioner of education for the Texas Education Agency, urging them not to cut school funding. However, Rep. Dan Huberty, RHouston, said he is condent school funding will not be negatively aected by the pandemic. “People are wringing their hands about, ‘We’re going to cut education funding,’” he said. “We’re

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • JANUARY 2021

GOVERNMENT

Updates on the biggest issues facing local entities

COMPILED BY ANNA LOTZ & KELLY SCHAFLER

OTHER STORIES TO FOLLOW IN 2021 Preliminary ood plain maps to be released in late 2021 Harris County Flood Control District is planning to submit preliminary ood plain maps to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in late 2021, an almost $50 million eort that began in January 2019. HCFCD Project Manager Brian Edmondson said FEMA will process the draft map and issue the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map in summer 2022. The new rates could take eect in 2023 or 2024, he said. The county’s ood plain map has not been updated since 2001, and Edmondson said the maps will help shape ood mitigation projects and development standards. Humble to elect newmayor After six years as mayor, Humble Mayor Merle

TOP GOVERNMENT STORY OF 2021

FUNDING FUTUREDREDGING Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, will le a bill in the 87th Texas Legislature to create a district to oversee and fund future dredging in Lake Houston. The bill would: • establish the Lake Houston Dredging and Maintenance District as a conservation and reclamation district; • allow the district to have bonding capacity to fund future dredging; and • fund projects by increasing the cost of surface water for utility providers who purchase surface water from Lake Houston. SOURCE: REP. DAN HUBERTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

W. FORK OF THE SAN JACINTO RIVER

W. LAKE HOUSTON PKWY.

LAKE HOUSTON

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Aaron announced Jan. 15 he would not run for re-election in May. Aaron was rst elected as mayor in 2015

Local ood projects to take center stage in 2021 Local counties and cities will seek to tackle ood and drainage projects this year. The city of Humble will work on internal drainage, while the city of Houston and Harris County are close to purchasing land for a regional stormwater detention basin. Dredging on and around Lake Houston’s mouth bar, which is at the conuence of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River and the lake, will continue into 2021. Contractors were dredging the area north of the mouth bar in early January. (Courtesy city of Houston)

Merle Aaron

and won re-election in 2017 and 2019, according to the city. Aaron served on City Council for 10 years before resigning to run for mayor. Following Aaron’s announcement, Place 3 City Council Member Norman Funderburk resigned from council and submitted an application to run as mayor. At least two City Council positions—Places 1 and 2—will also be on the May ballot. As of press time, the city has not decided whether Funderburk’s vacant position will also be placed on the ballot. The ling period ends 5 p.m. Feb. 12. State, counties to pursue redistricting After every decennial census, states and local jurisdictions must go through a process known as redistricting, or redrawing the boundaries for representation. Redistricting is triggered by the 2020 census, which will be reported to states by April 1, said Je Archer, the executive director of the Texas Legislative Council—a nonpartisan agency lending support to the Legislature. This is done so legislators can vote to approve new maps for state House and Senate districts by the end of the legislative session May 31. Texas could also gain three congressional seats and county commissioner precincts could be recongured to account for population growth. Archer said new district boundaries must be in place in time for candidates to le for the March 2022 primary elections.

and be completed by February 2022. “When it starts to rain or if there’s a black cloud in the sky, [the Northshire residents] get panicky,” Humble Mayor Merle Aaron said. Additionally, Harris County and the city of Houston approved an interlocal agreement in December to buy Woodridge Village—a roughly 268-acre property accused of causing ooding Kingwood neighborhoods twice in 2019. Ocials want to buy the property for $14 million and make it a regional stormwater detention basin. Russ Poppe, executive director of the Harris County Flood Control District, said at Harris County Commissioners Court on Dec. 15 that the entities will close on the property in March. It will cost roughly $20 million to remediate the property. Statewide initiatives Meanwhile, state Rep. Dan Huberty, RHouston, will le a bill in February to create a conservation and reclamation district to oversee and fund dredging in Lake Houston. Built-up sediment has been dredged from the lake and its tributaries since

September 2018. The Lake Houston Dredging and Maintenance District would have the power to take out bonds to fund projects, with the bonds being paid by charging a rate to utility providers who purchase surface water from Lake Houston. “If you don’t [dredge], you’re not going to have a water supply ... 50 years from now,” Huberty said. “What we’re doing is we’re preserving this lake for the next 100 years.” Seven ocials would manage the district—three appointed by the city of Houston, three appointed by Harris County and one chair, Huberty said. If passed in the session, he said the district could be in eect in 2022. Additionally, the Texas Water Development Board’s San Jacinto Regional Flood Planning Group began meeting in October to form a regional ood plan to protect the area from ood damages. Armstrong, who was nominated to the board, said the group will hire technical experts to determine regional solutions to ooding. The group must adopt a regional plan by January 2023.

Additionally, with the 87th Texas Legislature set to continue through this summer, local lawmakers and leaders are solidifying their priorities for what should be funded by the state over the next biennium. Jenna Armstrong, the president and CEO of Partnership Lake Houston, said the organization is advocating for ood resilience, pandemic relief and economic development to be priorities in the upcoming session. “Flood resilience is still going to be a big piece,” she said. “Because we need things to happen upstream, too, that impact us.” The city of Humble will begin several drainage projects this year, one of which is a $2.05 million project on Black’s Bayou in the Northshire subdivision. Humble Public Works Director Mark Arnold said the project, which will desilt and stabilize the channel, is set to begin August 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DEVELOPMENT

Updates on key development stories in East Montgomery County

2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

OTHER STORIES TO FOLLOW IN 2021

Signorelli Co. to focuson infrastructure, expansion in2021 TOP DEVELOPMENT STORY OF 2021

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W. INDUSTRIAL PKWY.

BY ANDY LI

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99 TOLL

In the next several years, the Signorelli Co. will start constructing the next 700 acres of land in its 1,400-acre Valley Ranch development. The developer will spend about $25 million this year to build infrastructure to support medical and entertainment districts as well as new commercial and residential options. Kevin Layne, senior vice president of the commercial division of the Signorelli Co., said home sales and commercial development have slowly rebounded from the pandemic in recent months. “We know we need to continue expanding,” Layne said. “We recognize that Northeast Houston is an underserved market for most everything.” The Signorelli Co. broke ground on its roughly 100-acre medical district in September. Layne said the company hopes to announce more details about

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Lowe’s Co. to bring 200 jobs to East Montgomery County Lowe’s Co. Inc. will open a distribution center in July at the East Montgomery County Industrial Park in New Caney, located on Gene Campbell Road between FM 1314 and FM 1485. The 1.5 million-square-foot center is expected to be the largest industrial building in Montgomery County and will employ about 200 people. Amazon considers opening New Caney delivery station Amazon is considering opening a 150,000-square-foot delivery station in East Montgomery County that could open as soon as this fall, according to a Dec. 14 press release. The station would receive packages from fulllment and sorting centers and load them onto trucks for delivery. The station would bring about 100 jobs to the area in addition to the delivery driver jobs.

The Signorelli Co. hopes to bring a 70-acre entertainment district to Valley Ranch once the ongoing pandemic is over. (Rendering courtesy the Signorelli Co.)

complexes, boutique stores and eateries, and large retailers, he said. “It’s creating that suburban-urban feel where you can walk to restaurants and groceries, but you can still live nearby in a high-quality apartment with good retail,” he said. Valley Ranch Parkway will also be expanded this year from two to four lanes between Hwy. 59 and FM 1314 to accommodate Valley Ranch Marketplace, Layne said. Kelly Schaer contributed to this report.

the district this year. The company also still plans to bring a 70-acre entertainment district to Valley Ranch. However, because of the ongoing pandemic, Layne said Valley Ranch will host several temporary music events this spring before committing to the amphitheater. There is not a construction timeline. Construction will also begin this year on the 180-acre Valley Ranch Marketplace. The newmixed-use district will feature two apartment

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • JANUARY 2021

TOP STORY

Hospitality, tourism focus A 144-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel is set to open in Redemption Square in March or April. This will be the rst hotel in Generation Park but likely not the last, McCord said. Directly in front of Courtyard by Marriott is the future spot for McCord’s multipurpose event venue, The Long House. The venue—set to break ground in the second quarter of 2021 and open in spring 2022—will complement the hotel by oering space for weddings, events and community outreach, McCord said. “We’ve been working on it for quite a while, and it’s going to be stunningly beautiful,” he said. “It’ll really complete Redemption Square.” The Long House is one of several projects taking place in Redemption Square this year. Construction on a restaurant and bar will also begin next to The Long House this year. The eatery will be designed

by McCord Development’s new restaurant and hospitality group, Gastropub Productions. Gastropub Productions, which launched in November, opened its rst two concepts, Bocca Italian Kitchen and Lupo Pizzeria, in December in Redemption Square. Houston chef Justin Turner was chosen to take on the newly created role of director of culinary hospitality for McCord Development. The group also plans to open Las Evas, a Tex-Mex eatery, this summer on the bottom oor of 255 Assay apartments in Redemption Square, McCord said. Eden Salon Suites, a collection of suites for beauty professionals, will also open in February near the future Las Evas. Meanwhile, McCord Development is also designing a second apartment complex that will have about 170 units and be adjacent to 255 Assay, which opened in December 2019 and is at 50% occupancy, McCord said. “We certainly believe [occupancy] would have been higher if there had not been a pandemic, but we’re pleased with what we’ve seen thus far,” he said. Sector growth

headquarters to Generation Park this summer, bringing roughly 200 jobs as well, McCord said. McCord said he hopes to announce a new industrial tenant for the second building for Lockwood Business Park as well as break ground on a third industrial building in the business park this year. Furniture retailer IKEA is also set to buildane-commerce fulllment center on roughly 160 acres south of Service Wire Co.; however, a development timeline for the Generation Park location has not yet been determined, according to an email from an IKEA U.S. spokesperson. “IKEA is transforming in order to better meet the needs of the American consumer in our rapidly changing retail environment. This includes strengthening our fulllment network to bring IKEA closer to many more people across the U.S.,” the statement read. Meanwhile, McCord Development took several steps this fall toward launching its life sciences sector. The developer announced plans in September to open its rst medical oce building in Redemption Square. Construction on the ve-story building will begin this year and nish in 2023. Additionally, McCord Development hired Shawn Cloonan as a director of life sciences in the fall and acquired a biomanufacturing facility in Boston. McCord said he hopes to use the existing Boston facility to ease into the life sciences sector to bring it to Generation Park. McCord said he hopes Generation Park will be a hub for life sciences companies pursuing pharmaceutical innovation and manufacturing, clinical care and genetic therapy development. He also aims to bring on a regional hospital in the future. “We expect … for the Lake Houston submarket to look similar to The Woodlands or Katy or anywhere else in terms of the number of hospital beds per person that exists in those submarkets,” he said. According to an October news release from data research rm CBRE, the pandemic accelerated momentum in the life sciences industry, specically in Houston. In the third quarter of 2020, Houston was listed among emerging life sciences clusters due to its employment growth and federal and

CONTINUED FROM 1

and miles of trail systems. Additionally, McCord Development will move forward on several components of Redemption Square this year, which is the development’s lifestyle district. McCord said he also hopes to secure the development’s rst life sciences tenant this year. Mark Mitchell, the chief economic development ocer at Partnership Lake Houston, said economic growth did slow across the Lake Houston area at the start of the pandemic, but he believes interest in the area and in Generation Park is increasing. “We’re starting to see an uptick in companies going out more actively and kicking the tires on potential locations,” Mitchell said. “So we’re pretty excited about seeing that.”

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McCord Development will also focus on expanding its industrial sector and launching a life sciences sector in Generation Park in 2021. Service Wire Co., a family-owned wire and cable manufacturer, is an incoming industrial

R

FOOTPRINT Expanding the Several new businesses will open or begin construction in Generation Park this year.

Generation Park West

CURRENT BUILDINGS PROPOSED BUILDINGS

tenant that could bring hundreds of jobs to the area. It will relocate its Houston

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REDEMPTION SQUARE

2 3

Generation Park West

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5 The Long House multipurpose center • Will host weddings, community events Breaking ground in 2021

1 Courtyard by Marriott • 144 rooms 2 Eden Salon Suites • Providing individual suites for beauty professionals 3 Las Evas restaurant 4 Service Wire Co. • Adding 200 jobs Opening in 2021

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SOURCE: MCCORD DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER 6 Medical oce building 7 New apartment complex • Roughly 170 units

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

OPENINGS Recent

happen is that our work is a derivative of what really is taking place with McCord and [incoming] organizations,” he said. “We determine what their needs are from a training or education perspective and we draft those [programs].” Additionally, Lone Star College opened its 8.3-acre process technology center o West Lake Houston Parkway in early 2018. The program prepares students for careers as process technicians and operators in various industries, including petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage, according to the LSC website. Although the pandemic has been dicult, McCord said the Houston region seems ready to pursue new development and innovation. “They’re excited and chomping at the bit for a return to some level of normalcy,” he said. “I don’t come across ... [anyone] waving the white ag; they’re ready to charge.”

Multiple businesses and facilities opened in Generation Park in late 2019 and early 2020, including two restaurants and a new campus.

A

Bocca Italian Kitchen • Opened December 2020 A Lupo Pizzeria • Opened December 2020

B San Jacinto College Generation Park Campus • Opened August 2020 Pretty Little Things Boutique • Opened December 2019

255 Assay apartments • Opened December 2019

SOURCE: MCCORD DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

the community—can oer courses to train students to meet the area’s workforce need. The $26 million San

B

Jacinto College Generation Park Campus was completed in August. Destry Dokes, the executive director of the campus, said the location will oer workforce programs as the campus expands on its 57-acre plot. Dokes said SJC has talked with McCord Development about how the college can support the development’s budding logistics, supply chain management and life sciences sectors. However, Dokes said there is not a timeline available for when the programs could begin. “We’re serving as the educational engine, so oftentimes what will

private investment. In his role at the partnership, Mitchell said he aims to attract businessesandeconomicdevelopment to the Lake Houston area. Mitchell said Generation’s Park proximity to the Texas Medical Center, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Beltway 8 is a selling point for companies. “The fact that we have a dedicated

life sciences corridor makes companies feel good

in terms of like-minded companies ... [and] long-term property value,” he said. Creating aworkforce As the life sciences and industrial sectors grow, Lone Star College and San Jacinto College—both located in

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