Lake Houston - Humble - Kingwood | December 2020

LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION

VOLUME 5, ISSUE 8  DEC. 23, 2020JAN. 26, 2021

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S enior S n LIVING GUIDE

Trails, parks projects to begin in 2021

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IMPACTS

6 PARKS & RECREATION

LOCAL HOUSING

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Pandemic not slowing campus build-outs

This fall, Humble ISD began construction on: 2 elementary schools 2 middle schools 2 high school renovations and 2 facility replacements.

Moving

DIRT Since June, Humble and New Caney ISDs have begun construction on a combined nine projects totaling $365.8 million from their respective 2018 bond referendums. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, both districts are looking to the future.

BY ANDY LI & KELLY SCHAFLER

The projects will cost $254.8 million .

Humble and New Caney ISDs moved ahead this fall on signicant campus and facility build-outs from their 2018 bond referendums despite uncertainty on how the coronavirus pandemic could aect long-term enrollment and facility needs. Between June and November, HISD broke ground on eight projects from its $575 million bond package, while CONTINUED ON 19

NewCaney ISD began construction on:

1 new high school.

The school costs $111 million and will open in August 2022.

Humble ISD began construction on the $35 million Lakeland Elementary School rebuild in June. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

SOURCES: HUMBLE ISD, NEW CANEY ISD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Occupancy stalls for some senior living communities in the LakeHouston area BY KELLY SCHAFLER 2020 Senior Living Guide

However, new senior facilities opening coupled with industry strains from the pandemic have contributed to occupancy rates dropping at long-term care facilities in the Houston metro area, said Anne Standish,

The development of senior care facilities has increased in the Lake Houston area in recent years, with at least three developments set to open in early 2021 and one having opened in June during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fordham at Eagle Springs ocials said attracting tenants during the pandemic has been challenging. (Kelly Schaer/Community Impact Newspaper)

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THIS ISSUE

FROMKIM: My 92-year-old grandmother loves to share stories. She lived through World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War and is now going through a global pandemic. The senior living facility she lives in has taken every precaution to keep my grandmother safe. We have many senior living options across our community, and you can nd our Senior Living Guide on Page 13. 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: One of our front-page stories dives into Humble ISD and New Caney ISD coming to the end of their respective 2018 bond referendums. While both districts have several years to go before all projects are completed, both have successfully broken ground on almost all projects. The story looks into how the districts are moving forward with facility and campus build-outs despite enrollment challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. 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 © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

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

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4 Amazing Lash Studio opened a location Oct. 16 at 4521 Kingwood Drive, Ste. 230, Kingwood. The eyelash studio has more than 40 locations in the Houston area. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the location is oering only eyelash extensions and lifts. In the future, the shop will oer eyebrow waxing and tinting and eyelash tinting. 832-360-1250. www.amazinglashstudio.com/studios/tx/ kingwood/kingwood Elite Assembly & Installation opened in late September. The furniture and equipment assembly service does not have a brick-and-mortar storefront but is based in the Humble area, according to owner Erich Deats. The business provides services to the Greater Houston area. 518-368-4527. www.eliteassemblyinstallation.com COMING SOON 5 Lowe’s Co. Inc. will open a distribution center in July at the East Montgomery County Industrial Park o Gene Campbell Road. The 1.5 million-square-foot center is expected to be the largest industrial building in Montgomery County and will employ about 200 people. No contact information or specic address for the center has been released. The center will be located on a tract in the northern section of the park. www.emctx.com 6 Fountainwood at Lake Houston will open in early 2021 at 17990 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Atascocita. The $45 million development from The National Realty Group will consist of independent- and assisted-living facilities as well as memory care. 281-612-3585. www.fountainwoodatlakehouston.com

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NOWOPEN 1 Feign by Feign Boutique opened Oct. 17 at 11503 N. Sam Houston Parkway E., Ste. H, Humble. This is the second boutique for mother-daughter team Nadine Cerf and Amina Obuekwe. Cerf said the Humble boutique oers clothing for women, men and children as well as handbags, footwear and other accessories. The shop also provides

features a drive-thru pickup lane. 281-747-5477. www.chipotle.com 3 Blue Lagoon Bar & Grill held its grand opening Dec. 9 at 15808 Crystal Terrace Drive, Humble, in the Balmoral community. The eatery serves lunch and dinner items, including steaks, seafood, Italian fare, sandwiches and burgers. 281-609-4033. www.bluelagoonbargrill.com

personal styling and features custom designs made by Cerf. She said she makes custom wedding dresses, suits, clothes, handbags and jewelry. 346-907-5737. www.feignboutique.com 2 Chipotle Mexican Grill opened Dec. 10 at 21360 Hwy. 59, Ste. 100, New Caney, according to Erin Wolford, Chipotle spokesperson. The Valley Ranch Town Center location serves burritos, bowls, tacos, salads, chips and queso and

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COMPILED BY ANDY LI & KELLY SCHAFLER

9 Gentle Hands Loving Hearts Assisted Living will open at 9730 Lockhart Reach Lane, Humble, in January. The local assisted-living facility will oer private and companion rooms as well as hospice care for seniors. 713-863-8830. www.ghlhassistedliving.com 10 Service Wire Co. will open a manufacturing and distribution facility in the Generation Park development. The family-owned wire and cable manufacturer’s Houston facility is at 7207 N. Loop E., Houston, and will be relocating to 10803 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Houston. The business is set to open this summer. 800-231-9473. www.servicewire.com CLOSINGS 11 A Wholesome Pies , a pizza eatery, and B Wholesome Kitchen & Bar , a locally sourced kitchen, closed Nov. 23 at 250 Assay St., Houston. The two restaurants opened in summer 2019 in Redemption Square. The closures came following McCord Development’s early November launch of Gastropub Productions, the developer’s restaurant and hospitality group. A McCord Development representative said the company acquired the restaurants and plans to launch new concepts. www.generationpark.com

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Wholesome Pies

The Kings Crossing shopping center, located at the northwest corner of Kingwood Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway, will undergo renovations under newmanagement.

COURTESY WHOLESOME PIES

7 Big City Wings will open a new location in early January at 9240 N. Sam Houston Parkway E., Ste. 101, Humble, near the Fall Creek community. The eatery will serve 18 types of wing seasonings and dressings as well as burgers, waes and loaded baked potatoes. 832-781-4950. www.bigcitywings.com/fall-creek 8 Spring Show Supply will open in a new oce building in the East Montgomery County Industrial Park, according to a news release from the East Montgomery County Improvement District. The Tomball-based livestock show equipment store is the rst business to come into the EMCID’s 30,000-square-foot building funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. According to Spring Show Supply’s Facebook page, the store is expected to open in June. 713-818-6385. www.springshowsupply.org

FEATURED IMPACT RENOVATION The Kings Crossing shopping cente r —often referred to as the old H-E-B center—will undergo a facelift next year. It is located at the northwest corner of Kingwood Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway in Kingwood. SDI Realty Advisors, a Houston-based real estate and development company, will acquire the property in March and quickly redevelop it with retail and restaurants, SDI Managing Partner Charles Shears said. SDI hopes to complete the redevelopment by the end of 2021. “What we’re trying to do is bring life back into the shopping center,” Shears said. Shears said SDI Realty Advisors is trying

to acquire the anchor spot from H-E-B, which still leases the spot despite relocating to the adjacent, newer development in 2016. Current tenants can stay within the center and have their storefronts renovated, Shears said. Tenants include Pet Ranch, PostNet, Hallmark, Domino’s, Hunan Garden and Walgreens. www.sdirealty.com

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY KELLY SCHAFLER & HANNAH ZEDAKER

UPCOMING PROJECTS

Thoroughfareplan takes holistic approach to countywide connectivity Officials with the Harris County

PHASE 1

PHASE 2

ensure that previously planned projects and future recommended projects will satisfy transportation needs in the community. “While we’re planning for the future in undeveloped areas, we must also protect existing communities, provide for new ways that residential neighborhoods can easily connect to parks and greenbelts while enhancing access for emergency services,” he said. Browne said EHRA will work with county precincts and host several community meetings to develop a plan that addresses as many transportation concerns as possible. The final plan, which should be completed in 2021, will be brought to the Harris County Engineering Department for implementation. Harris County Engineer John Blount said the new thoroughfare plan is integral to giving residents in unincorporated Harris County a voice in the future of transportation. “Previously, the vast majority of major thoroughfare control was

actually given to the city of Houston because their extraterritorial jurisdiction covers the vast majority of Harris County, yet the individuals in the county outside of city limits don’t get to vote for the people who decide where the roads go,” Blount said. “So we’re taking a different approach and adopting our own major thoroughfare plan.” PLAN PRIORITIES The Harris County Multimodal Thoroughfare Plan will address several mobility concerns. minimize the instances in which Houston while minimizing heavy truck traffic near neighborhoods enhance access to public transportation augment pedestrian trails and bike routes along bayous reroute existing roads that cross obstacles and flood plains railroads and roads intersect improve access to the Port of SOURCES: EHRA, HARRIS COUNTY ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

KINGS PARKWAY

Engineering Department and EHRA, a Houston-based civil engineering firm, updated officials on an ongoing countywide thoroughfare plan in a virtual webinar Nov. 17. The Harris County Multimodal Thoroughfare Plan is a comprehensive effort to assess current and future transportation needs in unincorporated Harris County, including roads for cars and trucks, mass transit, bike lanes and pedestrian routes. The plan, which is being spearheaded by Chris Browne, EHRA vice president and practice area leader of planning and visioning, is just one component of the Countywide Transportation Plan that launched in January. The plan also includes the Equity in Transportation Plan and Vision Zero, an initiative with the goal of achieving zero traffic fatalities and severe injuries in Harris County by 2030. During the webinar, Browne said the thoroughfare plan is meant to

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UP TO DATE AS OF DEC. 16. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LHKNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. 8-foot-wide trail move south down West Lake Houston Parkway past Walden Forest Drive. Precinct 2 officials said Phase 2 should go to bid in mid-2021. Timeline: second quarter 2021- fourth quarter 2021 Cost: $5 million Funding source: Harris County Precinct 2 Atascocita Hike & Bike Trail (Phase 2) Harris County Precinct 2 is designing Phase 2 of the Atascocita Hike & Bike Trail. The concrete trail will connect to Phase 1 of the trail, which was completed last June and runs from West Lake Houston Parkway to Kings Park Way. Phase 2 will see the

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LAKE HOUSTON - HUMBLE - KINGWOOD EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

PARKS&RECREATION Greenway connections to start inHumble, Kingwood

PUSHING FOR PARKS Several parks projects in the Humble and Kingwood areas will move forward in 2021. The projects are set to be completed by 2022. SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY PRECINCT 4, HOUSTON PARKS BOARD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER 1 Edgewater Park (Phase 1) The 19-acre park will include a parking lot, boat launch, fish-cleaning station, restroom and concession building, and a detention pond. Timeline: mid-2021-early 2022 Cost: $2.3 million Funding sources: Harris County Precinct 4, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

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EDGEWATER PARK (PHASE 2)

CONNECTS TO TRAIL SYSTEM AT RIVER GROVE PARK

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SPRING CREEK GREENWAY

Harris County and Houston officials said several long-awaited parks and recreation projects in the Humble and Kingwood area will break ground next year. Dennis Johnston, parks director of Harris County Precinct 4, said Phase 1 of Edgewater Park, a 19-acre site, will include a detention basin, fish-cleaning station, trail and boat launch. A timeline is not available for Phase 2, which is east and north of Phase 1. Construction on the $2.3 million park will begin in mid-2021, Johnston said. The park’s opening was delayed from early 2021 to early 2022, Johnston said. “Getting approvals for both the right of way and the BY ANDY LI & KELLY SCHAFLER

design to continue the Spring Creek Greenway under the existing railroad bridge took much longer than anticipated,” he said. The park’s trail will go through Phase 1, under the Union Pacific railroad and through the future Phase 2. A $3.9 million trail from the Townsen Park and Ride to the Spring Creek Greenway trailhead and the Bevil Jarrell Memorial Bridge is also under consideration by the Texas Department of Transporta- tion, Johnston said. Meanwhile, the Houston Parks Board will begin work in early 2021 on the San Jacinto River Greenway. The greenway, located directly east of Edgewater Park, will connect Edgewater Park to River Grove Park

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3 San Jacinto River Greenway The project creates a 3.25-mile trail between the future Phase 2 of Edgewater Park and River Grove Park in Kingwood. It will replace the Riverview Townhomes at Forest Cove. Timeline: early 2021-early 2022 Cost: $3.94 million Funding sources: city of Houston, private donations at Riverview Townhomes at Forest Cove and demolish them for the greenway. “Construction may com- mence on other sections of the trail while the demolition is pending,” White said.

The project adds a 1-mile trail from Townsen Park and Ride to the Spring Creek Greenway and Bevil Jarrell Memorial Bridge. Timeline: TBD Cost: $3.9 million Funding source: Houston-Galveston Area Council early 2021, said Beth White, president and CEO of the Houston Parks Board. Harris County Flood Control District officials said in late October they will soon acquire the last seven units

in Kingwood, creating a continuous system from the Spring Creek Greenway to the Kingwood Greenbelt. The $3.94 million project was set to begin in mid-2020, but permits delayed it until

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

NEWS BRIEFS

COMPILED BY KELLY SCHAFLER

LakeHouston damgate construction delayed

Description: The project will add more gates to the Lake Houston spillway dam to increase its release rate. Cost: $47.1 million Timeline: 2022-24

The current dam is mostly a spillway structure with four small gates, which are made to release water at a rate of 10,000 cubic feet per second, according to a February 2018 report. A future release rate was not available by press time. Adam Eaton, project manager for the city of Houston, said gate construction could begin by early 2022, but it could be delayed by state and federal approval and environmental permitting. Construction could be done by early 2024. An added year to construction could pose a challenge with Lake Conroe residents who fought in early 2020 for the San Jacinto River Authority to stop seasonally lowering Lake Conroe. Lake Houston-area ocials asked that the policy, which involves lowering the lake during months of high rainfall, continue while the dam gates are completed. At the time, ocials estimated it would

The estimated completion date for a project to build additional gates on the Lake Houston spillway dam has been delayed at least a year. The $47.1 million project aims to add gates to the dam to allow water to be released more quickly from the dam in rainstorms to lower water levels upstream to prevent ooding. The project’s completion date has inched toward the latter part of the timeline since funding was announced in 2019. Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin, who represents District E in Kingwood, said via email comprehensive environmental studies contributed to the project’s delay. He said the city is ensuring residents downstream are not negatively aected. “Originally it was going to take 10-15 years, but we got them down to 5 to 7 years, and now we are working on 3 to 5 years, which is pretty dang good for a major infrastructure project,” Martin said.

Ocials hope to add new gates to the Lake Houston dam. (Kelly Schaer/Community Impact Newspaper)

be done in August 2022 or by 2023. Martin said via email he believes the SJRA will vote to continue the lake-lowering strategy until the dam is completed because the city of Houston owns 75% of the water in Lake Conroe and there- fore is a larger stakeholder in the lake’s operations.

High school to be renamed after former Humble ISD superintendent

Humble topurchaseOldWildcatDen

110 N. Ave. D

Old Wildcat Den

The city of Humble plans to purchase the Old Wildcat Den, a building that was known to be a popular diner for Charles Bender High School students in the 1950s. At the Dec. 10 Humble City Council meeting, council members authorized City Manager Jason Stuebe to enter into a contract to buy the property. Stuebe said the city will demolish it in early 2021. Mayor Merle Aaron said the city intends to demolish and clean the property. This will create a large lot with the city’s adjoining, vacant property ripe for future development or downtown parking, Aaron said. “The reason [we’re buying it] is to improve that piece of property there so it’s larger and usable,” he said. The small home was constructed

The Humble ISD board of trustees voted unanimously Dec. 8 to name Quest Early College High School after Guy Sconzo, who was HISD’s superintendent for 15 years and died April 21 from cancer complications. The school will be renamed the Guy M. Sconzo Early College High School to honor the educator. Trustee Keith Lapeze said although Sconzo did not launch the Quest program, he helped the once-magnet school become the high school it is today. “He single-handedly kept that school alive,” he said. “So it is very much appropriate to have his name on a school in that building forever.”

In August, Quest Early College moved to its own space in the district’s old Career and Technical Education Center for the rst time. An $8.98 million renovation on the center will expand the school’s capacity and add exible learning spaces. Renovations are set to be substantially completed by July, according to district ocials. Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said she believes the renovated campus will be the perfect t for the longtime educator’s name. “To have him right in the heart of the district, right in the heart of the city of Humble ... is the right set of circumstances,” she said.

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in 1924 and was most recently an antique and record store. But back in the 1950s, it was the Wildcat Diner that was patronized by students from Charles Bender High School. Nancy Coker, a lifelong Humble resident and former museum board president, said she remembers kids eating there instead of the cafeteria. “They made wonderful hamburgers,” she said. “It was nothing fancy; it was just good old food that everybody loves.”

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

Emergency Services

For more information, visit HCAhoustonhealthcare.com/er-24-7. HCA Houston ER 24/7 Safe care that can’t wait. Now open. HCA Houston ER 24/7 provides comprehensive emergency services for all types of acute injuries and illnesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our emergency rooms continue to be among the safest places to seek immediate medical attention. We are proactively engaged in the safe management of COVID-19, and we have put a strong emphasis on ensuring that protections are in place at our sites of care. Offering state-of-the-art technology in a convenient location, this ER features the following: • Staffed with skilled emergency care physicians • Access to on-site lab and imaging services • Accepts most major insurance plans • Affiliation with HCA Houston Kingwood for direct admission

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HCA HOUSTON ER 24�7 FALL CREEK

HCA Houston ER 24/7 Fall Creek 9711 N Sam Houston Parkway E Humble, TX 77396 281.441.6520

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

As the number of senior adults nationwide and in the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood area continues to grow, so does demand for residential options. The following list is not comprehensive. COMPILED BY ANDY LI & KELLY SCHAFLER Senior Living

The Fordham at Eagle Springs 18021 Eagle Springs Parkway, Humble 281-812-1076 www.fordhamateaglesprings.com Oakmont Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Humble 8450 Will Clayton Parkway, Humble 281-446-8484 www.dvcr.com/locations/oakmont-humble Park Manor of Humble 19424 McKay Drive, Humble 281-319-4060 www.parkmanor-humble.com Rosemont 6450 Kings Parkway, Humble 281-688-4409 www.capitalsenior.com/community/ rosemont Sierra Meadows 9835 N. Sam Houston Parkway E., Humble 281-441-3999 thesierrameadowsapartments.com Kingwood Arbor Terrace at Kingwood Town Center 2807 Kings Crossing Drive, Kingwood 281-819-6287 www.arborcompany.com/locations/texas/ kingwood Atria Kingwood 2401 Green Oak Drive, Kingwood 281-973-6242 www.atriaseniorliving.com/retirement- communities/atria-kingwood-kingwood-tx The Auberge at Kingwood 22955 Hwy. 59 N., Kingwood 281-623-1041 www.fronteirmgmt.com/communities/the- auberge-at-kingwood Cypress Woods 2755 Chestnut Ridge Road, Kingwood 281-549-5544 www.holidayseniorliving.com/senior- apartments/texas/cypress-woods- kingwood

Definitions / key

5 Independent - living communities cater to older adults with limited care needs. Most include amenities, such as fitness programs, housekeeping, communal meals and more. 5 Assisted-living communities specialize in providing care and supervision. These facilities frequently offer a full range of amenities as well as limited medical assistance. 5 Memory care facilities specialize in providing care to seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive issues. Staff members are trained to help residents manage these diseases.

5 Hospice care is intended to relieve symptoms and suffering associated with a terminal illness in those who have been given six months or less to live. The patient must choose to forgo further curative treatment. 5 Nursing home/skilled nursing facilities provide care to those with illnesses or mental conditions requiring full-time monitoring and medical care.

Deerbrook Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation

KELLY SCHAFLER/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Heritage Retreat Kingwood 1930 River Falls Drive, Kingwood 281-369-4724 www.heritageretreatgroup.com Ivy Point Kingwood 2302 Ladbrook Drive, Kingwood 281-747-9955 www.ivypointkingwood.com Kingwood Memory & Assisted Living 911 Southern Hills Road, Kingwood 281-892-1400 www.kingwoodmemorycare.com Landon Ridge Kingwood Assisted Living & Memory Care 24025 Kingwood Place Drive, Kingwood 346-318-0010 communities/kingwood-senior-living Village Green Alzheimer’s Care Kingwood 2050 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood 832-644-9771 www.villagegreenalzheimerscare.com Watercrest at Kingwood 24109 Kingwood Place Drive, Kingwood 832-930-5315 www.watercrestkingwood.com www.sagora.com/kingwood Reunion Court of Kingwood 929 Rockmead Drive, Kingwood 281-359-8800 www.12oaks.net/senior-living-

SOURCE: WWW.AARP.COM/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Atascocita

Humble

Avalon Memory Care 18111 Timber Forest Drive, Humble 800-696-6536 www.avalonmemorycare.com Estia Care 18111 Stone Angel Drive, Humble 281-638-4363 www.estiacare.com Heritage Retreat Atasca Woods 7105 Hot Creek Trace, Humble 281-369-4724 www.heritageretreatgroup.com Lilac Assisted Living 12419 N. Caprock Way, Humble 818-387-5604 www.lilacassistedliving.com Wentworth Senior Apartments 19030 Timber Forest Drive, Humble 281-540-3373 www.wentworthseniorapartments.com

AutumnGrove Cottage at Humble 5500 Atascocita Road, Humble 281-622-4699 www.rcmseniorliving.com/senior-living/tx/ humble/autumn-grove-cottage-at-humble Crimson Heights Health & Wellness 19279 McKay Drive, Humble 346-616-2600 www.crimsonheights.com Deerbrook Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation 9250 Humble Westfield Road, Humble 281-446-5160 www.deerbrook-humble.com Fall Creek Rehab & Healthcare Center 14949 Mesa Drive, Humble 281-902-4152 www.fallcreekrehab.com

Visit communityimpact.com for a map of these facilities and some senior resources.

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LAKE HOUSTON - HUMBLE - KINGWOOD EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

Partners in Primary Care offers a unique approach to wellness after 65, with a dedicated Care Team trained to meet the unique health care needs of seniors. Become a patient today and enjoy convenient, one-stop primary care designed to proactively address both physical and mental health, as well as a deep commitment to personal safety at every location. Your Partner in Good Health Call 713-581-6798 to schedule an in-person VIP tour or visit SeniorFocusedHouston.com for a virtual tour. Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm

12 locations in the Greater Houston area.

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Visit our Mobile Discovery Experience traveling to a neighborhood near you!

GCHKS5DEN Partners in Primary Care does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-877-320-2188 (TTY: 711). 注意:如果您 使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電 1-877-320-2188 (TTY: 711). Partners in Primary Care is Medicare Advantage friendly! We accept Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Memorial Hermann, TexanPlus and WellCare of Texas Medicare Advantage plans.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Data shows the costs of providing long-term care in Texas have been rising since at least 2004, and five-year estimates show prices have increased for most services. 5-year growth Texas' annual median costs in 2020 S enior Living Guide

Long-term living CONTINUED FROM 1

Adult day health care: Private one bedroom: care The cost of

A report shows occupancy at independent- and assisted-living facilities as well as nursing homes is dropping nationwide and in the Houston area in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nationwide*

Houston metro area

0 75% 85% 90% 80%

COMMUNITY AND ASSISTED LIVING

$8,377 $47,970

-1.64% +2.43%

NURSING HOME FACILITY

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

$60,225 $76,650

+3.34% +2.35%

Semiprivate room:

2019

2020

Private room:

SOURCE: NIC MAP DATA SERVICE/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER *INCLUDES DATA FROM 31 PRIMARY MARKETS ACROSS THE U.S

SOURCE: GENWORTH/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

research statistician with the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care, a research group. Senior housing occupancy in the Houston area, which includes nine local counties, dipped to 75.9% in the third quarter of 2020, according to NIC MAP Data Service. Comparatively, the Houston area’s occupancy rate was 81.4% in the third quarter of 2019. Greg Shelley, the program manager of the Harris County Long-term Care Ombudsman Program at UTHealth, said occupancy rates in Harris County could be dropping as families bring their elderly relatives home to avoid pandemic visitation restrictions. “We have ... had the unusual situation of more families bringing their loved ones home or finding another place to provide care for them because of the restrictions related to coded visitation,” he said. However, NIC Senior Principal Lana Peck said greater availability to timely and accurate testing as well as vaccine distribution should help improve occupancy rates. “The vaccine will, obviously, be a game changer in bringing occupancy rates up as more and more folks’ families are more comfortable with sending their loved ones to senior housing,” she said. Senior livingamidCOVID-19 Claudia Mosqueda, the property manager of Fordham at Eagle Springs, said attracting new tenants during the pandemic has been challenging for the 55-plus independent-living community that opened in June. She said the community estimated the occupancy rate would be 25%-35% by the end of 2020, but instead it is at 18.9% occupancy. Mosqueda said she believes many elderly individuals are concerned

about the pandemic and are waiting it out rather than moving to a new community. “There’s two things that affects the senior community. One is that they’re planners, so they’re not going to move in immediately to begin with, … and then with the pandemic, they’re just kind of sitting still,” she said. Self-reported data sent to Texas Health and Human Services shows there have been 4,154 COVID-19 cases and 560 coronavirus-related deaths among residents at assisted-living facilities and nursing homes in Harris County. There were 187 active resident and 103 active employee cases as of Dec. 1. However, the state of Texas began distributing two vaccines in December to fight the virus. Almost 60,000 doses of thePfizervaccinecame totheGreater Houston area in mid-December, with the initial batch reserved for health care workers, residents and staff members in long-term care facilities, and other at-risk populations. In a Dec. 17 press conference, Gov. Greg Abbott said distribution would ramp up in late December, after press time, when the Moderna vaccine Rising costs of long-term care may also be contributing to the occupancy changes amid the pandemic. According to a December report from Genworth, a financial insurance company, Texas’ median annual cost of a private room in a nursing facility has increased 2.35% in the last five years to $76,650, while a private one-bedroom unit in an assisted-living facility increased 2.43% in the same time period to $47,970 annually. With new long-term care facilities opening every year, it creates a becomes available. Costsof senior living

competitivemarket that results insome higher-priced facilities, Shelley said. Additionally, Harris County has lost more than 10 assisted-living facilities since last year, Shelley said. Some providers reduced their assisted-living programs, while others took them away altogether, he said. “We’ve even had some providers—a noticeable number of providers—either choose not to get licensed or turn in their license due to the depth of difficulties and providing safe care for folks during the pandemic,” he said. This is not unique to Harris County, as the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living released results in mid-December showing 66% of the 953 nursing home providers across the nation who participated in the survey do not believe they will stay open another year due to increased COVID-19 costs. Turning toaffordablehousing While occupancies are down for most senior housing, officials from low-income senior communities in the Humble andAtascocita areas said there is still a high demand for affordable senior housing. Affordable senior housing communities are certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide reduced rent programs for families whose household income is below the area’s median income. Five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 American Community Survey data show the median household incomes in Humble and Atascocita are $41,845 and $100,292, respectively. Mosqueda said Fordham at Eagle Springs’ cost, although comparable to other nearby senior living communities, could contribute to

slower occupancy growth amid the pandemic. Units range from $1,300 for a one-bedroom unit to almost $2,000 permonth for cottages, per thewebsite. “I’ve actually had a couple of cancellations where they qualify [and] they could probably make it,” she said. “However, if they can have assistance through an income-based program, they’re probably going to go through that route.” Donna Wells, property manager at Wentworth Senior Apartments, said all 90 of its tax-credit units are occupied. The independent-living community in Atascocita offers units for those who make under 60% or under 30% of the area’s median income. The waitlist at Wentworth Senior Apartments is about three to six months for seniors who are within the 60% category, and the community is accepting applications. However, Wells said there is a five- to 10-year wait for the complex’s 30% units. “We stopped taking applications [for the 30% units] because the wait was so long,” she said. “I have people who have been waiting since we opened [in 2011].” Seniors age 55 and older who meet the 60% income requirement can lease a two-bedroom unit for $999, while seniors in the 30% category can lease it for $466, she said. Other tax-credit senior housing communities in Atascocita also stay at 100% occupancy, Wells said. “[Housing is] in extremely high demand,” she said. “Seniors are living longer than ever; they’re wanting to be independent longer than ever, and there’s just not enough [affordable] apartments for seniors.”

Tell us what you think. Comment at communityimpact.com .

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LAKE HOUSTON - HUMBLE - KINGWOOD EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

“I WANT THEMTOKNOW THAT I’MHERE; I’MBACK; I’MBETTER; I’MSTRONG, AND I WANT THEMTO BE HAPPYWHEN THEY

BUYA CAKE FROM YUMMY TUMMY.” LETTY MARTINEZ, OWNER OF YUMMY TUMMY BAKERY

Yummy Tummy Bakery provides custom cakes and baked goods for events and weddings.

BUSINESS FEATURE

LettyMartinez owns both Yummy Tummy Bakery locations in Humble andNewCaney. (Photos by Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

Yummy Tummy Bakery Baker overcomes health struggles, pandemic to serve community A fter several years of personal struggles, Yummy Tummy Bakery owner Letty Martinez has faced her toughest challenge Martinez said is slowly building a customer base. The location features a cafe with coee and espresso and more pastries. However, like many small businesses, Martinez BY ANDY LI

yet in the coronavirus pandemic. But she said she is hopeful for business to return to normal at her two shops as 2021 approaches. “I’m blessed because we have a lot of responses from our customers; they always tell us, ‘We’re here to support,’” Martinez said. Martinez opened Yummy Tummy Bakery in Humble in 2010 after learning to bake while working at The Woodlands Country Club and perfecting her skills as a home baker. She said her custom cakes and baked goods—such as chocolate-dipped strawberries and macarons— quickly became popular, with venues and events contacting her to cater for them. “It was very, very hard in the beginning because the rst days that I opened, nobody stopped by; nobody knows who was Yummy Tummy,” Martinez said. “But then when a person stop and try my cakes and then they put a review, ... then a lot of people started getting in here.” In July 2019, Martinez opened a second location in New Caney’s Valley Ranch Town Center, which

said the coronavirus pandemic limited her business. Without events or parties, very few customers ordered custom cakes. She also said many people turned to home baking as a quarantine hobby, leading to fewer people ordering from the bakery. “You need to do what you need to do to survive; I completely understand,” she said. “But we have a lot of customers that they’re always going to come back because the quality’s from scratch, totally dierent, and that’s why they love Yummy Tummy.” The pandemic is not the only challenge Martinez has had to face in recent years. She said she nearly lost her leg due to health complications, went through ve surgeries and was later diagnosed with skin cancer. Currently in remission, she said the past few years have been full of blessings, as well. “God gave me the strength that I need again, and I’m here to make my customers happy,” Martinez said. “I want them to know that I’m here; I’m back; I’m better; I’m strong, and I want them to be happy when they buy a cake from Yummy Tummy.”

In addition to cakes, Yummy Tummy Bakery oers other baked goods, such as macarons ($3).

VALLEY RANCH PKWY. Yummy Tummy Bakery www.yummytummypastries.com Hours: Tue.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Mon. 21572 Market Place Drive, Ste. 200, New Caney 281-354-1515

59

99 TOLL

N

1005 First St. E., Humble 281-446-0450

1960

FIRST ST. E.

N

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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