Bellaire - Meyerland - West University Edition | July 2021

BELLAIRE MEYERLAND WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION

2021 R E A L E S T A T E E D I T I O N

ONLINE AT

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3  JULY 1AUG. 4, 2021

Themaking ofMeyerland History preserved amid change

IMPACTS

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RUNNYMEADE DR.

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The passage of time in Meyerland brought a row of tall trees to a segment of South Rice Avenue between Runnymeade Drive and South Braeswood Boulevard. (Photos courtesy Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Savannah Kuchar/Community Impact Newspaper)

TODO LIST

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BY SAVANNAH KUCHAR

Hans Mayer, former director of the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Commu- nity Center in Meyerland, has lived in the same Marilyn Estates house in the area for 50 years. “Our home is 65 years old, and we love it,” Mayer said. “We would never

resident and representative of the council’s District C, which includes the Meyerland area—remembers spending her weekends growing up at the Mer- sh Teen Center and playing in Meyer- land’s Godwin Park. “The community’s as close-knit as ever,” Kamin said.

Major closures hit Hwy. 59, Loop610 intersection TRANSPORTATION

Meyerland, the 6,000-acre super neighborhood around the intersec- tion of Brays Bayou and Chimney Rock Road, has now been part of Houston for more than 65 years. Houston Council Member Abbie Kamin—a fourth-generation Houston

CONTINUED ON 17

The Houston area has seen massive growth in new housing since 2005, with the types of housing evolving as older houses were torn down and replaced with new projects, according to an April 2021 report from the Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Redevelopment trends across Houston over that time saw single-family homes largely being replaced with multifamily CONTINUED ON 18 As Houston’s housing stock evolves, smaller cities see redevelopment BY HUNTER MARROW

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Housing boom Average new housing units per year (2005-18)

REAL ESTATE EDITION 2021

While Houston’s Inner Loop accounts for just 15% of the city’s land area, housing production there between 2005-18 was more than the entire metro area of some major cities. SOURCE: KINDER INSTITUTE FOR URBAN RESEARCHCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

5,345

Houston’s Inner Loop

4,100

San Diego

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San Francisco/Oakland

2,913

MARKET SNAPSHOT

13 15

Atlanta

1,945

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THIS ISSUE

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Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROM JAY: As the new general manager of this edition, I have seen a resurgence of members of the business community meeting together in person, which brings an energy that has been missing for some time. The world of real estate is always a hot topic in Houston, and this year is no dierent, so please enjoy our look into the market and the eects in your neighborhood. Jay McMahon, GENERALMANAGER

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JULY 2021

IMPACTS

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

COMPILED BY HUNTER MARROW

WESTHEIMER RD.

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7

59

6

610

11

10

HERMANN PARK

BUFFALO SPEEDWAY

CAMBRIDGE ST.

CB2

Refresqueria

BRAESWOOD DR.

COURTESY REFRESQUERIA

COURTESY CB2

QUENBY ST.

610

12

9

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RICE BLVD.

288

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BEECHNUT ST.

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1 2 AMHERST ST. 3

BRAYS BAYOU

S. POST OAK RD.

MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Badolina Bakery & Cafe

Dave’s Hot Chicken

COURTESY DAVE’S HOT CHICKEN

COURTESY RALPH SMITH STUDIOSSOF HOSPITALITY

NOWOPEN 1 Home decor and furnishings con- sultation chain West Elm opened a store in Rice Village on June 17 at 2501 University Blvd., Houston. The Brooklyn-based global design company opened its 11,502-square-foot location in the former location of Urban Outtters. The store oers modern and consciously made designs as well as consultation services to Houstonians. 713- 520-0009. www.westelm.com 2 The Lovesac Company opened its newest store and showroom inside Houston’s Inner Loop for the very rst time. With its June 11 opening, Lovesac has opened its 801-square-foot store in Rice Village at 2510 University Blvd., Houston. The Rice Village location oers high-quality furniture through Lovesac’s “Designed for Life” approach. Customers are also able to experience the retailer’s Sacs and demo Sactionals. 713-999-9186. www.lovesac.com 3 CB2 , a city-minded home brand with a boutique-like atmosphere and member of Crate and Barrel Holdings, is now open at its 10,084-square-foot space at 2414 University Blvd., Ste 130, Houston. The new space, which opened June 18 in the heart of Rice Village, allows customers to engage directly with CB2’s curated home furnishings and accessories. Customers can interact with the brand at a number of in-store events, shop online, and consult with design specialists through in-store and on-site consulta- tions. 281-609-7500. www.cb2.com 4 Owners of acclaimed Israeli steak- house Doris Metropolitan opened Badolina Bakery & Cafe June 3 at 5555 Morningside Drive, Houston, in Rice Village. The bakery brings avor proles from around the world, including Middle Eastern and Israeli baked goods, sweet and savory pastries, along with specialty sourdoughs, croissants, babkas and cus- tom roasted beans for its blended coee.

The bakery will eventually neighbor modern Israeli restaurant Hamsa, owned by the same restaurateurs, when it opens later this year. 832-649-5909. www.badolinabakery.com 5 A pop-up version of eyewear company KREWE Tiny Home opened June 11 in Rice Village at 2404½ Amherst St., Houston. The company sells eyewear that celebrates individual style with a modern, iconic frame. The company was founded by Stirling Barrett, a New Orleans artist and entrepreneur, whose vision of New Orleans as a cultural hub fueled his 6 Bellagreen will be bringing its sixth Houston-area location to the Galleria area. The eatery will open its very rst carryout and delivery prototype at 5018 San Felipe St., Houston, on Aug. 2. Using a limited-footprint model, the eatery will accept individual and catering orders placed directly through the website, by phone and in store. The new restaurant will also deliver direct orders during peak lunch and dinner hours with its own drivers. The new restaurant will oer scratch-made appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, pasta and desserts. www.bellagreen.com 7 Refresqueria , the Mexican-focused snack, snowcone, and ice cream eatery, will open a location in late July or August in Rice Village at 5407 Morningside Drive, Houston. In addition to fresh fruit snow cones and ice cream, the eatery serves snacks including elote, nachos and chich- arron con cueritos. www.refresqueria.net 8 Los Angeles-based Dave’s Hot Chicken will open in the fourth quarter of 2021 in Houston’s Rice Village at 2525 Rice Blvd., Ste. B, Houston. Along with hot chicken tenders and sandwiches, the restaurant will serve its staple housemade sides launching the company in 2013. 346-388-1463. www.krewe.com COMING SOON

including kale slaw, macaroni and cheese, and fries. Its chicken includes multiple spice levels, from no spice to Reaper peppers. The future opening comes after the company announced in December 2020 it had entered a franchise agree- ment to open as many as 26 locations in the Houston and College Station markets. www.daveshotchicken.com EXPANSIONS 9 Christo Mio , a non-alcoholic eatery and coee bar with holistic, farm-raised food options as well as zero-proof drink options, has slowly been reopening and expanding its oerings since December 2020. According to management, the coee bar, located at 2523 Quenby St., Houston, expanded its hours to Tue.-Sun. 7 a.m.-2 p.m. starting June 22. The coee bar maintains a breakfast menu, but has plans to roll out a lunch menu in the summer. Though its doors are open, the coee bar has plans to hold a grand opening in the fall, but no exact date was given. Check the coee bar’s social media for updates. 713-528-6508. www.christomio.com NEWOWNERSHIP 3642 University Blvd., Houston , in the West University area was acquired by investment company 35 South Capital, which closed the deal on the property May 26. John Morton heads the company and founded Triple Crown Investment Group, the company developing South- side Commons. www.35southcapital.com REOPENINGS 10 A two-story, 13,142-square- foot mixed-use retail property at 11 The Children’s Museum of Houston reopened on June 8 after being temporar- ily closed during the coronavirus pandemic for over a year. Visitors age 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated are required

to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth. Located at 1500 Binz St., Houston, the museum features a variety of exhibits, a challenge course and Kidtroplis, a cityscape where children can roleplay dif- ferent jobs. A grand reopening event will include a dance party, balloon artist and magic show, among other entertainment. 713-522-1138. www.cmhouston.org IN THE NEWS 12 Ocials with the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center celebrated the completion of the O’Quinn Medical Tower’s concrete structure on the McNair Campus with a ceremony June 24. Located at 7200 Cam- bridge St., Houston, the 12-story tower is expected to be completed in 2023. Once completed, the project will feature more than 400,000 square feet to support personalized care to patients and expand Baylor St. Luke’s outpatient capacity. The new tower will house outpatient services such as radiology, endoscopy and an ambulatory surgery center. New services will include a Pain Center and a Women’s Center for diagnostic breast imaging. The building will also house the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. 832-355-1000. www.stlukeshealth.org Boy Scouts of America leader and West- bury civic leader Dabney Kennedy was honored during a June 5 ceremony with the “Silver Bualo,” the highest award the Boys Scouts organization is able to bestow upon its volunteers. Kennedy received the award after 65 years of service in the Boy Scouts organization, as well as 50 years as a leader in the Westbury community. During his years of service to the scouts organization, Kennedy was inducted into the Boy Scouts of America’s honor society, Order of the Arrow. As vice-chairman of programming for the National Order of the Arrow, he expanded and updated training activities at conferences and created the National OA Endowment.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

July events

COMPILED BY SAVANNAH KUCHAR

JULY 03

CELEBRATIONOF INDEPENDENCE PARADE AND FESTIVAL LOFTIN PARK

JULY 17

LEMONADE DAY HOUSTON CITYWIDE EVENT

The city of Bellaire kicks o its celebration with a parade beginning at the intersection of South Rice Avenue and Valerie Street. The parade is led by the Children’s Bike Parade, which begins at the intersection of South Rice Avenue and Evergreen Street, and no preregistration is required to participate in the bike parade. Afterwards, at around 10 a.m., the city will have a live band, food and other activities at Loftin Park. 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. 7008 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire (festival). 713-662-8280. www.bellairetx.gov (Courtesy city of Bellaire)

A national program to teach children about entrepreneurship culminates in this citywide day to celebrate young participants and their lemonade stand businesses. Children should register online ahead of the event to rst complete the learning program at their own pace, and they will then be provided with all the necessary materials for their stand. Participants can keep all prots, and stands can be branded to be put on an online map for visitors to nd and support. All day. Free. 713-893-0990. www.lemonadeday.org/houston (Courtesy Lemonade Day Houston)

08 WOMEN IN TRANSLATION PANEL Eight women from the eld of book translating discuss their work during a webinar panel moderated by the writer Veronica Esposito. Online registration required. 7 p.m. Free. 713-523-0701. www.brazosbookstore.com 10 PUBLIC POETRY In a virtual event hosted once a month by Houston Public Library, various poets and storytellers present their work. Between featured sessions, there is an open mic for any participants to read a piece aloud. Registration is required and spots are limited. 2-4 p.m. Free. 832-393-1313. www.houstonlibrary.org 15 'WEALREADYHAVE WHATWE NEED' Through Oct. 3, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston hosts an exhibition titled “We Already Have What We Need,” by Los Angeles-based artist Cauleen Smith that emphasizes acts of caring as solutions to injustices shaping past and

29 THROUGH 31 MILLER OUTDOOR THEATRE SUMMERMIXTAPE SERIES This three-day music showcase features local performers from a variety of genres, including Raycheal Winters, El Lago and Swimwear Department, plus projection artist Input Output. Seats can be claimed starting July 22, at no more than four per person. 8:30-10:30 p.m. (each day). Free (admission). Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston. 832-487-7102. www.milleroutdoor theatre.com/performances 29 WORTH THE TRIP: THE HELLAMEGA TOUR Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer perform at Minute Maid Park on their Hella Mega Tour, along with special guest The Interrupters. The tour, originally set for summer 2020, was rescheduled this year due to COVID-19. 5:30 p.m. $29.50 and up. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford St., Houston. http://mlb.com/astros/ tickets/concerts/hella-mega-tour

JULY 04 FUN IN THE SUN, WATER DAY The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center oers sprinklers, water balloons and other water games for children ages 12 and under to enjoy this Independence Day. 10 a.m.-noon. $15 (per family). Mersh Teen Center, 9000 South Rice Ave., Houston. 713-729-3200. www.erjcchouston.org 04 TASTE OF TEXAS FOOD FESTIVAL The Taste of Texas Food Festival comes to Houston this Fourth of July, featuring 50 dierent food trucks and vendors from around the city covering a variety of food types. Other activities include face painting, bounce houses, a live DJ and arts and crafts vendors. 1-6 p.m. Free (ages under 12); $5 (advanced presale tickets); $25 (general admission at entrance). The Zone, 10371 Stella Link Road, Houston. 832-461-6729. www.tasteoftexasfoodfestival.com

present in a multimedia format. Free. 5216 Montrose Boulevard, Houston. 713-284-8250. www.camh.org 17 WILLOWWATERHOLEAUDUBON SOCIETYBIRDSURVEY Joy Hester from the Audubon Society leads a group in observing and counting birds at the Gathering Place. The event is hosted by the Westbury Civic Club every third Saturday of the month. 8-9 a.m. Free. The Gathering Place, 5310 South Willow Drive, Houston. 713-723-5437. www.westburycrier.com 25 SUMMERMESSMAKERS, OUTSIDE THE SAND BOX For children ages 3-7, the Nature Discovery Center hosts a chance to be creative and have messy fun. To ensure social distancing, the outdoor class is capped at the rst 10 to register. 10-11:15 a.m. $20 (members), $25 (nonmembers). Nature Discovery Center, 7112 Newcastle St., Bellaire. 713-667-6550. www.naturediscoverycenter.org

Find more or submit Bellaire-Meyerland-West University events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JULY 2021

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & HUNTER MARROW

ONGOING PROJECT

Monthslong closure takes eect at Hwy. 59 connector ramps to Loop610 inHouston A major closure went into eect during mid-June at one of Houston’s busiest highway intersections. The northbound connector ramp fromHwy. 59 to northbound Loop 610 in southwest Houston closed com- pletely starting at 9 p.m. June 10 and will remain closed until early 2022. Then, on June 14 the southbound connector ramp fromHwy. 59 to northbound Loop 610 closed. That clo- sure is not expected to last as long and will remain in eect until late 2021. The closures come as crews work to demolish the ramps and replace them with new, higher two-lane ramps in the same location. During the closure, northbound drivers are being detoured to Loop 610 southbound, where they can exit and U-turn back to Loop 610 north- bound lanes. Southbound drivers

Hwy. 59/Loop 610 interchange ramp closures

59

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Gulfton Street improvement project The city of Houston is rehabilitating a section of streets in the Gulfton neighborhood, in a work area bor- dered by Gulfton Street, Chimney Rock Road and South Rice Avenue. The eort will replace asphalt, concrete and base material depending on the street condition. Crews will also replace damaged curbs, sidewalks and storm inlets. The project will be com- pleted some time in the 2021-22 scal year, which runs through June 2022. Timeline: May 2021-TBD Cost: $726,000 Funding sources: city of Houston drainage and street renewal fund

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Segments of Hwy. 59 and Loop 610 near the interchange have been named among the most congested roads in Texas by the Texas Transpor- tation Institute in its annual rankings that were released in December for the year 2019. The broader interchange project is slated to wrap up in 2024, according to TxDOT. Timeline: June 2021-early 2022 Cost: $259 million Funding source: Texas Department of Transportation

are detoured to the Newcastle Drive exit, where they can take the Hwy. 59 frontage road to the Loop 610 northbound frontage road. The closures are part of an ongoing $259 million construction project at the interchange to improve mobility, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Problems the project seeks to rectify include replacing one-lane connector ramps that are over capacity, preparing for projected increases in trac, adding shoulders and correcting below-minimum sight distances.

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JUNE 16. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT BMWNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

ECONOMY

A closer look at

Net revenues

HOUSTON’S HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

TALKING TAXES

$100.2M

-$4.8M

-$55.5M

2019

2020

2021*

The city of Houston collects a 7% tax on hotel stays and puts the funding into a hotel occupancy tax fund. Those dollars dropped drastically this past year.

*PROJECTED

Between 2019 and 2021, spending was cut the most on: Biggest cuts

Personnel $6.5M $8.5M $4M $3.9M Facility maintenance

Food and beverage

TURNING THE SHIP AROUND

Hotel occupancy rates in Houston plummeted in 2020, but the rst few months of 2021 have showed signs of recovery.

Advertising and promotion

100%

April 2019 66.3%

UPCOMING EVENTS

April 2021 59.2%

citywide conventions are scheduled to take place— up from 12 conventions over that time in 2019. 14

Between July and December

80%

April 2020 24.9%

60%

National Rie Association annual meeting: 74,000 attendees:

Oshore Tech annual convention: 30,000 attendees

International Quilt Market: 30,000 attendees

40%

20%

0%

2019

2020

2021

SOURCES: STR INC., HOUSTON FIRST CORP.COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Outlook improves across Houston hotel sector, but questions remain

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

usually don’t pick Houston. We have experienced this forever in Houston. We’re a business town.” Heckman said he expects corpo- rate business travel to pick back up post-Labor Day as more children go back to school and companies go back to working from oces. “The good news for Houston is that oil is at $70 per barrel,” he said. “That bodes well for business travel.” For the InterContinental Houston hotel in the Texas Medical Center, the pains of the pandemic were still felt, but not as harsh as other parts of the city, Director of Sales and Mar- keting Doug Kelly said. His team also leveraged the hotel’s restaurant Sana and its proximity to museums and the Houston Zoo to draw residents from nearby communities, he said. “The component that is still missing is international travel,” he said. “Once those restrictions are lifted, there should be even more of an uptick.” Broader consequences A lagging hospitality industry has consequences that go beyond hotels, Heckman said. When people pay to stay at a hotel within the city of Hous- ton, they are charged a 17% tax. The city collects 7%, while the remaining 10% is split between the state, Harris County and the Harris County

Houston Sports Authority. Those funds can be used for everything from marketing the city to maintaining sports venues to providing grants to local art organizations. Houston First, which raised about $87.5 million in hotel occupancy tax revenue in 2019, now projects to raise $56.8 million in its scal year 2021-22 budget, which was adopted in December. A $55 million operating decit means Houston First will likely have to dip into cash reserves or resort to other credit facilities to balance the budget, Heckman said. In addition to providing funds for arts organizations, hotel tax revenue benets Houston First partner organi- zations such as Discovery Green. “We have to spend money on the arts because frankly they can’t sup- port themselves with nice facilities,” Massad said. “The faster that we can get those travelers back to the city, the faster those revenues come back and everybody’s budgets are full.” Investments made by Houston First this year are intended to help restart the city, a prospect that Heckman said he is more optimistic about every day. “It was a dicult year to budget for, but things do look a lot better as we go through this year, and they will look signicantly better as we get into 2022,” he said.

both played a role in improving that outlook, he said. Houston hosted 12 citywide con- ventions between July and December of 2019, Heckman said, a record at the time. In 2021, 14 such conventions have been booked to take place over that same time, he said. “That’s going to be a really signi- cant driver for not just our hotels, but our hospitality industry in general, whether they be Ubers or taxis or restaurants or suppliers for events like this,” he said. Talkingbusiness Although leisure travel is on the rise, the most crucial part of the recovery for hospitality—business travel—has not yet bounced back at the same level, said Nick Massad, vice president of development with the Houston-based American Liberty Hospitality, which operates several hotels in the Houston area, including a Holiday Inn Express/Staybridge Suites near the Galleria, which opened in February. “If you look at the weekly calendar, you have Sunday through Thursday where everyone is working, and that’s the best time [for hotels] in Houston,” Massad said. “But then on Friday and Saturday when ... you want to spend two to three days on a trip, you

The Houston area, like cities across the U.S., saw a steep drop-o in leisure and business travel in 2020, which forced hotel owners to reckon with reduced occupancy rates and the city to work through losses in hotel occupancy tax revenue. Although early projections from hospitality forecasters suggested the industry would not recover until 2024, consulting rms like Price Waterhouse Cooper have since been revising projections to show occupancy and room rates may bounce back to 2019 levels as soon as 2023. As a result, hotel owners and o- cials who promote travel to the city of Houston have expressed optimism about the future. “What you are seeing is a quicker recovery than most people antici- pated,” said Michael Heckman, the CEO of Houston First Corp., which collects hotel taxes and promotes tourism on behalf of the city. “This summer is going to be very busy from a leisure/traveler perspective.” Heckman said the key to the recov- ery of the hospitality industry lies in building condence in people that it is safe to travel again. The ecacy of the coronavirus vaccine and the updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JULY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GOVERNMENT City of Houston avoids budget shortfall using federal funds

The American Rescue Plan Act provided the city of Houston with $608 million of federal aid in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The city received $304.3 million to use during scal year 2021-22. Here are Houston’s plans to spend its rst allocation. BREAKING DOWN THE BUDGET SAVED BY FEDERAL FUNDS

BY EMMA WHALEN

forth an eort to create a struc- turally balanced budget, and until we do that, the city of Houston is going to see its demise,” she said. “Sustainable one-time expenses would have been building grocery stores [or] a citywide Wi-Fi system, for example.” Council members voted for amendments to the budget that pulled about $8 million from the city’s fund balance, which serves as the city’s budget reserves. Accord- ing to nance department projec- tions, the city was going to end up with $44.5 million above the required 7.5% of the general fund. With the budget amendments in place, the city will now end up with about $36 million above the required amount of reserves. Among the new expenditures were increased funding for low-cost spay and neuter services through the city animal shelter and an increase in district council members’ oce budgets from $750,000 to $1 million each. In a separate vote in October, City Council will set its tax rate. City ocials projected raising about $1.23 billion in property tax revenue in FY 2021-22, down by about 0.16% compared to FY 2020- 21 but up from the $1.22 billion brought in during FY 2019-20. Sales tax revenue is projected at $703 million, up from $675 million in the previous scal year, or 4.15%, according to budget data. Houston’s voter-approved revenue cap, which has been in place since 2004, limits property tax revenue growth to 4.5% or a calculation that factors in ination and population growth, whichever is less. However, Texas Senate Bill 2, which passed in 2019, limits the total revenue from property taxes to no more than 3.5% higher than the previous year. An exception to that allowed cities to set a tax rate that results in up to 8%more revenue if a state of emergency is declared, which was the case in 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis. The city’s current property tax rate is $0.56184 per $100 of valuation.

Houston City Council approved a $5.1 billion budget June 1 for scal year 2021-22 and avoided a $201 million shortfall, thanks to an infusion of federal funds. “2020 was a year like none other; nancially it was worse than Hurricane Harvey because it was a disaster that lasted 14 months,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. The budget comprises a $2.58 bil- lion general fund, which supports a majority of city functions outside of debt payments and self-sustaining funds such as the Houston Airport System. The general fund grew by 3.9% from the FY 2020-21 budget, or a $96 million increase. Sales, hotel and property tax revenue decreases due to the COVID-19 pandemic put the city in a precarious position leading into the new scal year that could have forced layos, land sales and a withdrawal from the city’s reserves, Turner said. A $608 million infusion of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act helped the city resolve the shortfall. The city will receive the funds in two installments in 2021 and 2022 and will have until the end of 2023 to spend them. In addition to lling the $201 million FY 2021-22 budget gap, the ARPA funds will provide about $3 million for a sixth police cadet class instead of the typical ve per scal year. Turner also committed to spending $25 million over the next three years on increased mental health interventions through the Houston Police Department and an 18% pay raise for Houston reghters. Council Member Mike Knox voted against the budget proposal, and Council Member Letitia Plum- mer attempted to as well but had her vote recorded as a “yes” due to a procedural error. Plummer said she planned to vote “no” because of concerns with using ARPA funds for recurring expenses such as new hires and increased police and re salaries. “We need to have a plan to put

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT $201 million to ll budget shortfall

$54M Not fully allocated

$38 million for a 6% reghter pay raise $8.3million for mental health interventions through Houston Police Department $3 million for an additional police cadet class

TOTAL $304.3M

GENERAL FUND SPENDING

The general fund is mostly supported by sales and property taxes. City departments also receive funding through special revenue funds and grants.

FY2020-21 budget

FY2021-22 budget

Police department Fire department Municipal courts

$955M

$515M

$515M

Health department Parks department Library system Solid waste department Housing and community development

$60M $67M

$44M

$89M

$418K

$0

$200M $400M $600M $800M $1B

NOTABLE AMENDMENTS

Each year, City Council members can propose amendments to the city’s budget before it is approved. Here are ve notable amendments passed for the FY 2021-22 budget.

Improved drainage ditch cleaning

HPD mental health allocations

Proposed by: District C Council Member Abbie Kamin and District A Council Member Amy Peck Purpose: The amendment allows the council members to oer on-call drainage ditch maintenance services through Houston Public Works, reducing ood risk.

Proposed by: At-Large Council Member Letitia Plummer Purpose: The amendment adds two Mobile Crisis Outreach Teams, which address mental health calls without police, for a total of 20. It was funded by reducing the number of new Crisis Intervention Response Teams.

Increase in council district funds

Curbing illegal dumping

Proposed by: District A Council Member Amy Peck Purpose: The amendment increases each district council member’s service fund from $750,000 to $1 million. The funds may be used for specic projects within a district identied by the council member or the community.

Proposed by: District B Council Member Tarsha Jackson Purpose: The amendment extends the hours and days of operation at the city’s depositories to encourage proper junk and bulk waste disposal and provide an alternative to illegal dumping.

SOURCE: CITY OF HOUSTONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JULY 2021

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Houston ISD

HIGHLIGHTS HOUSTON ISD Alumni and current students of Bellaire High School gathered at the school at the end of May for one last time before the school is demolished this summer. As part of Houston ISD’s 2012 bond program, new academic, ne arts and physical education wings will open to students this fall. Once demolished, the old building will be replaced with an athletics eld; a new track; an administration wing; and a four- story, 700-space parking garage, which will open at the end of 2022.

Teachers to get $2,500 raise for 202122 school year HOUSTON ISD The Houston ISD board of trustees approved a $2.2 billion budget at its June 10 meeting, including a $2,500 raise for the roughly 12,000 employees on the district’s teacher salary schedule. That raise could be boosted further at the board’s Aug. 12 meeting. The move passed unanimously, but meeting with a recommendation on whether teachers should get an additional boost. Sung’s amendment also requires the district to begin the development of a multiyear strategy to achieve and maintain competitive teacher pay with the region. Additionally, HISD could see an additional $25 million-$30 million come back into its coers in BY SHAWN ARRAJJ later in the year after appraisal values are conrmed by the Harris County Appraisal District. The $2,500 pay raise is in addition to a step increase for employees on the teacher pay scale schedule. The budget also included a $1,000 retention bonus that will be given out in September.

only after trustee Elizabeth Santos initially called for a $5,000 raise, an amount Chief Financial Ocer Glenn Reed said could put the district in a challenging position with regard to its reserve funding. Though not required by law, the HISD board follows a policy requiring the district to keep at least three months’ worth of operating revenue—or roughly $469 million—in its unassigned reserve fund at all times in case of an emergency. The budget amendment from Santos was amended by trustee Anne Sung, who lowered the amount to $2,500 and required the district’s budget sta to come back at its August

hold-harmless money from the state, and coronavirus relief funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund could also play a role in funding some of the district’s priorities, Reed said. The district projects to have about $2.2 billion in appropriations in the 2021-22 school year, Reed said. Reve- nues are projected at $2.1 billion with a roughly $105 million decit. The tax rate in the budget is slated to be a maximum of $1.1284 per $100 of property valuation, down from last year’s $1.1331, according to a press release from the district. However, the district will not adopt a tax rate until

The Houston ISD board of education gave teachers a raise after debating how far to dip into reserve funds. Balancing the budget With a $2,500 teacher raise: Projected reserves would drop from $491M to about $458M .

N

Houston ISD board of trustees will meet at 5 p.m. on Aug. 12. Meetings are streamed at www.houstonisd.org. MEETINGSWE COVER

With a $5,000 teacher raise:

Reserves would drop to about $424M .

SOURCE: HOUSTON ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Bellaire, Houston & West University Place

COMPILED BY HUNTER MARROW

Bellaire City Council will meet at 7 p.m. July 12 at 7008 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire. Meetings are streamed at www.bellairetx.gov. West University Place City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. July 12 at 3800 University Blvd., Houston. Meetings are available via teleconference. Find details at www.westutx.gov. Houston City Council will meet at 1:30 p.m. July 6 for public comment and 9 a.m. July 7 for regular business at 901 Bagby St., Houston. Meetings are streamed at www.houstontx.gov/htv. Harris County Commissioners Court will meet at 10 a.m. July 20. MEETINGSWE COVER CITY HIGHLIGHTS WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE At a June 14 meeting, West University Place City Council asked sta to bring back cost estimates for Bualo Speedway upgrades, including intersection enhancements at University, Rice and Sunset boulevards; gateway signage at city entrances; and underground power line crossings.

Bellaire Church of Christ seeks permit fromcity to expand onsite parking lot BELLAIRE The Bellaire City

HOUSTON A land purchase was nalized in June allowing the city of Houston to begin the process of converting a ood-prone apartment complex on Chimney Rock Road into a 6-acre detention site. Residents of the 132-unit Spring Village apartment complex, pur- chased by the city for $11.1 million in a move authorized in November, are being moved out of the building over the next 12 months with assistance fromHouston’s Housing and Commu- nity Development Department. The department will also oversee hiring developers to demolish the property and will work with the Houston Public Works Department on design. SpringVillage apartment complex buyout nalized

within 90 days of constructing the new parking lot and sell the property for single-family residen- tial use to help defray the purchase cost of the land where the new parking lot will go. A petition in opposition to the specic-use permit has been signed by several homeowners surrounding the church and has been validated by city sta. Because of the written protest, a minimum of six of the seven-mem- ber City Council will be required to vote favorably as opposed to a simple majority for the specic-use permit to be approved.

Council may deliberate July 19 on a specic use permit that will give the Bellaire Church of Christ the green light to construct additional church parking on the northern portion of 8001 S. Rice Ave. The deliberation on the lot comes not only as the church looks to expand its parking from 70 spaces to 102 spaces—a neces- sity for the church that would help it meet the city’s zoning ordinances requiring a 100-space minimum—but also as it looks to construct a new building. The church would also install an underground water detention and drainage system to help oset drainage concerns caused by the additional lot coverage. Should the specic-use permit be approved, the church would then remove a portion of its park- ing lot located at 1012 Pauline St.

POSSIBLE EXPANSION

LOT TO BE REMOVED

BURDINE ST.

CHIMNEY ROCK RD.

Meetings are streamed at www.harriscountytx.gov.

EXISTING LOT

HOLLY ST.

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JULY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

MARKET AT AGLANCE The Bellaire, Meyerland and West University area—which covers the 77005, 77025, 77030, 77096 and 77401 ZIP codes—saw increases in the average price of homes sold over the past 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. Over that same time, the number of homes sold increased across the board, while the average number of days a home spent on the market fell in three of ve ZIP codes.

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

59

77005

77401

77030

77025

610

77096

SOURCES: ALINA ROGERSSPARROW REALTY, FREDDIE MAC, HOUSTON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

90

288

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NUMBER OF HOMES SOLD June 2019-May 2020 June 2020-May 2021

June 2019-May 2020 June 2020-May 2021 AVERAGE DAYS ON THEMARKET

77005

77025

0%

-18.46%

111

111

130

106

77030

77096 -5.11%

-32.67%

150

101

137

130

+41.55%

+38.29%

+40.68%

+47.87%

+49.53%

77401 +10.46%

153

169

284

402

222

307

59

83

328

485

214

320

77005

77025

77030

77096

77401

AVERAGE HOME SALES PRICE June 2019-May 2020 June 2020-May 2021

FEATUREDNEIGHBORHOOD

LINKWOOD, 77025

The Linkwood community features around 140 single-family homes, which can be found south of Braes Bayou o Stella Link Road in southwest Houston. Homes have a median size of 2,555 square feet and range in values from $290,000 to $935,000, according to data from the Houston Association of Realtors. Schools: Longfellow Elementary School, Pershing Middle School, Bellaire High School Amenities: The Linkwood community is within walking distance of Linkwood

$1,460,512 $1,487,085

77005 SOLD

+1.82%

B L

$569,768

77025 SOLD

+8.02%

$615,450

LINKMEADOW RD.

$921,558

77030 SOLD

+2.62%

$945,736

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$370,037 $391,782

77096 SOLD

+5.88%

Park, which features seating areas, a playground, tennis courts, basketball courts and a baseball eld.

$896,082

77401 SOLD

+10.7%

$991,981

NATIONALMORTGAGE RATE DATA

Although 30-year and 15-year xed-mortgage rates declined during the heart of the pandemic in 2020, they have since risen in the early months of 2021.

30-year xed-rate mortgage

15-year xed-rate mortgage

5%

3.95%

4.51%

3.72%

4%

2.65%

3.99%

3%

3.38%

3.16%

2.16%

2% 0

January 2018

January 2019

January 2020

January 2021

13

BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JULY 2021

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