Bellaire - Meyerland - West University Edition | May 2022

BELLAIRE MEYERLAND WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1  MAY 1JUNE 2, 2022

ONLINE AT

Plans OK’d for Bellairemixed-use project

Groundbreaking could take place in

$32.9 MILLION in tax revenue for Bellaire over 39 years

Project cost

610

$100 MILLION

EARLY 2023

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IMPACTS

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SOURCES: SLS PROPERTIES, CITY OF BELLAIRECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

TODO LIST

8

Trac fatalities on the rise statewide

Planned development permits for Bellaire Place—a 30-acre campus that could ultimately bring a slate of new restaurants, oce space and entertainment venues to the city—were approved by Bellaire City Council in March. (Rendering courtesy Kirksey Architecture)

BY GEORGE WIEBE

entertainment venues to the city. In 2017, oil and gas giant Chevron vacated its corporate campus in Bel- laire. In September 2018, the property was sold to Houston-based real estate company SLS Properties.

Preliminary plans for the former Chevron property—also known as Bellaire Place—include a park anked by multiple restaurants, multistory mixed-use buildings with bars and

After years of rezoning and ne-tun- ing city ordinances, plans for a 30-acre campus in Bellaire are moving forward and could ultimately bring a slate of new restaurants, oce space and

TRANSPORTATION

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CONTINUED ON 14

ON THE RISE Opioids Both heroin and opioid incidents have been on the rise for the Houston Fire Department, though opioid incidents have been rising faster.

Coronavirus pandemic, fentanyl exacerbate opioid crisis inHouston

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ, ALLY BOLENDER & JISHNU NAIR

grew from around 40-60 per month in early 2019 to 140- 160 per month in late 2021 and early 2022, saidDr. Chris Sounders, associate medical director with the HFD. Statewide, data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows reported opioid overdose deaths are rising. The 12-month total CONTINUED ON 16

Heroin incidents

Opioid incidents*

MURAL GUIDE

11

Opioid overdose rates have risen in Houston and across Texas since the pan- demic began in 2020, and local entities are working to prevent addiction. The number of calls for service made to the Hous- ton Fire Department for opioid and heroin incidents

1,000 800

From 2019:

Heroin +48.1% Opioids +69.5%

200 0 400 600

2019

2020

2021

SOURCE: HOUSTON FIRE DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER *INCLUDES CODEINE, FENTANYL, VICODIN, OXYCODONE AND MORPHINE

DINING FEATURE

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BELLAIRE - MEYERLAND - WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • MAY 2022

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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: A plan that initially started in 2018 with the purchase of the former Chevron corporate campus in Bellaire, the area now dubbed Bellaire Place will be the future home to a 30-acre mixed-use project including restaurants, parks, entertainment and oce buildings when ground is broken in 2023. Our front-page story breaks down the path of the project leading up to today as well as a comprehensive look ahead. Jay McMahon, GENERALMANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROMSHAWN: The coronavirus pandemic aected many parts of our lives, some of which are not immediately noticeable at the surface level. Our second front-page story this month tackles a rise in opioid overdose deaths that has been seen across the nation and how local agencies are working to help people. Shawn Arrajj, SENIOR EDITOR

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • MAY 2022

IMPACTS

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

5 Top Fitness , the exercise equip- ment store, is moving into Rice Village. NewQuest in an April 11 news release an- nounced the home gym retailer will lease 9,230 square feet of retail space at 2501 Rice Blvd., Houston. No announce- ment has been made for the store’s open- ing date. Other Texas stores can be found in Dallas, Plano and Southlake. www.toptness.com 6 Dior is expected to open its brick- and-mortar store in late 2022 at 5050 W. Alabama St., Houston, in the Galleria Mall. The store will be on level one between Galleria Financial Center and Neiman Marcus. The two designers craft their pieces for contemporary mod- ern women and men with ready-to-wear styles, according to the Galleria website. Houstonians can shop Dior items in the Saks Fifth Avenue outpost at the Galleria. www.dior.com RELOCATIONS 7 iBurn , the “spicy specialty grocer,” made a change in scenery on April 1, moving to 9637 Hillcroft Ave., Houston, along Brays Bayou. The store previously operated on Bellaire Boulevard just west of the Southside Commons for 10 years. The business sells a variety of hot sauces, barbecue sauces, salsas and spices. The new location opened April 12 and includes a new lineup of hot sauces. 832-649-4964. www.iburn.com EXPANSIONS 8 A new cellular therapy lab opened at the Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center in late Febru- ary as part of the hospital’s outpatient center at 6445 Main St., Houston. Called the Ann Kimball & John W. Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics , the 5,000-square-foot lab space will be used for research and development. Cellular therapy is a newer form of treatment to combat a range of diseases—including heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders—by implanting or infusing live cells into a patient to help slow or cure the disease. The center was funded with a gift from philanthropists Ann Kimball and

D .

W. ALABAMA ST.

2 6

RICHMOND AVE.

69

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59

288

WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE

610

HERMANN PARK DR.

HERMANN PARK

UNIVERSITY BLVD.

DRYDEN RD.

9 8

FANNIN ST.

288

BERTNER AVE.

BELLAIRE

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90

DUNSTAN RD.

BOLSOVER ST.

PINE ST.

RICE BLVD.

5

BEECHNUT ST.

TIMES BLVD.

MEYERLAND

4

AMHERST ST.

BRAYS BAYOU

3

UNIVERSITY BLVD.

610

S. POST OAK RD.

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MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2022 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

WILLOWBEND BLVD. NOWOPEN 1 Local Foods, formerly Benjy’s, mod- ied its upstairs lounge, turning it into an intimate wine bar called Lees Den . Opened April 7 at 2424 Dunstan Road, the bar oers 250 unique wines curated by General Manager Chrisanna Shewbart and Executive Chef Maria Gonzalez. Similar to how Local Foods is run, owner Benjy Levit said Lees Den will feature goods from vendors that highlight the skills and expertise of the sta, including Shewbart and Gonzalez. The den is open from 4-10 p.m. from Thu.-Sat. www.instagram.com/leesdenhtx

2 Selling the scents of the Middle East, Arabian Oud opened in mid-April in the Galleria Mall. The store specializes in perfumes; incense; and Oud, a rare resin used to make strong fragrances. The location at 5085 Westheimer Road, Ste. B2775, Houston, is the rst in Texas

are made from eco-friendly materials and cater to both men and women. www.allbirds.com 4 The former Politan Row food hall in Rice Village is set to be the home of chef Aaron Bludorn’s latest project, Navy Blue . The upcoming seafood-focused restaurant is set to open in the fall at 2445 Times Blvd., Houston. Bludorn’s other Houston restaurants include the eponymous eatery Bludorn on Taft Street in Montrose. Navy Blue will be located in a 7,100-square-foot standalone building in Rice Village. Bludorn General Manager Cherif Mbodji will also serve as a partner and manager of the new project.

for the chain. 212-757-0303. www.arabianoud-usa.com COMING SOON

3 The sustainable footwear and apparel brand Allbirds will open a new location this summer in Rice Village, 2503 Amherst St., Houston. Products sold at the store

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SOFIA GONZALEZ & GEORGE WIEBE

1

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Work has begun on the Hermann Park Commons renovations. COURTESY HERMANN PARK CONSERVANCY

Lees Den

Rustika Cafe & Bakery

COURTESY JENN DUNCAN

COURTESY RUSTIKA CAFE & BAKERY

FEATURED IMPACT RENOVATION The Hermann Park Conservatory broke ground April 2 on a new 26-acre project called the Commons , where new structures and amenities will be added over the next 21 months. The green space will receive new playgrounds, landscaping, a carousel and a water park. Other improvements include a revamping of the Fannin Pavilion, a food truck court, and the addition of custom wooden tables and benches that are meant to attract larger crowds. “Hermann Park is already a special place, but the addition of amenities for all age groups, natural water features

RENOVATIONS 9 In the heart of the Texas Medical Center, the multimillion-dollar renova- tions at Houston Marriott Medical Cen- ter/Museum District were completed in early April. Changes include an updated lobby area, redesigned furnishings and several new dining options: Curate, an American cuisine restaurant with a Texas twist; Main & Green, which serves healthy options for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and the M Club, which oers breakfast, bar and banquet seating. An updated tness center with tness on demand for guests, an indoor heated swimming pool and a hot tub are also available. The 398- room hotel is located at 6580 Fannin St., Houston. 713-796-0080. www.marriott.com

IN THE NEWS 10 A new form of delivery launched March 29 at the Jewish-Mexican fusion restaurant Rustika Cafe & Bakery . Customers within a 2-mile radius of the cafe—located at 3237 Southwest Freeway, Houston—have the option to have their food brought by Coco, a human-operat- ed delivery bot, when ordering through DoorDash. After the order is placed, Coco will delivery it within 15 minutes. Rustika is the rst Houston-area restaurant to use Coco’s services, though the company plans to expand with other partnerships. Menu items at Rustika include chilaquiles, migas, matzah ball soup, traditional om- elets, sandwiches and salads as well as a variety of desserts. 713-665-6226. www.rustikacafe.com

and a 45-foot rocket ship will take this park to a new level,” said Kenneth Allen, director of Houston’s Parks and Recreation Department, in a statement. Part of the conservatory’s 20-year master plan, the Commons is one of three projects in the $51 million Play Your Park campaign. The project is projected to cost $40 million and be completed by January 2024.

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CAMBRIDGE ST.

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • MAY 2022

TODO LIST

May events

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & CYNTHIA ZELAYA

Mexican and Latin bands will take the stage at a May 6 celebration for Cinco de Mayo. (Courtesy Miller Outdoor Theatre) FEATURED EVENT ENJOY A FREE SHOWAT MILLER OUTDOOR THEATRE Located at Hermann Park, Miller Outdoor Theatre oers a variety of free events for the public during a season that typically runs from April through November. Although performances are free, guests can secure tickets for covered seating one day prior to each performance. MAY 0203 “The Little Mermaid,” 11 a.m. 04 OKI: Music of the Ainu, 8:15 p.m. 06 Cinco de Mayo, 8:15 p.m. 07 River to the Sea, 8:15 p.m. 13 Houston Ballet, 8 p.m. 2021 “Romeo and Juliet” by Houston Grand Opera, 8 p.m. 2628 Funky Good Time, 8:30 p.m. Miller Outdoor Theatre 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston 832-487-7102 www.milleroutdoortheatre.com

MAY 21

DECORATE A BIKE FOR A PARADE MCGREGOR PARK

MAY 28

TRY NEWFOODS MIDTOWN PARK

The rst-ever Art Bike Festival allows attendees to bring their creative bikes for a group ride. Other programs, a schedule of which is to be announced, will focus on creativity, health and wellness. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. McGregor Park, 5225 Calhoun Road, Houston. www.artbikehouston.com (Courtesy Orange Show Center for Visionary Art)

The Houston Food Fest will feature food from over 70 dierent vendors. Food options will range from desserts to vegan options to classic Texas barbecue. Additionally, there will be live music, dancing and family-friendly activities. 2-10 p.m. $9. Midtown Park, 2811 Travis St., Houston. www.houstonfoodfest.com (Courtesy Houston Food Fest)

07 CELEBRATE HOPEWITH A LOCAL ORCHESTRA The Texas Medical Center Orchestra welcomes pianist Artem Kuznetsov as a featured soloist in a performance that includes works by Sergei Rachmanino and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. 7 p.m. $15 (seniors age 65 and older), $20 (student), $25 (general admission). Hobby Center for Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St., Ste. 300, Houston. 713-315-2525. www.tmcorchestra.org 07 WALK TOHELP END LUPUS The Lupus Foundation of America-Texas Gulf Coast Chapter hosts the Walk to End Lupus Now. Proceeds go to research, community outreach and education. 8-11 a.m. Free (donations encouraged). Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne St., Houston. 713-529-0126. www.lupus.org 14 WALK TO SUPPORT ARTHRITIS RESEARCH The Arthritis Foundation event is in person once again after two years of running virtually. Proceeds go to nding a cure,

MAY 06 RAISEMONEY FOR A LOCAL NATURE CENTER The Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center hosts the 2022 Twilight Gala, the annual fundraising event located at the center’s gardens. The event includes a wine and whiskey pull, and attire is garden glam cocktail with grass-friendly shoes recommended. Funds raised benet the center, which hosts programs that seek to foster a love and respect for nature among children. 6-10 p.m. $300. Nature Discovery Center, 7112 Newcastle St., Bellaire. 713-667-6550. www.naturediscoverycenter.org 06 PARTY AT A BELLAIRE PARK The city of Bellaire and Patrons For Bellaire Parks invite the public to enjoy a free outdoor concert. The band Nightbird Fleetwood Mac, a Stevie Nicks tribute band, will perform at the event. 7 p.m. Free. Great lawn at Bellaire Town Square, 7001 Fifth St., Bellaire. 713-661-7275. www.bellaireparks.org

programming and resources. 7-11 a.m. Free (donations encouraged). Fish Plaza-Bualo Bayou Trail, 501 Texas Ave., Houston. 713-557-2506. www.walktocurearthritis.org 19 DANCE ON THE GREEN The University of Houston- Downtown will host a free concert featuring local artists of multiple genres. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics. 6:30- 9:30 p.m. Free. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St., Houston. 713-400-7336. www.discoverygreen.com 21 TAKE THE KIDS TO ADISNEY TRIBUTE The Children’s Museum of Houston hosts Disney movie favorites, including Simba, Ariel and the Mad Hatter, for a party that includes dancing and singing to popular Disney tunes. 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Free (children under age 1), $14 (seniors age 65 and older), $15 (general admission). Children’s Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz St., Houston. 713-522-1138. www.cmhouston.org

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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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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & DANICA LLOYD

ONGOING PROJECTS

TxDOT declares 2021 second-deadliest year for Texas roadways; traffic deaths up 15%over 2020

BISSONNET ST.

ROBINHOOD ST.

WROXTON RD.

The Texas Department of Trans- portation sent out a news release in March detailing its findings that are part of a larger issue nationwide: Roadways are becoming increasingly deadly. TxDOT reported there were more than 4,480 deaths on Texas roads in 2021, only a little behind 1981, the deadliest year to date with over 4,701 deaths. Roadway deaths are also on the rise nationwide. Officials reported an estimated 20,160 people died from vehicular crashes in the first half of 2021, 18.4% higher than in 2020. Texas saw an increase of almost 15% from 2020-21. “Driver behavior is one of the causes but also one of the most important solutions,” Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan said in a news release. “This is not blame. These are facts. We all have a role. TxDOT can do more, and we accept

Reported vehicle crashes in Texas in 2021

T R A F F I C TRAGEDIES

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Noninjuries

Possible injuries

Unknown injuries

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Buffalo Speedway improvements On April 11, the city of West University Place temporarily closed the west side intersection of Robinhood Street at Buffalo Speedway as part of an ongoing project to improve drainage and resurface the road. Crews are re- moving and replacing roadway paving, driveways and sidewalk ramps during the closure. Work on the overall proj- ect will wrap up in 2023. Timeline: October 2018-2023 Cost: $23 million Funding sources: city of West Uni- versity Place, Texas Department of Transportation, federal grants

1.07M

137.4K

100.4K

SOURCE: TEXAS PEACE OFFICER’S CRASH REPORTS/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER While most traffic crashes did not result in injuries, thousands of Texans died or faced serious injuries on the roads in 2021.

Suspected minor injuries

Suspected serious injuries

Fatalities

82.5K

19.4K

4.5K

that responsibility. The driving public can do more.” Art Markman, a psychology professor at The University of Texas, informed TxDOT leaders and trans- portation stakeholders at the annual Texas Transportation Forum in February about coronavirus-related pressures that have had a negative impact on Texas roadways. “We have to start considering

everyone as part of our community,” Markman said. “If we don’t do that, there are going to be all sorts of negative consequences, and those are going to include negative conse- quences on the road.” TxDOT is reviewing crash data to identify areas where drivers are more likely to crash and will use its find- ings to focus improvement initiatives on those areas.

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF APRIL 25. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT BMWNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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BELLAIRE - MEYERLAND - WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • MAY 2022

CITY&SCHOOLS

News from Houston ISD, the city of Bellaire & the city of Houston

CITY HIGHLIGHTS BELLAIRE Bellaire City Council began discussions at an April 18 workshop on how to address flooding over the next 10-20 years, though no decisions were made on how to proceed. Future plans could involve a flood mitigation study. Bellaire City Council will meet at 6 p.m. May 2 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. May 9 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. May 3 for public comment and 9 a.m. May 4 for regular business at 901 Bagby St., Houston. Meetings are streamed at www.houstontx.gov/htv. Houston ISD board of trustees will next meet for its regular board meeting at 5 p.m. May 12 at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St., Houston. Meetings are streamed live at www.houstonisd.org/livetv. MEETINGSWE COVER

HISDdrops proposed ‘hybrid’ funding model following board pushback

Houston approves paid parental leave

BY SOFIA GONZALEZ

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

HOUSTON In what Mayor Sylvester Turner called a historic vote April 13, Houston City Council unanimously passed an ordinance allowing paid parental leave for city employees. Pregnant city workers will be allowed paid prenatal leave for prenatal wellness appointments or other absences due to pregnancy; paid parental leave for both genders regardless of sexual orientation for care of a child after birth; bonding with a child in placement of a city employee for adoption or foster care within the first year after child birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care; and infant wellness leave for examinations, physicals or other checkups. The prenatal leave is a maximum of 160 hours over a 12-month period, while parental leave is 320 hours. The ordinance begins May 14 for full-time city employees with six months or more of continuous service.

worker, and a nurse or nurse assis- tant. The funding freed up from having fewer baseline positions will be distributed to campuses using the existing per-unit alloca- tion formula. formula based on student attendance, demographics • More equitable distribution of Title I funds and coronavirus relief money • Required baseline positions decreased to three total SOURCE: HOUSTON ISD/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER UPDATEDPLAN MA R C H P RO P O S A L • All schools required to staff 12+ baseline positions • Certain materials and services funded from the central office • Principals fill remaining holes using discretionary funds A P R I L C OMP ROM I S E • Allocations made using existing

HOUSTON ISD In ongoing discussions over how Houston ISD will fund schools for the 2022-23 school year, Superintendent Mil- lard House II walked back an earlier proposal following pushback from some members of the district’s board of trustees April 7. As part of a proposed strategic plan, House previously pushed for a shift from the district’s decentralized funding model to a model in which each school would have been required to staff specific positions; certain materials and services would have been funded from the central office; and prin- cipals would have filled remaining holes using discretionary funds. In a compromise offered April 7, the number of baseline positions required at each school was low- ered to three—a librarian or media specialist, a counselor or social

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GUIDE

A guide to murals in Houston in 2022

The unocial local

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & GEORGE WIEBE  DESIGNED BY ANYA GALLANT

Public murals can be found throughout the Bellaire, Meyerland and West University Place area, including the 12-mural Story Trail in Gulfton as well as the many murals of Rice University. Community Impact Newspaper spoke with the artists behind several local murals, and more can be found at www.houstonmuralmap.org.

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g u i d e

SAN FELIPE ST.

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GULFTON STORY TRAIL

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UNIVERSITY BLVD.

PHOTOS BY GEORGE WIEBECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER ARTIST: GONZO247

BELLAIRE BLVD.

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The Houston native artist Mario Figueroa Jr., better known as GONZO247, has been leaving his mark around the city since the 1980s. In 2020 he was commissioned by Rice University to paint a mural outside one of the school’s temporary classrooms with collaboration from Rice students who were free to add their own contributions. Figueroa Jr. said his style was inspired by the cultural impact of hip-hop. The mural was a homecoming project that attempted to restore normalcy for students following closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Gulfton community in Houston is home to the Gulfton Story Trail, a series of 12 murals completed in 2018 with the goal of celebrating the community and bringing people together. The mural trail was the brainchild of the nonprot Culture of Health—Advancing Together, or CHAT, which helped bring the project to life alongside Arts Alliance Houston and the Mayor’s Oce of Cultural Aairs. Each mural was inspired by a poem that was submitted to CHAT by Gulfton residents. Nine artists contributed to the project, including Alex Arzu and Jesse De Leon, who collaborated on three of the 12 murals. One of those murals, titled “Harvey,” depicts a woman with her hands clasped together over a red and blue background.

BRAESWOOD BLVD.

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ARTIST: JANAVI MAHIMTURA FOLMSBEE Trained in the re arts, Houston artist Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee brought “Waves of Wonder” to Hotel Ylem with the themes of “water” and “mother.” Mother of pearl was crushed into the pigment of the paint, which creates a sense of the small particles of the universe coming together. Mahimtura Folmsbee, a marine conservation artist who works with local marine nonprots, said her work often ties back to nature.

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The mural was inspired by a poem about a Gulfton resident’s experiences during Hurricane Harvey and is meant to inspire hope, Arzu said. “It’s about being grounded,” he said. “The colors behind her [are] reddish colors, and in front of her is blue. It’s a representation of purging the past and looking forward to the future.” Creating the mural alongside De Leon was a natural process, Arzu said. The duo has since collaborated on a number of other projects around Houston. “It was just fun the whole time,” he said. “We didn’t have to plan everything. It was all organic movement.”

ARTIST: DAVID WINTERS In 2018, David Winters, the owner and lead artist of Enhanced Space, completed the “Home Sweet Houston” mural on the side of an apartment complex across Brays Bayou, looking to attract passersby. Enhanced Space is an art studio that has worked around Texas since 1999 with a goal of “bringing cities to life through murals and art,” Winters said. Most of its work in the Houston area is indoors. Darvin Aroch assisted Winters in creating the mural.

This list is not comprehensive, and more murals can be found at www.houstonmuralmap.com .

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • MAY 2022

TAKE A MOMENT FOR YOU SCHEDULE YOUR MAMMOGRAM

YOUR BREAST CARE IS ESSENTIAL AND SHOULD NOT BE DELAYED

We know you’ve been busy, but putting off routine health screenings may put you at risk. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. But when caught early, breast cancer may be easier to treat. At Memorial Hermann, we make it convenient for you to get back on track with your annual mammogram. With online scheduling and 3-D mammography at all locations throughout Greater Houston, we make it easy and convenient for you to continue to care for your health. Schedule your mammogram 877.40.MAMMO memorialhermann.org/mammo

Advancing health. Personalizing care.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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DON’T DELAY: YOUR MAMMOGRAM IS TOO IMPORTANT TO PUT OFF

What is a 3-Dmammogram? A 3-D mammogram, also cal led breast tomosynthesis, is an advanced imaging exam that combines several different breast images to create a three-dimensional view of the breast. This technology is available at all Memorial Hermann locations. “3-Dmammograms help us see through dense breast tissue. We can get a better look with a single exam, which means we don’t have to call back as many women for repeat exams, and it also helps us pick up more subtle cancers,” said Dr. Woughter. Don’t put it off. Breast cancer is themost common type of cancer among women in the United States. Early detection can save lives, and having an annual screening mammogram can help identify problems sooner, when treatments are most successful. “Finding cancer early gives youmore treatment options, especially when it comes to surgery,” says Arlene Ricardo, MD, breast surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. “When surgery is necessary, there is a much higher chance we can preserve the breast if the cancer is found when it is smaller.” Even though we are still in the midst of the pandemic, the risk of infection while having a mammogram is very low. The National Cancer Institute estimates that delayed diagnoses due to the pandemic could result in 10,000 additional deaths from breast and colorectal cancers in the next 10 years. “Be assured that we are doing everything possible to make it safe for patients to come in,” Dr. Ricardo said. “Over the past year, I have seen more cases of advanced cancer than in previous years, and I think it’s because people

When was your last screening mammogram? Has it been more than a year? Mammograms are easy to put off, especial ly during the pandemic, but sticking to an annual schedule is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The physicians affiliatedwithMemorial Hermann Health System combine expertise with leading- edge technology to providemammograms safely and conveniently. If you have delayed your mammogrambecause of the pandemic, it’s time to schedule your appointment. Your health is our top concern, and with our enhanced cleaning and safety precautions you can feel comfortable getting the care you need with peace of mind. Who needs a mammogram? The AmericanCollege of Radiology recommends that women at average risk for breast cancer begin annual screeningmammograms at age 40. Based on your individual health and family history, your healthcare provider may recommend a different schedule. In addition to an annual screeningmammogram, you may also need to be examined if you are experiencing certain breast symptoms. “Women know their own breasts better than anyone else,” says MeghanWoughter, MD, breast radiologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital. “If you do monthly breast self-exams, pick the same time each month and check for anything that feels different than normal. Besides lumps, other things that are potential ly worrisome are skin changes in the breast or nipple discharge.”

didn’t come in because of the pandemic. It’s not their fault, but at this point we should all be coming in for routine screenings.” Mammograms and the COVID-19 Vaccine Women are advised to wait 4 to 6 weeks after their final dose of the COVID-19 vacc ine before having a screening mammogram. Some women exper ience temporary swelling in the lymph nodes in their armpits after receiving the vaccine. This could cause a “false positive” mammog ram resu l t .

Meghan Woughter, MD Breast Radiologist Memorial Hermann Sugar Land

Arlene Ricardo, MD Breast Surgeon Memorial Hermann Southwest

However, if you are having any breast symptoms, including finding a lump, you should not put off amammogramand should contact your provider immediately. Schedule today. One lesson we have learned from the pandemic is the importance of health. It’s time to take care of yours, and scheduling your annual screening mammogram is a great way to stay healthy. Memorial Hermann offers a wide range of appointment times and convenient online scheduling for all locations across Greater Houston.

For more information, call 877.40.MAMMO or visit memorialhermann.org/breastcare

Advancing health. Personalizing care.

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BELLAIRE - MEYERLAND - WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • MAY 2022

BIG PLANS P L A C E M A K I N G I N B E L L A I R E

PROJECT FOOTPRINT At 30 acres, Bellaire Place would be larger than Rice Village, but not quite as big as the Galleria Mall.

Bellaire Place is a new 30-acre mixed-use project coming to the city. Plans depicted here are preliminary and subject to change.

B E L L A I R E P L A C E 30 ACRES

Restaurant Oce Mixed use (restaurant, retail, oce)

G A L L E R I A 55 ACRES

Parking P

R I C E V I L L A G E 20 ACRES

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P

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HVAC plant

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Existing building

Land tract not in scope

Park

Existing building

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F O U R N A C E P L A C E

SOURCES: CITY OF BELLAIRE, RICE VILLAGE, HOUSTON GALLERIA, SLS PROPERTIESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

the Westpark Tollway and a roughly 25-acre downtown area straddling Bissonnet Street. By comparison, the Galleria in Uptown Houston is roughly 55 acres, while Rice Village near West Univer- sity is 20 acres, according to sitemaps. Leading up to the approval of development permits for the site, the Bellaire City Council made multiple changes in the last two years with the goal of protecting nearby residents. Although council members said they were overall pleased with the results, several said they were concerned not enough was done to address resident concerns, including additional trac generated by the project. Bellaire Mayor Andrew Fried- berg said the process by which

exist on the site—one six stories, the other 10—as well as a heating, ven- tilation and air conditioning plant. Immediately after the acquisition, SLS requested permits from Bellaire to construct a four-story parking garage, which was completed in 2020, Sheena said. Site maps depicting preliminary plans include a new ve- to six-story oce building along Loop 610; a four-story oce building and two- level garage in the site’s northeast corner; three single-story buildings for restaurant space along Fournace Place; four multipurpose buildings for retail, dining and oce use; and a two-level garage in the northwest cor- ner of the campus. In total, the new project will be

the city arrived at the current plan demonstrated sensitivity to resident concerns. “I think it’s entirely appropriate that we took our time [and] listened to everyone’s input, and if you look at the nal product, it demonstrates our responsiveness to those concerns and I think ... ends up stronger for all par- ties,” he said. Dissecting the district The campus is being redeveloped in an area bordered by South Rice Ave- nue to the west, residential develop- ment o Mayfair Street to the north, Loop 610 to the east and Fournace Place to the south. SLS included in the purchase two midrise oce buildings that already

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other entertainment concepts, and more than 250,000 square feet of new oce space, according to a prelimi- nary SLS site plan. The process of getting to this point has not been easy, SLS Managing Member Danny Sheena said. “There are many restrictions on the property—over 100 restrictions placed by [Bellaire] City Council,” he said. “Some are more complicated than others, but we hope that we can make this a development that the city would be proud of.” At 30 acres, the project will mark one of the largest commercial areas in the city. It will join a 30-acre urban village tract at Loop 610 and

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2020

A LONG ROAD built for more than $100 million if fully developed, Sheena said. None of the existing infrastructure is planned to be torn down or redesigned. In October 2021, SLS commissioned a report by Community Development Strategies—an economic research and consulting rm—which found the property would be worth $120 mil- lion if fully developed and contribute $32.9 million in taxes to the city of Bellaire over the course of 39 years after it is built. The city of Bellaire is not funding the project in any way, including through tax abatement or economic development agreements. Planning and permits When rst acquired by SLS, the plan was to transform the area into a multifamily housing zone according to Sheena. However, those plans were shot down by the Bellaire Planning and Zoning Commission, he said. “We were told no multifamily and no assisted living,” he said. So plans evolved, and the city took the reins on determining what would be allowed in the district, Sheena said. “City Council said that I’m not the applicant. …The city of Bellaire would be the applicant trying to rezone my property,” he said. In April 2021, Bellaire held public hearings to give residents a chance to voice their feelings and concerns about the development. That May, Bellaire ocially rezoned the district where the campus will be located, calling the new zone the North Bel- laire Special Development District. Over the next 10 months, the city went through another round of pub- lic hearings and several ordinance 2018

The process of bringing Bellaire Place to fruition dates back to 2018.

Jan. 27, 2020: Council hires professional consulting contractor to draft zoning district

the campus. The special development permits were approved unanimously at the March 21 meeting for the Freeway Portion and the Fournace Portion, but two council members—Lewis and Jim Hotze—opposed the Rice Portion for not meeting enough of the residents’ concerns. Eects on the neighborhood Throughout the permitting phase, one concern came up repeatedly from both the City Council and the residents who live near the project: trac. “I am worried about the poten- tial trac that this project will cause to the people who live on Tamarisk [Street], Wedgewood [Drive] and Anderson [Street],” resident Benjamin Lewin wrote in comments submitted to the council on Feb. 16. Other problems expressed by res- idents at that time included light and noise pollution and the potential for an increase in crime. However, not all resident feedback was to relay worries. “A nice development like this will dramatically improve the quality and residential character of the surround- ing area,” resident Ra Zitvar wrote to council on Feb. 16. Although Council approved the site plan, Friedberg said no more than 70%of the total square footagemay be developed without further approval, as part of the agreement between the city and SLS. The city is also preparing for the potential future widening of South Rice Avenue, though such a project would be taken on by the city of Hous- ton and Bellaire would not be directly involved. Sheena said the project is still a long way from breaking ground, but con- struction could begin in early 2023. “There is a demand in Bellaire for

2019

2021

Sept. 2018: SLS Properties purchases 30 acres from Chevron

Nov. 5, 2018: Bellaire City Council approves permits for four- story, 1,700-car garage

May 25, 2021: Council approves North Bellaire Special Development District April 5, 2021: Council holds public hearing allowing residents to give input on district

revisions. Over that time, restraints were placed on the developer with amendments to the ordinance that prohibited drive-thrus, tattoo parlors and throughways to Mayfair Street. Residents expressed concerns about building height and light pol- lution that could come from lighting placed on the roofs of parking garages, according to city council member Catherine Lewis. As a result, the council reduced the maximum height of buildings and added a requirement that opaque walls be placed to block lighting from the garages during their February 21 meeting. Four years following the district’s acquisition, Bellaire City Council approved the special development permits for SLS on March 21, green- lighting the next steps required for work on the project to begin. “We have set the framework for a strong, commercially viable develop- ment which should provide numerous benets to Bellaire and its residents while doing it in a responsible manner focused on minimizing or mitigating the impacts of the development on surrounding areas,” said Ross Gordon, Bellaire council member and former planning commission chair. The campus was divided into three pieces for ease of making amend- ments—a “Freeway Portion” covering the easternmost part of the campus; a “Fournace Portion” covering the cen- ter; and a “Rice Portion,” the largest section covering the western part of

Feb. 21, 2022: Council makes key amendments to NBSDD, including rules related to trac and light pollution Jan. 24, 2022: Second round of public hearings hosted on special development permit requests for Bellaire Place

2022

March 21, 2022: Council approves permits for Bellaire Place

2023

Early 2023: Earliest projection for when ground could break on the project

SOURCES: SLS PROPERTIES, CITY OF BELLAIRE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

nearby gathering spaces, restaurants, services and retail shops, and I hope that this development can contribute to an ever enhancing quality of life for our Bellaire community,” Gordon said.

For more information, visit communityimpact.com .

5/31/22.

5107 Bellaire Boulevard• Bellaire• 713-677-0746

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • MAY 2022

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