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Buffalo Bayou Master Plan

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First of all, kind of cool that there's a tunnel under the RR tracks between the warehouses and barge terminal. Second, I think the key word is "conceptual."

 

 

BTW, the warehouse in the upper rendering looks to be near Turkey Bend, Navigation @ Norwood.

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7 minutes ago, HoustonMidtown said:

Looks like they are raising the north side of the bayou by the skate park

 

48872653631_9141549ded_k.jpgUntitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr

 

 

Off topic, but The Allen project will really add a splash of much-needed newness to this side of the skyline, which has become pretty familiar and stagnant over the years. Feels like this could be a photo of the Rendezvous Houston preparations, except for 609 Main peeking out.

 

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15 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Off topic, but The Allen project will really add a splash of much-needed newness to this side of the skyline, which has become pretty familiar and stagnant over the years. Feels like this could be a photo of the Rendezvous Houston preparations, except for 609 Main peeking out.

 

 

and 1500 Louisiana peeking out, and Heritage Plaza being complete.

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I love that treehouse looking structure in the 2nd to last rendering...but in the first one, how in the heck can that guy stand so far from the railing on the bridge yet not be leaning way over to reach it. I would like some answers...

 

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7 minutes ago, gene said:

I love that treehouse looking structure in the 2nd to last rendering...but in the first one, how in the heck can that guy stand so far from the railing on the bridge yet not be leaning way over to reach it. I would like some answers...

 

The guy in the second to last photo is REALLY interested in that grass.

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58 minutes ago, gene said:

I love that treehouse looking structure in the 2nd to last rendering...but in the first one, how in the heck can that guy stand so far from the railing on the bridge yet not be leaning way over to reach it. I would like some answers...

 

He's very tall.

 

49 minutes ago, Triton said:

The guy in the second to last photo is REALLY interested in that grass.

 

Nope.  He just got mugged and thrown down the slope by the smiling couple. :ph34r:

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1 hour ago, mollusk said:

Nope.  He just got mugged and thrown down the slope by the smiling couple. :ph34r:

 

Another dead body in the bayou....💀

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1 hour ago, BeerNut said:

 

Another dead body in the bayou....💀

 

Now that sounds like family friendly fun we can all get behind!

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3 hours ago, Triton said:

This is a really bizarre rendering to me

 

An 'adventure park' for extreme sports is one of the amenities proposed within the Industrial District of the Buffalo Bayou East master plan.

 

Post industrial chic?

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I am scared of that rendering...

Why in the world is that lady running TOWARDS the attacking birds killing those innocent park goers on the mountain!!!??? I mean i am definitely proud of her bravery but with all that bare skin, those birds are sure to peck her to death! I would at least wear a well covering cape or something 😮

Ps...i think the artist's 5 year old drew that jungle gym in purple marker without him realizing it and turned it in...

i hope he didn't get fired but likely he did

sad

 

 

Edited by gene
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6 hours ago, EastEndHeritage said:

 

Good article but it's a bit of a bummer that this is on a 20-year timeline. The original BB master plan that came out in 2003 was supposed to be a 20-year timeline and we basically just have the western portion done 16 years later. But this is exciting nonetheless, and yes, this is obviously something of huge magnitude which can't be expected to conform to a rigid timeline, etc., etc.

 

Also mentioned in article - EastRiver expected to break ground in 1Q 2020 per Jonathan Brinsden of Midway.

 

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2 hours ago, gene said:

I am scared of that rendering...

Why in the world is that lady running TOWARDS the attacking birds killing those innocent park goers on the mountain!!!??? I mean i am definitely proud of her bravery but with all that bare skin, those birds are sure to peck her to death! I would at least wear a well covering cape or something 😮

 

 

In fairness, there are three distressed people either running or walking quickly away from the incipient interspecies carnage - and several more behind them whose speed I can't judge

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16 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Good article but it's a bit of a bummer that this is on a 20-year timeline. The original BB master plan that came out in 2003 was supposed to be a 20-year timeline and we basically just have the western portion done 16 years later. But this is exciting nonetheless, and yes, this is obviously something of huge magnitude which can't be expected to conform to a rigid timeline, etc., etc.

 

Also mentioned in article - EastRiver expected to break ground in 1Q 2020 per Jonathan Brinsden of Midway.

 

those timelines are likely more to do with funding though, I'd guess

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21 hours ago, mollusk said:

 

In fairness, there are three distressed people either running or walking quickly away from the incipient interspecies carnage - and several more behind them whose speed I can't judge

 

the_birds_pubs.jpg

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On 10/25/2019 at 10:33 AM, Triton said:

This is a really bizarre rendering to me

 

An 'adventure park' for extreme sports is one of the amenities proposed within the Industrial District of the Buffalo Bayou East master plan.

 

This could be a liability but I love the concept of incorporating workout areas like a large hill with an industrial look to this... The adult jungle gym is a bit much but properly done, this would be great for workouts and the like. 

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Something, I don't see being mentioned more is the complete revamping of Navigation. 

 

This would be one of the most transformative changes to a Houston street for as long as I could remember. 

 

closing 2 west bound lanes to create a greenway is something that I would never imagined Houston doing. 

 

This is a great idea and I hope it comes to fruition. 

 

1 minute ago, Mr.Clean19 said:

 

This could be a liability but I love the concept of incorporating workout areas like a large hill with an industrial look to this... The adult jungle gym is a bit much but properly done, this would be great for workouts and the like. 

 

 

This park is theoretically behind a paywall.

 

This is how something like this can exist. 

 

I'd imagine it's nothing too incredibly expensive and memberships would be offered, but you couldn't have any of this completely public without exposing yourself to lawsuits. 

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Really sounds interesting. 

 

Quote from the Summary:

Along Navigation Boulevard, the former

westbound lanes become an on-street greenway,

wide enough to be a transportation path and a

linear park. At the Turkey Bend site, this space

can be used for neighborhood festivals and

events. The former eastbound lanes now handle

traffic in both directions. With active industrial

sites still lining Buffalo Bayou’s eastern stretches,

the Navigation Greenway provides an alternative

route for accessing destinations towards the Port

of Houston Turning Basin.

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10 minutes ago, I'm Not a Robot said:

Something, I don't see being mentioned more is the complete revamping of Navigation. 

 

This would be one of the most transformative changes to a Houston street for as long as I could remember. 

 

closing 2 west bound lanes to create a greenway is something that I would never imagined Houston doing. 

 

This is a great idea and I hope it comes to fruition. 

 

 

 

This park is theoretically behind a paywall.

 

This is how something like this can exist. 

 

I'd imagine it's nothing too incredibly expensive and memberships would be offered, but you couldn't have any of this completely public without exposing yourself to lawsuits. 

 

Is this really materially different from skateboard parks that we currently have in Buffalo Bayou Park and elsewhere in the city, with regard to risk?  We don't require memberships  or admission fees to use them (and I'm not sure where the idea came from that this park would be "behind a paywall").

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11 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Is this really materially different from skateboard parks that we currently have in Buffalo Bayou Park and elsewhere in the city, with regard to risk?  We don't require memberships  or admission fees to use them (and I'm not sure where the idea came from that this park would be "behind a paywall").

 

Not particularly but the city is exposed to risks with Joe Jamal Skate Park due to maintenance. The act of skateboarding is a skill and this is fairly common knowledge. The city doesn't provide the skateboard, just creates an area where the activity can be performed. The maintenance on a skate park is much lower than the maintenance on something like a sand dune. 

 

I'm not sure why it couldn't be public but it makes sense to make it cost. It creates a more controlled environment and prevents children from getting hurt running up that hill which is clearly a factor.  Additionally it generates income to help fund the parks. 

 

If you read on the link provided you will see this paragraph. Please see the bolded section. I deduced that the ticket office was indicative of a paywall and I presume it's for liability purposes. 

 

A former industrial site owned by Buffalo Bayou Partnership becomes an adventure and extreme sports park that includes activities attracting users from nearby neighborhoods and the region. • A park weaves adventure and extreme sports into the naturalized landscape. • The park includes a series of training hills (1) inspired by the mounds of sand and gravel found in nearby industrial sites, as well as obstacle and ropes courses (2). • Though most of the industrial structures no longer exist, two remaining concrete buildings become a ticket office and picnic pavilion (3, 4)

 

 

Edited by I'm Not a Robot
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The skate park is free to use, but you do have to sign something before hand - not sure if it's a waiver, or just so they know who to call

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13 minutes ago, cspwal said:

The skate park is free to use, but you do have to sign something before hand - not sure if it's a waiver, or just so they know who to call

 

Are you sure that is not just for the classes?  I didn't think anything was required to just use the park (other than wearing a helmet).

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It could be, but I've only been once and I wasn't skating so I don't know first hand

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A couple thoughts.

 

The original Buffalo Bayou Master Plan made a big deal of the Commerce Street Promenade, which involved acquiring most or all of the land north of Commerce Street downtown (from Fannin to Elysian), making it a park, and landscaping Commerce Street. The plan envisioned residential towers on the south side of Commerce overlooking the park. This whole concept seems to be relinquished and it is hard to tell from the renderings if any part of those parking lots will become parkland (it looks like a portion of them might).

 

The Central Hub area is exciting. Most of the land in that area is still privately owned, but I guess BBP is in talks with the owners to acquire it? It certainly looks like they have their sights set on the Proler site, which I imagine will require a lot of remediation.

 

The Swimming Hole is a neat idea. How do they plan to keep reptiles out? They get snakes and alligators in the fountains downtown, can't imagine how this will be.

 

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27 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

A couple thoughts.

 

The original Buffalo Bayou Master Plan made a big deal of the Commerce Street Promenade, which involved acquiring most or all of the land north of Commerce Street downtown (from Fannin to Elysian), making it a park, and landscaping Commerce Street. The plan envisioned residential towers on the south side of Commerce overlooking the park. This whole concept seems to be relinquished and it is hard to tell from the renderings if any part of those parking lots will become parkland (it looks like a portion of them might).

 

 

I believe the City, BBP, Harris County Flood Control District and Harris County now own essentially all of this land. I believe 1119 Commerce is slated for demolition soon for flood control projects.  I think that will leave only the two Harris County buildings (the functions of one of which recently moved across the Bayou).  So maybe the Commerce Street plan (or at least the parkland concept), still has life.

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3 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

I believe the City, BBP, Harris County Flood Control District and Harris County now own essentially all of this land. I believe 1119 Commerce is slated for demolition soon for flood control projects.  I think that will leave only the two Harris County buildings (the functions of one of which recently moved across the Bayou).  So maybe the Commerce Street plan (or at least the parkland concept), still has life.

 

There is a wedge-shaped parcel fronting Commerce and Elysian (IIRC) that is still in private hands. City ownership is a good sign, county ownership less so. It occurred to me that they might consider this "downtown" and not "East," and hence not covered by this plan.

 

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They keep saying Midway will break ground 1st Qtr next year but they are already installing new drainage in the area... I'm guessing that they will start building foundations early next year. 

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Work rerouting the High Tension Power Lines that run East/West in the interior of the property then across the bayou at Meadow Street, has started.  The new location of the lines will be along Clinton. 

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On 10/28/2019 at 3:50 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

I believe the City, BBP, Harris County Flood Control District and Harris County now own essentially all of this land. I believe 1119 Commerce is slated for demolition soon for flood control projects.  I think that will leave only the two Harris County buildings (the functions of one of which recently moved across the Bayou).  So maybe the Commerce Street plan (or at least the parkland concept), still has life.

 

I was hoping they could somehow incorporate 1119 Commerce into the design, it's a cool old building they way if backs right up to the Bayou. 

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3 hours ago, Sunstar said:

 

I was hoping they could somehow incorporate 1119 Commerce into the design, it's a cool old building they way if backs right up to the Bayou. 

I'm sorry they can't save this building,  but this is one of the buildings I've suggested needed to be removed due to the fact it slowed the flow of water through the bottleneck the building created in Buffalo Bayou, by being built down into the waters edge. This and any other buildings that also curtail the flow should be removed. I'm a very big fan of repurposing old buildings but when they are causing serious flooding in the downtown district and theater district get rid of them.

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17 hours ago, bobruss said:

I'm sorry they can't save this building,  but this is one of the buildings I've suggested needed to be removed due to the fact it slowed the flow of water through the bottleneck the building created in Buffalo Bayou, by being built down into the waters edge. This and any other buildings that also curtail the flow should be removed. I'm a very big fan of re purposing old buildings but when they are causing serious flooding in the downtown district and theater district get rid of them.

 

If it's contributing to flooding downtown then I agree it needs to be removed. The building had some unique character to it, but I also think turning that whole section along the Bayou from Fannin to Elysian into green space would be quite nice. I'm guessing they were never able to purchase the Centerpoint property on McKee since I don't see it incorporated into their plan. 

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On 10/30/2019 at 5:36 PM, bobruss said:

I'm sorry they can't save this building,  but this is one of the buildings I've suggested needed to be removed due to the fact it slowed the flow of water through the bottleneck the building created in Buffalo Bayou, by being built down into the waters edge. This and any other buildings that also curtail the flow should be removed. I'm a very big fan of repurposing old buildings but when they are causing serious flooding in the downtown district and theater district get rid of them.

 

Agreed. Would be a shame, but necessary. They should probably eliminate the two Harris County buildings along the Bayou as well and relocate that to the other side of the bayou and build newer and better facilities. This way all of Commerce St opens up and can have a better relationship to the Bayou.

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I agree and it would make a huge difference in the flow of water that could get through there.

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Houston residents celebrate Buffalo Bayou Partnership's plans for the east side

 

Quote

"It’s good to see that plans will connect the Eastside neighborhoods. We live in the Denver Harbor area and spend a lot of time in the Near Northside. We are excited all Eastside neighborhoods, including Fifth Ward, will be easily accessible," said Kim Murray, a Denver Harbor resident. "These plans allow Eastside to flourish and creates opportunities for people around the city to notice the rich history these neighborhoods offer. We also know it’s going to be good for local businesses, especially the great taco trucks in the area."

 

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It's a pretty long article:

Houston's Buffalo Bayou Transformation Offers Flood-Plan Lessons to Other Cities

How to Turn a Drainage Ditch Into a Regional Amenity in Era of Climate Change

 

 

The growing climate change challenge facing commercial developers came into sharp focus as Hurricane Harvey dumped 27 trillion gallons of rain onto Houston two years ago, wreaking $125 billion in damage and displacing almost 30,000 people. Floodwaters rose 38 feet, destroying sections of a recently renovated public park.

 

Urban planners and onlookers watched in astonishment as new lawns, picnic tables and shelters in Buffalo Bayou Park were swept into the flood that at one point made staircases, street signs and lamps barely visible. Mountains of sand and debris littered the park's western end. Yet within a week, joggers returned to the trails and the restaurant at the park resumed serving avocado toast to customers to raise money for flood relief funds.

 

While it took a full year for the park to be fully restored, its basic functions were intact thanks to the $58 million revitalization that shored up the bayou’s historical role as a flood control mechanism for the city. Completed in 2015, it transformed what was basically a drainage ditch into a regional outdoor amenity with features that also serve as flood storage, according to an Urban Land Institute study.

 

The relatively fast reopening signals how urban planning mitigated the damage of one of the costliest floods in U.S. history. And planners say it now holds broader lessons as the growing challenge to plan for the effects of climate change becomes a larger part of commercial development.

 

“This is an issue that's facing cities across America in different ways," said Anne-Marie Lubenau, a Boston architect and director of the board behind the Rudy Bruner Award, a national urban planning accolade given to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership for its work along the bayou. "In Boston you've got coastal erosion and big snow storms; we’ve got fires in California; water is a challenge in [Houston] and this project addresses it in a bold way, but also in a way that, while it is unique and distinctive to the bayou, it also incorporates a number of design moves that can be adapted to other cities.”

 

Houston, a city with no zoning codes that's not often held up as a bastion of urban planning, gained national attention from planners by showing how urban systems projects can create green spaces while planning for floods. The work included 2.3 miles of waterfront land along Buffalo Bayou, roughly the length of New York's Central Park, and it added 10 miles of walking and biking trails with four pedestrian bridges.

 

The project spurred significant real estate building in the area. Since 2012, within a 1-mile radius of the project, nearly 6 million square feet of new multifamily and retail space was constructed, according to CoStar’s analysis. In total, about 50 new commercial properties were developed that, if sold today, could be worth about $1.4 billion, according to CoStar’s modeling. That's a significant return on investment for a project sparked by a partnership between the nonprofit Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the city and flood control district. It was kicked off by a $30 million gift from the Kinder Foundation, the nonprofit backed by Houston billionaire and oil baron Rich Kinder.

 

Now, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the nonprofit behind that revitalization, is setting its sights on the east end of the bayou, which is much wider and less flood-prone, and it has long been an industrial area. The east end of the bayou turns into the Houston Ship Channel, home to 330 public and private terminals that are owned by more than 150 companies, and it empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Plans for the east end are much larger and more ambitious than what was done successfully on the bayou's west side. Buffalo Bayou East is a 20-year master plan expected to cost $200 million to transform four miles of waterfront land on the bayou and create 263 acres of parks and 40 miles of trails and paths with seven pedestrian bridges.

 

Some land use experts are calling the plan one of the most complex waterfront redevelopment projects in the country. It comes as real estate investors are increasingly concerned about how climate change would affect real estate markets and urban planners from New York to San Francisco are looking for more ways to creatively manage water in growing population centers.

 

“For those of us not from Houston, we don't think of the city as being associated with a strong ethic of planning. This really shifts the paradigm," said Lubenau.

 

Former Industrial Sites

 

In Houston, the bayou is not known for its pristine beauty – the brown, opaque waters of the river are home to bass, catfish, alligator gars, a fish native to Texas with razor sharp teeth, and alligator snapping turtles, as well as the occasional alligator. The bayou often has high levels of bacteria that make it unsafe for swimming and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recommends not to eat any fish caught in the bayou.

 

Nevertheless, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership aims to transform a patchwork of public and private land, including several abandoned industrial sites, into an area focused on the water with seven boat landings. It aims to connect the African American and Hispanic communities of the Fifth Ward and Great East neighborhoods to one another and give the historically working class neighborhoods new access to nature and 200 acres of open space.

 

“In some ways, what’s different about it is the scale and complexity of it all,” said Cary Hirschstein, a partner at HR&A Advisors, a real estate, economic development and public policy firm. It co-led the master planning process of the proposed east project along with landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburg Associates.

 

The project represents a unique infusion of investment into historically working class communities that typically don’t see investments of this scale, Hirschtein said in an interview. The restored industrial structures harken to other similar projects across the country, from Concrete Plant Park in the Bronx in New York City, Gas Works Park in Seattle or Steel Stacks Park near Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, which all turned industrial properties into nationally recognized community spaces. But this project would affect a much larger area than those parks in terms of acreage.

 

“There are really incredible industrial elements that we want to celebrate. It’s going to be unlike any other place in Houston, if not the country,” Hirschtein said.

 

The revitalization efforts focus first on 70 acres of land, including 50 acres owned by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, running along a four-mile stretch of the river. But the plan envisions a much wider area of influence and aims to give developers and investors design guidelines and a vision for renovating the eastern side of downtown.

 

The project is expected to be a game changer for commercial real estate in the area.

 

“The Buffalo Bayou East revitalization plans are almost certain to lead to a rise in property values, which could drive a new vision for reimagining best-and-highest-use along the eastern portion of the bayou,” said Justin Boyar, director of market analytics in Houston for CoStar, in an email.

 

Boyar notes two Houston neighborhoods, the Second and Fifth Ward, bordering the Buffalo Bayou East project are located in opportunity zones with tax incentives likely to attract investors. “If done smartly and inclusively, this could also be an opportunity to serve and unite historically neglected working class communities,” he added.

 

Redevelopment Interest

 

On the east side of the bayou, private developers are already making massive changes that could further speed growth and gentrification in the hip, former industrial district called EaDo, short for East Downtown, which is similar to Deep Ellum in Dallas or East Austin, Texas, which were both noted as "Cool Streets" on Cushman & Wakefield's 2019 report on hipness.

 

“It’s definitely growing very quickly, we have quite a few developers looking into the district trying to see which properties are available and how they can start to redevelop,” said Jessica Bacorn, executive of the East Downtown Management District, the local economic development group for the area, in an interview. Bacorn said the district has seen an “influx of development” in recent years from new restaurants to coworking spaces.

 

“The vibe that’s in EaDo, with all the arts and culture that’s already there, I think we’re seeing a lot of developers coming in who aren’t looking to change the culture, which is one thing I love about the district and the area. They’re looking at what’s already there,” Bacorn said.

 

Midway, the developer behind the CityCentre mixed-use project in west Houston, is preparing to break ground on a 150-acre project along the eastern end of the bayou spanning 60 city blocks in Houston’s Fifth Ward neighborhood, which also is located in an opportunity zone.

 

The project, called East River, is being touted as walkable where urban-meets-nature oasis that “celebrates local cultures, cuisines, arts and history” with 8.9 million square feet of office, 1,440 apartments, 500,000 square feet of retail space and 390 hotel rooms, according to Midway's website.

 

Midway’s East River site, which was pitched as a potential location to Amazon during its second headquarters search, is one of the largest contiguous blocks of land in the nation located within a mile of several major employment centers: downtown, the Houston Ship Channel, and the Texas Medical Center, said Boyar, the CoStar analyst.

 

“Given the Buffalo Bayou East and East River plans, combined with its opportunity zone status, the area is solidly located in the path of growth for urban infill development,” Boyar said.

 

The plans are creating some jitters about gentrification and concerns about pushing low-income communities out. At a public panel to reveal the master plan in October, three protesters disrupted the meeting shouting anti-gentrification slogans for 10 tense minutes before an audience member convinced them to leave after police were called. The protesters, who were not arrested but refused to speak to media or provide their names, argued that east end development would raise land values and price out working class communities.

 

Anne Olson, president of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, told CoStar News it was the first time the nonprofit had heard vocal opposition to their plans in more than two years of community engagement discussions.

 

Reclaiming Waterfront

 

Proponents of the plan say it was drawn up in a way that aims to maintain the character and people of the community. A handful of other low-income residents at the meeting expressed support for the proposal.

 

The issue of equity was important to the nonprofit’s master planning as the consultants for Buffalo Bayou Partnership engaged in conversations with more than a 1,000 people, said Hirschtein, the partner with HR&A who has worked on the project for four years.

 

“There’s been a tremendous amount of investment in open space across the city and it’s tended to skew toward affluent places. This allows communities to reclaim their waterfront. These are communities that have been disconnected from their water space,” Hirschtein said in an Oct. 28 panel discussion about the partnership’s master plan.

 

Concern about pricing residents out drove the nonprofit to think more broadly than just planning a beautiful park, he noted.

 

“The plan has a real focus on inclusive economic development. There are elements that you don't see in a normal park master plan like providing affordable housing on-site as part of this project,” Hirschtein said.

 

As part of the proposal, Buffalo Bayou Partnership wants to build a mixed-income residential community called Lockwood South, which would provide a combination of multifamily, single-family homes and workforce housing near Lockwood Drive. It would be next to other mixed-income communities proposed by other nonprofits with the help of disaster relief funding, said Olson, president of Buffalo Bayou Partnership, in an interview.

 

The nonprofit is also redeveloping a 50,000-square-foot former barge terminal, warehouse and wastewater treatment facility along Navigation Boulevard into a community event center and possible incubator space for neighborhood businesses and food service at a site called Turkey Bend. Olson added that the partnership would aim to work with local entrepreneurs and small businesses with ties to the neighborhood in finding any retail tenants or assisting with event programming.

 

“We could sell that property in a minute to some developer who could turn it into a shi-shi bar, but it is something that but we want to make into an community space for the neighborhood,” Olson said.

 

Awaiting 500-Year Floods

 

Beyond economic and cultural resiliency, the proposal also aims to bolster the environmental strength of the eastern side of Buffalo Bayou.

 

Parts of the bayou are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, when the region was devastated by flooding over four days in August 2017. That’s sparked an effort to this day to determine how to make Houston’s waterfront more resilient. And planners with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership are trying to take lessons from the historic flood.

 

To combat the impact of possible flooding, the nonprofit’s plan calls for stabilizing eroding banks, designing structures that can withstand 500-year floods and creating spaces that are easier to clean after major flooding.

 

Those types of storms are an increasing concern, with executives naming climate change the top risk to organizational growth this year, according to KPMG’s 2019 Global CEO Outlook report. And the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges elected leaders to make sweeping changes to combat climate change and sea level rise, such as creating dikes or seawalls, maintaining mangroves or coral reefs and raising buildings along shorelines.

 

Scott McCready, principal of SWA Group, a key planner in the western end of the Buffalo Bayou Park, agrees that preparing for flooding is an increasingly good investment.

 

"While we never anticipated a Hurricane Harvey scale, we did anticipate [flooding]. We had serious discussions about where to place trails, how to design docks, all that kind of thing. So we had an incredibly responsive plan and responsible design to help minimize issues," he said in the panel discussion.

 

But the park also owes its resiliency to the public-private partnerships the Buffalo Bayou has formed with the city, the Downtown Development Authority and the Harris County Flood Control District, he said.

 

“We have this partnership in place and that is how I define resilience,” McCready said.

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