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The Herons Kingwood Marina: 300-acre Master Planned Mixed-Use Development

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http://www.altusfirenze.com/#openModal2

 

http://www.civiltecheng.com/projects-3/kingwood-marina

 

Kingwood Marina is a uniquely planned community, adjacent to the San Jacinto River, comprised of multiple sections including a Commercial District, Marina District, and a Residential District developed around a marina concept. The project consisted of surveying and engineering design for excavation, paving and grading, water mains, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, Marina excavation and amenity features, and street paving for a 308-acre development which includes 2,500 equivalent single family units comprised of multi-family, commercial, retail, hotel, and residential lots.

 

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I would bet that the FAA would have some concerns about the height of those buildings since they would be in the flight path of IAH's east/west runways.

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Ummm...... WAT.

 

I'm sorry, but there is absolutely no way. Let me be clear, that this project is fascinating and I'd love to see it come to fruition.

 

 First of all, most people don't want to boat on the San Jacinto River, much less on Lake Houston. There's debris everywhere and the lake sucks. There is a boat launch in River Grove Park right next to this, but still.

 

This would require radical changes to the streets in the area. It's in a really awkward spot to get in and out of the area for a major development. Even extending Woodland Hills over the river wouldn't help that much. 

 

If the Kingwood area can't even attract a single luxury car manufacturer, how would they be able to uphold a crazy luxury home and commercial district like this? This looks like The Woodlands and I don't think Kingwood is up for this. 

 

I'm sitting here just stunned this is even being presented. 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, intencity77 said:

It’s wonderful but massive projects on this grand of a scale just never pan out here in the Houston area. It’ll either get cancelled or scaled back considerably. Hope they can prove me wrong, please do!...but I highly doubt it. 

 

Kingwood's version of NYC's Hundson Yards :P

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I live along Lake Houston south of Kingwood.  There are many problems which need clearing up after Harvey including dredging and silting from upriver operations. A previous high end proposal ( though not of this scale) south of LSC Kingwood College was cancelled.  I hope it comes about, it is beautiful, but I share the skepticism of many of the previous posts.

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I live in Kingwood...there's no way this is happening. I hope I'm wrong but Kingwood and the people that live there are boring and would never support this. 

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I don't live in Kingwood. Have only been up there a few times to visit relatives. My question would be. How are they going to control flooding on the San Jacinto River?

It seems that every time they get a strong rainstorm in that region the San Jacinto is out of its banks and homes are under water for a period. Isn't flooding a big issue for a waterfront development along the San Jacinto River? Just curious. Love the renderings and would love to see this happen, but Kingwood?

 

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1 hour ago, jmancuso said:

I live in Kingwood...there's no way this is happening. I hope I'm wrong but Kingwood and the people that live there are boring and would never support this. 

Exactly my thoughts. This would do better in the woodlands (a marina to nowhere) or Clear lake, Kemah or Galveston.

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I like the design but I'm skeptical. Kingwood Harbor, Midway's waterfront development was severely damaged from hurricane Harvey. Most of the businesses reopened this year and some are working to reopen.

After Harvey, I don't see a floating restaurant, floating pool, floating cinema here. The rest of the development is neat and gives residents another choice to unwind besides driving far to The Woodlands Waterway and Hughes Landing. But I'm skeptical if this will move forward.

 

And some of us in the forum aren't alone:   

https://www.kingwood.com/msg/skyscrapers-coming-kingwood.php?p=1853322


 

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Save this these type of designs for downtown or the inner loop.

It will get lost, and underappreciated, in a place like Kingwood.

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1 hour ago, bobruss said:

I don't live in Kingwood. Have only been up there a few times to visit relatives. My question would be. How are they going to control flooding on the San Jacinto River?

It seems that every time they get a strong rainstorm in that region the San Jacinto is out of its banks and homes are under water for a period. Isn't flooding a big issue for a waterfront development along the San Jacinto River? Just curious. Love the renderings and would love to see this happen, but Kingwood?

 

Lake Houston is 65 years old and has not been dredged. I do not know the estimates on lost capacity due to sedimentation but they must be high. It has been reported that silting has further been exasperated by operations running adjacent to the river some of them illegal.  This is not a problem that is going to go away magically.

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Impressive...skeptical, but pretty impressed. Looks like a lot of Marketing Design Image fluff, however, the point has definitely gotten across that the developer and those on this project have a vision that is alternative to typical Houston solutions to river/bayou development. The images as a whole remind me of a lot looks that are coming out from Southeast Asia regarding exterior skyscrapers mixed in with some European Contemporary architecture. What I'm interested more is the landscaping. More than the actual development itself, landscaping will be the bulk of this project (especially initial phases of this project. I can't image the early site work one does for something of this scale). Comparing the marketing video fly thru and available google maps imaging, we are looking a massive earth moving operation to even create the lake and canals necessary. Anyone that doesn't know how much it is to move dirt...its a lot (and we have crappy mud clay to deal with too). What annoys me most about the project however isn't the stunning architecture or scale of the idea, but the miss handling of the context around the development. It will be near impossible to get people to these two sites that will satisfy the program. Right now that's a death nail for the project unless they secure some deal with COH to help with infrastructure.

 

Some thoughts on previous comments:

 

17 hours ago, intencity77 said:

It’s wonderful but massive projects on this grand of a scale just never pan out here in the Houston area. It’ll either get cancelled or scaled back considerably. Hope they can prove me wrong, please do!...but I highly doubt it. 

 

 

Your first sentence is actually why we see massive projects like this of this scale out in Suburbia instead of inside the loop. Lots and Lots of cheap expansive land. So much land in fact most of these developers have no clue how to manage them. I think many of there first thoughts these days is to turn them into city centre's without thinking about the overall context. But we get areas like The Woodlands thanks to no urban planning...and we get areas like Kingwood with no urban planning (two very radical ends of the spectrum)

 

4 hours ago, Twinsanity02 said:

I live along Lake Houston south of Kingwood.  There are many problems which need clearing up after Harvey including dredging and silting from upriver operations. A previous high end proposal ( though not of this scale) south of LSC Kingwood College was cancelled.  I hope it comes about, it is beautiful, but I share the skepticism of many of the previous posts.

 

Since Kingwood is within Houston City Limits, and new initiatives to put new regulations in place for areas within the 500 year flood plain, it will be interesting to see what projects like this and others deal with this situation in an intelligent way. From the renderings it seems this design firm has some good ideas up its sleeves.

 

3 hours ago, jmancuso said:

I live in Kingwood...there's no way this is happening. I hope I'm wrong but Kingwood and the people that live there are boring and would never support this. 

 

Remember that people in the Woodlands were not that receptive to Skyscrapers and mid-rises not very long ago. I think many in the area thought it a sin to even go beyond two stories for anything. I do subscribe to the Steve Jobs notion about people and what they think they want...which is most the time they have no clue what they want until presented with an alternative.

 

1 hour ago, CrockpotandGravel said:

I like the design but I'm skeptical. Kingwood Harbor, Midway's waterfront development was severely damaged from hurricane Harvey. Most of the businesses reopened this year and some are working to reopen.

After Harvey, I don't see a floating restaurant, floating pool, floating cinema here. The rest of the development is neat and gives residents another choice to unwind besides driving far to The Woodlands Waterway and Hughes Landing. But I'm skeptical if this will move forward.

 

And some of us in the forum aren't alone:   

https://www.kingwood.com/msg/skyscrapers-coming-kingwood.php?p=1853322


 

 

Seems they are taking some design cues from actions taken in the Netherlands, and Southeast Asia. Areas which are very prone to flooding and are exploring some different ideas on how to build out urban environments that essentially work with floods instead of against them. The landscaping, wood exterior materials on the buildings, and float-able docks and marina architecture all point some that will work better for an unstable riverfront.

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Wow!  Kingwood is just a boring neverending suburb and this would definitely make this area exciting.  I can see it happening...probably 10 years from now. :D

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ABOUT
Here is the companies mission.
Romerica Group was founded in 2007. Based in Houston TX. and created by Italian and Mexican entrepreneurs, is dedicated to offering social and urban development in the U.S. and Mexico.  The essence of the brand is  dynamism  at all times, we are innovative, proactive and our attitude is visionary, we always look strategically towards the future. Romerica Group currently has 8 areas of interest with more than 12 projects running in Mexico and the U.S.

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I have an Italian Greyhound / Chihuahua mix that has better chance at becoming Vice President than this project's chance of breaking ground, as we've see it...Even though I think both my dog and this development are superior to the status quo. 

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Throwing in more thoughts into the growing pile... Looking through the other projects from the designer it appears they may really be focused on the aesthetic and design of the amenity elements, and less so on the development overall.  Said another way, what if you threw away the towers and replaced it with a resort (a la Gaylord in Dallas/Denver or Travaasa in Austin)?  That might make more sense for the area, and still be relevant for the real focus of the waterfront stuff presented in the videos.  

 

Other things:  1. the connectivity to this site is hot, burning hot garbage.  Until/unless woodland hills is extended across the San Jo, this is a complete nonstarter.  2. what is the draw for this?  Kingwood isn't enough.  Getting here from the woodlands would be tough.  Galleria / memorial very tough.  Maybe Generation Park... but that's 10 years from now.  Can't imagine they intended to pull from the colonias out northeast.

Edited by SkylineView
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This is certainly ambitious, and as another Kingwood resident, I mostly concur with the skepticism. 

 

That area was completely underwater during Harvey, so there's that. If you look on Google Maps, the entire (I think) Barrington subdivision at Costwold/Woodland Hills had water in the homes. When they pre-drained the lake before the last rain event a month or two back, the silting of the area that would be the marina was pretty astonishing. 

 

So, if they have the momentum to fix the huge access issues (I'm thinking triple the size of Woodland Hills Drive and build another bridge over the San Jac, which would fire up the pearl clutchers), and dredge the river/lake around the area, more power to them, but building something of this scope and scale seems difficult in the best of circumstances.  I guess the appeal of building a development along a waterway might outweigh these issues, and I hope it does, but I'll file this one in the same drawer with the big development job that was supposed to go down just South of Lone Star College and North of the river west of 59. 

 

Stepping in to normal development concerns, there is pent up demand in Kingwood.  The new/flooded/reopened Torchy's tacos could double their prices and they would still have a line out the door, so I think there would be some initial tailwinds that could help spur some stuff along, but we're talking a whole new universe of demand out on an island separated from the big money non-industrial real estate by Humble/Aldine, Porter, and NE Houston.

 

If it was built, I would not want to own property in the Deerbrook Mall area. 

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As an alternative location, perhaps they could develop the new island that would be created where they propose to rechannel White Oak Bayou into Buffalo Bayou just north of downtown.

That would be exciting and they could use the new water features in their development. I just don't feel the energy in Kingwood. 

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Pardon the stupid question, but where is the site?  I apparently don't know Kingwood well enough to figure out where this is going to be built

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15 hours ago, cspwal said:

Pardon the stupid question, but where is the site?  I apparently don't know Kingwood well enough to figure out where this is going to be built

 

15 hours ago, Twinsanity02 said:

I believe the site is  south of Kingwood Dr on Woodlands Hills  Dr. I suppose it is near River Grove Park. 

 

Twinsanity has it. There is a park owned by the Kingwood neighborhood association and a soccer field complex that I believe is privately owned down there.  I always figured that it was too low to be developed.  Cotswold Boulevard was the cross street mentioned in the article, that's really just an entrance road into a subdivision, not a proper boulevard by the usual understanding. 

 

They could possibly expand Hamblen road and extend it into the development. 

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This would be amazing but there are really only 2 places for a 200 acre development like this in Houston. East River or this place. 

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1 hour ago, Mr.Clean19 said:

This would be amazing but there are really only 2 places for a 200 acre development like this in Houston. East River or this place. 


There's UT's acreage south of the south loop too  

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13 hours ago, AREJAY said:


There's UT's acreage south of the south loop too  

 

I think the idea being 200 acres on a natural(ish) waterway.   It would be interesting to hear more of the sales pitch, presuming that no one would go through the trouble that these folks have already gone through just to make some fancy renderings.  

 

My guess is that it goes something like this:

 

  • Waterfront development is cool
  • Houston is expected to continue to grow
  • 59N isn't that bad, and its close to the airport. 
  • The Woodlands is full, and this would cost 60% of what it would up there if it had the room. 

My equally bonkers counterproposal would be to create a massive flood control reservoir in the San Jacinto West Fork/Spring Creek/Cypress Creek basin and sell the surrounding waterfront property to people that build stuff like this. Call it Lake Harvey. 

 

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3 hours ago, Nate99 said:
  • 59N isn't that bad, and its close to the airport. 
 

 

I reverse commute to Humble and I can assure you it's the best highway in Houston :D

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34 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

I reverse commute to Humble and I can assure you it's the best highway in Houston :D

Because we can't have nice things, they are replacing the bridge over San Jacinto, so there's new traffic for those continuing past Humble

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On 5/1/2018 at 5:48 PM, AREJAY said:

 

 

http://www.torrisi-procopio.com/projects/marina-district-houston-2018.html

 

 

Wow, that’s impressive! Although, this reminds me of one of those massive Chinese mega-city developments that only end up with 97% vacancy. 

 

I hope this gets developed sooner or later...more than likely later.

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On 5/8/2018 at 4:56 PM, AREJAY said:


There's UT's acreage south of the south loop too  

 

wow, I just came to post this.  Good idea ;)

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On 5/1/2018 at 8:36 PM, hindesky said:

I would bet that the FAA would have some concerns about the height of those buildings since they would be in the flight path of IAH's east/west runways.

 

I don't think the flight path is anywhere near this location. I live about 5 miles south of this and the planes go right over my house.

 

That being said, I'll be shocked if anything like these renderings happens.

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1 minute ago, Mr.Clean19 said:

Never saw the video on this. Also, no news since May. Anyone know if this is going anywhere?

 

If this does ever happen, it's probably at least 4-5 years away from starting.

 

I've been wrong many times before, but my gut tells me that this will probably never happen. If it does, it will be something far more underwhelming, as in something that looks very different from these initial renderings.

 

I hope I'm wrong.

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If this does happen then I can truly say we’ve learned absolutely nothing from Harvey. 

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I can't find the link any more, so maybe it's just smoke, but there seems to be persistent interest in this idea. I remembered seeing something recently about a public comment period/conference, but can't find anything online. 

 

A recent bump of the posts on kingwood.com and a random comment on the old Swamplot post corroborate that other people are hearing about it again as well. 

 

Still astonished it's not completely dead, but would love to see it. 

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They are discussing this at the Kingwood TIRZ meeting tomorrow morning. May have some kind of an update after that.

 

I heard something about some kind of permitting being done. 

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54 minutes ago, cspwal said:

There's a Kingwood TIRZ?

 

https://www.houstontx.gov/ecodev/tirz/10.html

 

It's an old one actually. They are spearheading an expansion of Northpark Drive right now, and just got an extension on the life of the TIRZ to borrow the money to pay for it. 

 

The TLDR of the Herons portion of the meeting is that everyone that lives anywhere near the area doesn't want it (insert shocked pikachu). TIRZ is authorizing up to $100,000 in funds for a drainage study for the greater Kingwood area to help the county/city spend the flood/drainage bond in the area, and one of the nearby HOAs wants to use that info against the Herons.

 

Right now, the Herons is not in the city permitting process, but with the federal government/Army Corps of Engineers. Councilmember Martins office encouraged feedback to go to national legislators Crenshaw/Cornyn/Cruz as they don't have any effect on the process at this moment.  

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

 

https://www.houstontx.gov/ecodev/tirz/10.html

 

It's an old one actually. They are spearheading an expansion of Northpark Drive right now, and just got an extension on the life of the TIRZ to borrow the money to pay for it. 

 

The TLDR of the Herons portion of the meeting is that everyone that lives anywhere near the area doesn't want it (insert shocked pikachu). TIRZ is authorizing up to $100,000 in funds for a drainage study for the greater Kingwood area to help the county/city spend the flood/drainage bond in the area, and one of the nearby HOAs wants to use that info against the Herons.

 

Right now, the Herons is not in the city permitting process, but with the federal government/Army Corps of Engineers. Councilmember Martins office encouraged feedback to go to national legislators Crenshaw/Cornyn/Cruz as they don't have any effect on the process at this moment.  

 

It's currently something of a dead end (literal, as-in no through traffic) area, not surprised at all about the knee jerk reaction against it for those nearby, but this thing would change so much in the area, it's not going to end up like anything anyone can predict if it got built. Kingwood is built out under its original theme, this would be a big step-out that I think would be worth it. 

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Still like the project, but I could see why they would need to have meetings with the Army Corps of Engineers/Feds if you look at the image below:

 

ORP0WRY.jpg?1

 

The ENTIRE project area is inside the 100 year floodplain. The Marina portion it self is in the floodplain out right. The strip subdivision in between is in the 500 year floodplain. If they want to even make that area even close to buildable they would have to either start levee-ing the river or do some ridiculous build up to get out of the floodway. This area of Kingwood was also heavily hit during Harvey.

 

Link to the Harris County Floodmap resource:

 

http://www.harriscountyfemt.org/

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10 minutes ago, Luminare said:

Still like the project, but I could see why they would need to have meetings with the Army Corps of Engineers/Feds if you look at the image below:

 

The ENTIRE project area is inside the 100 year floodplain. The Marina portion it self is in the floodplain out right. The strip subdivision in between is in the 500 year floodplain. If they want to even make that area even close to buildable they would have to either start levee-ing the river or do some ridiculous build up to get out of the floodway. This area of Kingwood was also heavily hit during Harvey.

 

Link to the Harris County Floodmap resource:

 

http://www.harriscountyfemt.org/

5

 

Yep, mentions of needing to fill in hundreds of acres of wetlands to do the project at the meeting. 

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