Woodridge Village Turns Into Beehive of Construction Activity

Last year, overland sheet flow from Perry Homes’ Woodridge Village contributed to flooding hundreds of homes in Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest twice. Construction slowed last fall, but has now turned into a beehive of activity. Just days before a deadline for a deal with the Harris County and the City of Houston to buy the property. Yesterday, dozens of pieces of heavy equipment swarmed over the northern section.

Visible Changes Since April 21st Flyover

Since my April 21st flyover:

  • Excavation of the N1 detention pond started
  • Excavation of the N2 detention pond continues.
  • N3 is surprisingly far along, perhaps 30-50% complete
  • Contractors are filling in wetlands and bogs with dirt excavated from detention ponds
  • They are building a concrete pilot channel down the east/west portion of Taylor Gulley
  • And they appear to be blocking out some roads.

These construction crews appear to have completed more work in the last month than the original contractors did in the last year.

Purchase Deal Faces May 15 Deadline

Perry originally set a May 15 deadline for a City/County commitment to purchase the property. Perry said that if they didn’t receive a commitment by then, they would continue to develop the Woodridge Village property and to try to sell it on the private market.

When Harris County commissioners last met, they put two conditions on a purchase:

  • That the cash-poor City of Houston donate land worth $7 million (half the purchase price) to Harris County Flood Control District, to help defray the cost of other other flood-mitigation projects.
  • That the City of Houston adopt NOAA’s latest Atlas 14 precipitation frequency estimates.

Sources close to the deal believe that if Perry Homes gets a firm commitment by the 15th, that will keep negotiations open.

However, the last City Council meeting before the deadline starts this afternoon (May 12). Donation of land to Harris County Flood Control is not on the agenda. Neither is an Atlas-14 resolution.

Harris County Commissioners Court publishes the agenda this Friday for their Tuesday, May 19th meeting.

Pictures of Work in Progress as of 5/11/2020

Below are pictures of the Woodridge Village work in progress. All were taken on 5/11/2020. It certainly appears as though Perry Homes is hedging its bets in case the City and County don’t come through with an offer. For orientation purposes, the first image shows where detention ponds go.

Location of detention ponds within Perry Homes’ property.
Looking south along the eastern property line of Woodridge Village at excavation of the N3 detention pond.
Looking southeast from the northwest corner of Woodridge near the Webb Street entrance. Shows initial work on the N2 pond.
Looking southeast. Activity is where Mace Street extension into Woodridge Village would go.
N2 Detention Pond Extension
Filling in the bog adjacent to Woodland Hills. Note mud on left side of photo.
Looking north from SW corner. S1 is in foreground. S2 is in upper right. N2 is triangular area in upper left.
A tighter shot looking north along western boundary with N2 in foregroundyou can see three distinct zones of activity.
Hovering over Village Springs in Elm Grove, looking north along eastern property boundary. S2 is in middle and N3 is taking shape above that.
Where Taylor Gully makes a turn north of S2, contractors are installing a concrete pilot channel.
Looking NW across northern section. Taylor Gully is on bottom left. S2 on upper right. Dirt excavated from various ponds is being used to fill in wetlands, center.
Middle of eastern boundary, excavation work continues on N3 and a channel that will lead down to Taylor Gully.

After months of foot dragging, construction activity at Woodridge is now in high gear. Perry Homes says it expects to finish work on the detention ponds sometime this summer.

Sale or no sale, that’s good. Hurricane season is just a little more than two weeks away. These ponds won’t be fully functional by then, but every little bit helps.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/12/2020

987 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 236 since Imelda

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.