Forest Cove Townhomes waiting for demolition

Forest Cove Townhomes: Demolition Update

Several readers recently asked for a an update on the demolition of the remaining Forest Cove townhomes on Marina Drive. Three clusters remain near the Forest Cove Community Center. The vacant townhomes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey have become magnets for gangs, graffiti, dope dealing and illegal dumping. The people who wrote me avoid using the community center facilities because they now fear the area.

Difficulty and Delays with Demolition

Harvey flooded these once-proud buildings to the third floor. The flood swept some buildings off their foundations and rendered everything else structurally unsound. Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) has tried to buy out the properties ever since. However, they can’t tear down a building until all units within it have been purchased.

Most of the buildings have been torn down, burned down or swept away at this point. But HCFCD can’t find all owners. Several just moved away after Harvey and abandoned their property. That has stymied demolition efforts.

One Complex Scheduled for Demolition Soon

HCFCD’s property acquisition manager offered this update on the schedule for demolition.

Three buildings remain to demolish (1106, 1110 and 1020 Marina Drive). 

1106 Marina Dr. is scheduled to be demolished within the next few weeks. That’s the building directly across Marina from the Community Center.

Two Still in Condemnation Proceedings

1110 and 1020 Marina Dr. will be demolished once the last 2 units are purchased (one in each building).  These units are currently in condemnation proceedings.

Of the three remaining complexes, the one in the middle will soon come down.
One owner couldn’t be found in this building. It is currently going through condemnation proceedings.
One owner couldn’t be found in the building on the right. It is also going through condemnation proceedings.
Not much remains. Someone could easily get killed or injured by stepping in the wrong place. Red area censored.
Even the graffiti look terrified.
What 240,000 cubic feet per second can do to your dream home with a close-up water view.

HCFCD also plans to clean up debris at the former location of 980 Aqua Vista in the near future. When HCFCD demolished that building earlier contractors left some materials behind.

Turning a Negative into a Positive

When HCFCD does finish demolishing these buildings, their long-range plan is to revert these properties back to nature and green space. That could turn what has become a blight on the community into an asset that supports the values of properties on higher ground.

Another good thing may come out of this. The destruction you see here may deter others from building these types of structures this close to a major river. Or even cause a change in building codes.

The theory here was that only garages would be built on the ground floor; living spaces would go safely above. That didn’t work out so well for the Forest Cove townhomes and those who invested their life savings.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/24/2022 with input from HCFCD

1640 Days since Hurricane Harvey