Hurricane Harvey flooded 100 percent of all the businesses in Kingwood Town Center. Recovery has been a long, hard road. Some retailers threw in the towel. Others hung on by their nails. The shopping center on the northwest side of Kingwood Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway was one of the hardest hit – caught between rising waters from Lake Houston and descending waters from Bens Branch. For several years, the entire center looked like a ghost town.
Finally, the owner sold it to a buyer with deeper pockets who could make needed repairs.
Flood Mitigation Efforts Bolster Confidence
While that was happening, the Army Corps finished dredging the West Fork. Harris County Flood Control District completed a major maintenance project to restore the conveyance of Bens Branch. And the City cleared sediment from under the Kingwood Drive bridge over Bens Branch, eliminating a major bottleneck on the creek.
The remediation efforts seem to have bolstered confidence and encouraged the return of retailers.
Pardon Their Dust
For the last two years, loyal customers had to dodge construction as the shopping center got a facelift. But last month, the construction trailer and fencing disappeared. Today, I counted only four vacancies in the main part of the shopping center. And workmen are busy doing interior buildout on some of those.
Ghost-Town Look Gone
The ghost-town look is gone…replaced by pristine exteriors, new signage, and fresh landscaping. It will only be a matter of time before the remaining spaces refill.
Here’s how the center looks today.
Still Searching for Anchor Tenant…
The leasing agent, NewQuest, is rumored to have been in discussions with a large fitness center to occupy that space or part of it. This morning, I saw electricians entering the space to work. But NewQuest did not return a phone call to confirm or deny a deal with a new tenant. NewQuest’s website still shows the space officially for lease.
…But Appraised Value Quadruples Since Harvey
Regardless, you can see another sign of the shopping center’s success on the Harris County Appraisal District website. The appraised value of the center has more than quadrupled since those bleak days after Harvey.
Welcome Back, Retailers!
If you avoided this center during construction, explore what all the small business owners have to offer.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/8/2022
1836 Days since Hurricane Harvey