Major Kingwood Shopping Center Almost Back

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.

Kingwood Town Center Old H-E-B
In this shot on the shopping center taken in November 2020, more than 30 stores were vacant.

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.

City of Houston crews remove sediment from under Kingwood Drive Bridge over Bens Branch by shopping center.

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.

A new Trek bicycle store recently opened, and makes a nice complement to other retailers.
Around the corner, a fresh new look for the urgent care center and Walgreens.

Still Searching for Anchor Tenant…

Unfortunately, the center still lacks an 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.

Five-year appraised value history from as of 9/8/22.
Screen capture from as of 9/8/22.

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