New Townsen Landing development

Land Cleared for Two More Humble Developments, Townsen Boulevard Extension

The new residential development going in along Townsen Boulevard West that I posted about last Saturday is just one of three new developments in northwest Humble. Of the other two, one will evidently be for light industrial use; the other for residential. A Townsen Boulevard extension toward Spring Creek is also under construction.

Townsen Extension

This conceptual plan by Skymark Development for Townsen Landing shows the Townsen extension in the upper left just below 94-acres designated for light industrial use. Skymark or its related companies own or owned all of the land in the colored areas below.

You may have noticed an entrance cut into the woods at the northwest corner of the Townsen loop. Several readers have asked about all the recent activity there.

Entrance to Townsen Boulevard extension at NW corner of Townsen loop. Reader photo used with permission.

On Monday 9/26/22, I took several aerial photos of work beyond the entrance. They show a four-lane divided roadway that stops at Spring Creek. The images also show a floodwater detention basin and a large clearing already surrounded by silt fence. See below.

Slightly NW of entrance on Townsen. Note drainage inlets surrounded by silt fences on roadway.
Looking N. The detention basin already has grass-lined slopes and backslope interceptor swales to reduce erosion.
Closer shot, still facing N, shows where road ends at Spring Creek.

The four lanes end abruptly at the Spring Creek Parkway Trail.

I discussed that vast undeveloped area north of the creek more than a year ago. Suffice it to say, for now, that the same company owns that land and a small parcel shown in the foreground of the photo above. A bridge has been rumored for more than 10 years according to several sources I consulted. And a developer reportedly wants to build 7,000 homes on the far side of the creek. But the Montgomery County Engineer’s office claims to know nothing about it and Harris County has not yet responded to enquiries about a bridge. More on that area in a future post when I learn more.

Light Industrial?

Calls to Skymark were not returned. So it’s not clear who or what will go into that clearing by the detention pond. Harris County Appraisal District shows that the land is owned by Headway Estates, LTD, which is run by Clinton Wong.

Wong’s name is associated with hundreds of companies and partnerships in the Texas Secretary of State’s database, including Skymark, Headway Estates, Hannover Estates, and Townsen Landing. Wong and his companies own or control most of the land in the photo four photos below which comprise Townsen Landing.

Reverse angle looking back ESE. CostCo in upper left and Deerbrook Mall in upper right.
Looking SE toward two clearings for new residential developments at top of frame. Aldine ISD Jones Middle School in the upper right.

If the plans above remain unchanged, the big wooded area on the right above will also become light industrial. Light industrial land uses typically include final-stage or “clean” manufacturing, wholesaling, warehousing and distribution, and the sale and servicing of vehicles and equipment. Light industry includes a broad spectrum of land uses, some of which can be compatible with urban, mixed-use development.

Looking East toward 59 at the entrance at Townsen Boulevard and areas cleared starting in 2015, two years before Harvey! Those cleared areas were originally intended to hold homes. Hannover Estates has owned the cleared land since 2013, according to HCAD.

I have not yet obtained construction plans or drainage analyses for the light industrial area.

Saratoga Homes Residential Development West of Kohl’s

West and slightly north of the Kohl’s store on Townsen is another new development underway in Humble. Signs on Townsen Boulevard suggest most of it belongs to Saratoga Homes. But Saratoga has not returned phone calls or emails either. Most of this area is in the current 500-year floodplain. However, that could soon change with new Post-Harvey flood maps.

Looking W. Extent of site work as of 9/27/22. Note large detention basin in foreground and Kohl’s on right.
Close-up of one corner of detention basin.
Looking W. Water and stormwater lines are now going in.
Looking N. Entrance to development appears to be off of Townsen. Note corner of Costco in upper right.
Looking back east toward Kohl’s and stormwater detention basin. Note the large drainage ditch that runs the length of this development on the right.

That detention pond is more than a mile from Spring Creek and yet this area flooded during Harvey.

The flooding was deep enough that reportedly the developer is not even going to try to raise the area. Instead, he said he will raise the homes 6-7 feet.

In 2019, Jack Bombach, division president/CCO of Saratoga Homes, described his vision for the property at the Lake Houston Chamber’s Humble BizCom. “We bought the land in 2014 and are so thankful that we hadn’t started building,” said Bombach, “because, if we would have, Hurricane Harvey would have flooded everything we built.”

The Harris County Appraisal District shows that the area with the detention pond and a strip adjacent to the drainage ditch is owned by Hannover Estates LTD, a company controlled by Wong.

The rest of the cleared area appears to be owned by JNC Development, a company related to Saratoga Homes.

Floodplains

Much of the land under development in Humble is in a floodplain. See below.

Cross-hatched areas = floodway. Aqua = 1% annual chance of flooding. Brown areas represent .02% annual chance. #1 = Light industrial area. #2 = Saratoga Homes (see below). #3 = Single family home development owned by Wong companies.

Note: FEMA approved the floodplain map above in 2014. FEMA should release preliminary versions of Post-Harvey maps early next year. The floodplains shown above could expand 50% or more, according to preliminary guidance from HCFCD.

During Harvey, the gage at the West Fork and 59 registered the highest floodwater in northern Harris County – 20.5 feet above flood stage.

worst first
Chart showing feet above flood stage of 33 gages on misc. bayous in Harris County during Harvey.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/28/22

1856 Days since Hurricane Harvey