If you live in Kingwood, you likely have noticed new construction in Town Center on the southwest corner of Kingwood Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway. For almost three years after Harvey, the Chase Bank on that corner sat vacant. Now it’s being replaced by a new freestanding CVS Pharmacy…but built up a little higher than the bank was.
A Move Across WLHP for CVS
The new CVS Pharmacy will replace the CVS in the old Randall’s center across West Lake Houston Parkway. A CVS spokesman said the company hopes to have the new store open by spring of next year.
The new CVS will definitely enhance the image of Kingwood’s busiest intersection. Unfortunately, two other shopping centers at that intersection have lost their anchor stores (Randall’s and the old H-E-B).
Rumors Regarding Randalls and Old H-E-B Centers
Merchants in the area say both shopping centers could soon be renovated. The old H-E-B center has a new owner who plans to reconfigure the shopping center and has reportedly been showing plans to prospective tenants.
Rumors also suggest that Randall’s may be split into two smaller stores, adding new life to that center.
Chase continues to offer service from two other locations in Kingwood. One at Chestnut Ridge and Kingwood Drive. The other just three blocks south of the new CVS location.
No doubt, some of the vacancies are due to general weakness in demand due to COVID. But I also suspect many merchants have taken a wait-and-see attitude before signing leases. They want to see if flood-mitigation efforts are real.
Town Center Flood Risk Reduction Since Harvey
The return of commercial activity to Town Center will be an even stronger sign of recovery. Since Harvey, flood risk in Town Center has been greatly reduced with:
- Ben’s Branch being cleaned out from Kingwood Drive to the YMCA
- The announced expansion of the Kingwood Diversion Ditch which will take water out of Ben’s Branch
- The dredging of the San Jacinto River.
- Also, an engineering study is underway to increase the discharge capacity of the Lake Houston Dam.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/17/2020
1146 Days since Hurricane Harvey