Tag Archive for: H-E-B

Detention Pond Comprises Vast Majority of Kingwood Docks Property

Shortly after Imelda, I posted about Lovett Commercial’s Kingwood Docks development. At the time, Lovett said it would be ready for occupancy in fall of 2019. A year and a half later, two 14,000 square foot buildings still sit empty. Certainly, this has to be one of the more bizarre retail developments around. I’ve never seen a detention pond comprise a higher percentage of a property, although I’m sure one must exist somewhere. Regardless, don’t park here in a flood.

Massive Detention Pond Occupies Approximately Three Fourths of Property

According to Harris County Appraisal District, the property comprises more than 365,000 square feet. So the rentable space occupies just 7.67% of the property. The parking lots may bring the developed portion up to 25% of the property. But by far, the largest percentage, as you can see in the photos below, goes to a massive detention pond.

If all developments devoted this much area to detention, we probably wouldn’t have a flooding problem. That said, we do have a flooding problem and the commercial developments to the east, anchored by Memorial Hermann and H-E-B, are both higher than this.

Both flooded seriously during Harvey; the Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center flooded just days before its grand opening.

Higher Ground Wasn’t High Enough

During Harvey, many people who lived between Kingwood Drive and the West Fork parked their cars in the H-E-B and Memorial Hermann lots thinking they would be safe. They weren’t. Hundreds of vehicles flooded.

Lovett Commercial’s Kingwood Docks development is dwarfed by its detention pond. Note the manholes sticking up far above the level of the property.
Everything in the background flooded during Harvey. Memorial Hermann facility is in upper right.
Looking west from the Kingwood Docks detention pond. Memorial Hermann and its parking lot sit on much higher ground than the Docks project.

It’s unclear whether the Kingwood Docks buildings sit high enough to survive another Harvey. The water reached 7 feet in Torchy’s just a few hundred feet to the east. And Torchy’s sits on higher ground. But it is clear that your car won’t survive if you park it here during the next big flood. The entire property sits in the 100-year flood plain.

Aqua = 100-year floodplain. Tan = 500-year. Docks proper is the pie-shaped wedge under the City of Houston lettering.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/1/2021

1280 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

One of Harvey’s Most Visible Scars Being Replaced in Kingwood Town Center

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.

Looking NW from over West Lake Houston Parkway toward the old H-E-B center in the background, new CVS under construction in foreground.

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.

Looking straight down on the new construction. Kingwood Drive on left, WLHP at top.

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.

The old H-E-B center on the NW corner still struggles without an anchor store. Only a handful of pre-Harvey merchants remain: Dominos, Hallmark, Hunan, Pet Ranch, and Subway. More than 30 stores are vacant.
The Randall’s center lost its anchor last year. The CVS store that’s moving across WLHP is on the right end of the strip center.

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:

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/17/2020

1146 Days since Hurricane Harvey