Tag Archive for: high rise

Changes to ReduceFlooding: New “Funding” Page

I have made two major changes to ReduceFlooding.com by adding a new page dedicated to “Funding” and removing the “High Rise” page from the menu.

High-Rise Issue No Longer Topical, Funding Is

Funding is a hot topic at the moment and the high-rise battle is over…at least for now. Even though I removed the high-rise page from the menu, I did not delete it. Historical researchers can still find it by searching for “High Rise.” If the topic becomes active in the future, I will restore it to the menu again.

The Funding Page contains links to every funding post since 2019 when the equity debate first arose and commissioners adopted an “equity prioritization framework.” That framework put projects in low-to-moderate-income watersheds at the front of the line. And now some are trying to cancel projects in affluent watersheds to send more money to low-income watersheds that have already received hundreds of millions of dollars.

Learn Where Your Money is Going

The Funding page is broken into two parts. The left contains a summary of the equity debate and how it has evolved in the last three years. It also contains links to the volumes of data obtained from Harris County via Freedom-of-Information-Act requests, as well as statistical analysis of the data. The right part contains links to every related post published since the equity debate started.

Collecting all information related to funding in one place should make it easy for people to find information about their watersheds and where their money is going.

Please explore and send me feedback. I’m always eager to make ReduceFlooding better. And if you see information in the media that is demonstrably false, please send them to the Funding page to find the real data.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/29/2021

1430 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.

There’s a Developer Born Every Minute!

This morning, local videographer Jim Zura took his drone down to River Grove Park and photographed the Romerica property flooding for the seventh time in 14 months. It proves that there’s a developer born every minute!

To see Jim Zura’s drone video, click here.

The history of this land involves half a dozen different developers, each with big dreams, determined to get rich in that promised land between buying low and selling high. Ultimately, though, they end up selling to another starry-eyed developer after reality sets in.

For the most recent owner, Romerica Investments, that reality includes waking up to find that your property was under 22 feet of water during Harvey and floods repeatedly.

Also, in the “Gee-what-were-they-thinking-department,” you would have to include the fact that FEMA will soon reclassify the property in the floodwaybefore Romerica can obtain a permit from the Army Corps.

At what point to you admit to yourself that there is no way out?

Investing $5 billion in a floodway that carries 240,000 cubic feet per second! That’s Brooklyn-Bridge smart. Expecting 15,000 condo buyers to wade into the wacky dream with you? It would be easier to sell high rises at the end of an airport runway.

Might be time to cut your losses, Mr. Haddad. Just sayin’. All those high priced consultants will be happy to keep selling you hope as long as you’re paying them.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/8/19

617 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post are my opinions on matters of public policy and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the Great State of Texas.

Interview with Corps’ Chief of Evaluation: What’s Next for Romerica?

After receiving 727 public comments, Kingwood Marina developer, Romerica Investments, LLC, asked Corps regulators on April 24, to “temporarily suspend an Individual Permit Application (SWG-2016-00384).”

Romercia’s environmental consultants said in a letter to Corps regulators, they made the request based on the large volume of comments provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on March 28.

The request acknowledged, “It will take several months to conduct the surveys and studies needed to respond fully to these comments.” 

Interview withCorps’ Chief of Evaluation Branch

Last week, I spoke with Janet Botello, Chief of the Evaluation Branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Galveston District. We talked about what comes next for Romerica after its permit application for the proposed high-rise development in Kingwood was withdrawn by the Corps. Bottom line: if they reapply, we would likely have another public comment period.

In this satellite image taken on 2/23/19, you can see the West Fork San Jacinto at the bottom, River Grove Park at the left, Kingwood Country Club on the right and the Barrington at the top. Romerica hopes to build multiple 25-50 high rises between the little lake in the center and the golf course fairways below the Barrington.

Difference: Suspension vs. Withdrawal

Rehak: “Romerica requested a suspension of their permit application. The Army Corps withdrew it. What’s the difference? Is there any legal significance?”

Botello: “The correct wording in this case is “withdrawal.” There IS a legal difference. There is a provision within our regulations for suspending a permit. But that only occurs when a permit has actually been issued. In this case, the permit was not issued; there was only an application. We never made a final decision. So the pending application was withdrawn.”

Another Public Comment Period Likely

Rehak: “If they reapply, would there be another public comment period during the evaluation of new application?”

Botello: “I am comfortable in saying that there probably will be another public comment period based on the number of public interest factors and concerns that were raised and potential changes that could occur. But we won’t know for sure until we get the revised packet of information.”

Rehak: “How frequently does this happen?”

Botello: “It’s common. If a significant number of comments are raised during the public comment period and applicants aren’t prepared to address them within 30 days, we withdraw it. Then they go back and try to answer the concerns that were raised or revise their plans. Conversely, if they can answer and fully address concerns within 30 days, we keep evaluating the permit and we go ahead with the next step. If not, we withdraw it and give them time on their own to address the public concerns.”

Next Steps If Romerica Reapplies

Rehak: “What will be the next steps if Romerica reapplies?”

Botello: “First, we will evaluate the new submittal internally for a review of the Corps’ concerns. Then we will draft a public notice for public review – to gather public concerns. Then typically, we gather up the comments and concerns raised after that 30-day period, and forward them again to the applicant. They will have to respond within 30 days and then we will gather their responses and determine what steps are appropriate.”

Where We Are At

Romerica has not returned phone calls to discuss their intentions. If other agencies had concerns as serious as the TCEQ’s, this project could die quietly. If Romerica reapplies, which they have said they will do, the developer will likely have to significantly revise plans, and start over with a lengthy permitting process including a new public comment period.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/6/2019

615 Days since Hurricane Harvey

High-Rise Permit Application Withdrawn by Corps

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District announced today that it has withdrawn Romerica’s permit application. Romerica had applied to deposit fill in the floodplain of the San Jacinto River for their proposed high-rise development in Kingwood.

Artists rendering of several towers near the proposed marina with the Barrington in the background.

Romerica Could Not Meet Deadline

In a letter dated April 24, SWCA, Romerica’s environmental consultant, requested a “suspension” of the permit application. They said they needed more time to answer issues raised in 727 letters of protest. SWCA also said they would have to conduct additional surveys and field work requiring more than the 30 days allowed for them to respond. The official deadline for filing responses was April 27.

Withdrawal “Without Prejudice”

Instead of suspending the permit, the Corps “withdrew it without prejudice.” The Corps invited SWCA and Romerica to reapply at some future time when they had completed answers to the issues raised by concerned residents and environmental groups.

The Corps’ letter is dated today, April 30. For the full text, click here.

Romerica Not Available for Comment

Leah Howard of Manlove Marketing and Communications, Romerica’s official point of contact for the application, was not available for comment at press time. However, a third party who talked to her earlier in the day said that their team wanted “to do a good and complete job with citizens’ questions, and that 30 days just wasn’t enough time.”

Another third party source quoted her as saying, “Due to Harvey, Romerica will complete several new studies and surveys for due diligence which will shed more light on the larger issue Lake Houston faces. After completion of the necessary work, Romerica and the USACE will reactivate the permit and more information will be provided at that time.”

Issues Still to Be Clarified

It is unclear at this time whether a new application would obligate Romerica to go through an additional public comment period. However the letter sent from the Corps to the developer states, “Resultant project modifications may require additional coordination.”

While many questions remain, today’s letter DOES answer one. Romerica did NOT meet the Corps’ deadline for filing responses to citizen complaints. For a history of the controversy surrounding this development, see the High Rises page.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/30/2019

609 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Answer Day for High-Rise Developer

A reminder. Today, Romerica Investments, LLC. owes the Army Corps of Engineers answers to all of the questions, comments and concerns raised during the public comment period for its proposed high-rise development and marina resort.

More than 700 Protest Letters Filed

The Corps is ruling on a permit application for a 3.2 million square foot development near the floodway of the San Jacinto West Fork. The proposed development would surround the Barrington, and be adjacent to Kingwood Lakes, Trailwood, King’s Cove Deer Ridge Estates, Deer Ridge Park and River Grove Park.

According to the Corps, Kingwood residents raised a record number of concerns. More than 700 people and groups submitted letters of protest. Let’s look at just a few of the concerns; read some of the letters that include impacts on:

  • Water quality
  • Wetlands
  • Streams
  • Erosion
  • Flooding
  • Traffic congestion of local thoroughfares
  • River navigation/congestion
  • Air traffic interference
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Wildlife
  • Noise levels
  • School overcrowding
  • Neighborhood aesthetics
  • Conservation easements
  • Water supply
  • Subsidence
  • Safety
  • Surrounding communities

Additional Concerns

People and groups also raised concerns about:

And That Was Just for Starters

It will be interesting to see how Romerica responds to all these concerns. They can change their plans for the future. But they can’t change their past.

At a public meeting held AFTER the public comment period, Gabriel M. Haddad, co-owner, of a maze of related companies, partnerships, LLPs and LLCs in different countries and states, said it could take up to two years for the Corps to rule on his permit application.

The Corporate Maze Related to Romerica

I have a call in to the Corps to discuss next steps and how long they will take. Stay tuned.

Note: Ideas expressed in the post represent my opinions on matters of public interest. They are protected by the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/27/2019

606 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Reminder: High-Rise Developers’ Meeting Monday Night at 6:30

On March 4, Romerica announced a “free” public meeting at which they and their suppliers plan to “discuss”:

  • USACE Corp Process 
  • Phases of the Development 
  • Current and Future Initiatives of Romerica

 At that time, the guest panel was to include:

  • R. Thomas Sankey, PWS, CSE Senior Project Manager / Senior Ecologist, SWCA 
  • Melvin G. Spinks, P.E., CFM, President, Civil Tech Engineering, Inc.
  • Gabriel Haddad, Developer, Romerica

New Strategy: PR Firm Goes Dark

Manlove Marketing and Communications, Romerica’s second official point of contact during the Army Corps public comment period, sent out invitations to people who signed up for their mailing list.

However, as of this writing, no meeting announcement has ever been made on the website that Manlove developed for Romerica.

Neither did Manlove return telephone calls or emails to discuss the meeting format and whether they would take questions from the audience. Manlove also has not responded to inquiries from local videographer Jim Zura and the Lake Houston Area Grass Roots Flood Prevention Initiative about taping the meeting.

Disclaimer Debacle

Manlove originally tried to give themselves the most generous disclaimer in the history of words and websites when they printed this in small type at the bottom of TheHeronsKingwood.com: “DISCLAIMER: Users agree that John Manlove Marketing & Communications and parties involved have no responsibility for any deficiencies, inaccuracies, errors and/or omissions contained in this site or the data and/or information contained therein.”

I then pointed out that as the official point of contact for the permit, they would be held to a slightly higher standard of truth. 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 states that: “Whoever, in any manner within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up any trick, scheme, or disguises a material fact or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or entry, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years or both.” That’s when the lights went out.

So Many Questions Remain

I’m suspect the panel will do its best to avoid the real questions surrounding this development Monday night. For instance:

  1. How have they gotten around single-family residential deed restrictions?
  2. Why are they proposing to build 25-50 story high rises in an old meander of the San Jacinto (a practice that proved disastrous during Harvey)?
  3. Aren’t they jeopardizing public safety by rushing to permit so many massive structures in what will surely be reclassified as the floodway when new flood maps come out?
  4. How will they evacuate 15,000 to 20,000 people if the water comes up again without warning like it did during Harvey?
  5. How did they miss eagle nests on and adjacent to the property when they were specifically looking for them?
  6. Why did they not report an eagle nest that their own employees knew about?
  7. Where will all the kids in this subdivision go to school? It could triple enrollment at Foster Elementary!
  8. Why did they list a wrong contact phone number on the Army Corps public notice?
  9. What have these developers ever actually developed before?
  10. Why are investors suing them for fraud?
  11. Why do they have such a maze of companies in so many different states and countries selling the same property to each other in different names?
  12. Why are so many of the companies registered with the Secretary of State at an address that does not exist?
  13. Why register companies using so many aliases?
  14. Why is Romerica’s real-estate license listed as “inactive” by the Texas Real-Estate Commission?
  15. Why does Dunn and Bradstreet think Romerica Investments is out of business?
  16. Why did Manlove list the “Romerica Group” and then plain “Romerica” as the developer in their website when neither is registered with the Texas Secretary of State and “Romerica Investments” filed the permit application?
  17. Who produced their market study that supposedly demonstrates the “need” for this project? Need is a key Corps criteria. Yet the market study fails to take into account such crucial factors as retail traffic, proximity to freeways, flooding, and navigability of the West Fork.
  18. How will raising buildings to 57 feet keep them from flooding?
  19. Why did Civil Tech apply for an excavation permit that wasn’t in the name of the development?
  20. Why did CivilTech say all the excavated material would be removed from the flood plain to obtain that permit when the Corps public notice now states that fill will be added to the floodway?
  21. Why does the Corps’ public notice specify that buildings will be raised to 57 feet and TheHeronsKingwood.com specify 62.42 feet?
  22. Why does Manlove claim Romerica will preserve wetlands when Romerica has applied for a permit to fill them in?
  23. How will the fill that they plan to put in streams and wetlands NOT worsen flooding?
  24. Why are there so many dead links, disconnected phone numbers, and vacant offices listed in various web sites promoting Romerica, the high-rise development, EB-5 visas, and more?
  25. How could 640 40-foot boats and 200 jet skis possibly fit on the West Fork?
  26. Why would you even consider putting underground parking in an area that flooded six times last year?
  27. How will you supply water to all the people who live in the Herons without exacerbating subsidence?
  28. How will Romerica finance 3.2 million square feet of development in the floodway and floodplain of the San Jacinto River’s West Fork?
  29. How will the Developer provide the mitigation (i.e., Detention ponds) for fill and impervious cover that is required to obtain the City of Houston and/or Harris County Development permits?

Kingwood Community Center, 6:30 PM

I’m guessing that they won’t allow real questions tomorrow night. They’ll probably make people submit questions in writing before hand and then cherry pick those they want to answer. I hope I’m wrong on that point, but we’ll know for sure when its over.

As always, these thoughts represent my opinions on matters of public interest. They are protected under the first amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the great State of Texas.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/17/19

365 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Now or Never: Friday is Last Day to Protest High-Rise Development in Floodplain Near River Grove Park

Only five more days remain to protest the proposed high-rise development near River Grove Park. The deadline for public comments? Friday, March 1.

About the High-Rise Development

Two developers from Mexico have bought up land east of Woodland Hills between Kingwood Lakes and the San Jacinto River. They hope to build 5000 condos, a retail mail, parking for 8,800 vehicles (some below ground), commercial high-rises, residential high-rises, a 50-story hotel, and a marina for 640 boats and 200 jet-skis.

Altogether, they plan to build more than 3 million square feet of residential, commercial and retail space around the Barrington. To put that in perspective, it’s roughly three times the size of Deerbrook Mall … at the end of a dead end street … four miles from the nearest highway. On the edge of the floodway. In an old meander of the San Jacinto. Without any consideration for the traffic it would add to Kingwood Drive. Or dedicating any land for additional school facilities.

What Corps and TCEQ are Considering

The Army Corps of Engineers and TCEQ are currently reviewing the developer’s proposal. The Corps is evaluating the impact of adding up to 12 feet of fill to wetlands and streams in the area against the need for the project. They also review more than a dozen other “public interest” factors, such as safety, environmental impact, navigation on the San Jacinto, sedimentation, and potential to worsen flooding. The TCEQ is evaluating water-quality issues only.

For More Information

To read more about the controversy swirling around this project, review the “High-Rises” Page of this web site. On it, you will find links to the Army Corps’ Public Notice describing the project as well as sample letters that other groups and individuals have already written. You will also find a series of posts that I have written to give you more background about the proposal and the people behind it.

The developers refused multiple requests for a public meeting to answer questions about the project, such as how they intended to get around “single family residential” deed restrictions and height requirements in Kingwood’s commercial development guidelines.

Instead, to communicate their vision, they are relying on a series of promotional websites with information that often conflicts with the Public Notice and ignore the public’s concerns. (See VTRUSA.com, RomericaGroup.com, AmericanVisionEB5.com, Torrisi-Procopio.com, YouTube, and TheHeronsKingwood.com).

If you have concerns about this development, please register them NOW with the TCEQ and Army Corps.

It May Be Now or Never!

Dave Martin, Houston City Council Member for District E, has stated that the City has no power to stop this development. In fact, the City has already issued a permit to begin excavation of the marina. So the Army Corps may be your best hope to stop this project.

Please send this post to all your friends, neighbors, relatives, kids, etc. Have them write letters, too. If you have already submitted a letter and have thought of new concerns, you may submit an additional letter.

Email Preferred to Snail Mail

Make sure you include the project number in the subject line of your email. It’s the same for either group: SWG-2016-00384.

Army Corps




As always, the thoughts in these posts represent my opinions on matters of public policy. They are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the great State of Texas.

Posted by Bob Rehak on February 25, 2019

545 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Kingwood Lakes Threatens Legal Action Over Portion of Proposed High-Rise Development

Kingwood’s Kingwood Lakes Community Association has threatened legal action over a portion of the proposed high-rise development between Lake Kingwood and the Barrington. Developers planned multi-family condominium units on stilts for that area. But deed restrictions limit construction to single-family housing compatible with surrounding architecture.

Milan Saunders
View from Milan Saunders home in Kingwood Lakes during Harvey. This is why Kingwood Lakes residents are so concerned about the diversion of drainage from the proposed high-rises and condos towards them.

Single-family usually means “one family in one house on one piece of land.” The developers had planned 65′ high, MULTI-FAMILY condos. That would not look anything like the classic homes in either Kingwood Lakes or the Barrington.

Drainage Issues Compound Deed Restriction Issues

Deed restrictions also prevent diversion of drainage onto the property of others. According to the US Army Corps’ public notice, the developers planned to divert runoff into Lake Kingwood. That lake is owned and maintained by the Kingwood Lakes subdivision. Without the permission of the Association, that would also constitute a deed restriction violation.

The letter warns that if development commences, the association will seek “judicial enforcement of deed restrictions, architectural guidelines and protection of its property. Such action may include claims for injunctive relief as well as relevant damages.”

The letter closes by saying that the Association hopes no further action will be required.

Kingwood Lakes addressed the letter to the Army Corps. However, the homeowners’ association also copied officials at Harris County Flood Control and the City of Houston.

To see the full text of the letter, click here.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/14/2019

534 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Search for Owners of High-Rise Properties Leads to Maze of More Than 30 Companies in Texas Alone

Romerica Investments LLC has filed permit applications with the Army Corps, City of Houston, and Harris County Flood Control. Romerica Investments hopes to build 5,000 mid-rise condos, a series of high-rise towers ranging from 25 to 50 stories, and a marina to hold 800 40-foot boats and 200 jet skis – all on property deed-restricted to “single-family residential” in a bald-eagle habitat protection zone. The property is near River Grove Park in the floodplain and floodway of the San Jacinto’s West Fork.

However, a title search revealed that Romerica Investments does not own the property on which it intends to build. A search for who does own the property led through a maze of more than 30 other entities in Texas. Two individuals run virtually all of them. The individuals sometimes use different names and different spellings of their names when registering their businesses with the Texas Secretary of State. They also list offices that are sometimes vacant; phone numbers that have been disconnected; and an address on a street that does not exist. In the case of the land in question, they even registered the company under the first name of one man and the last name of the other. Innocent mistakes or part of a pattern? You judge.

Maze Haze

I searched websites of the Harris County District Clerk and Appraisal District; the Texas Secretary of State; CorporationWiki; Dun & Bradstreet; and Google. The search revealed at least 32 companies in Texas associated with variations on Fabio M. Covarrubias’ name and 24 under variations of Gabriel M. Haddad’s name. A large degree of overlap exists between the companies controlled by the two men. See below.

Spider diagram courtesy of CorporationWiki showing the maze of relationships between companies and people in this post.

Covarrubias Companies

The name Fabio M. Covarrubias pulls up the following:

  • B US TOTAL INVESTOR, LLC, aka American Vision Regional Center
  • Cova Capital Inc.
  • Fama Design Corporation
  • Lake Como Properties LLC
  • Pacifica Properties Inc.
  • Pacifica Properties LLC
  • Romerica Insurance LLC
  • Romerica Investments LLC
  • Romerica Real Estate LLC

The name Fabio M. Covarrubias Piffer (without a hyphen in the last names) is associated with:

  • Cova Assets Inc.
  • FAMA Ranch Company
  • MSR Serials LLC
  • North American Phosphates and Supplies Co.
  • Romerica Assets LLC
  • Romerica GP, LLC
  • Romerica Investments LLC
  • Romerica CW 3 LLC
  • Romerica E 6 LLC
  • Romerica R 1 LLC
  • Romerica RMR 4 LLC
  • Trio Sports Developments LLC

The name Fabio M. Covarrubias-Piffer (with a hyphen) is associated with:


Fabio Massimo Covarrubias-Piffer (full middle name with hyphen) is associated with:

  • Romerica Title, LLC

Haddad Companies

Gabriel Miguel Haddad’s name appears with:

  • B US TOTAL INVESTOR, LLC, aka American Vision Regional Center
  • Fama Design Corporation
  • Paban Corporate Services Inc.
  • Romerica Assets LLC
  • Romerica Insurance, LLC
  • Romerica Investments, LLC
  • Romerica Real Estate, LLC

The name Gabriel M. Haddad Giorgi appears with nine more LLCs in Texas:

  • Emprende Management, LLC
  • Romerica C.L. 2, LLC
  • Romerica CW 3, LLC
  • Romerica E 6, LLC
  • Romerica GP, LLC
  • Romerica RMR 4, LLC
  • Romerica M 5, LLC
  • Romerica R 1, LLC
  • Romerica Team, LLC

Gabriel Miguel (middle name spelled out) Haddad Giorgi is listed as the manager of:

  • Romerica Title, LLC

And finally, in a class all its own, the name Fabio M. Haddad Giorgi appears on the Certificate of Formation of:

In case you’re doing a double take, that’s the first name of one man with the last name of another. They amended that filing last year so that their names now appear as Fabio M. Covarrubias Piffer and Gabriel M. Haddad Giorgi.

Filing for Permit to Develop

Whew! Got all that? Now get this. Romerica Investments, the company that filed the permit application with the Corps, lists Mr. Covarrubias as both manager and director under two different names. Also note that the address on “Nuntucket” for Mr. Haddad does not exist; there is no such street. (Many of their filings use this misspelling. A Nantucket street does exist in Houston.)

Romerica Investments’ management information. Note the different names, addresses and positions for Mr. Covarrubias. Also note the different positions for Mr. Haddad and the misspelling of his street name. Google Maps street view shows rather expensive homes at this address, so “Suite C” seems odd.

Gabriel Miguel Haddad even registered Romerica Investments under the name Miguel Gabriel Haddad, flipping his first and middle names.

Company with Disconnected Phone Number Now Developing Multi-Billion Dollar Project

Dun & Bradstreet shows Romerica Investments as out of business. The company’s web site home page has shown “Future Home of…” for the last six years. After I pointed out some of these problems in previous posts, Manlove Advertising created a website suggesting that the Romerica Group will now develop the Kingwood Marina Project. See below.

Kingwood Marina website suggests that Romerica Group, not Romerica Investments will develop property. It also states that developers believe in “dialog with stakeholders,” but they have refused to meet publicly.

Here’s where the plot thickens. The Romerica Group does not legally exist in Texas. The Texas Secretary of State lists no such company. Romerica Group’s phone has been disconnected. The Group’s website contains broken links to other supposedly related companies, such as Romerica Real Estate. The Texas Real Estate Commission lists Romerica Real Estate as inactive. And their American Vision site as been linked by International Appraiser to fake projects seeking investments from foreigners in exchange for visas.

So Many Questions, So Little Time; Developers Refuse to Meet

These observations raise many questions. Despite the developers’ claimed “commitment to dialog with stakeholders at every level,” they have refused to meet publicly to answer questions before the end of the Army Corps’ comment period. I have personally requested a meeting by phone, email, or certified mail seven times in the last seven weeks – all to no avail.

Developers commonly use different companies to acquire, sell, or subdivide land. That doesn’t bother me. The fact that registrations for so many of these companies contain inconsistencies, inaccuracies, misspellings, wrong addresses, aliases, broken links, dead ends and disconnected phone numbers does concern me.

None of the companies shows projects they have completed. Sometimes one company lists another as the owner, but the companies may be incorporated in different states or different countries. Plus they’re selling:

My advice: Buyers beware. I use the term “buyers” in a global sense to include officials granting permits. I’m not buying any of this.

As always, these posts contain my opinions on matters of public policy which are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the Great State of Texas.

Posted by Bob Rehak on February 14, 2019

534 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Manlove Changing High-Rise Website, but Problems Remain

Last night, I posted about some problems with the copy in the new website for the high-rise Kingwood Marina project. This morning, The Manlove Agency started changing the copy in many of the FAQs without explanation. Their disclaimer did not change, however.

I have screen captures of the original text. If anyone wants to see it, please email me.

Rather than do an hourly critique of the website, I’m going to give them a day or two to vet their facts. Then I will revisit it. Use extreme caution in the meantime. For instance,:

  • Their video still says they will have slips for 800 boats. But the Army Corps’ public notice states 640. A huge “disconnect”!
  • The copy still states that Romerica Group will now develop the property. The Texas Secretary of State has no listing for a Romerica Group. The phone number listed in their website is disconnected. And their name appears nowhere on the permit application.
  • The copy still says the development will be 364 acres although the Corps Public Notice states 331.
The developer has acquired all of the property in red, but only the portions marked Project Area are included in the current project.

Fixing One Problem Creates Another

Yesterday, I pointed out that raising the property to 57 feet would not make them flood safe. Manlove revised yesterday’s copy to suggest that the buildings will now have an additional five feet of fill beneath them. The developer will now raise them 17 feet above their current elevation, not 12 as stated in the original permit application. This would result in the loss of more than 1800 acre-feet of floodplain storage capacity and could impact surrounding communities.

Offending Copy About Permit Approval Removed

Manlove removed the copy about the City, County and Corps permitting the site for construction after finding no impact on surrounding communities. I confirmed with Harris County Flood Control that they never issued a permit for the property. The Corps is currently evaluating a permit. Hence, this public comment period. I’m confirming whether the City issued a permit to begin excavation.

No Public Meeting

The developers have refused to meet with the community to address the many concerns surrounding this project. I have personally tried SIX times to set up such a meeting. They agreed to have a private meeting with me. I said I would agree if I could videotape it. They refused. So the private meeting was cancelled, too.

As always, the content of this post represents my opinions on matters of public policy. Those opinions are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the Great State of Texas.

Posted on February 13, 2019, by Bob Rehak

533 Days after Hurricane Harvey