Tag Archive for: Skymark

Development Update on 3 Areas in NW Humble

Three areas in northwest Humble are in various stages of development. Parts or all of these areas flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The flooding was deep enough that reportedly one of the developers is not even going to try to raise the area. Instead, he said he will raise the homes 6-7 feet. Let’s hope that’s enough.

The numbers in the satellite image correspond to the groups of photos below. I took all shots on 1/3/23.

#1 will become light industrial. #2 will become single family residential. #3 will become single- and multi-family residential.

Area #1 – Light Industrial

According to a 2016 map by Skymark, the developer, the first area will become light industrial.

A four-lane divided road leads from the NW corner of Townsen Boulevard to Spring Creek on the north. By Skymark Development.
The road abruptly stops before reaching Spring Creek and the Spring Creek Nature Trail.

The unpaved area between Spring Creek and where the road ends is owned by another developer (Pacific Indio) who also owns the land on the far side of the creek.

The Spring Creek Nature Trail cuts through the woods near the creek and follows it north toward I-45.
Reverse angle shot looking SE toward Deerbook Mall shows large cleared area with stormwater detention basin.

Area #2 – Single Family Residential

Contractors are in the process of building roads into an area west of Target and Kohls. Saratoga Homes reportedly plans to build 357 homes and townhomes on this location.

Looking S from over Townsen Blvd. we can see two large stormwater detention basins (lower and upper left)
Same area, but looking east toward Kohls and Target.

The closer shot below shows that not all the roads have been built yet.

Saratoga plans to build elevated homes here.

Area #3 – Single- and Multi-Family Residential

Looking south toward Sam’s with Townsen Blvd West on right, we can see a large stormwater detention pond that already has grass growing. This area will become single- and multi-family residential, some of which will be dedicated to seniors.

Note last of trees in center foreground being cleared and shredded for mulch.
Spillway from detention basin seems to have a detour built into it. The purpose? Likely to slow the water and avoid erosion at the base of the utility poles. The long ditch on the left will drain Areas 2 and 3.

Together, all three areas comprise approximately 260 acres according to this map on the Skymark Development website.

To learn more about the history of these sites, see the posts below. They contain floodplain and wetland maps.

Onward. Into the danger zone!

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/9/23

1959 Days since Hurricane Harvey

A Townsen Bridge Across Spring Creek?

Developers are working toward building a bridge over Spring Creek and a road that would connect Townsen Boulevard in Humble with the Grand Parkway in Montgomery County. However, City and County authorities on both sides of the county line say they know nothing tangible about the bridge yet.

I’ve talked to several engineers about this property. One said that if the bridge gets built, it will open thousands of acres to development. A second said that if the property gets developed, it would be like “aiming a firehose at Kingwood and Humble.” A third cautioned that when the developer sees the new floodway and floodplain maps, a bridge will likely become cost prohibitive.

The developers in question have not returned calls, but here’s what we know so far based on publicly available information and several Freedom-of-Information-Act Requests.

Bridge Rumored for More than a Decade

The Army Corps of Engineers first issued a permit for a bridge in 2009. Last year, it issued an extension of the permit that requires completion of the work by 12/31/2026.

Map shown on Page 25 of Corps Permit Extension shows a 100-foot-wide right of way with twin bridges north- and southbound.

However, the Montgomery County Engineer’s Office and Harris County Flood Control say no one has applied for any permits with them yet to actually build a bridge. Regardless…

Company Purchases Land, Sets Up Mitigation Companies

The landowner on the north side of Spring Creek has purchased a small parcel of land on the south side of the creek at the current terminus of the Townsen Blvd. extension. Thus they would control the land needed for a bridge.

Pacific Indio owns thousands of acres north of the creek and one little parcel south of the creek where a bridge would terminate. From HCAD.org.

Pacific Indio controls another company called the Townsen Road Association and has also set up two mitigation companies. The latter are significant because the Army Corps permit contains an extensive discussion of mitigation needs.

MoCo Transportation Plan and Developers Promotional Material Show Bridge, Road

The Montgomery County Transportation Plan shows the extension of Townsen north to the Grand Parkway from where Townsen currently ends at Spring Creek.

Detail from Montgomery County Transportation Plan posted on MoCo Engineer’s website.

Also, a sign on westbound Grand Parkway indicates an exit for Townsen, but the road does not go through yet. Does TxDOT know something we don’t?

Ryko, the developer associated with the Pacific Indio land has announced its intentions to build the connecting road and 7,000 lots.

Subsidiaries Formed

Another company, Skymark, also has considerable floodplain holdings in Montgomery County under a variety of corporate shells, such as Hannover Estates, Headway Estates and the CFW Family Limited Partnership. The Secretary of State SOS Direct database shows that Skymark principal Clinton F. Wong controls 231 companies including Townsen Holdings and Townsen Landing.

From Texas SOS Direct. Note notation in lower right. This is page 7 of 24 containing a total of 231 companies.

The Montgomery County Appraisal District website shows that many of Wong’s holdings border Pacific Indio’s. And Skymark owns most of the land south of Spring Creek where the bridge would be built. See more below.

References in Intercontinental MUD Minutes

June 2022 minutes of the Intercontinental MUD board meeting reference Townsen Mitigation, one of Pacific Indio’s subsidiaries.

The minutes also reference a settlement between the EPA and Skymark.

Purchase Offer Reportedly Turned Down

Harris County Flood Control reportedly offered to buy this land several years ago, but Ryko wanted “an insane amount of money.” This could have been an indication that the owner felt confident in its ability to develop the land and profit from it.

…But Project Would be Very Difficult to Develop

FEMA shows large floodways and floodplains on both sides of the creek that any road would have to go over or through. Keep in mind that the map below does not yet show the new Post-Harvey flood hazards. They will reportedly expand by 50- to 100%.

From FEMA’s National Flood Hazard Layer Viewer. Note: the image shows Pre-Harvey flood hazards. Post-Harvey maps have not yet been released, but should be soon.

Permit plans also show at least 9 other stream crossings along the way north. Those would expand, too, with the new floodplain maps.

Finally, the project would cross numerous wetlands.

Wetlands on Pacific Indio Property near the confluence of three major waterways: West Fork San Jacinto, Spring Creek, Cypress Creek. From from National Wetlands Inventory,

Legal History

The Bender Estate, which previously owned approximately 800 acres of undeveloped land in the northwest quadrant of Humble, granted a Right-Of-Way easement to Ryko Development to construct a road that would ultimately cross Spring Creek and service the planned development between Spring Creek and 99 on the Pacific-Indio Property.  

Skymark Development later purchased those 800 acres from the Bender Estate and started to develop them.

According to Jason Stuebe, Humble City Manager, after Humble began to re-construct Townsen, Ryko presented the easement to Humble and stated they intended to connect into Townsen Blvd.

This caused consternation as it didn’t fit with the city’s plans for reconstructing Townsend. All parties (including Ryko and Skymark) went to court. They reached a settlement sometime in 2018 that gave Ryko two years to begin constructing the roadway. 

EPA Delays Road

However, a cease-and-desist order from the EPA delayed the work; Skymark inappropriately filled in some wetlands elsewhere on its property. Once the EPA recognized that Ryko’s road was not affiliated with the wetlands issue, EPA allowed Ryko to proceed with constructing the road. 

In 2019, Humble City Council approved the plat dedicating the roadway as a public Right-Of-Way once completed. Then COVID delayed the road again. An exception to the settlement was made. Construction has since resumed, albeit slowly. 

New Townsen Landing development
Extension to Townsen Boulevard under construction where it stops at Spring Creek. Photo taken 9/26/2022.

Stuebe stated, “Because the road actually leads out of our jurisdiction, I have no further information on the status of its permitting with either Harris County or the state with regard to crossing Spring Creek. Once the roadway is completed, inspected and approved by the City Engineer and Public Works, it will become a right of way of Humble.”

I suspect that the bridge is more of a dream than a done deal at this point. Despite obstacles, attempts are being made to put all the pieces of the puzzle into place. But high hurdles remain.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/19/22

1908 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.


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.

Undated conceptual land plan for Townsen Landing in Humble by Skymark Development.

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.


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