Memorial Drive in Front of Kickerillo Property
West Houston Developments Rally on Saturday
From West Houston Developments: "We want to encourage and will appreciate a large turnout of concerned citizens at the "STOP the Developments Rally" this coming Saturday, from all the subdivisions that asked to be included in the original Petition. We hope most parents with small children will be able to join us, and that most baseball, softball, soccer etc. will be over in time to join in. The Rally will be held from 2:00pm to 3:00pm on Saturday, October 1st, 2022, in the parking lot of 16000 Memorial Drive. That is the office block on Memorial directly north of the "Six at Memorial" development site, and on your left as you turn off Memorial to head north on Addicks Howell to Lupe's Tortilla etc. There is ample parking to the rear of the building (or you can walk or bike there) with your kids and dogs. Please don't use the parking in front of the building (Memorial facing) except if handicapped parking is needed. If you would like to speak, please reply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your Name and Subject - speakers are welcome. We are inviting the 33 elected, unelected and candidate officials to attend and hopefully speak in favor of stopping these developments, knowing as they do the fragility of our infrastructure with even the existing loads. We all can imagine what adding almost 1,000 dwellings, probably a greater number of cars, together with school buses and delivery trucks in the Memorial/Hwy.6 corridor will do to our quality of life and our infrastructure. We will have audio equipment courtesy of Dolcefino Consulting, expect to have two TV stations and the press, and there will be signs available." Councilmember Mary Nan Huffman will be in attendance and speaking. For further info go to WestHouston.info.
Our guards found out that around 11:00 p.m. last night, at least one catalytic convertor was stolen off a car in Barker's Landing (not in Memorial Thicket). According to HPD, catalytic converters can be cut off cars in minutes and can be quite expensive to replace. Just another reason not to park your car on the street and even better to park in your garage.
The MTHA Board
Recently two members of the MTHA Board resigned - Lyn Buza and Brenda Holden. That leaves Reese Brito, Meghan Lee and Greg Sergesketter as the remaining members. The Nominating Committee has been apprised of these vacancies, which means that now three positions on the Board will have to be filled at the Annual Meeting in December. If you have ideas on potential board members, please let a member of the Nominating Committee know (Reese Brito (Chair), Larry Betche and Wendy Kanaan) or any current board member.
The Plainwood "Speed Bump"
Back in July, the water main that runs under Plainwood near Last Arrow broke three separate times. After the last break, the City replaced the old pipe that had multiple repair compression fittings. What also happened is the water from each of the leaks was making it into the storm sewer underground. That meant the storm sewer had been compromised somewhere in the area. The City put in an asphalt patch that started buckling, collapsing and creating cavities - the "Speed Bump". We contacted the City (and our Councilmember) numerous times about this ongoing issue, but no action was taken until last week. Last week, a City crew came out to temporarily repair the patch to raise the asphalt back to the level from where it had settled. At that time, we were told a crew would come out to examine the storm sewer issue. The good news is that crew did find the problem with the line, which will need to be repaired prior to finalizing the street repair. The concrete crew also came out this week and did the initial cut for where the new concrete panel will be (which will be bigger than the asphalt patch). When the storm sewer will be repaired and a new concrete panel put in is still unknown.
Bridge Across Buffalo Bayou
Old Stone Trail Lift Station
The last part of the construction for this project is the removal of the bridge related to the lift stations (Old Stone Trail and Tanya Circle) as the new sanitary sewer pipes go under Buffalo Bayou and not across the bridge shown above. The lines in the above photograph are now no longer in use and have been cut and plugged upstream. The removal is now proposed to be done by two cranes - a 350 or so ton crane from the south side of the bayou and a 80 or so ton crane from the north. To access from the south, part of trail in Terry Hershey Park will require closure for a few days. Even with a smaller crane we are still looking at a number of 18-wheelers that will need to drive through our neighborhood. When this will happen is still an uncertainty as the date continues to be pushed back. The first presentation through Engage Houston last year said the total project was "Completion Fall 2021". It has now been over a year since pipe was laid on the ground. In that time, one of our Marywood neighbors who backs up to Buffalo Bayou had their son and daughter-in-law's wedding at their home, the couple became pregnant months later and their daughter has now been born. The question is how old will their daughter be before the project is fully completed and the area properly restored? ;-)
Background on Apartment Projects
Caroline at Memorial Project (Kickerillo Property) Background. The acreage where the Kickerillos had their home (15635 Memorial Dr.) has not been occupied since Harvey and the home was torn down in 2017, which left over 6 acres of undeveloped land. Over the ensuing years, various discussions and potential projects related to the property have occurred, but none have come to fruition. Current Status. At a meeting of the Houston Housing Authority Board of Commissioners (“HHA”) (more about HHA below) on June 14, 2022, Resolution 3460 was passed related to lower income housing on that property. The related Memorandum supporting Resolution 3460 states in part that HHA is “to facilitate the acquisition of that certain parcel of land located at or about 15635 Memorial Dr., Houston, Texas 77079, [and] the construction and development of the 334-unit Caroline at Memorial (the "Project")”. At least 10.18% (34 units) of the Project will be reserved for or occupied by individuals or families earning less than 60% of area median income; at least 40.12% (134 units) of the Project will be reserved for or occupied by individuals or families earning less than 80% of area median income; and not more than 49.70% (166 units) of the Project will be at market rates. At least five units will be made available for Housing Choice Voucher Program voucher holders. For 2022, 80% of the area median income ranges from approximately $50,000 for a one-member household to $71,000 for a four-member household. The Legal Structure for the Project: HHA created Lakeside Place PFC ("PFC") to assist in the development of certain multifamily housing developments such as the Project. On the same day as Resolution 3460 was passed by HHA, PFC passed Resolution LPPFC 22-23 in support of the Project. PFC purchased the Project and then PFC and Caroline at Memorial Owner, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (the "Owner"), will enter into a lease agreement granting site control of the Project to the Owner. The Owner will obtain a loan in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $60,000,000 from Amegy Bank to finance the Project. Construction. Site clearing and development have started. We understand the Project will be a 4-story wrap development with 229 one-bedroom and 105 two-bedroom units. Memorial at Six Project (Addicks-Howell) Background and Status. On July 19th, we noted that building permits had been issued by the City for four apartment buildings and a parking garage to be built in the wooded triangle piece of property south of Memorial on Addicks-Howell Road on the east side of Highway 6. On that date, we communicated this information to points of contact in surrounding neighborhoods. Further information indicates that these will be 5-story multifamily units and a 7-story garage with no less than 50% of the units reserved or occupied by individuals or families earning less than 80% of area median income. Site clearing and developing of the property is in progress. HHA Involvement. Subsequent research by us revealed that HHA is also involved in this project. On August 17, 2021, HHA approved a resolution to “facilitate the acquisition of the land located at 850 Addicks-Howell Road, Houston, Texas 77079 (the "Land"), [and] the construction and development of the 297-unit Memorial at Six (the "Project") thereupon”. The Legal Structure for the Project. PFC and Memorial at Six Lessee, LLC, a Texas limited liability company (the "Owner"), are to enter into a lease agreement granting site control of the Land and the Project to the Owner. Houston Housing Authority (“HHA”) HHA was created by City Council in 1938 and all members of its Board are appointed by Mayor Turner. Part of Houston Housing Authority’s mission as stated on its website is it “provides affordable homes and services to more than 58,000 low-income Houstonians, including over 17,000 families housed through the Housing Choice Voucher Program and another 5,700 living in 25 public housing and tax credit developments around the city. HHA also administers the nation’s third largest voucher program exclusively serving homeless veterans.” With both of the above projects, no property taxes will be paid on the land and the improvements for the life of the lease, which is a minimum of 75 years. Westlake 3 High-Rise Conversion The last project we are aware of is converting Westlake 3 across Memorial from Memorial Thicket from an office building to high-rise residences. No public funding is involved in this project that we are aware of. "The project involves renovation of a 19-story office building that sits on 4.537 acre parcel, constructed in 1983, remodeled in 2016, which was originally developed in 1983 as part of the Westlake Park Subdivision Section One, a 63-acre office park. Unfortunately, the office building flooded during Hurricane Harvey, and has sat vacant ever since. DeBartolo Development, based in Tampa, Florida, plans to renovate the abandoned office building to be used as class-A luxury multifamily use." Given its prior status as an office building, the infrastructure burden would be probably be about the same with the conversion.
Moonrise Over the Thicket Field Along the Bayou (September 8th)