The Dec. 9 directors meeting of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority and Tax Increment Zone No. 10 (TIRZ) was both short and focused on progress regarding the Northpark Drive reconstruction projects. Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin’s brief remarks at the start of the meeting reflected optimism that the process is finally making progress after years of talking and planning.
In November, Martin had expressed his frustration over the time it was taking to get started and had asked the TIRZ directors to consider authorizing actual construction to start as soon as possible, even if it meant before the remaining few land acquisitions were fully completed. However, since his recommendation, Director Stan Sarman and Administrator Ralph DeLeon reported substantial progress had been made on the unfinished acquisitions. As of Dec. 9, there were seven land parcels left to finalize, down from 11 Nov. 18.
“I am glad the acquisitions went favorably,” Martin said with a smile on his face referring to the progress made during the last three weeks. He added, “We’re now closer toward getting shovels in the ground.”
Given the progress on the land acquisitions, Joel Salinas of HNTB, the overall project management firm for the entire reconstruction, was asked by one of the directors for his best estimate of when construction might begin.
“Right now, the project schedule that I recently updated is toward the end of January. That is what we are looking at,” Salinas said. He noted everything still outstanding from all the planning, approval and logistical standpoints will hopefully be completed by that time.
All other items on the agenda were routine and administrative in nature. Where needed, they were approved unanimously. The meeting adjourned 25 minutes after it began. Sarman wished everyone happy holidays and noted, as in the past, there is no meeting scheduled in January.
The next Lake Houston TIRZ 10 Directors Meeting will be Feb. 10, at the Kingwood Community Center. If COVID-19 restrictions are reinstated, the February meeting will be conducted as a conference call.