On April 26, the Kingwood Service Association, or KSA, received the go-ahead from the Texas Transportation Commission to proceed with a long-planned landscaping project for the front of Kingwood at Kingwood Drive and U.S. Highway 59. Dee Price, KSA president, said that they have had to delay start-up on the project because a local businessman, Philippe Cras, has requested that the land in question, north of Kingwood Drive and just in front of the small lake, be sold by the state. Cras would like to purchase the land adjoining his hotel, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and soon-to-be multi-purpose development at Kingwood Parc. KSA recently sent a letter to the district engineer at the Texas Department of Transportation supporting the landscaping project. As it is, the state will pay for half the cost of the landscaping, as they own the land. If sold, they would not contribute toward the cost, according to Price. The KSA board has approved $200,000 toward the project, half in last year's budget and the other half this year. In addition, although not asked to do so by KSA, Administaff has contributed $50,000 and so has Cras. The landscaping design plans call for a “welcoming semicircle,” according to Price, which will include a blade wall (blade-shaped “hardscape”) and a pylon or possibly another wall to complete the hardscaping. Bald cypress trees, an expanded lake, wildflowers and flower beds are also part of the plans. The Northpark Drive entrance will be included in the landscaping design package, but not as extensively, as there is less land there. “The point is that we just want to keep the front of Kingwood natural,” said Price. “We want to have a joint project with the state so they will pay half ... therefore we support state ownership.” Cras explained that he asked that TxDOT declare the land surplus and allow him to bid on it to protect the area. He said that if TxDOT were to declare it surplus at a later date, after KSA has invested time and money on land that does not belong to them, it could be sold, and a gas station could go there. “As a developer next door, I had to know what was going to happen to the property,” said Cras. “I was told that if I proceeded with my intention to buy the land, that they (KSA) would take an 'adversarial' position.” Cras maintains that his plans are strictly for the preservation of the integrity of the entrance to Kingwood. If he were to buy the property, he would let KSA have the frontage to 59 to continue with their plans, and he would ask for access at Loop 494 for a “subtle” access from Kingwood Drive to Kingwood Parc. “I could have sold this corner to Lowe's several years ago, but I did not do that because this is the entrance to Kingwood,” said Cras. “As a neighbor and very concerned Kingwood resident, I want to make sure it stays as planned.” This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Photos: Dee Price and Philippe Cras

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location