As land acquisition negotiations for the Woodridge Village development in Montgomery County continue, the developers issued a quickly approaching deadline local officials must meet for the deal to happen.
Harris County Flood Control District and the city of Houston have been in negotiations with Figure Four Partners—a subsidiary of Perry Homes—since late 2019 to purchase the 268-acre plat of land.
The Woodridge Village development has been accused of flooding north Kingwood neighborhoods during a May rainstorm, per a lawsuit filed by hundreds of homeowners in Elm Grove Village against Figure Four Partners and several connected parties, according to court documents filed May 14 in Harris County District Court.
Harris County Flood Control District and city of Houston officials have said they want the land to be turned into a regional detention facility; however, negotiations between the entities on who will pay for the property are ongoing.
In a previous interview, Matt Zeve, deputy executive director of the Harris County Flood Control District, said $18.7 million of the county’s $2.5 billion flood infrastructure bond, which voters approved in August 2018, is reserved for partnership projects in the San Jacinto River watershed. He had said a portion of this could be used to acquire the property.
On March 5, Zeve echoed this idea but said the district would need a funding partner to move forward on the acquisition.
"We would have to have some type of funding partner," Zeve said on March 5. "Now, the city is an easy, obvious choice, but there would have to be another funding partner. The flood control district isn't in a position to make the entire purchase by ourselves."
Zeve also said the district is not able to comment on the ongoing negotiations, but he hoped more information would become available in the next few weeks.
According to a March 4 release from Figure Four Partners, city and county officials have until March 31 before construction continues on the residential development or Figure Four Partners sells the land to another developer for $23 million.
"If, by March 31st, we do not have reason to believe a definitive agreement for regional detention is likely, we will move forward with the remaining infrastructure and continue to entertain private market interest in the property," the statement read.
Figure Four Partners has set the land price for the Harris County Flood Control District and the city of Houston at $14.02 million—the original purchase price of the land. With this offer, the developers will swallow a loss of roughly $9 million, per the release.
Community Impact Newspaper has reached out to the city of Houston for comments. This post will be updated with comments from local officials as they become available.