Grand Parkway extension slated to spur population, development in New Caney

Image description
Grand Parkway extension slated to spur population, development in New Caney
Construction of three new segments of the Grand Parkway extending the road from Hwy. 59 in New Caney to Hwy. 146 in Baytown could lead to additional development and population growth in the New Caney area, experts say.

Grand Parkway Infrastructure—which is a joint venture among Ferrovial Agroman, Webber LLC and Granite Construction Inc.—began construction on the 52.8-mile tollway extension in summer 2018 and plans to complete construction in 2022, GPI Public Relations Manager Janice Hayes said.

The extension of the Grand Parkway creates access to undeveloped land in New Caney that officials say could attract businesses and residents. This could lead to economic growth, as well as an increase in student enrollment at New Caney ISD, NCISD director of public relations Scott Powers said.

“We expect the Grand Parkway extension to facilitate student enrollment growth since there is undeveloped land along the planned route,” Powers said.

Construction progress

In March 2017, the Texas Department of Transportation awarded GPI with a $894 million contract to design and build segments H, from Hwy. 59 to

Hwy. 90; I-1, from Hwy. 90 to I-10; and I-2, from I-10 to Hwy. 146. Hayes said the entire project—including land acquisition—will cost close to $1.28 billion.

All of the segments are under construction and are planned to open at the same time in 2022. After the roadway opens, drivers will be able to take the Grand Parkway continuously from

Hwy. 146 in Baytown around Houston to Hwy. 59 in Fort Bend County. Hayes said TxDOT is still determining the number and cost of tolls along the roadway.

After Segments H, I-1 and I-2 are completed, there will be three proposed segments of the Grand Parkway remaining. Once complete, the Grand Parkway will form a 180-mile loop that runs through seven counties in the Houston area.

Development, economic effects

Development is already underway near Segment G of the Grand Parkway, which ends at Hwy. 59 in New Caney. Located at the intersection of the two roadways is Valley Ranch Town Center, a 240-acre mixed-use development with retail, dining and entertainment options, and a multifamily housing development coming soon.

Kevin Layne, The Signorelli Company commercial division vice president said when Segment G of the Grand Parkway opened in 2016, it triggered massive growth in home sales and retail leases in the New Caney area. According to Census data, between 2014-17, 359 homes were built in ZIP code 77357—which includes New Caney.

Layne said he expects a similar outcome when Segment H opens in 2022. The Signorelli Co. broke ground on a 456-unit multifamily development at Valley Ranch Town Center in August, with plans for additional multifamily developments in the future.

Farther south of the Grand Parkway, Kingwood and other parts of the Lake Houston area could see some economic growth when the new segments open as well, said Mark Mitchell, president of the Lake Houston Economic Development Partnership.

“From a retail, tourist and commercial-industrial perspective, it’s going to create easier access to [George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Port of Houston], and that all supports our area in general,” Mitchell said.

Ncisd enrollment growth

In additional to commercial growth, residential development is also underway, said Rick Hatcher, Greater East Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce president.

This residential growth is seen in NCISD where the number of students enrolled at the district has increased from 12,979 to 15,290 between 2014-15 and 2018-19, according to district data.

Powers said NCISD is conducting a demographic study with Population and Survey Analysts that will help the district understand how the Grand Parkway extension could affect enrollment.

The district’s most recent demographic study in 2016 projected NCISD student enrollment to reach 22,905 by the 2025-26 school year.

The study also projected close to 11,000 homes will be built within the district between March 2015 and October 2025, with 989 projected to be built within Valley Ranch Town Center and 760 projected to be built in Tavola, which is located north of the Grand Parkway.

“Any time there is a major development of a highway ... it’s going to spark new businesses. ... If there are jobs to be had, many times there’s going to be residences built for people to live close by to those jobs,” Hatcher said.
By Zac Ezzone
Zac Ezzone began his career as a journalist in northeast Ohio, where he freelanced for a statewide magazine and local newspaper. In April 2017, he moved from Ohio to Texas to join Community Impact Newspaper. He worked as a reporter for the Spring-Klein edition for more than a year before becoming the editor of the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition.


Montgomery County's COVID-19 recoveries sit at 8,403, according to the county health department. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
See Montgomery County's weekly COVID-19 case count for Oct. 13-19

The county has made progress on its backlog of cases initially reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services by health care providers.

Whitewater Express Car Wash will open its 18th location in late October in Porter. (Courtesy Whitewater Express Car Wash)
Whitewater Express Car Wash to open in Porter

The Porter location will be the franchise's 18th.

Houston police
Houston will spend $4.1 million from CARES Act to rein in rising crime rate

Violent crime is up 11% in the city of Houston and there are six hot spots throughout the city that are seeing the most violent crime numbers.

Voters wait in line at a Cy-Fair polling location Oct. 16. (Danica Lloyd/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County ballot totals approach 630,000 in first six days of early voting

Ballot counts have averaged about 100,000 daily. Twelve days of early voting remain before the Nov. 3 general election.

A total of 10 polling places are now open throughout the county for early voting. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than 76,000 ballots cast in Montgomery County through first 5 days of early voting

While the total outpaces the count through the fifth day of early voting from previous general elections, the county's voter turnout percentage so far is lower than in 2012 and 2016.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and faith leaders
Houston coronavirus updates: Positivity rate hits 5%, places of worship get guidance for reopening

Churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship are recommend to limit gatherings to 25%.

Amazon's new sorting center is now open at 22525 Clay Road, Katy. The 800,000-square-foot building opened Oct. 9. (Courtesy Inc.)
Amazon center in Katy to bring 3K jobs and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

An election official directs a car to a spot at the Humble Civic Center's drive-thru voting location. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Drive-thru voting locations in Harris County see greater numbers than in-person, despite challenges

More than 42,000 residents in Harris County have used the drive-thru centers so far in early voting.

The outlet mall is located in Cypress. (Courtesy Houston Premium Outlets)
Outlet mall in Cy-Fair opens 3 new stores and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular news form the past week from our Houston coverage area.