Ten improvement projects were recommended for the Greenspoint area as part of the 2019 North Houston Livable Centers Study, the results of which were presented at a North Houston District public meeting Feb. 25.
The nine-month study began in April 2019, and an official, finalized plan will be presented to the district in late February to mid-March. The study was paid for in partnership with the Houston-Galveston Area Council; the North Houston District contributed an estimated $45,000.
The study identified 10 recommended improvement projects the district could pursue, what roles the district and other agencies should play, and estimated costs for implementation, according to Project Manager Mandi Chapa.
“It just takes coordination of all of these agencies and the city and, in this case, the district to come together and talk about these projects, so that it turns out to be the project that everyone needs—[whether] that be for connectivity, for containing [flood]water, [or] for providing new housing,” Chapa said.
The projects aim to capitalize on the area’s close proximity to George Bush Intercontinental Airport, build safer walking and biking spaces, construct a central park that also provides flood retention and provide affordable housing for area residents.
District President Greg Simpson said he is most interested in the implementation of a central park in the community.
“The concept of having a large central park ... helps us solve a handful of problems that we've seen over the last few years,” Simpson said. “We've had a couple of floods in the area, and that's heavily impacted the residential communities along Green Bayou and Greens Road.”
Lieutenant Bridget Lummus of the Houston Police Department's North Belt Division said she looks forward to sidewalk improvements and added that the Greenspoint area has done well so far in implementing public spaces such as the North Houston Skate Park and Rockstar Energy Park, which opened in August.
“A lot of people are afraid to come out of their apartments sometimes, so when you have events like this—places for them to go and play and be outside—and the police are involved, they feel safer in their community and it gives them something to do.”
The 2019 North Houston Livable Centers Study recommended the North Houston District do the following:
- participate in building a bus rapid-transit system to connect Greenspoint to IAH and the downtown area, in addition to reconstructing Greens Road;
- advocate and participate in completing the Bayou Greenways to bridge the gaps of Bayou Greenways 2020, a Houston Parks Board initiative, and provide park space, local connectivity and flood mitigation;
- advocate for the redevelopment of Greenspoint Mall by a private developer;
- advocate for the creation of an IAH-based economic development plan, with the development of hotels, offices and other commercial properties;
- advocate and participate in creating a comprehensive north Houston bikeways network to support the 6% of the area's population that bikes to work, a project that would also support the Greens Bayou Greenway trails;
- initiate improvements to pedestrian access by reconstructing sidewalks, upgrading the Greens Road and Imperial Valley Drive intersection, and improving safe routes to school;
- initiate new development standards for streets by adding light posts, bus-only lanes and greenery;
- advocate for the creation of a central park along Greens Bayou with flood mitigation purposes in addition to recreation;
- advocate for buy-out/buy-in programs to help residents who undergo property buyouts to move out of flood-prone areas and transition into similarly priced housing options elsewhere in the area; and
- advocate for affordable housing programs that provide residents affordable units near transit corridors and other local activity hubs.
After the final recommended plan is presented in April, Simpson said, the district will meet to prioritize the projects and begin work for implementation.
The public will be able to view the plan and speak with project coordinators at an outdoor event on March 27 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at 12190 Greenspoint Drive, Houston. For more information about the study, click here.