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Northpark expansion finds momentum as TIRZ receives longer lifespan

December 6, 2018

The Northpark Drive expansion cleared a major hurdle Thursday.

In their monthly 8 a.m. meeting at the Kingwood Community Center, Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10’s board members announced that they had received the City of Houston’s approval to extend the TIRZ’s lifespan from 2027 to 2048.

The extended lifespan will allow the TIRZ to borrow more money at a better rate to help fund the Northpark Drive expansion in addition to other road projects identified in the Kingwood Area Mobility Study.

In the November meeting, Councilman Dave Martin noted this was an integral element to realize and continue funding road projects in the Kingwood area.

“If we don’t get it, we don’t do projects,” he said at the time.

There are two phases in the Northpark Drive expansion. The first — the overpass project — aims to expand the roadway from Hwy. 59 to Russell Palmer Road and the second — the reconstruction project — will pick up from there until Woodland Hills Drive. The ultimate goal is to add mobility and safety to the area.

TIRZ 10 Chairman Stan Sarman said that the next step will involve approval of the plan by the city of Houston.

The Houston City Council will hold a public meeting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Should everything goes well, he noted, the council will approve the project then, otherwise discussions will be deferred to the council’s last meeting of the year on Dec. 19.

“We’re desperately trying to get on this agenda so we can get this approved by the end of the year,” he said. “Let’s get going.”

Engineering consultant McKim & Creed, in a document dated Nov. 29 and included in the board packet, requested $37,700 in additional funds to map three additional tracts “we had not anticipated in our original proposal.” McKim & Creed has been doing right-of-way mapping between Loop 494 and Russell Palmer Road for the expansion.

TIRZ members will reconvene Jan. 10, 2019. Members of the public may also attend.

nguyen.le@chron.com

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