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Detention and Mobility Work Planned for Conrad Sauer Detention Basin

by Rachel Mazanec

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MetroNational

MetroNational and TIRZ 17 will negotiate a developer’s agreement for detention and mobility work at the northwest corner of Gessner and I-10 with plans to extend Mathewson Lane east across the Conrad Sauer detention basin and donate right-of-way to connect the street to Gessner.

The project calls for MetroNational to provide additional east-west mobility in the area. MetroNational will also increase capacity in the Conrad Sauer detention basin as well as develop the basin into a park space, with walking and cycling pathways, landscaping, wet bottom, a grassy park area for overflow and overlooks to watch aquatic wildlife.

Expected cost for the project is around $22.6 million, with nearly $13 million in detention improvements and some $5 million to construct the roadway. The remainder of the budget is largely for professional services and a contingency fund. Jim Jard, an executive at MetroNational, won’t reveal what MetroNational has planned for that corner, he said the developers hopes the north side of I-10 will become as vibrant as the south side. Though, rumor is plans are in the works to bring the corner a new high-rise.

The project follows the just-completed Briar Branch detention basin east of Lowe’s, designed in part to handle stormwater from a reconstructed North Gessner. TIRZ 17 engineers say the Conrad Sauer detention facility is also needed for drainage from Gessner, and the new roadway would provide access to the basin.

Many community members have wanted MetroNational to work with TIRZ 17 on drainage issues, claiming the developer has continued to improve its property without adding any drainage components. If the developers are able to address the drainage issues, the community will greatly benefit from the improvement.

In recent years MetroNational, a privately-held real estate investment, development and management company headquartered in Houston, has made improvements to Memorial City Mall, developed the Memorial Hermann Memorial City tower and complex, opened three mid-rise office towers — with a fourth in the works — and a mid-rise apartment building on property west of the mall. For more information about MetroNational, visit www.metronational.com.

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