Jennifer Carney coordinates and hosts the Kingwood BizComs during 2021.

— ‘Downtown Kingwood’ gets revitalized —

Ace Hardware is returning to Kingwood.

Atascocita Ace Hardware at Timber Forest and Atascocita Road is opening a second Ace Hardware in the now-closed Randalls building in the Kings Crossing Shopping Center, according to Tony Austin, director of the Town Center Park Association.

“They had hoped to bring back Ace Hardware in October, but the new owner is having trouble getting shelving, so the opening now is set for January,” said Austin.

Austin gave a verbal tour of the much-needed revitalization taking place in what is traditionally called Kingwood’s “downtown,” the four corners bounded by Kingwood Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway.

“The new Ace will take up half of the old Randalls building,” Austin said. “It will be interesting to see where they put their garden center.”

Austin also hinted that a pet store is rumored to be eyeing the former CVS spot in the “old” Randalls Center but that nothing is confirmed yet. Chipotle Mexican Grill has already moved into space across from La Madeleine.

Directly across Kingwood Drive in the “new” H-E-B shopping center, Freebirds World Burrito is moving into the spot originally occupied by Pollo Loco, Austin said.

Moving across Lake Houston Parkway, the “old” H-E-B” shopping center is being transformed. The smaller building closest to the Parkway, which at one time housed Radio Shack, Smart Financial and Smoothie King, will be “flattened,” in Austin’s words, and a new building will be constructed housing what is rumored to be an unnamed, major upscale restaurant.

Austin also gave a verbal quick tour of several projects that will add new life to downtown Kingwood.

“We plan to upgrade our landscaping. Make Kingwood look like it used to,” Austin said. “That includes cleaning up the fountain on Kingwood Drive and, now that CVS is built, complete the landscaping.”

Town Center Park is getting some much-needed attention, too.

“During the pandemic, we noticed that families would come to the park to eat, so we added four picnic tables,” Austin said. “Most lunchtimes, those picnic tables are occupied.”

Soon, Kingwood residents will notice two new additions to the park.

“Soon you will see that Kingwood Rotary is placing colorful large petals throughout the park as part of their project,” said Austin. “Also, a men’s exercise group, F3 Fitness, that uses the park in the early mornings, is installing and will maintain a series of exercise bars.”

Kingwood residents may think the canopy of trees covering Lake Houston Parkway at Kingwood Drive happens naturally — but they don’t.

“Every six years, we trim the trees and cut down the limbs to create that canopy and that is what we are doing now,” said Austin.

The Town Center Park Association and Kings Crossing Trails will spend more than $160,000 to “ … keep the canopy going. It is a very scientific job,” Austin explained.

Finally, the Park Association is upgrading the landscaping and cleaning up the monuments around John Turner Park, named for the longtime president of Friendswood Development Company and developer of Kingwood. The Park is the green area surrounding the Kingwood Community Center on Lake Houston Parkway.

“We had the granite monument at the park cleaned and discovered writing on it which states that the park is dedicated to the people of Kingwood and to the memory of John B. Turner, Jr.,” said Austin.

In sprucing up the park, Austin saw a plaque noting a tree dedicated in 1996 to the memory of Eloise Tyree of the Kingwood Garden Club and discovered a time capsule buried near the monument.

“The time capsule says it is to be opened on Kingwood’s 100th anniversary, Oct. 11, 2071. ‘The contents herein convey the essence of life in the livable forest as it was during Kingwood’s first 15 years.’ I wish we could open it after 50 years, which is this year,” said Austin.

Austin also has a request for any longtime Kingwood residents.

“Does anyone know anything about the art display on the lawn between the Community Center and the Metro Park and Ride entrance,” Austin asked.

“I drive by it every day and I call it the Brillo Pad because that is what it looks like. What is its history? Is there any significance to it? I’d like to know,” he said.

Anyone who knows, or thinks they may know, can email Austin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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