On Sept. 20, the Humble City Council unanimously voted to approve the 7.9 percent property tax increase for the use and support of the municipal government of the City of Humble. There were no questions or comments from the council or audience regarding the increase.

When real estate developer Clinton Wong of Skymark Development Company was asked to answer questions about his intention to build Townsen Seniors, a senior-living apartment complex in Humble, the council didn’t get the response they were expecting. Initially Wong had agreed to build the senior-living facility to address the need for it in the community; however, at the meeting, Wong laid out another plan.

“Based on the market study, our priority is to build a regular apartment complex first, then next door to it build the senior apartments, and then an assisted-living facility last,” said Wong. “I am still committed to building the senior-living apartments.”

Mayor Merle Aaron responded, “I go back to the last meeting on May 5th and I remember the discussion that was in reference to 55 and over. We all spoke in favor of it. What I’m saying, Mr. Wong, is that we passed 

an ordinance back on May 5th, 2018, and this is totally in reverse of what we thought would take place. I guess I just need it explained to me a little differently, because right now I feel like I’ve been deceived.”

“We plan to start development on the regular apartments next month and the senior apartments would be starting sometime next year,” said Wong.

Councilman Norman Funderburk replied, “You understand our disappointment, the way that this has been rolled out. You say that you’re committed. How can we firm up that commitment? You understand how this is feeling like a bait-and-switch the way this has come to us.”

“I have the land,” said Wong. “I’m not going to let it sit there, and as soon as we can I will build the senior-living apartments. I apologize for switching the order and I promise to build the senior apartments.”

Funderburk moved to table any further discussion on the matter until the next council meeting or a special session and the council unanimously agreed.

“I just need to make sure that we’re good and that everybody is going to be happy,” said Aaron at the end of Wong’s presentation. “I appreciate you being here and taking questions, so we can get the details worked out.”

After the meeting, Wong expressed his disappointment in the delay of development.

“My plans are waiting, and I want to start development next month, but I am being delayed now because they can’t make up their minds,” said Wong.

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