Senior housing development near Addicks Reservoir raises safety questions

HOUSTON – A new senior living community is being constructed on the border of Addicks Reservoir and within the reservoir flood pool.

The "pool" includes land that reaches beyond the federally-owned reservoir, such areas that were designed to hold water in flooding events.

The 7-acre project at 1810 Hollyoak Drive, not far from the Katy Freeway and Barker Cypress Road, will be a 150-acre mid-rise complex.

The entire area was underwater during Harvey and residents were strongly urged to evacuate.

"Are you concerned about moving one to 200 seniors in there when you're inside the reservoir?" Channel 2 investigator Joel Eisenbaum asked.

"We're not inside the reservoir and we're obviously concerned about seniors, that's what we do: provide housing for seniors," Matt Fuqua, vice president of Blazer Building, said.

Fuqua said that the project exceeds elevation requirements for the city of Houston, where the project is permitted.

In fact, Fuqua stressed, the housing will meet Harris County's tougher new standards, which mandate that inhabited floors are raised 2 feet above the 500-year flood elevation.

Residents in the area had mixed reaction to the project.

"I have mixed feelings about it," Sylvia Avila, who owns a house a block away and still can't live in her home, said.

The multimillion dollar senior living complex project does appear to show that builders believe the area is still considered viable, marketable and inhabitable, but the prospect of moving a few hundred seniors during a flooding event could be a risky task.

Avila said that her association was not aware of the project before groundbreaking earlier this week.

Blazer Building Vice President, Matt Fuqua, said he welcomes feedback about the project and provided the following contact information: Information requests can be directed to our management company Blazer Real Estate Services, L.L.C and the phone number that is listed for preleasing and property information is 713-965-4941.