How About a 300-Acre Marina-and-Skyscraper Complex off Kingwood’s Woodland Hills Dr.?

Shots of the massive waterfront development planned in Kingwood east of Woodland Hills Dr. show it situated around 2 adjacent and existing lakes that neighbor both the San Jacinto River and the Clubs of Kingwood golf course. The 300-acre project — dubbed Herons Kingwood Marina and recently stumbled upon by online architectural sleuth Urbannizer — lays out a plan to link the 2 bodies of water and transform them into marinas with docks, pedestrian paths, and outdoor amusements.

The water-level rendering above from Italian architecture firm Torrisi & Procopio shows a boat parking lot fronting a shopping center that’s planned beside the west marina. From the air in the rendering at top, you can see the eastern marina neighbored by skyscrapers, described by the architect’s website as home to hotels, restaurants, shops, and apartments. A narrow channel leads to the other, aquatic area in the distance.

Here’s where both lakes sit now, just south of Barrington Kingwood — a 200-acre, loop-shaped neighborhood:


At the point marked “Existing Access Point,” a short outlet links the eastern lake to a tributary that then drains into the San Jacinto River. The new proposed access point, indicated to the southwest, would skip the tributary and head right for the river itself.

A new major roadway would cross the planned channel between the two marinas, providing access to the eastern portion of the development:

Among the amenities planned for the eastern marina, according to the architect’s website: “A floating swimming-pool, a floating cinema/theatre, a restaurant-cafè and a lounge area” — all of which would sit atop the water surface “on custom-made platforms with all the necessary associated equipment.”

A matinee at the floating theater:

A system of waterborne platforms planted with vegetation is also planned to help clean the water, according to Torrisi & Procopio’s plans for the site. In total, 700 spots will be available for boats up to 40 ft., as well as 220 platforms for jet skis.

A view across the other bay shows office towers bookending the shopping center that sit at its far western edge:

These towers appear on the right side of this model, on either side of the entrance to the central, wavy-roofed mall promenade that begins at the bay:

The view from inside:

At the north edge of the development, 52 acres of residential neighborhood wrap around the top of the existing Barrington Kingwood community:

Renderings: Torrisi & Procopio Architetti (east marina); VTR (west marina and shopping center). Maps and site aerial: Altus

The Liveable Lake

38 Comment

  • Why not? It should flood just as easily as the houses.

  • that area is all swamp back in there. that’s why it was never built out originally. people in barrington had to be rescued by boat during harvey.

  • Occupancy rates for office space are way down in Houston. Kingwood Blvd. is about three Chevy Suburbans away from being permanent impassible gridlock at 8 am and 6 pm. Public information requests to regional planners uncovered a secret flood map showing flood waters flowing rapidly from pervious cover in the Woodlands to Spring Creek with a big arrow pointing towards Kingwood and “suckas” scribbled in sharpie over the greater Kingwood area. Amazon already told Houston “thank you, come again!”
    But, yeah. Get these guys a big tax incentive and lets do this.

  • nice it’ll have a symbiotic relationship with the dinosaur park once that happens…..;0

  • Wow!

  • Ridiculous. This will never be built, just another pie in the sky developer trying to drum up investors. Why even bother to report this fantasy. Hey I’m building a 200 Story skyscraper in River Oaks, images on the way! SMH

  • While You’re at it Kingwood, Maybe You can add some luxury towers, Uptown, Downtown, & The River Oaks.

  • This looks like a total pipe dream. Like something out of a utopian Disney Tomorrowland fantasy, and about as practical too. Cut the crap with this drive-up faux-urbanism.

  • Come on, y’all! It’s not going to flood because it floats.

  • @Jonathan, I almost agree with you that this isn’t newsworthy inasmuch as it’s extremely unlikely to happen but, ya gotta admit, this is one of Swamplot’s better comments sections…. Old School, you, GoogleMaster, Troy, et. al. all had me chuckling.

  • They always make the water look so inviting. Nice and blue. The reality is more like a disgusting brown sludge.

  • Yep probably will never be built but this is the type of forward thinking urban planning and architecture that should be the norm for Houston. I find it interesting how everyone supports Dutch style flood control with moving gates, etc. but somehow this project is “ridiculous”. Despite the jokes ladies and gentlemen, this is what sustainable flood control design and infrastructure looks like. Gorgeous. No wonder why we didnt get Amazon HQ2. Cant wait to see the “innovative design” of the innovation district…..more brown brick and green glass. Smh

  • It make me wonder if I made a wrong career choice. Someone obviously is making some money getting this project this far in the game.

  • Those renderings are a ghost town so that looks about right. I could see this on Clear Lake if NASA wasn’t a shell of its former self.

  • Facilities to accommodate water……. you mean like drainage?
    How about building some roads, that’s what we really need!

  • Fantastic idea. I say build it! Then it’ll flood… again, like that area does every couple years. Hell yeah, great idea!

  • Is Kingwood trying too hard to be city and suburb at the same time?


  • I concur that this is unlikely to ever come to fruition in any recognizable form, but that’s not because of anything to do with the site’s propensity for flooding. It’s simply a function of economic reality. If Clear Lake (which can and does support a huge sailing community) cannot sustain developments like this — and remember that there were about a dozen such projects proposed when the Endeavor highrise *appeared* to be successful and before that project went bust — then Lake Houston also can’t swing it.

  • last I checked Kingwood had a little ways to go before becoming Miami

  • I can see the intent to lure Clear Lake, Friendswood… folks who want to have water access and never to see another hurricane storm surge. Ever.
    Floating lounges and restaurants! Floating docks. Live in a high-rise and RELAX!
    Those towers look like USB memory sticks.

  • Lake houston isn’t deep enough … especially for 40 footers … but then again maybe rowboats. Kingwood can’t get it’s commuters out to I69 in the mornings as is, … maybe heli pads?

  • I absolutely abhor this idea! We don’t need any more development or anymore destruction of green space in the so-called livable Forest. It’s sickening to think that nobody cares about the little bit of space that’s left for birds who have sanctuaries there and wiildlife. I’m definitely going to find out how to protest any development in this area. And I think the people in Barrington need to be made aware as they all flooded severely in Hurricane Harvey.

  • looks like they’re expecting Woodland Hills to be extended across the San Jacinto, which is needed, but Kingwood Residents fight any road expansion. They’re almost as bad as residents in the Woodlands.

    I’d rather See Kingwood and Northpark extended eastward and Northpark connected to Rayford Rd.

  • What will happen to the soccer fields and Boy Scout Reserve? Will they remain in place or be relocated?

    What will the slab height be for the buildings in the new complex?

  • The mosquitos are not depicted in the drawings?

  • Hi.

    who is the owner? has this project gone out for bid?

  • First thing the developers would have to do is dredge the river. At the Park and Boat Ramp the river is 100% land locked. You can’t even get a Jet Ski up or down the river because the sand has silted in so bad.

  • This is just wrong. NE Houston is not Brickell and we don’t want it to be. We don’t need another overcrowded Conroe-Like abomination.

  • Now we know the real reason for dredging the river there.

  • Are they in crack? Barrington was destroyed in Harvey. So of course the smart thing to do is lay more concrete and give us more shopping malls???

  • You have got to be kidding. That water is gross, it is a natural wetlands and the planes go over that area. We do not have the room for any more traffic either. Did they not see that all that area flooded multiple times?

  • Unless they payed somebody off, the local IAH restricts heights of buildings in this area. That is why KWMC and MHNE do not have towers, nor are there other sky scrapers in the area.

  • Investors Beware! I would guess this is just a sham developer trying to raise money and run. It will leave us with a half finished rotting carcass / blight in Kingwood. We are NOT a skyscraper community nor do we want to be! If we did we would have moved to downtown of the woodlands. There are NOT 4000 people clamoring to buy a condo in Kingwood! Don’t start it – we don’t want it and it will never succeed. That is the worst flooded area of kingwood and building there will create MORE flooding in the future all over Kingwood. Even the irony – by building “the herons” they will DESTROY hundreds if not thousands of existing heron nests. Go away Romerica! You are not welcome here and we will fight you every step of the way.

  • Nobody cared about the trees being cut and destroyed when Kingwood was build , hiprocrats. Build it.

  • Oh hell NO! I, for one, don’t watch movies / entertainment on ANY screen in the Houston area- the bugs alone ruin the whole experience. Secondly, this massive OVER DEVELOPMENT will impact the already fragile eco-system and compound the flood prone San Jacinto River flood plain. It looks sleek and futuristic. The “floating” components are actually the best part of this boondoggle pie-in-the-sky fantasy dream project. I say the economy and/or the continuing flooding kills this overly ambitious. Look @ the Endeavor highrise- a big bust. It was an overly ambitious idea with way TOO optimistic sales targets. And it is on the WRONG side of Clear Lake. Like this mess. Now if the whole thing would float during our lovely deluges, then maybe they have something. But the foot print is too big. And the developers wouldn’t incorporate the Dutch model technology to alleviate flooding. Which would impact the whole area. Like any proposed development in Houston. I’ll believe it when it ACTUALLY is built & completed…

  • Claustrophobic! Guess we can’t do what’s really needed around here because it doesn’t fill local politicians pockets quick enough! How DID this environment annihilation monstrosity project even get this far?