Pardon me for a lengthy post. It’s quite detailed. Please read all of it before coming to a conclusion. Its really quite fascinating. It will also answer the questions as to why I am writing this on a Real Estate related blog.
I picked my jaw up off of the floor this morning when I first read about EarthQuest on Facebook via @kenbrand – The Theme Park named EarthQuest has its own Facebook group and Fan Page already even though construction probably has not even started. The Group states that it will be appx. 500 acres – Another news release states that it will be at US 59 and Romans Forest Dr. Those of you familiar with the area know that means its on the East side of Montgomery County in/near Kingwood. Some of the news publications that I read date back to 2007 and I wonder if I am the last person in Houston to know about it.
Anyhow, The way it is worded on the FB group page immediately made me think that somehow the vision behind this was to be somewhat Eco Friendly. Looking at the pictures however made my Greenwash meter start dinging. So I began my research. A news article from Houston Business Journal did indeed use the words Eco Friendly.
Why did this concern me? Consider the amount of power it would take to run a Theme Park of this size and when you look at the Aerial Renderings the huge amount of water that is shown.
For the sake of not infringing on potential copyright I am linking to the pictures. The end of the post will have some of the links to news publications and discussion forums in which I researched.
Wow. What would really make this amazing in my mind would be to supplement the power with Solar or other Renewable Energy and for the park to use Rain Water Capture and ReUse. My interest was peaked even more as my irritation with Greenwash is high right now.
I will not get in to everything that I read, I will leave that for you if you are interested as the park initially was thought to be DinoPark and the vision is now so much larger than that. Article after article starting from 2007 through September of 2009 said about the same thing and led to dead ends. Here is some of what I read. **Updated – Link at bottom of post to Chamber of Commerce**
- “At the center of the park, said Lessem, will be the EarthQuest Institute, a $100 million research and educational center comprising 58 acres.” via FB Group
- “House Bill 4015, signed on July 12, will provide the equity to leverage investment in the dinosaur theme park project by creating a special tax zone in the area and facilitating bond financing.” via HBJ article
- “The park will be divided into sections— one devoted to sky, one to water, one to land, and one to prehistory, which will be called Pangaea” via IAAPA
Let’s hunt out the site itself for the Theme Park. Searching for the Developer – there was nothing on their site about it but did run across EarthQuest Adventures which had no information and HoustonDinoPark who state clearly that they are not affiliated with the park but have detailed information where they discuss more of the vision under FAQ.
- “The EarthQuest Institute will also house research facilities where “green” technologies will be developed, tested and introduced.”
- “Across US 59, there will be a “technology transfer center” which will offer office space for businesses supporting “green” technology and construction.”
- “Located next to the EarthQuest Institute Museum will be a hotel and convention center. There will be an emphasis on a “green” partnership program which seeks to minimize the hotel’s impact on the planet.”
And then my Favorite Part of it:
- “…will be for residential use. There will be both multi-family and single family structures, and all will boast the most energy efficient and eco-friendly construction products…..where scientist can study different aspects the master planned community of the future.”
So now, I am pretty exited about it. This could be huge for the Economy on the North Side of town as there supposedly are proposed Resorts, Night Clubs, etc. This could be great for tourism. And it could be great for green building in Houston.
But still, there appears to be no SET facts. As of September HCN states that they are still discussing Tax Rates in the area. Yet other sites say that it is proposed to open Late 2011 or 2012.
Does anyone have information on the true GREEN vision behind this park? I would love to know.
What is your opinion on all of it? You may want to read the articles first. Please share your opinion in the comments below.
I have signed up for information but don’t know when that will be. EarthQuest Institute
IAAPA – Half way down page
HoustonDinoPark – Not affiliated with developer
DinoDon – Referred to in news publications
Chamber of Commerce – More interesting links and appears to be the most updated site.