$100 Million to Help Fund Buffalo Bayou Expansion in Houston

Originally proposed in 2019, the Buffalo Park East Master Plan, which would extend Buffalo Bayou Park to the East End and Fifth Ward neighborhoods, is suddenly in high gear.

Read Time: 2 minutes

September 27, 2022, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The Kinder Foundation this week announced a $100 million gift to launch a plan to expand Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston to the east to the East End and Fifth Ward neighborhoods.

“This visionary plan integrates new bayou parks, trails, housing, cultural destinations, and infrastructure improvements into the Greater East End and Fifth Ward neighborhoods,” according to a September 26 press release from the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. The Kinder Foundation gift represents a down payment on the $310 million total investment planned in the first ten years of the Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan, first announced in 2019. The Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan envisions parks and destinations that reflect the cultural and industrial legacies of Buffalo Bayou East for a four-mile stretch of the bayou from US 59 to the Port of Houston Turning Basin.

The announcement comes with an acknowledgement of the housing pressures in the two neighborhoods—the Fifth Ward in particular has been identified as one of the hot beds of gentrification in Houston. To address community needs for affordable housing, the proposal includes 13 acres of mixed-income development, funded with $24 million in 9% federal tax credits and Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant financing.

Both the City Council and Harris County Commissioners Court are expected to sign off on final documents this week, according to a paywalled article published by the Houston Chronicle. Additional coverage of the gift and the Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan is available from Chron and Houston Public Media. More details on Buffalo Park East are also available on the Kinder Foundation website.

Monday, September 26, 2022 in Buffalo Bayou Partnership


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