After holding two public hearings to change the zoning for property along Blue Heron Parkway and honoring a request for a planned unit development, Baytown council has opened the door for a new luxury senior living facility.
The facility is planned for 13 acres at 4300 North Main and Blue Heron Parkway.
The Leyendecker Group in Houston submitted the planned facility, also known as the Blue Heron Parkway Development. The facility is going to be dedicated to people ages 55 and older who plan to remain active, independent, and involved in the Baytown community.
Charles Leyendecker, head of the Leyendecker Group, said the site will have 157 units with 47 cottages, each with its own drive-in garage. Green space, walking trails, dog parks, outdoor gathering areas, valet services, a beauty salon, a barbershop, fulltime concierge services and an upscale curb appeal are all part of the planned development.
“We are taking a little bit different approach,” Leyendecker said. “We intend to be more service-oriented.”
Leyendecker said there is nothing like it in Baytown.
“I cannot recall any projects like this, even in Houston,” he said. “And I want to say Baytown has absolutely the best planning department we’ve ever seen. They are wonderful.”
Leyendecker said there would be many benefits to the City of Baytown by having this facility.
“The current taxes for the property is around $9,000 a year,” he said. “Our project is estimated to cost $25 million, and the tax revenue off of this project would be $600,000. So, you would see a substantial increase in this plan.”
Leyendecker said the facility would also be compatible with Baytown’s 2025 Comprehensive Plan by filling in vacant lots within city limits.
“Hopefully, it will be a win-win project for the city and for us, too,” Leyendecker said.
Before council approved the PUD, both public hearings were held. No one outside of Leyendecker spoke at either hearing.
Council’s first action was to vote on rezoning a 7.04-acre portion of land of the 13 acres at 4300 North Main Street from a Mixed Residential at Low to Medium Densities, or an SF2, to General Commercial zoning district.
Director of Planning and Development Services Tiffany Foster said for the GC zoned portion, more intense uses such as hotels and gas stations were removed.
Before making the final vote to approve the facility, District 4 Councilwoman Heather Betancourth spoke about how beneficial the facility would be to her constituency.
“I am very familiar with the property and have examined it carefully,” Betancourth said. “I’ve also talked with current residents around there. I think it is a good solution for that vacant lot. I think the concepts of having cottages, suites, valets, and concierge services are the level of project we would expect and like on that lot. I am very favorable toward this development.”
Mayor Brandon Capetillo agreed the project is the right fit for the city.
“I speak to a lot of people that have retired here locally. They have large lots here in Baytown and want to maintain their residence in Baytown, and this is the type of amenities they look for,” Capetillo said.
Councilman Chris Presley said he was happy with the project.
“When the 2007 bond passed, it was supposed to open up a lot of new developments there, but that hasn’t occurred as of yet,” Presley said. “It is nice to see some new development to finally occur along Blue Heron Parkway and something is happening further in-town rather than the outskirts. I am in full support.”