Developer pitches turning Chevron campus into Bellaire dining and entertainment destination

BELLAIRE, Texas (KTRK) -- It was a crowded and contentious hearing inside Bellaire City Hall all over the future of the former Chevron campus at 4800 and 4900 Fournace.

The current developer wants to revamp it, putting in a movie theater, athletic club, apartments and parking garages, along with restaurants and retail stores.

Some neighbors who butt up to the property say it's much needed.

"I can't wait for this development because I'm in total support of it," Mario Ariza said.

"Having something that you could walk to and having a movie theater possibly and those type of amenities nearby would be fabulous, I think, for the whole area," Allison Piper said.

But the possibility of sky high development along an already crowded S. Rice Avenue is a worry for others in the north Bellaire area.

"Traffic is one of my largest concerns and also crime, because there's going to be a denser population," Pamela Wogenstahl said.

The issue of groundwater and soil contamination lingers from Chevron's tenure using the property as a research park.

"There are 82 monitoring wells on the property, and the last report that I found on the website said that 41 showed contamination," said Charles Platt, referencing the TCEQ website and study.

Neighbors tell ABC13 Eyewitness News in the sale agreement Chevron stipulated no hospitals, schools, daycares, nursing homes or single family homes could ever be built on the site.

Vegetable gardens are also not allowed, along with ground-floor apartments.

The hearing in front of the planning and zoning board was simply a presentation with public comment.

No vote was taken and the board will likely continue to mull over a slew of questions regarding property value impacts and TCEQ studies.

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