More than four decades of experience in real estate development has prepared Midway with a formula for building successful multi-use properties. But when it came to redeveloping the site at the former Town and Country Mall, the associated risks and complications were decidedly different.
"We had to consider what the opportunities could be if the mall went away," says Jonathan Brinsden, chief executive officer of Midway, of the site.
Town and Country sat at the crossroads of Interstate 10 and the Sam Houston Tollway, major North-South and East-West corridors that could potentially funnel two million people to the site within 20 minutes. Plus, it was poised adjacent to one of the wealthiest ZIP codes in Texas.
What emerged in mid-2009 was CITYCENTRE, a distinctive mixed-use development.
"We didn't know what the opportunity was, but all of those factors told us it would be a good opportunity," explains Brinsden.
What emerged in mid-2009 was CITYCENTRE, a distinctive mixed-use development that has drawn upscale retail shops and world-renowned restaurants, plus corporate tenants and discerning individual residents. In the intervening three years, the site has become a hub for unprecedented real estate growth in west Houston — and has even become a locational marker in itself.
More on the way
The development isn't slowing down. Since January, Kendra Scott has opened a second location of her jewelry boutique there, Texas de Brazil churrascaria has made its Houston debut and Baby, go green, an eco-friendly kids store from Houston mom Debra Ibáñez, made a jump from a web shop to its first brick and mortar.
"CITYCENTRE has become a logical second location for retailers after they open in the Galleria or Highland Village, as an alternative to opening in the suburbs, and sometimes for a first location," says Brinsden.
More tenants are slated to open by the end of the year, from concept restaurants like Grub Burger Bar, Seasons 52 and Salata, to designer women's boutique bevello, to stylish home goods and furniture shop Z Gallerie. Dryden Kreps, a purveyor of contemporary men's clothing, is also planning an expansion of its existing space this summer.
"CITYCENTRE is more than a retail location — there are a number of other opportunities here, from dining to entertainment."
"CITYCENTRE is more than a retail location — there are a number of other opportunities here, from dining to entertainment," Brinsden says. "We are generating trips and creating buying opportunities that wouldn't exist otherwise . . . We constantly have traffic through here from visitors, on-site residents, overnight occupants of Hotel Sorella or office building employees."
CITYCENTRE FOUR, a six-story, 132,500-square-foot Class A office building at 840 West Sam Houston Parkway N, will open this summer with upscale steakhouse The Capital Grille among its ground floor tenants, opening later this year.
This fall, Midway will break ground on CITYCENTRE FIVE, another Class A building with 195,000 square feet of office space over ground floor restaurant and retail space. Plans for the eight-story structure incorporate parking and three floors with 20-foot ceilings. The last developable tract is at the northern gateway of the property, adjacent to The Tasting Room, where Luby's currently stands.
"The energy business is really strong right now and that is driving a lot of the development," explains Brinsden. "We offer our office tenants an amenity-rich environment so that they can recruit and retain the best talent."
On the residential side of things, The Brownstones at CITYCENTRE from Carmel Builders is approaching build-out while another project, Ascent at CITYCENTRE, is expected to debut in January 2014. The 160-unit multifamily community has been designed by Steinberg Design Collaborative and Kathy Andrews Interiors with the sophisticated tenant in mind.