New Shopping Center Rising

Heights changer: A new shopping and entertainment hub with an Uchi connection set to rise in historic hood

Heights changer: New shopping hub with Uchi connection is coming

1 Heights Mercantile rendering February 2015
Rendering of the two-story, 19,000-square-foot building that will be constructed after demolition of the former Pappas Restaurants' warehouse. Heights Mercantile/Facebook
4 Heights Mercantile rendering February 2015
A 1920s bungalow on the site will be transformed casual retail and restaurant concept. Heights Mercantile/Facebook
3 Heights Mercantile rendering February 2015
Rendering of planned adaptive reuse of a 1940s commercial building on the site. Heights Mercantile/Facebook
Heights Mercantile rendering February 2015
Another 1940s commercial building on the site to be remodeled into more retail space. Heights Mercantile/Facebook
Heights Mercantile Google map February 2015
A map showing the location of the proposed Heights Mercantile. HeightsMercantile.com/Google Maps
1 Heights Mercantile rendering February 2015
4 Heights Mercantile rendering February 2015
3 Heights Mercantile rendering February 2015
Heights Mercantile rendering February 2015
Heights Mercantile Google map February 2015

Heights Mercantile, a new office, restaurant and retail development including a brand-new building and the renovation of three existing structures, is planned for the site of a former Pappas Restaurants warehouse along the entirety of 7th Street between Heights Boulevard and Yale Street. It would add another shopping and entertainment hub to the historic neighborhood.

Promoted as "Houston's Creative Neighborhood Destination," the Heights Mercantile vision includes demolishing the existing 30,000-square-foot warehouse and constructing a new two-story, 19,000-square-foot facility. Renovation plans call for transforming an adjacent 1920s bungalow into a casual retail and restaurant concept, as well as two adjoining vintage commercial structures dating to the 1940s into 8,800- and 7,500-square foot retail and restaurant centers.

 He envisions Heights Mercantile adding to the local entertainment scene, augmenting the neighborhood's popular 19th Street Shopping District. 

The four-building complex is a joint venture and brainchild of four Houston entrepreneurs: Steve Radom of Radom Capital LLC,  Neil Martin and Mike Sperandio of The Finial Group and Evan H. Katz of Twine Capital Investments LLC. The team retained Austin-based architectural firm Michael Hsu Office of Architecture.

"We all have an affinity and real love for the Heights," Radom tells CultureMap. "So when this site became available, we spent several months in extensive research of the Heights and the components’ prior use over the past 80 years. We also searched for an architect known for being historical-sensitive, as well known for designing exciting structures.

"We turned to Michael Hsu, who designed all the Uchi restaurants and has work along South Congress in Austin, which is known as a shopping destination."

The major players purchased the warehouse property from Pappas early last year, and then acquired the rest of the 1.4-acre site from longtime owners.

The team has spoken to several possible tenants for Heights Mercantile, Radom says, including establishments such as chef-driven restaurants with casual environments, boutiques and first-to-market apparel brands that "are all consistent with the family atmosphere of the Heights." He says he envisions Heights Mercantile adding to the local entertainment scene, augmenting the neighborhood's popular 19th Street Shopping District.

In addition to the four buildings in the development, Heights Mercantile is set to feature several hundred feet of frontage on both the Heights Boulevard running trail and the Heights Bike Trail in 7th Street, Radom notes.

"Given these enviable surroundings, the team has created the project as a pedestrian and bike-friendly destination for residents of the Heights and neighboring areas," he says. "Heights Mercantile will incorporate public green space with bicycle parking and new pedestrian walkways to integrate culture and commerce."

The project is in the final permitting phase, with a parking variance application now before the city's planning commission. Radom estimates construction of Heights Mercantile will begin mid-year.