A once-neglected section of downtown is poised to become a hub of social and commercial buzz, thanks to a local developer. Two historic buildings at the intersection of Main and Commerce — the Raphael and Dorrance buildings — have been re-imagined to Main&Co.
The new, mixed-use development will be home to creative offices, nightlife, and a contemporary art gallery. The five-story downtown redevelopment already houses The Cottonmouth Club and Lilly&Bloom, both cocktail lounges on Main Street, and contemporary arts space LCD Gallery.
Available creative office space, totaling around 16,950 square feet, will be leased by NewForm Real Estate. CBRE will lease the remaining 5,000 square feet of street-level retail.
Main&Co — so named for the intersection of Main and Commerce — is the brainchild of New Form’s Dan Zimmerman, who is no stranger to adaptive reuse. (Zimmerman’s family is behind the beloved and historic La Colombe D’or hotel in Montrose.) The grouping of buildings has been home to a hotel and various dry goods purveyors in Houston’s early days. More recently, the buildings have been home to bars and restaurants.
Zimmerman has said he hopes to “activate” the street. A vocal proponent of preservation and sustainability, he has directed the restoration of the building’s original exposed brick walls, ceiling beams, windows and sky-lights, and hardwood floors. These older elements are fused with modern stainless-steel kitchens and redesigned private en-suite bathrooms, and a roof-top solar panel system. The site promises front-door street access to Houston’s Metrorail, walking proximity to hospitality, entertainment, fitness studios and sweeping downtown views.
Calling the area “ground zero for downtown,” Zimmerman envisions a bustling, walkable block, reminiscent of the block’s early days as downtown’s commercial and social center. “The redesign of these two iconic buildings focuses on preserving and restoring as much of the original interior character as possible, while also incorporating modern, sustainable, and creative conveniences found in new state-of-the-art buildings,” said Zimmerman. “The final product is Main&Co, a unique real estate offering located in the heart of Downtown that complements the area’s resurgence as a destination for work, life and play.”