After eight years of delays, the long-anticipated urban renewal project known as the Midtown Superblock is official, with a groundbreaking tentatively set for fall 2013.
Camden Property Trust and the Midtown Redevelopment Authority (MRA) — which together own the narrow strip bounded by Travis, Main, Anita and McGowen — will create a six-acre development that includes a public park and retail space on the northern half and a seven-story apartment building on the southern portion. (The Houston Business Journal first reported on this development.)
The new six-acre Midtown Superblock will include a public park and retail space on the northern half and a seven-story apartment build ing on the southern portion.
The final piece of the Superblock came together in September when MRA purchased the last available lot, a shopping center at Anita and Travis housing the popular Thien An sandwich shop and two nightclubs. The redevelopment authority will swap its newly-acquired property with Camden in exchange for land at the northern end of the block.
“It’s always been a special piece of land because of its size and location,” Camden CEO Ric Campo told HBJ. “It’s such a big commitment because it’s such a large site.
"We really had to think through what the long-term plans would be and decide on the best use of the land.”
While Camden has been acquiring various lots on the block for more than a decade, Campo explained that the company felt the "market is right" to move forward with the project, especially considering the city's strong multi-family real estate. Construction is expected to begin on Camden's new 300-unit apartment building in about a year.
MRA executive director Matt Thibodeaux said his organization hopes to break ground on its three-acre park — which features 8,500 square feet of retail space and an underground garage — as early as March 2013.