An Eight Year Wait

Midtown to get a new park while losing two nightclubs: It's full speed ahead on the Superblock

Midtown to get a new park while losing two nightclubs: It's full speed ahead on the Superblock

Superblock, Montrose, field, skyline, downtown, October 2012, Camden
It's on its way . . . The mega-mixed-use project known as the Midtown Superblock is looking to break ground towards the end of 2013. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Camden Property Trust, Midtown, rendering, Superblock, Super Block
A large public park on the north half of the Superblock would feature regular arts programming, an underground parking garage, easy access to METRORail as well as restaurant and retail space. Midtown Houston/Facebook
Superblock, Montrose, field, October 2012
At the southern end of the block (towards the Houston Community College building, at center), Camden Property Trust will contruct a seven-story apartment complex. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Super Block, Superblock, Montrose, graph
For more than a decade, Camden and the Midtown Redevelopment Authority have been securing individual lots to make the dream of a 'superblock' a reality. Camden Property Trust
Superblock, Montrose, field, skyline, downtown, October 2012, Camden
Camden Property Trust, Midtown, rendering, Superblock, Super Block
Superblock, Montrose, field, October 2012
Super Block, Superblock, Montrose, graph

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.