A long-vacant landmark at Allen's Landing, the storied Sunset Coffee Building is getting a new lease on life.
Built in 1910 along Buffalo Bayou, the warehouse is perhaps most famous for housing the Love Street Light Circus — the groovy '60s-era psychedelic club that played host to legendary regional acts like the 13th Floor Elevators and the Moving Sidewalks (an early ZZ Top project).
The historic building will undergo roughly $8 million in renovation work led by award-winning architecture firms;Lake|Flato and BNIM, along with landscape designers SWA Group.
After years of neglect, officials announced Tuesday that Sunset Coffee will undergo roughly $8 million in renovation work led by award-winning architecture firms Lake|Flato and BNIM along with landscape designers SWA Group.
Groundbreaking is scheduled for April with a completion date set for mid-2014. A bike, kayak and canoe rental facility will be located on the ground floor with offices for the Buffalo Bayou Partnership located above. The top floor and rooftop terrace, with its striking views of the downtown skyline, will be available for private events.
During a press conference next to the aging brick building, Mayor Annise Parker noted the historic importance of Allen's Landing — where the Allen brothers purportedly came ashore to found the City of Houston — as well as the bayou's increasing importance as a meeting place and recreation hub.
"I get asked regularly what my favorite place is in Houston and I always say my own home. But after that, I say the bayou," Parker laughed.
"I get asked regularly what my favorite place is in Houston and I always say my own home," Parker laughed. "But after that, I say the bayou."
"I've been out here in dragon boat races. I've been out here with the trash skimmer. I've been out here in kayaks. I've even watched the Art Guys swim across the bayou and drink out of it a few years ago . . . And they lived."
The Sunset Coffee Building, which is aiming for LEED certification, will be connected to nearby Commerce Street by a bridged walkway that extends out from the vintage warehouse to form a lookout over the bayou. Once fully refurbished, the building also will connect to the Buffalo Bayou Park trail system that runs from downtown Houston to Shepherd Drive.