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6 Houston Projects To Watch In 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted regular activity across most of Houston’s economy, but one sector has still been able to operate as an essential business throughout Harris County’s extended stay-at-home order: the construction industry.

Though day-to-day operations on work sites have slowed to allow for screening, social distancing and rigorous cleaning, several large developments in Houston are still slated to deliver in 2020.

A rendering of Texas Tower in Downtown Houston.

Project Name: Texas Tower

Developer: Hines and Ivanhoé Cambridge

Address: 845 Texas Ave.

Size: 1.14M SF

Status: On track

Estimated Completion: Oct. 21

Texas Tower is a new 47-story, 1.14M SF office tower on the 800 block of Texas Avenue, the former site of the Houston Chronicle. The building will feature multiple restaurants, networking spaces, a full-service conference facility, public gardens on level 12, a high-performance fitness center and an internal 11-level parking garage to accommodate more than 1,500 cars.

In addition to developing the project, Hines has agreed to relocate its global headquarters to the property, with a 15-year lease for 180K SF, or six floors. Law firm Vinson & Elkins signed a 16-year lease for 212K SF to occupy the top seven floors, and law firm DLA Piper signed a 14-year lease for 31K SF on one floor of the building. Texas Tower is 40% leased.

A rendering of Houston Farmers Market.

Project Name: Houston Farmers Market

Developer: MLB Capital Partners

Address: 2520 Airline Drive 

Size: 230K SF

Status: Delayed

Estimated Completion: Late 2020

Houston Farmers Market was originally established in 1941 by the Farmer’s Cooperative Marketing Association of Houston. Over the course of 77 years, the site grew from 9.5 acres to 18 acres. MLB Capital Partners acquired the market in 2017, with the goal of upgrading and modernizing the site. 

The new iteration of Houston Farmers Market will feature renovated facilities, modern infrastructure, diversified products and community programming. There will also be dedicated green spaces, which will accommodate events such as chef demonstrations, wine tastings and local entertainment.

The estimated completion date for late 2020 is about six months behind the original schedule, owing to factors such as Hurricane Harvey and delays from the city of Houston's Planning and Development Department.

A rendering of The Driscoll at River Oaks.

Project Name: The Driscoll at River Oaks

Developer: Weingarten Realty Investors

Address: 1958 West Gray

Size: 365.3K SF

Status: On track

Estimated Completion: First units delivered by July 1, project completion slated for January 2021

The Driscoll at River Oaks is a 30-story residential high-rise development, offering 318 one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury units for lease. The multifamily complex also includes 11.5K SF of ground-floor retail that will tie into the existing River Oaks Shopping Center.

Amenities include executive conference rooms and separate meeting spaces, an 18K SF pool deck on level eight, a landscaped terrace with a fire pit and lawn, a private media room and 24-hour gym. The property will be managed by Hanover Co. and pre-leasing of the complex is underway.

A rendering of the Village Towers development at Bunker Hill and I-10.

Project Name: Village Towers (Tower One)

Developer: Moody National Development

Address: 9655 Katy Freeway

Size: 150K SF

Status: On track

Estimated Completion: Tower One is slated for completion on June 15, with tenants to move in on June 22

Moody National’s multiphase, mixed-use development at Bunker Hill and I-10 sits just east of Memorial City. The development is composed of two six-story office buildings with ground-floor retail space. Each office building is 150K SF, and the development will also have a seven-story open parking garage.

Moody National’s headquarters will occupy the top floor of the first tower, which is set for completion in June. That tower is 91% leased. Tower Two has an estimated completion date of March/April 2021.

M-K-T development

Project Name: M-K-T

Developer: Radom Capital and Triten Real Estate Partners

Address: 600 North Shepherd

Size: 200K SF

Status: On track

Estimated Completion: Late summer/early fall

M-K-T is a collection of five adapted industrial buildings that sit on 12 acres in the Houston Heights. M-K-T is named after the historic Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad line, which has been converted to a hike-and-bike trail.

The development will comprise about 100K SF of retail and restaurant space, 100K SF of creative office space and 4 acres of green space for public usage, which will be programmed for events year-round. M-K-T will also have about 1,000 feet of linear frontage to the trail.

An aerial view of POST Houston in Downtown Houston

Project Name: POST Houston

Developer: Lovett Commercial

Address: 401 Franklin St.

Size: 670K SF

Status: Slightly delayed

Estimated Completion: Building construction slated for completion in late 2020, tenant fit-out in early 2021

POST Houston is a mixed-use project in Downtown Houston. The project is redeveloping the former Barbara Jordan Post Office, which was occupied by the U.S. government until 2015. The mixed-use project will have restaurants, retail, an international market hall, creative workspace and a 210K SF rooftop park and farm. Future expansion plans include a concert venue, a hotel and an entertainment room.

The project has remained mostly on track, barring some minor disruptions in the supply chain as a result of the pandemic. POST Houston was originally slated to open to the public in 2020, but public health concerns and tenant fit-out will delay the opening to 2021. The development has signed an undisclosed anchor tenant and pre-leasing is underway.