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First Look At Midtown Ion Innovation Hub's Plan For Surrounding Area Revealed

A rendering of The Ion, the 270K SF former Sears building in Midtown.

The public finally has a sense of the scope of Rice University's proposed redevelopment of the former Midtown Sears. Dubbed The Ion Innovation Hub, the project looks to be a game changer for the surrounding area. In a variance request first reported by the Houston Chronicle, plans show 13 proposed structures with green space connecting them. 

Work on the Midtown Sears and an accompanying parking garage are well underway and renderings of a finished project have been officially released. Plans for the surrounding area, owned mostly by Rice University, have been vague but ambitious. The documents filed by consulting firm Vernon G. Henry & Associates on behalf of Rice are the first look at plans for the area, which appears to include extensive landscaping. 

The Ion Innovation Hub Proposed Site Plan

The plans indicate Phase 1 will focus on the three parcels adjacent to the north, east and northeast of the Midtown Sears site, where three buildings totaling roughly 102K SF and a 22.5K SF civic plaza will be developed. Plans for the rest of the project will come in future phases. 

To view the full plan, go to page 142 of the Houston Planning Commission agenda here.