Infill Sites, Including Some In Opportunity Zones, Set For Major Redevelopment In EaDo And East End District

EaDo and East End, two communities east of Downtown Houston, are primed for additional growth.

Over the last few years, developers have converted industrial buildings in EaDo into a host of retail, restaurants, bars, breweries and creative office concepts. Neighboring East End District is expected to be the next area infused with capital investment.

Local developers and investors will discuss the Future of EaDo and East End District on June 4 in Houston.

Here are four projects planned or under construction in EaDo and East End District that can take the areas to the next level. Many of these projects transform infill buildings into mixed-use environments. Some of the sites are within a qualified opportunity zone.

Houston-based Midway is an active player in the future direction of East End. The highly anticipated 150-acre East River project is being designed to create a walkable live-work-play community along 6,000 feet of Buffalo Bayou waterfront.

The multiphase, mixed-use project is within an opportunity zone. It will include residential, restaurants, office, retail, entertainment and recreational space. Midway acquired the East River redevelopment in July 2016.

“The potential for all people of Houston to enjoy and experience a true ‘river’ here is one of the most exciting aspects of this property,” Midway Senior Vice President Ann Taylor wrote in an email. “It can welcome and celebrate a wide range of ages, lifestyles, cultures, attitudes and aspirations.”

The project is still in pre-development but Midway said it has invested considerable resources in advancing the planning of the first 26 acres of development. The project will be constructed in five phases. CBRE will be responsible for office and commercial leasing for Phase 1.

East River will include 8.9M SF of Class-A office space, 500K SF of retail space, more than 1,400 multifamily units, more than 475 single-family homes and more than 12 acres of green space, per marketing material released in March.

Midway also owns two properties on Navigation Boulevard and Canal Street. The land tract on the east side of the intersection includes a multi-tenant office building. The Houston Maritime Museum relocated to the building after Hurricane Harvey from its previous location in the Medical Center area.

The museum’s previous location was limited in space, had very little parking and the building itself needed repair to the point that its collection was endangered, according to Midway.

The new space has sufficient room in the interior for the museum’s growing collection. The Houston Maritime Museum plans to make its permanent home at East River. Gensler will design the waterfront building.

Midway is also selling a 6.24-acre infill development site, which is in a qualified opportunity zone. Given the amount of interest in opportunity zone properties, Midway said it decided to market the site to help expand investment opportunities in East End. HFF’s Davis Adams and Michael King are marketing the site.

Lovett Commercial will rehab the former Houston Post building at Polk Street and Emancipation Avenue into Polk District, which will feature a grocery store, a pharmacy and a café, per marketing material.

A new 30K SF building is proposed that will include a Sprouts Farmers Market and office space, according to the marketing material. The existing three-story structure will be converted into a CVS, which will include a pharmacy and drive-thru.

The redevelopment includes additional space for retail, office and entertainment concepts. It will also have ample parking options and be pedestrian-friendly, per the marketing material.

Lovett Commercial did not provide any project updates by press time.

Navigation Place has signed two tenants and has room for up to four more concepts including an end cap with patio, according to Houston-based Ersa Grae Corp. principal Reza Ebrahimi. About 9K SF remains to be leased.

Memphis-based Corky’s BBQ and Allegiance Bank are the first tenants to be announced. This marks the second Houston-area location for Corky’s BBQ, which has a location in Katy. Allegiance will occupy 4,500 SF with a two-lane drive-thru.

The single-story, two-building retail center at 2929 Navigation broke ground in April. It is expected to deliver in October, Ebrahimi said. The rest of the tenant mix will include service-oriented retail and fitness concepts. A restaurant is considering space in the center.

In December 2016, Ersa Grae Corp. secured the 1.8-acre land tract from W. W. Gage Investment LLC, according to the Houston Business Journal. The developer demolished a warehouse that previously occupied the site.

CBRE’s Radkey Jolink and Bruce Wallace are responsible for leasing activity at Navigation Place. Davis Commercial’s Ryan Neyland represented Allegiance Bank.

Known for its adaptive reuse projects in Houston, Kaldis is reviving another historic building.

The Cameron, a 60K SF Art Deco-style building at 711 North Milby, will be a new space for local creatives and professionals. The mixed-use development is slated to open in the fall.

Kaldis acquired the building in November from the seller, CDAB II LP, which also owns the shuttered Maxwell House coffee plant next door. The purchase included adjacent parcels at 3905 Rusk and 1000 North Milby. Harris County appraised the properties at a combined $2.2M, according to Kaldis.

The 1930s-era building was constructed for Cameron Iron Works, which was founded in 1920 by Texas wildcatter James Smither Abercrombie, who purchased a controlling interest in a rig repair and steel-forging shop from Harry S. Cameron. The company is now part of Schlumberger.

By Tierra Smith – Bisnow Houston