East River Makes Splash in Fifth Ward

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) –  Ground was broken Thursday on the first phase of the 150-acre East River, a mixed-use development that carries transformative opportunity for the eastern edge of downtown.

“Today marks the beginning of what will be one of the most impactful revitalizations in a generation for Houston’s urban core,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner, speaking to an audience sheltered from August sun by a white tent.

Developed by Houston-based Midway, the East River project sits about a mile from downtown on the northern bank of Buffalo Bayou.

“East River will transform the city’s waterfront east of downtown into a new economic center, creating jobs and welcoming a wide variety of residents, workers and visitors of all ages and diverse cultures,” Turner said.

The first phase of East River, located on 26 acres at the intersection of Jensen Drive and Clinton Drive, will include 250,000 SF of office space, 110,000 SF of retail, and a five-story, 360-unit multifamily community called The Laura.

The remainder of the 150-acres will be used for a 40-acre golf course and driving range called the East River 9 and for future development.

The ultimate completion of East River will occur in about 15 years, or perhaps a bit longer, said Midway Executive Vice President E.R. “Bo” Sanford II.

New Office Tenants

Sanford also announced new tenants for the office building:

Commercial architecture firm Method Architecture leased 9,000 SF of office space. TEAL has signed a lease for their new corporate headquarters in a 12,000 SF space.

In addition to the leases already executed, approximately 30,000 SF of office space and 31,000 SF of retail space is currently in negotiations, Midway said.

Midway has retained Limestone Commercial Real Estate’s  Brandi McDonald Sikes and Sobi Qazi as exclusive leasing agents for the remaining office space in Phase One. Retail leasing is handled in-house by Lacee Jacobs and Laura Harness from Midway’s Strategic Leasing and Advisory team.

East River is in the historically black Fifth Ward, adjacent to East End (Second Ward).

The development is expected to provide an uplift for the community, said the Rev. Harvey Clemons Jr., chairman of the Fifth Ward Redevelopment Authority.

“A rising tide will float all boats,” Clemons said.

The East River Project Team

The Midway project team for the first phase of East River, includes Page, commercial architect of record; OJB Landscape Architecture, landscape architect; BGE, Inc., civil engineer; Burton Construction, commercial general contractor; Harper Brothers, infrastructure general contractor; Daly, commercial structural engineer; Telios, commercial mechanical, electric and plumbing; EDI International, multifamily architect of record; Munoz + Albin, multifamily design architect; Mayfield and Ragni Studio (MaRS), multifamily interior design; OHT Partners, multifamily general contractor; HE, multifamily mechanical, electric and plumbing; Schultz Burman Engineering, PLLC, multifamily structural engineer.

By Ralph Bivens - Realty News Report