Midway to build 9-hole golf course, restaurant in East River development

Houston-based Midway is building a nine-hole, par-3 golf course and a new restaurant on the site of the company’s planned East River mixed-use district in the East End.

East River 9 will be the only public nine-hole golf course inside the 610 Loop, the developer said. Midway is partnering with PGA Reach Southern Texas, the charitable foundation of the Southern Texas PGA, to ensure the golf course caters to youth, active and retired military, and individuals of diverse backgrounds.

Phillis Wheatley High School in the Fifth Ward is also working with East River 9 to ensure that it will create an inclusive environment for students and their families.

“Our objective is to create an inviting and recreational environment for the local community as well as all Houstonians,” Midway Vice President Clayton Freels said in a statement. “East River 9 will grow the game by filling a void in the market between the driving range and the full 18-hole experience. It also brings a fun, community-oriented activation that will welcome neighboring residents to a site that has been closed to the public for over 75 years.”

The links-style golf course will have holes that range from 80 yards to 150 yards; a natural grass, 300-yard driving range; a 12,000-square-foot putting green; and a 1,000-square-foot pro shop, which will offer merchandise, rental clubs and refreshments. Two staggered tee boxes will play into all nine greens and provide players with the ability to play two separate nine-hole rounds.

The golf course will be anchored by Riverhouse Houston, a family-friendly restaurant and patio bar overseen by Houston-based DKC Restaurant Group, the owner of Luke’s Ice House and Otto’s Barbecue and Hamburgers.

Riverhouse Houston will serve a scratch kitchen menu coupled with a well-rounded beer, wine and spirits selection. The restaurant is being built in a repurposed industrial structure overlooking the golf course. Midway plans to add a kids playscape, outdoor games and fire pits.

The restaurant was designed to host corporate, social and charity events, Midway said.

“We are excited to create a welcoming and natural atmosphere that will serve Houston for years to come,” said Don Cristopher, project partner and founder of DKC Group Cos. “Riverhouse will offer much more than a traditional clubhouse and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.”

The project team behind East River 9 and Riverhouse Houston includes Smelek Design, which will serve as golf and landscape architect; VM Golf as golf general contractor; Sterling Golf as golf operator; Phil Schawe as Riverhouse design architect; MaRS as Riverhouse interior design; and Trinity Constructors as Riverhouse general contractor.

Construction began in May, and both East River 9 and Riverhouse Houston are expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2022.

The planned golf course and restaurant will be part of Midway’s 150-acre East River development. Midway’s plans for that project include 8.9 million square feet of office space, 1,440 multifamily units, 390 hotel rooms and 475 single-family homes. In all, East River will encompass 60 city blocks.

Midway bought 136 acres of its East River development in July 2016. The site used to belong to Houston-based KBR and is bordered by little over a mile of Buffalo Bayou. The project is expected to completed in 2023, according to Midway’s website.


By Jeff Jeffrey - Houston Business Journal