Midway’s East River mixed-use development inks largest office lease thus far

Illinois-based Impact Networking is the latest office tenant announced for the massive East River mixed-use district planned for Houston’s historic Fifth Ward.

The 16,000-square-foot lease in the East River 1 building makes Impact Networking the largest office tenant announced for the project thus far, according to Houston-based developer Midway. Impact Networking also will serve as Midway’s managed IT service provider.

With the latest lease, only one floor remains available in East River 1 (Building C). Other companies that have preleased space in the office building include Houston-based commercial architecture firm Method Architecture, which will occupy 9,000 square feet, and Teal, which leased 12,000 square feet for its new corporate headquarters. Teal provides a cloud-based system for delivering hot water to buildings without water heaters.

When announcing the Impact Networking lease Nov. 4, Midway also said it has begun vertical construction on the retail, restaurant and offices spaces for Phase I, which will span about 26 acres at the intersection of Jensen Drive and Clinton Drive.

Phase I broke ground in August. It will include approximately 250,000 square feet of office space, 110,000 square feet of retail space and more than 13,000 square feet of plaza greenspace. The owners of The Astorian event venue near Sawyer Yards will open a new 20,000-square-foot private event space and rooftop bar in Trail Head 1 (Building F). Phase I also will include a five-story multifamily component, called The Laura, with 360 apartment units.

In October, Midway announced Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries, Lick Honest Ice Creams and Urbn Dental have signed on as retail tenants in Phase I. Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries, a new concept created by local James Beard Award-nominated chef Jonny Rhodes, will occupy 4,000 square feet in The Depot (the ground level of a garage structure). Urbn Dental leased a 2,612-square-foot space in The Depot, and Austin-based Lick Honest Ice Creams leased 1,124-square-foot space in East River 1 (Building C).

Limestone Commercial Real Estate President Brandi McDonald Sikes and Sobi Qazi are serving as exclusive leasing agents for the remaining office space in Phase I. Lacee Jacobs and Laura Harness from Midway’s Strategic Leasing and Advisory team are handling the retail space.

Phase I is slated to be complete in 2023. Meanwhile, East River 9, a nine-hole, par-three golf course open to the public, and Riverhouse Houston, a family-friendly restaurant and patio bar, are expected to open in 2022.

The East River project team 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.

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. Previously announced plans for the 150-acre project include 8.9 million square feet of office space, 1,440 multifamily units, 390 hotel rooms and 475 single-family homes.

By Olivia Pulsinelli - Houston Business Journal