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Historic Imperial Sugar Refinery Sold for Huge Mixed-Use Redevelopment

Rendering of the Imperial Market.

Rendering of the Imperial Market.

SUGAR LAND, Texas – Imperial Market Development LLC has purchased the 26-acre Imperial Sugar Refinery for the development of an upscale, 855,000-SF, mixed-use retail, office, hotel and residential project located in Sugar Land, on U.S. 90 between Highway 6 and U.S. 59, southwest of Houston.

The historic structures on the site will be redeveloped, including an eight-story char house that will become a 185-room hotel. Previous reports said it will be a Starwood-affiliated Aloft hotel.

The $200 million project is being developed by a partnership led by principals Geoffrey Jones and James Murnane. Jones, was co-developer of the downtown Houston Pavilions project, which now operates as GreenStreet under different ownership.

Construction will start in September 2016 with a projected grand opening in late 2017.

Retail and office leasing will be handled by Transwestern.

The retail, dining and entertainment components of the project will total 290,000 square feet of space, including a 55,000-square-foot, nine-screen Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Alamo Drafthouse, which has multiple locations throughout Texas.

Other notable tenants include Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen, a top-rated, French Quarter-style restaurant serving Creole and Cajun influenced fare that will be opening its second location to complement its current operation at Market Street in The Woodlands. The project will also feature The Guild Bar, a high-end lounge providing a one-of-a-kind gathering place for Imperial Market patrons. Popular Italian restaurant Mia Bella will also be joining Imperial Market with its fourth location in the Houston metropolitan area.

The Company Town (an upscale coffee shop and casual eatery) and Frost Gelato have signed leases to join the roster of tenants as well. Vino & Vinyl, a popular local wine bar, will be part of the project and will serve fine wines accompanied by light fare in an environment that features music played on record players from new and classic vinyl albums. Many fashion and soft goods tenants are expected to soon commit to Imperial Market and will be announced shortly.

Retail leasing for the project is headed up by Nick Hernandez, Crystal Allen and Chace Henke of Transwestern.

“Having the chance to be a part of preserving the history of the Imperial Sugar refinery and provide a world-class retail, restaurant and entertainment destination is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that our team could not be more excited about,” Hernandez said. “Initial feedback from retailers is outstanding, and we are looking forward to announcing many more best-in-class tenants in the coming months.”

Imperial Market will also include approximately 90,000 square feet of Class A office space that will be located above the project’s retail shops and restaurants. The office space will cater to the needs of local professionals and larger corporate users that value proximity to the various goods and services that will be offered at Imperial Market.

Office leasing will be handled by Eric Anderson and Greg Tilton of Transwestern. “The quality of the workplace and the ability to walk to a wide array of restaurants and stores is extremely appealing to office users, and it provides companies with a huge competitive edge with respect to hiring and retaining the most skilled work force,” stated Anderson.

The site will also contain a 274-unit, luxury multifamily complex developed by Sueba USA, one of the most experienced multifamily developers in Texas. According to John Chiang, executive vice president of Sueba USA, “We recognized the inherent value of being part of a development like Imperial Market. The shopping and services located on-site round out an amenities package for our residents that will be unrivaled in the Houston metro area.”

Imperial Market is also home to the recently opened Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, which is affiliated with the Children’s Museum of Houston.

The project site will also continue to feature the popular Farmer’s Market at Imperial, which draws 150,000 visitors to the site annually. Imperial Market will also be the permanent home of the Sugar Land Heritage Museum & Visitors Center.

The project has been designed by the HOK architectural firm. Harvey Builders is the general contractor and LJAis engineer. The Hunton Group will provide HVAC and Bancorp South provided financing for the land purchase.

The Imperial Market site is located within the 720-acre, master-planned community of Imperial, a project being developed by The Johnson Development Corp.

July 19, 2016

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