East River Signs Retailers to Redevelopment

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – The new East River mixed-use redevelopment has signed new tenants, including a New York City coffee shop operator, as construction of the first phase of the 150-acre project advances.

The developer of East River, Houston-based Midway, announced El Condor Coffee Roasters and Tomi Jewelry will open in the first phaset. Additional retail tenants confirmed for Phase One include Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries, Lick Honest Ice Creams, URBN Dental, and a new event venue and rooftop bar from the owners of The Astorian. Confirmed office tenants include Impact Networking, Method Architecture and TEAL. Construction is underway on the project’s first phase and is slated for completion in 2023.

The 26-acre first phase of East River is near the intersection of Jensen Drive and Clinton. It will include 300,000 SF of office, 100,000 SF of retail, and The Laura, a five-story, 360-unit multifamily development.

Midway’s long-term vision for East River includes estimates of 9 million SF of office space, over 400 single-family homes, hotels and more multifamily or  a corporate campus might be part of East River.

“At Page, we feel East River is one of the most important urban redevelopment sites for Houston in recent memory. Less than a mile from downtown and inside the 610 Loop, the multi-phase, mixed-use development will transform Houston’s historic waterfront along the eastern portion of Buffalo Bayou,”said architect David Quenemoen of Page, in a statement. “We are particularly excited that the redevelopment of the former shipping and industrial complex will open more than a mile of waterfront that was previously inaccessible to the wider community for many decades, and will include improvements to streets, drainage, sidewalks and lighting, bike and pedestrian access, green spaces, parks and trails. The project has been designed to recall the manufacturing and shipping heritage of the site while still creating architecture and places that are new and exciting. Traditional, hardworking building materials like brick, structural steel, and metal siding are used in innovative and creative new ways throughout the site.”

New Tenants

El Condor Coffee Roasters will open its first location in Texas and second in the country in the base of East River 1 (Building C), with convenient access to the office building’s lobby. The 1,500 square-foot space will feature an open-format layout, as well as an outdoor patio. Since launching El Condor’s New York City outpost in February 2022, El Condor has introduced a new level of hospitality to the coffee space. At El Condor HTX, guests will enjoy El Condor’s signature line: El Espresso (Brazil + Sumatra), Best Foot Forward (Brazil + Guatemala), and Worka Sakaro (Ethiopia), as well as an exclusive-to-Houston blend. On the food front, guests can look forward to an all-day menu offering an array of fresh baked goods, breakfast and lunch items, as well as plenty of healthy options featuring local ingredients and products. Beer and wine offerings will be sourced locally as well.

Tomi, a collection of jewelry designed in Houston and made in the USA and Italy, will debut its first brick-and-mortar store on the ground floor of The Laura apartment building. Started by two Asian-American women during the pandemic, Tomi features bold, versatile, mix-and-match pieces inspired by its founders’ multidimensional personalities and Asian heritage.

“We are thrilled to welcome El Condor and Tomi Jewelry to the robust lineup of first-to-market concepts East River will introduce to the area,” said Lacee Jacobs, Senior Vice President of Strategic Leasing and Advisory.

Confirmed Tenant Updates and Expansion

Previously announced tenants are already looking to expand their footprint at East River prior to move-in, and space is leasing up fast. Method Architecture has leased an additional 1,400 square-feet in Building C, bringing its office space to 10,400 square feet to accommodate the firm’s rapid growth.

Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries, a new concept by local James Beard Award nominated Chef Jonny Rhodes, plans to open a temporary 1,270 square-foot location early fall in a nearby building owned by Midway at 2311 Canal Street. Once Phase One construction is complete, the self-sustainable boutique bodega will relocate to their permanent 4,000 square-foot space in The Depot (the ground level of the garage).

Construction Update

Construction is in full swing on East River’s first phase, with framing for The Laura is underway and structural construction for Buildings C and F progressing quickly. Slabs have also been poured for the two River Pavillion restaurant buildings. Phase One is slated for completion in 2023.

The East River 9 golf course is also under construction in East River.

Expected to open in September, the nine-hole golf course, with a pro shop, the Riverhouse Houston restaurant and patio bar, six pickleball courts and 300-yard driving range will create a recreational haven in East River.

“Our objective is to create an inviting and recreational environment for the local community as well as all Houstonians,”says Clayton Freels, founding partner of the restaurant and golf venture.   “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 150-acre East River development earlier served as the campus of the Brown & Root engineering and industrial services firm. Before that it housed a cottonseed oil mill owned by William Marsh Rice, whose legacy includes Rice University.


June 17, 2022 Realty News Report Copyright 2022

File: East River Signs Retailers to Redevelopment

Image Courtesy Midway

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