HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Second Draught, featuring beers from Houston’s 70 craft brewers, will open early next year in The Ion, which is a redevelopment of the old Sears store in Midtown Houston.
The Ion, a new 266,000-SF redevelopment, will anchor a 16-acre innovation district developed by Rice Management Co.
“We will showcase the great beer being made right here in Houston and give smaller operators the chance to be tasted in the city’s most prominent setting for innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Sarah Pope, Co-Founder of Second Draught.
Incubator for Local Brewers
Adam Cryer, Pope’s husband and Co-Founder at Baileson Brewing Company, said the opportunity to help fledgling local craft brewers gain a wider following was a big part of the appeal of becoming the Ion’s taproom operator. “This environment is all about incubating start-ups and giving creators the support to succeed. We want to do the same for Houston’s craft beer scene. Call us the incuBrewer,” he said.
Pope and Cryer plan to create a space that becomes part of the neighborhood fabric. “We hope to be another community gathering place where people can meet, connect, drink beer, and brainstorm,” said Pope. “The next technology breakthrough idea could very well happen on a napkin in our bar, so we want to make sure it’s a place where people want to be.”
Burdette Huffman of The Blue Ox Group represented Rice Management Company in the leasing transaction for Second Draught, which will be one of a number of Houston-focused food and beverage offerings at The Ion.
Rice Management handles the real estate investments for the $6 billion Rice University endowment.
Destiny: Epicenter of Houston’s Innovation Ecosystem
The developers say the innovation district “is destined to become the epicenter for Houston’s innovation ecosystem as an inclusive, dynamic, vibrant and dense hub focusing on quality collaborations between entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, corporations, academics, and the Houston community.”
The concept for the innovation district was born after Houston failed to make the Top 20 list of sites under consideration for the Amazon HQ2 – a major corporate campus for Amazon.
The Ion, the redevelopment of a 80-year-old freestanding Sears on Main Street at Wheeler, is viewed as a catalyst for growth, said Ryan LeVasseur is managing director of direct real estate for Rice Management, in a recent interview.
‘The Ion is that catalyst to start future investment,” LeVasseur said. “It is also a catalyst for the broader, regional economy. If you look at the history of other cities, you realize that many had a reliance on too few industries. This could happen in Houston, but it doesn’t have to. Rice, and its president, David Leebron, have really stepped up, saying, “We can do something different. We have the real estate to attract talent and create new places to live and work and share ideas.” This is Rice’s commitment, in hopes of catalyzing new business.”
LeVasseur was guest on The Ralph Bivins Project podcast recently. To listen to the entire podcast CLICK HERE.
Oct. 11 , 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021
For more about Texas real estate, check out the book Houston 2020: America’s Boom Town – An Extreme Close Up by Ralph Bivins. Available on Amazon http://tiny.cc/4a2g6y
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Photos by Allyson Huntsman, courtesy of The Ion.
File: The Ion. Local Beer Innovators Featured at upcoming Midtown pub. Rice Management. David Leebron. Burdette Huffman. The Blue Ox Group
File: (2) Local Beer Innovators Featured at Second Draught