HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Microsoft Corp. will be a major tenant in The Ion innovation hub, which is a redevelopment of the old Midtown Sears store by Rice Management Co., an arm of Rice University.
“Having Microsoft as a major tenant is a huge step forward in realizing the vision for The Ion as a dynamic hub bringing together key elements of innovation in Houston,” Rice President David Leebron said.
The Art-Deco store, built in 1939 on Main Street near the old Delman Theater, is being transformed in the Ion, a collaborative-type of space that is supposed to nurture start-up companies and interaction with technology businesses and entrepreneurs, etc.
The former Sears store, 4201 Main Street, is part of a 16-acre urban assemblage owned by the massive $6.5 billion Rice University endowment.
Microsoft will occupy space on the fifth floor of the Ion, Rice Management said in a press release, without disclosing the square footage of the space. The same kind of non-disclosure occurred when it was announced Chevron leased Ion space, leading to speculation that Chevron’s office is going to be small.
The Ion hub focuses on collaborations between entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, corporations, academics, and the Houston community, Rice Management said.
Said Ryan LeVasseur, Managing Director of Direct Real Estate, Rice Management Company. “We’re working to ensure The Ion and the surrounding district become the premier destination for businesses and innovators to grow and collaborate. Microsoft will help us realize this vision with its long-term commitment as a tenant and programming partner.”
The redevelopment of the 288,000-SF Sears building, started after Houston suffered the indignity of failing to make the Top 20 list of possible locations for Amazon’s HQ2.
In 2018, Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and hundreds of Sears stores have been shuttered. Fewer than 100 Sears stores remain open in the United States.
Dec. 17, 2020 Realty News Report Copyright 2020
File: Microsoft Leases Space in The Ion