The Ion Innovation Hub Adds Common Desk and Transwestern

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) The Ion, the redevelopment of the historic Sears store in Houston’s Midtown, has named the Common Desk co-working firm and Transwestern to key roles at innovation hub.

Common Desk will operate more than 58,000 square feet of experiential, flexible office space on The Ion’s second floor, offering coworking, private offices, team office suites and a training room.

Rice Management Company, which is affiliated with Rice University, is the developer of The Ion and surrounding 16-acre district.

The Ion is expected “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 when it opens in 2021. The 288,000 SF building will accommodate multiple uses, including shared workspace, prototyping and maker resources, event space, classrooms, food and beverage offerings as well as indoor/outdoor communal areas with shared amenities.”

The Ion is being built in a multi-story Sears store building at 4201 Main Street, nearthe old Delman Theater site at Wheeler Street.

Hines is managing the redevelopment of the building. Design is by architects Gensler and James Carpenter. Commercial real estate veteran Drew Morris of Savills is leasing the project.

A considerable amount of construction has been completed. The multi-level Sears store is being opened up by basically by cutting out large portions of the interior floors, creating an atrium and allowing light into the heart of the building.

The redevelopment work stripped off the exterior’s metal sheath, which was installed as a bad 1960s remodeling, which degraded the Art Deco beauty.

Rice Management said Common Desk, and Transwestern, work closely with Riice to help build The Ion into a fully realized innovation hub and ensure a vibrant and engaging space for tenants, start-ups, and community members.

Kevin Roberts of Transwestern

“Transwestern is excited to work alongside Rice Management Corporation as property and facilities manager for The Ion, while contributing to its mission of innovation, collaboration and inclusion,” said Kevin Roberts, Southwest President at Transwestern. “As Transwestern continues to elevate our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are proud to stand alongside The Ion in supporting minority and women-owned businesses in enabling innovation that will shape the future of Houston.”

The Midtown Houston Sears store closed in 2018, the year Sears Holdings filed Chapter 11. In the nation, fewer than 100 Sears remain in operation.

Common Desk, a Dallas-based has three other co-working operations in Houston. In the 2500 CityWest building in Westchase; in the East End at 2339 Commerce Street and at 3040 Post Oak in the Uptown/Galleria area. In addition, there are a number of Common Desk locations in Dallas and Austin.

Nov. 17, 2020 Realty News Report Copyright 2020

File: The Ion Innovation Hub

File: (2) Rice Management. Sears. Midtown.

Caption: Rendering of the renovated Sears building Midtown.The Ion Innovation Hub

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