As promised, the groundbreaking of Houston Pavilions took place yesterday amid much fanfare. Here's what we have to expect:
The developers of the Houston Pavilions say it will open in October of 2008.
The $170 million project will have 360,000 square feet of retail space and a 200,000-square-foot office tower.
A nearby 1,525-space garage has been leased. It will be connected to the rest of the project via a skybridge.
The newest tenants include clothing retailer Forever 21 and Books-A-Million.
Both will build urban flagship stores and join House of Blues, Lucky Strike Lanes and at least seven restaurants, including McCormick & Schmick's, Red Cat Jazz Cafe and Lawry's, the Prime Rib.
The retail space will occupy the first two levels of the project, with entertainment venues on the third floor. A central courtyard will have space for restaurant patios.
"We will be the people place to see and be seen in the city of Houston," said [William] Denton, who is developing the project with Geoffrey Jones.
Looks like we're going to have to be careful about driving through downtown soon, as there's a lot of construction going on, with perhaps more to come:
Construction on the Pavilions is happening at the same time as One Park Place, the 37-story apartment building with 346 units. It's the first of its kind to be built downtown in more than 40 years, according to developer Marvy Finger of the Finger Cos.
The tower should be completed in early 2009 and have retail space on the first floor.
The developers shouldn't have trouble leasing the loft-style office space, as the amount of available downtown space has been shrinking. The office market posted a big drop in vacancy during the last quarter.
Vacancy for top-class downtown buildings fell to 10 percent, according to real estate firm CB Richard Ellis.
Real estate observers said the project will help spur more shops, restaurants and convention activity.
"I think it'll definitely be a catalyst for more development," said Mark Sixour of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, a national mortgage banking firm that secured the project's financing and equity.