Lovett Commercial, a Houston-based developer of neighborhood shopping centers and urban redevelopments, is under contract to buy the downtown post office property and potentially turn it into an urban complex of shops, offices, housing and perhaps a hotel.
“It’s extremely rare to find a 16& acre parcel in any major U.S. downtown,” the company said Monday in a statement emailed to the Chronicle by vice president Burdette Huffman.
Conceptual plans are still being devised, but the company said it expects “to attract multiple uses such as retail, creative office, residential and/or a boutique hotel. Tenants that we have visited with are extremely excited about the project, its location and the possibilities.”
Lovett is also exploring ways to reuse portions of the site’s existing buildings, which sit on the northwestern edge of downtown, just north of Buffalo Bayou and across from the Theater District.
Anne Olson, president of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, was pleased to hear of the company’s plans.
“I think Frank Liu is a real visionary,” Olson said of Lovett’s president, who also develops urban housing. “I think he’s willing to think outside the box.”
She said the plans are in line with the type of mixed-use development the partnership recommended more than a decade ago in a comprehensive master plan for the bayou.
Olson recalled several years ago during a bayou-related focus group when multiple prominent developers called the downtown post office property “the key site for development along the bayou.”
See here, here, and here for an abridged history of this site. It has always seemed to be destined for some form of mixed-use development, with a bit of speculation about it as a transit hub thrown in for flair. There’s not a whole lot immediately around it, so it will be interesting to see if this project spawns other development, or if this project is executed as something that is intended to be a stand-alone destination. What would you like to see in this space?