Real Estate / Neighborhoods

The Heights Gets a Massive New Mixed-Use Development

Say Hello to Houston’s New Restaurant Epicenter — and Heights H-E-B Neighbor

BY // 12.11.17

The Houston Heights is evolving — and it’s about to take another big step. Get ready for the Market at Houston Heights, a new 75,000-square-foot mixed use development on 1.7 acres along North Shepherd Drive.

Capital Retail Properties — the commercial brokerage firm behind the new project — wants to make its mark on the neighborhood.

With partner Randy Wile of Wile Interests, Inc., and architectural firm Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Capital is giving North Shepherd and West 16th a serious makeover.

The massive parcel at 1533 North Shepherd currently houses a used car lot and food machinery company, among other businesses. By mid-2019, the space will transform into a brand new lifestyle destination. Build out for tenants is anticipated to start in the fall of 2018. (Many of the old businesses have already closed.)

Market at Houston Heights will include a 30,000-square-foot space for dining, specialty, and retail services. The entire property consists of nine tracks and more than half a city block, not far from the forthcoming new Heights H-E-B.

“There’s a great need for retail in The Heights,” Anderson Smith, partner at Capital Retail Properties, tells PaperCity.

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It’s key that locals will no longer have to voyage far out to get their shopping done. “We’re excited to have a community destination, an amenity for the neighborhood,” says Smith, a longtime Heights believer.

The retail destination will be distinctly restaurant-driven. A one-story, 4,000-square-foot freestanding restaurant will sit at the corner of Shepherd and 16th street. There will be one restaurant at each of the end caps of the retail building, which will stand two stories tall and measure in at 26,000 square feet.

“Restaurants are the future anchors of retail,” Smith says. The firm is encouraging local, regional, and national restaurants at Market at Houston Heights.

“We want something for everyone,” Smith says. To that end, Capital Retail Properties is allowing each restaurant to have its own unique storefront. Instead of a homogenous blend, each eatery will stand out on its own.

Capital Retail Properties chose Michael Hsu Office of Architecture for its creativity and vision, especially with regards to its South Congress neighborhood projects in Austin. The Austin-based architects, a popular choice for Houston hospitality concepts, “are forward-thinking,” Smith says.

Michael Hsu will work to bring “the South Austin feel” to The Heights, according to Smith. “We want new bones and an old soul,” he says.

A combination of seamless metal, brick, steel, and glass will make up the building’s facade. Its geared around creating a historical industrial look. The landscaping will follow a modern approach, with low-lying greenery, including succulents. Planters will frame the walkways and patios along Shepherd.

A landscaped, 3,000-square-foot central plaza with seating will serve as a space for people to gather, and for weekend markets and tenant and community events. Parking will be at the back of the property, allowing for a more pedestrian-friendly vibe. There will be 160 parking spaces and plenty of bike racks.

A Neighborhood Changer

Shepherd was the firm’s top pick for the new restaurant, shopping, and services area. “Shepherd is really your main artery in The Heights,” Smith says.

Unlike Heights Boulevard and Yale Street, which dead end at 20th Street and Washington Avenue, respectively, Shepherd goes clear through the neighborhood, stretching North to I-45, and all the way through River Oaks and West University.

The City of Houston has plans to beautify Shepherd and improve its infrastructure, Smith says.

Market at Houston Heights will mesh with a rapidly gentrifying western side of North Shepherd. The property fronts Laird and 16th streets. This is a neighborhood already undergoing some massive change.

Heights Bier Garten sits to the South just a stone’s throw away from the Market space. A new Snooze is on its way to Lowell Street Market. Celebrity chef Ford Fry is developing Superica, a Tex-Mex restaurant, to go in the former Hunky Dory/Bernadine’s space at 18th Street.

Smith hopes Market at Houston Heights ties together Shepherd and Durham’s restaurant environment with the retail section of 19th Street.

Gentrification begins at 15th Street and goes up to 23rd by the new HEB in Smith’s analysis. “Everything from 15th to 23rd is going to be the sweet spot,” he says.

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