Developers have released new renderings showing the first phase of a 53-acre proposed Levit Green development near the Texas Medical Center, which is expected to break ground in the second quarter this year.

“Houston is quickly emerging as a top life science cluster city and has been able to do so without the purpose-built product established in other locations,” said John Mooz, senior managing director at Hines, a Houston-based international real estate developer, in a news release. “The Phase 1 project at Levit Green has been thoughtfully designed from the inside out to include features that are required of a top-tier research environment. We are excited to deliver the highest quality of building that will enable industry leaders to better conduct their critical research.”

The advanced laboratory facility, which represents part of Phase 1 of the development, will include redundant emergency power and enhanced structural vibration controls along with large floorplate configurations to allow for research and office functions to be designed more collaboratively, according to a Feb. 11 news release from Hines. About 25,000 square feet of the life science building's ground floor will be set aside to support biotechnology startups.

Levit Green's Phase 1 will also include the development of green spaces and a network of small lakes, along with a fitness center, garden, conference center, and cafe and restaurant space.

Hines is working with 2ML Real Estate Interests, formerly Grocers Supply Co., which the Levit family owned for almost 100 years and which formerly used the Holcombe Boulevard property for its supply warehouses. The district now has nine projects in development looking to offer up to 4 million square feet of labs and mixed-use space designed to support the life science industry.

Completion and occupancy for Phase 1 is expected by the fourth quarter of 2022.