South Main Innovation District workshop series to address economic opportunity, housing affordability

The city of Houston and Rice Management C. will hold a series of workshops on the future of the South Main Innovation District project, beginning Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.
The city of Houston and Rice Management C. will hold a series of workshops on the future of the South Main Innovation District project, beginning Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.

The city of Houston and Rice Management C. will hold a series of workshops on the future of the South Main Innovation District project, beginning Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.

Beginning Sept. 29 at 6 p.m., Rice Management Co. and the city of Houston will kick off the first in a three-part community workshop series focused on sharing the vision for the upcoming South Main Innovation District project, according to a news release.

The public will be able to participate in the workshops, which will look at project opportunities and potential impacts. Preregistration is required to attend.

The Sept. 29 workshop will cover economic opportunities through job training and entrepreneurship; the Oct. 6 workshop will look at preserving and expanding housing affordability; and the final workshop Oct. 8 will focus on hiring and contracting opportunities in the Innovation District.

Included in the 16-plus-acre Innovation District is The Ion, a 270,000-square-foot facility envisioned as the district’s anchor at the former Sears building at 4201 Main St., a $110 million renovation effort. The Rice Management Co., which oversees the Rice University endowment, owns the property and is behind the project. According to the hub website, the project is slated to be completed in 2021.

According to the Innovation District website, the combination of The Ion and district will help in “prioritizing street life, public space and a mix of uses that embrace technology, community and sustainability.”


Greentown Labs, a Boston area-based clean-energy incubator, has also committed to building its new home in the district at 4200 San Jacinto St., replacing the former Midtown Fiesta grocery store.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


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