1. Village Center
Developers with the planned 43-acre, mixed-use Village Center under development in the Jersey Village area said they are hopeful to see ground break on several elements in 2021.
2020—and the coronavirus pandemic—presented challenges, said Saul Valentin, the founder of Collaborate Architects, the firm brought on board to lead the project. However, momentum has recently picked up across the project’s multifamily, office, retail, hospitality and governmental elements, he said.
“Those areas are all moving forward; momentum has been gained in the last six to eight weeks of this year,” Valentin said. “The 2020 year was a black hole, not only in Houston and Jersey Village but all throughout the world. What we did was use the year to try to adjust and maximize our plans for the development.”
The first element to potentially move forward in 2021 is construction on a new City Hall building at the southwest edge of the development near Jones Road. The design work on the project is completed, and the construction timeline is up to the city, Valentin said.
Valentin said he expects ground to break this year on at least one medical office building and another office building, with work also potentially starting on a retail building and on the multifamily piece.
“We are looking forward to breaking ground on a good portion of Jones Road on both sides in 2021,” he said. “We’re getting ready to put some signs out there to get people excited for the vision of what it will look like.”Valentin described the Village Center as a “game-changer” for the city.
The concept has been something the city has been working to bring to life since at least 2010, and city officials have said its part of a larger effort to make the city more a local destination for people to spend time. Valentin said interest has been strong from retailers and restaurants because there are no projects in the area that will offer a similar atmosphere to what the Village Center is expected to bring.
“There have been some new restaurants that have opened in Jersey Village on the other side,” he said, naming Little Kitchen HTX and Senate Avenue Brewing as examples. “Those are great types of eateries that would perhaps have had interest in us had we been open.”
Collaborate recently finalized a deal with the co-working company The Work Lodge to join the center, and Valentin said he is also working with a nationally recognized multifamily company on a higher-end, 264-unit project with design work to start in 2021, though he declined to name the company on the record. The hotel element will likely be among the last to come online, he said, citing the effects of the pandemic.
The pandemic also caused Collaborate to re-evaluate its use of outdoor elements and gathering spaces, incorporating a greater focus on outdoor spaces into project’s master plan, Valentin said.
2. Bridgeland Central
Officials with the Howard Hughes Corp. said tenant interest remains strong on Bridgeland Central, a future 900-acre, mixed-use “urban hub” where preleasing has been underway since 2019.
The project, which will be located on both sides of the Grand Parkway south of Hwy. 290, will feature retail, restaurants, entertainment venues and hotels as well as 1,650 single-family units and 2,200 multifamily units at build-out.
Construction began in December at the 15.2-acre site of a multifamily project, The Starling at Bridgeland, in a part of Bridgeland Central that will be called Bridgeland Town Green that will be more of an urban town center, officials said. Work is slated to wrap up on the multifamily project in 2022.
"With Starling being the first component that will come to fruition, we have had a lot of interest in adjacent parcels," said Heath Melton, the executive vice president for master-planned communities for the Howard Hughes Corp. "Hopefully in the coming months we'll be able to make some announcements with some of the groups we are talking to that have had a high level of interest ... that will be elements of that urban town area."
3. Cypress Crossing
Work is continuing at Cypress Crossing, a mixed-use commercial project at the intersection of Hwy. 290 and Hwy. 6.
The project, which is being developed by Caldwell Cos., features retail, hospitality and office space. Work on a Staybridge Suites is nearing completion, and new retailer Tiff’s Treats opened in December.
Caldwell officials said they are working to close deals with an Asian restaurant, and a breakfast and brunch concept.