Imperial Market Development presented its plans for the former Imperial Sugar refinery to Sugar Land City Council during its June 23 meeting. Renovations to the historical site are intended to preserve the existing buildings and to attract new commercial activity to Hwy. 90.[/caption]
The former Imperial Sugar refinery is slated to become Sugar Land’s next retail and commercial center. Imperial Market Development unveiled new plans to renovate the historic site to include shopping and dining options.
The initial designs for Imperial Market detail an upscale mixed-use project that also features a 120-room Aloft Hotel in the former Char House, Class A office space and residential options.
Construction on the 777,500-square-foot former refinery—located off Hwy. 90 and Hwy. 6—is expected to begin later this year and is projected to be complete in 2017.
Doug Goff, chief operation officer for Johnson Development Corp.—the company overseeing development of the site—said the designs for Imperial Market are in line with the company’s goals to preserve the historic buildings.
“We’re very impressed with the project design,” Goff said. “It’s just the right plan for the site.”
Imperial Market will include 269,600 square feet of upscale retail space and restaurants within the former three-bay warehouse and silos. Geoffrey Jones and James Murnane, founders of Imperial Market Development, said the historical factory’s proximity to Constellation Field makes it an ideal site for attracting new retail and restaurant options.
Murnane said the construction of Constellation Field has created a demand for new commercial and dining options in the area near Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 90.
“[The Imperial Sugar refinery] is a great site that was waiting for something to come together, and it was waiting for the right time,” he said.
Jones and Murnane said their design includes space for fast-casual dining options within the Imperial Sugar silos. Jones said as construction begins, Imperial Market Development will take the necessary steps to ensure the site is preserved to retain its historical significance within the community.
“We want to do as much that is required, but not anything more than is required to clean [the site] up a little bit and allow them to retain the architectural and structural things that made them special to begin with,” Jones said.
Renovation of the former Imperial Sugar refinery includes the restoration and relocation of the twin smokestacks that are designed to be the focal point of the market’s 30,000-square-foot park and green space.
Once complete Imperial Market will also include 86,400 square feet of Class A office space as well as 275 luxury, multifamily residences headed by Sueba USA, a Houston-based real estate development company.
“It’s a place [that] expresses authenticity and underscores the history of the site that distinguishes it from any other in our market.”
—James Murnane, co-founder of Imperial Market Development
“It’s a place [that] expresses authenticity and underscores the history of the site that distinguishes it from any other in our market,” Murnane said.
The design plans are still subject to approval by the city of Sugar Land’s Planning and Zoning Department. Murnane said the site is projected to generate an estimated $30 million of capital investment each year.
“The city of Sugar Land enthusiastically supports the project,” Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson said. “It’s a real game changer for the city and Fort Bend County.”