Boutique development firm PUMA announced in December that it will preserve and redevelop the Imperial Sugar Char House and the surrounding Imperial Historic District into a multipurpose shopping and living district.
The land use map, which includes requested information from the Dec. 8 and 15 town halls, offers residents a glimpse of what the development may look like once completed, while development requirements outline general expectations for development within the project.
The development is proposed to sit north of Hwy. 90 and will be bordered by Ulrich Road to the west and Wood Street to the east. The development is bordered by Mayfield Park to the north and runs along Oyster Creek.
Residential areas appear to be emphasized in the proposal, with one area appearing to run along Oyster Creek, while the other lies parallel to Mayfield Park. A cap of 660 housing units is included in the development requirements and allows all types of residences, including multifamily housing, single-family “urban” homes, townhomes, apartments and condos.
Four areas have been set aside for offices or other leased spaces, three of which lie to the west, and one to the east along Wood Street.
Green space, including park land and open fields, is proposed to take up a minimum of 15% of the total development. A park has been proposed to run from the northern tip of the project along Oyster Creek to roughly the middle of the development. A handful of green spaces can be found spread throughout the rest of the development.
About 25% of the development is proposed to be set aside for commercial use, including restaurants and other retail outlets, according to the draft land use plan. The majority of commercial space is located in the middle of the development, along Hwy. 90.
A large parking structure is proposed to sit along Ulrich Road. At present, however, there are no restrictions to on-site parking, with the exception that it may not encroach on pedestrian walkways, meaning that sidewalks must be clearly differentiated.
While 15% of the development is proposed to be set aside for parks and “open space,” another 25% of the development may be commercial development.
In general, project requirements outline an approachable, walkable activity center reminiscent of Lake Pointe Town Center along the intersection of Hwy. 59 and Hwy. 6.
One key facet of development within the project is that all buildings must incorporate architectural elements that pay respect to existing industrial buildings within the district, according to the development requirements. This includes the use of materials that reflect those used by industrial buildings within the district. Fiberglass panels, vinyl siding and other semimodern lower-quality materials are prohibited from use within the district.
In addition, the Imperial Char House must remain the primary feature of the development; to that extent, no other building may be the same height or taller than the char house.
Finally, the city has gone to some length to outline requirements for character, including breaking up horizontal and vertical planes, utilizing offsets for long facades and encouraging facade transparency.
However, the tentative requirements do not specify how or if the city will educate residents as to Sugar Land's history of convict leasing and the many African American convicts that were enslaved to work at the char house. The issue was discussed at the Dec. 15 town hall meeting regarding the development.
The Sugar Land City Council is set to meet at 5:30 p.m. in Cane Room 161 at City Hall, 2700 Town Center Blvd. N. on Jan. 24. All written responses must be received by the city by 3 p.m.
The full proposed development agreement may be found here.