Looking to make Tract 5 a livable, walkable town center, Sugar Land hired a design firm to conduct a study of what buildings and uses the site could support.

The details: Sugar Land City Council unanimously approved a $109,560 contract with architectural design firm Stantec during its May 16 meeting following a presentation from Jessica Huble, Sugar Land’s senior development manager.

Stantec will conduct an economic and urban design study of Tract 5, which comprises the land around and including the Smart Financial Centre. The study focuses on approximately 83 acres of the tract, which includes two parcels owned by Sugar Land and one by developer Newland.

MD Anderson owns three sections of the tract and plans to construct 500,000 square feet of building space, Mayor Joe Zimmerman said.

“We know this is going to be a high-impact site. The market study will serve to provide some direction to not only the developer—it will help staff understand what the potential is before it comes to council and we have some of the discussions that we’ve had before. It serves to provide microlevel detail about what the market would support,” Zimmerman said at the May 16 meeting.

The study will focus on vision-specific and market-supportable development concepts for the area, and bring in community and stakeholder engagement, Hubble said. This includes:
  • Best practices to make Tract 5 livable and walkable, maximize investments and synchronize aesthetics and amenities
  • Dividing the tract into five zones with each zone analyzed for financial feasibility from a private-sector developer’s perspective
  • Providing estimates of public-sector funds required to attract desired development
  • Projecting revenues that could be generated by development
What they’re saying: “With the recent ownership changes that occurred within the Tract 5 area over the years, staff thought it was necessary to get with a third-party consultant and take another look at this site and look at the new vision and what the site’s calling for now,” Huble said during the May 16 meeting.

What’s next: Huble laid out a 12-week timeline for the study, beginning with Stantec leading a kick-off meeting with landowners and stakeholders May 22. Then, it will take findings from this meeting and deliver them to a focus group of six to eight residents and business owners June 12. The final product will be presented to the city during week eight and to the resident focus group during week nine. The project will finish in late July or early August with the final deliverables handed off to the city.