Developer: New apartment complex, businesses in Midtown's future

November 1, 2012 3:27:50 PM PDT
A popular area among young adults and professionals near downtown is seeing a boom in development. Plans are in the works for several new businesses and high-end apartments in Midtown.

It's all about timing and location. Apartments are very much in demand because homes are a lot harder to come by. A lot more people are moving to Houston because of its economy. Combine that with the largest remaining acreage near downtown, and you have what's called the superblock.

It was built in the boom of the late 90's and given the name of Midtown to define its location, which is sandwiched between downtown and the Texas Medical Center. It features a collection of apartment developments, retail and restaurants that's still going strong today.

"We take our puppy all the time and just sit outside. You can have a beer or eat outside. There's really nothing like it," Midtown resident Matt Hughes said.

The area is attracting so many that parking can't keep up with people visiting the businesses there. In fact, that's the main complaint for Serena Blanchard, the owner of Sweet Lola, a gourmet yogurt shop.

"They're just driving around, driving around, driving around and there's no place to park," Blanchard said.

So Midtown development is expanding, and Camden Properties has the last big parcel of land -- a six-acre site -- ready for the next generation of Midtown. The company plans to build a seven-story complex with 300 apartment units on half of the land. On the other three acres, a green park space atop underground parking will be built by the local tax reinvestment zone.

"Not just park their car but find a green space to hang out in and to enjoy like any other citizen," Camden Properties CEP Ric Campos said.

It's called the superblock and will feature retail and restaurants as well.

Nearly 9,000 people live in Midtown now. In a few more years, that is expected to double. And Houston's inner court isn't just growing out, it's growing up.

"It's happening in every city in America and Houston is going along with the same kind of urbanization that the rest of the country is going through," Campos said.

Construction on the project is scheduled to start next year.

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