Crews break ground on 'Midtown Innovation District' in space that used to be iconic Sears store

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Something new is transforming in the area around the old Sears building in Midtown.

On Friday, crews broke ground on The Ion, and leaders are hoping the new area will become the heart of an innovative district.

The old Sears building is set to become a technology and innovation center. The process has been going on for several months, if not years.

Officials say they have been trying to get Sears out, and the new development in.

With the closing of the iconic store, the opportunity was presented to completely renovate the building and begin the process of transforming the area.

Phase 1 of the project is set to change Sears into a technology center, and hopefully bring good paying jobs to the city.

"The number one way to sum this up is to issue jobs. Jobs for the future of Houston," Alan Arnold with Rice Management Company said. "Houston has a lot of great jobs and wonderful talent here, but to create a place where people in these industries can convene and work in new way, and spur new job creations."

There is a master plan being developed for the rest of the area, which includes parks, green spaces, homes and shopping. The plans are being discussed, but could take years to bring into reality. The Ion is set to open in 2021.

SEE MORE:

Houston Mayor unveils plan to convert 'Midtown Innovation District' at iconic Sears site

Iconic Sears in Houston closes its doors after 79 years

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