Station Houston joined Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Rice University president David Leebron, and TMC president & CEO Bill McKeon today to announce the site of Station Houston's permanent home and plans for a new Midtown innovation district. Anchored by the former Sears building, the 9.4-acre site will be transformed into a hub designed to bring together the area's entrepreneurial, corporate and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs.
"Houston is always transforming," Turner said. "We went from a cotton, rice and rail hub to the energy capital of the world, a global center for biomedical breakthroughs and an enviable model for inclusion for people and cultures from everywhere. Thanks to Rice and our many other partners in the innovation district being announced today, the city is poised to make yet another dramatic leap into the future. We are laying the groundwork to make Houston the next great center for startups and imaginative endeavors in the digital universe, and now we have a pivotal physical home for our work on the next frontier."
Station Houston will serve as incubator and amenity program operator and will work on three key initiatives: connecting ecosystem players to drive high-impact collaborations; supporting entrepreneurs and the innovation community through a range of programs, workshops and events; and working with academic institutions and other groups to develop and connect Houston's digital workforce.
"Transformative," John Reale Jr., co-founder and CEO of Station Houston, said of the project. "Today we take a major step forward toward our shared vision of transforming Houston into a world-leading tech innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. This could not be possible without the ongoing collaboration of Houston's academic institutions, corporations, major institutions, investors and entrepreneurs. We applaud Rice for its vision and commitment in leading this community effort."
The former Sears building will be renovated for the project. The overall design and development of the building will be led by Hines in conjunction with architects Gensler and James Carpenter. The initial phase is expected to be completed within two years. The redevelopment of the building will respect its historic character while making the modifications required to create dynamic space for creative companies in the innovation ecosystem, Leebron said.
"The many participants already committed to this vision typify Houston's collective spirit of inclusivity and entrepreneurship, and we welcome people and organizations who can contribute to its overarching mission," he said.
Full press release can be found HERE.