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HBJ: We are 'selling a lifestyle' at new Memorial mixed-use

Houston Business Journal | 04.28.2016

Construction is underway on the first luxury homes in Memorial Green, a new mixed-use development in Houston.

Midway Cos. has finished developing 54 out of a proposed 91 home lots in Memorial Green. The high-end residential, commercial and retail project sits on 14 acres at 12601 Memorial Drive, just east of Beltway 8 and a few miles south of Midway’s successful CityCentre project.

The Houston developer has sold 14 lots so far to three luxury homebuilders: Jeff Paul Custom Homes, McCollum Custom Homes and Pelican Builders — all based in Houston. While some of those lots will go toward speculative homes, the majority of them have a buyer behind them, said Shon Link, Midway’s executive vice president of development.

“The velocity of sales is strong, quite frankly,” Link said. “Of course, it would be stronger if the price of oil were higher, but we have a unique product for the Memorial area and we have a positive outlook on home sales in the near future.”

Pelican Builders this week has started pouring foundation on its first homes in Memorial Green. The homebuilder will build three-story townhomes, which range from 3,500 to 4,500 square feet. Prices will start from $1.3 million.

Jeff Paul and McCollum custom homebuilders will also start construction soon on patio homes, ranging in size from 4,600 to 6,000 square feet. Prices will range from $1.7 million to $2.5 million and higher.

The homes will feature a transitional contemporary look, with stone, masonry and stucco exteriors. The first homes from Pelican Builders are expected to be completed by early 2017.

Memorial Green has attracted a wide range of buyers, from young families interested in sending their children to the Spring Branch Independent School District to empty nesters looking to stay close to the Memorial area. These empty-nesters aren’t looking to downsize their homes, but want a smaller yard that’s easier to maintain than a large suburban lot, Link said.

Memorial Green will feature a large urban green space as well as a mix of shops, restaurants and boutique office space that allow residents to walk to work, eat and shop. Leases have been signed with Dish Society, Define Body & Mind, Vine Wine Room, Heritage Texas Properties and others at the project.

Midway scrapped plans for luxury apartments on the site after neighborhood opposition. Neighbors are now happy with the scale and scope of the project, Link said.

Houston homebuyers are increasingly interested in higher quality and higher density urban communities where they can live, work and play, Link said. Demand for these types of communities remain high, despite the oil slump, he added.

“We don’t view this project as selling lots or homes,” Link said. “We view it as selling a lifestyle.”

Paul Takahashi covers residential and multifamily commercial real estate for the Houston Business Journal