METRO, Transwestern Launch Visionary TMC Development
October 21, 2005
METRO and Transwestern Development Company of Houston today announced they
plan to jointly launch a $105-million mixed use development atop the Texas
Medical Center Transit Center.
The project, designed to serve as a "gateway" to TMC, will include a
175-suite, full-amenities hotel, including meeting facilities, lounge and
ballrooms; 30 condominiums above the hotel; 35,000 square feet of retail space
accessible by sky bridge; and an elevated park-like setting with a
168,000-square foot medical office building and a 15,000-square foot wellness
center and spa.
METRO and Transwestern will immediately begin finalizing the architectural
design and structural schematics of the project. Construction is expected to
begin in mid- to late 2006, and take three years. Throughout construction, METRO
will maintain safe and reliable rail and bus service.
The hotel and retail components of the development are due to be completed in
2009. It is anticipated that METRO will receive about one million dollars per
year for the air rights lease once the project is complete.
"This will give Houston its first good look at the new METRO," said METRO
Board Chairman David S. Wolff, "leveraging our properties to create developments
that give something of value to the community while creating ridership for our
METRO President and CEO Frank Wilson said transit oriented development and
other innovations are illustrative of the Authority's transformation. "Our
co-development in the Medical Center and the innovative approaches we're taking
to build Phase 2 of METRO Solutions should make it clear to everyone that this
is not your father's METRO."
Transwestern, which will exercise direct control over the development and
construction process, is one of the largest, privately held full service
commercial real estate firms in the U.S. and is headquartered in Houston.
Transwestern was chosen from a field of nine potential developers who
responded to a METRO request for proposals (RFP).
According to Chip Clarke, Transwestern's Southwest region president, "We are
honored to be selected to lead this effort as the development partner. This
landmark project will have a significant positive impact on our community and
set the standard for transit oriented developments." Todd Mason, METRO Vice
President of Real Estate, handled the transaction for the Transit Authority.
METRO will retain ownership of the TMC Transit Center, and will lease the air
rights to Transwestern for construction and development.