HOUSTON – MLB Capital Partners has selected NewQuest Properties to lease the newly redeveloped Houston Farmers Market, ending a highly competitive race for the prestigious assignment in the Heights.
NewQuest’s John Nguyen , vice president, and Nick Ramsey, senior associate, will lease the 167,000-sf project at 2520 Airline Dr., which now features a one-acre event lawn, updated vendor areas and ready-to-occupy restaurant spaces. Construction is winding down after four years on MLB Capital Partners’ vision to redevelop the Houston landmark into a culturally diverse, multi-faceted culinary destination.
“It’s an honor that NewQuest has been entrusted with this valued assignment,” Nguyen says. “Our strong relationships in the restaurant and food and beverage operators will help us to achieve the ownership’s vision for a world-class destination showcasing the best that Texas has to offer in culinary, agriculture and creative goods.”
The Houston Farmers Market has about 46,000 sf of available space in six buildings, a mix of vendors’ stalls, small shops and culinary spaces with grease traps, including a fully built-out, 4,424-sf freestanding restaurant fronting Airline Drive. The search is on for locally-driven concepts, not national brands, with the NewQuest team branching out to include Austin’s well-known eclectic eateries.
Until now, MLB Capital Partners’ in-house team has led the leasing charge, landing two concepts by Chris Shepherd, a James Beard award-winning chef. His burger shop, Underbelly Burgers, has just opened and Wild Oats will come online in early February. Opening this spring will be Crawfish & Noodles, a concept of a James Beard semifinalist, Chef Trong Nguyen. The project also is home to RC Ranch Texas Craft Meats and at least 50 produce and specialty vendors.
“The Heights is where the entire city comes to eat and drink. There is no better destination to consider than Houston Farmers Market because of its co-tenancy, accessibility and amenities,” says Nguyen, who represented Crawfish & Noodles in its lease with MLB Capital Partners.
Houston Farmers Market is less than five miles north of Houston’s Central Business District and just blocks from Loop 610. The free parking lot, pushing 600 spaces, is the largest inside the Inner Loop. And coming soon will be events on the lawn to further enhance the community experience.
Recognized regionally as the oldest and largest in its category, Houston Farmers Market has been in continuous operation since 1942, open daily except for Christmas and New Year’s Day. MLB Capital Partners acquired the 17-acre landmark in 2017, undertaking a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of its six open-air pavilions, featuring 70 stalls, the parking lot and common areas. The locally based developer also has added a towering 40-foot central shade structure and several air-conditioned buildings.
“MLB Capital Partners has expanded the purpose of an 80-year institution by creating new retail and restaurant spaces while maintaining the integrity of the Houston Farmers Market,” Nguyen says. “We, at NewQuest, are proud to be part of the reimagining of this historic gem.”
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