The Green Discovery of the Memorial? How a Houston developer plans to transform The Lawn

MetroNational, the Houston developer and owner of Memorial City, aims to create community space in its plans to expand from The Lawn to Memorial City.

Close to Interstate 10 and Bunker Hill, The Lawn will serve as a venue for festivals, markets, movies and concerts throughout the year and a venue for office workers and residents of nearby apartments. to get some fresh air or have an impromptu meeting. The Lawn is next to the ZaZa Memorial City Hotel and McKinley, MetroNational’s new 25-story apartment tower.

MetroNational is using the space previously designated for a restaurant to expand The Lawn to 30,000 square feet. The plans call for a covered structure and performance space called The Arbor, rest areas, water games, play equipment, game tables and a restaurant. The space could accommodate around 250 people for performances and could be hired for private events such as weddings.

“With COVID and everything in between, green spaces was something that almost everyone was clamoring for,” said Jason Johnson, president of MetroNational. “We think this will be something that will last a long time and be used by everyone.”

RELATED: Memorial City secures new office tenants

The project will feature a series of shaded staging areas and courtyards. Five live oak trees that were moved off-site to make way for The McKinley apartments almost four years ago have been returned and used in the expansion, along with smaller elms and oaks.

The work will more than double the size of The Lawn, which opened in 2017. Construction is underway and completion is expected in December.

The MatroNational Memorial City development spans 300 acres, with nearly 10 million square feet of space in hotels, medical buildings, retail stores, offices and apartments.

While MetroNational is still developing a master plan for the Sears Memorial City Mall site, green spaces will certainly be considered, Johnson said. The mall is being redeveloped after Sears closed and was razed last year.

The Lawn is nearly 1.5 million square feet of newer office buildings in Memorial City, Johnson said. The space, which includes tenants such as Air Liquide, Murphy Exploration and Nexen, is 95% leased.

Also in the Memorial district, Levcor is redeveloping its MarqE shopping complex near Interstate 10 in Silber with outdoor staging areas and shade structures.

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