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The New Development on the Block

Montrose Collective will offer a unique blend of retail, office, and civic space.

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Montrose Collective (renderings by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture)

The Montrose streetscape continues to evolve, this time along Westheimer between Grant and Crocker Streets. The area that once housed Theo’s Greek Restaurant and a Houston Police storefront station will soon be home to Montrose Collective, a multi-use development slated to open this summer.

Radom Capital LLC is developing the property as a midrise structure that blends current as well as new buildings. The total project spans 197,000 square feet, with 40,000 square feet of green space and patios.

“We’ve always been interested in this area as a firm. Most of our work has been inside the loop—neighborhoods we want to spend time in, and neighborhoods that value good architecture and tenancy. We love the Montrose area for lots of reasons: food, retail, and all the attractions that make Houstonians want to spend time in Montrose,” says Barton Kelly, vice president and principal of Radom Capital.

Kelly describes the property as a “community forward” development that includes retail, office, and civic space. On the hospitality side, Houstonians can expect six restaurant spaces in addition to Uchi, which has remained open throughout the construction process. For the retail spaces, Radom Capital is aiming to hit the sweet spot that combines local tenants and national brands—jewelry makers, optical shops, salons, and the like. Entertainment presenter Live Nation will fill three floors, with more tenants expected to join as the project nears completion.

Houston Public Library’s Freed-Montrose branch, currently located at 4100 Montrose Blvd., has also inked a deal to relocate in the fancy new digs.

A current shot of Montrose Collective (photo by Random Capital)

Kelly believes the design of Montrose Collective is a good draw for national names as well as local businesses. “Montrose Collective puts a lot of emphasis on architecture, and what’s interesting and unique. Our landscape architect has done great work. There’s a garden courtyard that cuts through the project. There will be really interesting landscaping and a seating moment. It’s like a living room for the community, and we plan to host events there, too,” he says. “The materials will change throughout the space and create an undulation throughout the building. It creates a sense of space where people want to hang out.”

The property also provides another rarity in the area: parking.

“We will have above- and below-ground parking. There will be 600 spaces on site. It can be challenging to find parking spaces in Montrose, and by going underground, it doesn’t impose on the neighborhood. We also covered the above-ground garage with a woven screen material, so it looks like artwork,” Kelly adds.

But the development’s green space is the enviable component that has been incorporated throughout the property.

“All our office space will have patio spaces attached to the offices, and that’s not very common in Houston. You can walk outside and take a phone call. A lot of those patios have green space. We hired a consultant from California to advise us on the patio spaces and the plant life that would survive. We’ll have a 30-foot-long green wall on Westheimer. The project will feel lush, alive, vibrant, and green. You don’t see that a lot in new construction,” Kelly adds.

To create so much square footage, some of the block’s existing trees had to go. But Radom’s designers made their best effort to preserve what greenery it could, and repurpose the rest. “We did make a great effort to preserve the 100-year-old oak trees that look amazing and provide shade. You normally don’t get that in new construction,” Kelly emphasizes.

Additionally, the residential structures located on Montrose Collective’s property were donated to Historic Houston, who deconstructed and salvaged the materials.

“We hope that the Montrose neighborhood sees this as an extension of their backyard. They can walk over and have a bite and stick around for one of our events. We understand that the Montrose neighborhood is discerning and already has great James Beard-decorated restaurants. We’re making a product that will fit that clientele,” Kelly says.

Change can be hard for some of Montrose’s diehard purists. Remember when the Pride Parade moved downtown? Radom Capital says it hopes to bridge Montrose’s past and future in a way that honors everyone.

“We hope the existing community frequents Montrose Collective. We feel the way we designed the project is as open, inviting, and inclusive as possible,” Kelly adds. “From having the library and the public component, to how we engage with different tenants, to the different events we’ll have on site, we’re open and community-forward.”

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This article appears in the April 2021 edition of OutSmart magazine.


Sam Byrd

Sam Byrd is a freelance contributor to Outsmart who loves to take in all of Houston’s sights, sounds, food and fun. He also loves helping others to discover Houston’s rich culture. Speaking of Houston, he's never heard a Whitney Houston song he didn't like.
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