Clearing an Empty Lot in the Museum District

A couple of readers are curious about some Museum District action, catty-corner from the Children’s Museum. “Could hardly believe my eyes this morning,” writes one. “SOMETHING is going on at the empty lot at Binz & LaBranch (next to the soon to be opening Lucille’s). Old foundations and stumps have been dug up. There’s even a port-a-potty on-site. What I don’t know, however, is WHAT is being planned for this site. I thought maybe the readers would have a clue.” Well, here’s an old one:


Back in the aughts, this mixed-use tower for Binz Medcorp was planned for the site. The design is still enshrined on Ziegler Cooper Architects’ website: a combo medical, surgical, residential, and hotel-like recovery building. With space for retail on a couple of levels at the base, below the parking garage.

Photo: Sara. Rendering: Ziegler Cooper Architects

17 Comment

  • It would be great if that is what will be built on the site. But I’m not going to get my hopes up. It will probably be some bland 3 story town homes.

  • I believe some sort of mix-use medical office building is in the works.

  • Is this Parc Binz reincarnated?

  • I don’t care what they build, as long as people learn to use the 4 way stop at Binz and Caroline nearby :-)

  • Better than an empty lot… and generates a whole lot more tax revenue for the city and county than a bunch of weeds.

  • Something like this would be just the ticket for Montrose & Westheimer as well. Do we yet know what the plans are there?

  • No Parc Binz is at Binz and Chenevert which is two blocks east.

  • Nice – and would even work for the Alabama / Weslayan corner as opposed to the hideous juggernaut the developers cooked up for that corner.

  • Not sure what the difference between “bland 3 story town home[s]” is and this monstrosity, but go figure. As a Museum District resident, give it a rest. Will someone just build a damn coffee shop around here already?

  • My guess is that it will be a parking lot to replace the one lost by the MFAH expansion.

  • @CET: yes!! How is it that this area has no retail and next to no dining options?? I say put in a nice pub–I miss being able to walk to my local.
    Btw, the area is all fenced off now.

  • @BenP lol sadly you are probably correct that seems so typical Houston.

    @CET atleast its a high rise something different then the typical townhouse going up.

    A nice coffee shop, restaurant, or retail could go in nicely at the bottom of this building.

  • Come on Swampies. Do some research! HCAD indicates that 5506 La Branch (one of several addresses for this combined parcel) was sold by Binz Medcorp LLC to a local doctor back in 2008. The stories about Binz Medcorp (run by a gentleman named Peter Sareyani out of NYC) all date to 2005 when it originally bought the property. Therefore, Binz Medcorp is very much out of the picture. This is definitely looking like townhomes/retail/restaurant-type development. At most a modest medical office building but nothing like the high-rise pictured in the posting.

  • @CEP- I know it’s on the other side of the freeway, but go over to Dowling at Holman and check out Doshi House. A UH alum opened it up and it’s a great coffeehouse. Coffee, tea, pastries, smoothies, food, juices, etc.

  • I always have to chuckle when people are discussing what is being built somewhere in town. “Why don’t THEY build…” or “Why don’t THEY put in…”. There really is no “THEY” sitting back and ‘planning’ what to put in. When property is up for sale, there are numerous buyers out there who already have thier OWN project (whatever it is they do) looking for a place at a price they are willing to pay, and usually in a certain part of town. If it’s a medical group, ‘they’ are not going to say “Hey, this neighborhood needs a restaurant” – unless of course they decide to put one inside the medical building they build. But you get my point. These are not planned communities with someone (called “They”) at the helm, making decisions. As long as the citizens let the rich ‘good-ole-boys’ swing the vote every time “ZONING” comes up, people can generally build what they want – where they want in Houston, TX.

  • It’s a 3 story office building with retail . . . Why can’t we ever get anything with height in Houston. The rendering on here is so much better then what is actually being built

  • Jon- Not if you live real close to it.
    What this nhood needs like crazy is coffee/sandwich. There’s a million ppl coming here for museums with no place to eat. It’s just nutty for Houston.