Architect Rob Rogers tells The Architect’s Newspaper how the Mid Main apartment-and-retail development he’s working on for the 3500 and 3600 blocks of Main St. in Midtown will break the mold behind the typical garage-wrapped-with-apartments scheme, which he calls the “Houston Wrap”:
The goal, explains writer Meghan Hendley-Lopez, is to open up the project’s central courtyard spaces to the street: “Activity on Main — whether it be passing vehicular traffic or pedestrians visiting the surrounding businesses — will be visible to residents, while passersby on the street will be able to see what is going on in the community spaces of the multi-level development.” Another goal is to extend Midtown’s lone typically bustling blocks of activity — home to the Continental Club, the Big Top Lounge, and Natachee’s — to reach a couple blocks north, and to connect it all the way to the planned site of Midtown arts facility MATCH.
To do that, a lower-profile parking structure will splay over a larger area of the site than is typical; its top will serve as a podium and courtyard surface that overlooks the neighborhood in spots. Openings and entrances in the street-facing sections are aligned with the street grid, says Rogers, who’s firm, Rogers Partners, is designing the project with architect William Cannady and Gensler for RHS Interests. The major public entry to the development, which will include 30,000 sq. ft. of retail space, will be directly across from the Ensemble/HCC rail station.
Inside the complex, which Rogers calls Houston’s first real transit-oriented development, apartments are organized to avoid long interior hallways and encourage interaction between neighbors and podium-level retailers. There’ll be plenty of balconies too.
- Mid-Main Movement [The Architect’s Newspaper]
- Midtown’s latest mixed-use development to break ground next quarter [Houston Business Journal]
- Previously on Swamplot: Big Plans Around That Rail-Riding Midtown Development Emerge, A Look at Plans for a Train-Centric Development on Main St. in Midtown
Images: Rogers Partners/RHS Interests