Newest and Tallest: The Texas Medical Center Goes Condo

Here’s what we know so far about the new 40-story hotel-and-condo tower Medistar Corporation is planning for the corner of Main St. and Dryden, between Rice’s new Collaborative Research Center and the Baylor Clinic on the west side of Main: not a whole lot.

But at 40 stories, the new building would likely be the tallest tower in the Texas Medical Center. (The new Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza is only 31.) That’s taller than those twin hypodermics, too.

A lot-line variance for the project is item number 111 before the Planning Commission this afternoon. And the request provides a few clues. Medistar wants the same 10-foot setback along Main St. that the Baylor Clinic has, so the new building can have a similar passenger dropoff and a “pedestrian friendly” entry on that side. The building’s longer axis will be perpendicular to Main. The arguments imply Medistar intends to have “ornamental decorations and balconies” on the Main St. side, and that the tower will be linked by skybridge to the Medical Center main campus across the street.

According to the Southgate Neighborhood Newsletter, the tower will include a 1200-car parking facility.

This isn’t the only new building type Medistar is planning to stir into the Medical Center mix. A block down the street, just south of the company’s Best Western Hotel at 6700 Main St., Medistar is planning a 600,000-sq.-ft. medical mall. The Houston Business Journal reported on that project late last month:

The high-rise would house offices and showrooms for companies that sell equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals to Texas Medical Center institutions. Tenants could also include organizations working to develop new medical technologies and treatments.