The Lonely Spot East of the Heights Where the Operators of Fitzgerald’s Are Planning a Massive New Concert Venue Complex

Rendering of Proposed Concert Venue by Schaum/Shieh Architects, 2915 N. Main St., Houston

Map of Planned Sites Adjacent to 2915 N. Main Concert Venue, Houston

The operators of Fitzgerald’s and the Free Press Summer Fest are planning a large multi-venue development on N. Main St. on the east side of I-45. Renderings of 2 of the buildings, designed by a firm run locally by Rice architecture professor Troy Schaum, show a separate concert building with at least 2 separate stages inside and a freestanding ice house, which would be adjacent to a separate outdoor stage at the corner of N. Main and North St. The southern portion of the site (outlined in yellow in the map above) where those 2 structures would sit backs up to Little White Oak Bayou.


Rendering of Proposed Concert Venue by Schaum/Shieh Architects, 2915 N. Main St., Houston

Pegstar Concerts’ lease at Fitzgerald’s on the corner of White Oak and Studewood ends in September 2015; the organizers of the unnamed new complex say they’re aiming for a late-2015 opening at 2915 N. Main, but that plans are “still in progress.” But the new concert building, the outdoor performance spot, and the icehouse aren’t all they’re planning. Additional adjacent sites would be used for parking, a farmer’s market, and storage, Pegstar’s Jagi Katial tells the Chronicle‘s Craig Hlavaty. But a reader who attended a neighborhood meeting about the proposed project provides Swamplot with additional detail:

Rendering of Proposed Concert Venue by Schaum/Shieh Architects, 2915 N. Main St., Houston

Rendering of Proposed Concert Venue by Schaum/Shieh Architects, 2915 N. Main St., Houston

The 51,000-sq.-ft. property outlined in black on the site map (on the northeast side of N. Main St., across the street from the concert venue) would be used for parking, along with the 52,000-sq.-ft. property outlined on North St. outlined in orangish-yellow. Altogether, there would be room for 500 cars. A new traffic light on N. Main St. would help visitors to cross the street after parking. The developers are also reportedly working with the city to explore the feasibility of putting in a pedestrian or road bridge across Little White Oak Bayou to connect with Ideal St. on the south side; the bridge would go between the sites outlined in yellow and blue. The properties marked in red and blue may house additional components such as outdoor stages or parks. Between the 2 indoor and one outdoor concert venue already planned, the entire complex would have a capacity for 1500 people, according to the reader’s report.

Map of Planned Sites Adjacent to 2915 N. Main Concert Venue, Houston

Renderings: Schaum/Shieh Architects Houston

North Main Music Central, by the Bayou

32 Comment

  • Well, I was hoping for a large midrise apartment complex built around a garage, and a couple dozen 3-story town homes, but I guess this is OK.

  • So does thus mean the concert event in June along Allen Parkway will move here? Would be nice.

  • Fantastic – hope they can make it happen. The rendering looks a little, uh, conceptual . . . but promising. Can’t wait to see more. That site has scads of potential for redevelopment.

  • Site had 38 images of hipsters and rendering and not one ‘zoomed out’ map to see exactly where they were talking about?

    I mean, bleh, I found it after spending some time but that seems like it would be one of the ‘showcase’ pieces of data in such a story.

  • Sounds fabulous…as long as they don’t have any events during heavy rains. TS Allison put four feet of Little White Oak Bayou into buildings that used to be either side of North Main. The street makes a narrow, steep (by Houston standards), dark, sharp curve over the bayou between Boundary and Glen Park — an accident waiting to happen for inebriated drivers.

  • Isn’t this by Hollywood cemetery?

  • It’s nice that there’s no place for band load-in. Park across Main and haul your stuff over.

  • I live just on the other side of Hollywood Cemetery and I think this would be great.

    With a little height they should get a great view of downtown. I saw a for sale sign at the adjacent Skylanr Downtown Apartments, they must be asking for the moon because that would seem to be perfect for this project. If this goes through their expectations will just go up.

  • Well, this guy isn’t going to win a Pritzker Prize for this, but I guess it’s ok. What are those wooden fence looking rails? Maybe the building will look better in the flesh, so to speak. We shall see.

  • moving to Glen Park soon (neighborhood across the street sandwiched between Little White Oak and Hollywood Cemetery). Excited in theory about new venues in Houston but worried that this new complex is going to severely infringe on the current residents. Does anyone have more information about neighborhood meetings?

  • First the Chicken Ranch and now Fitz’s across the 45? Obviously the retail spillover from the Tampico Heights land rush is underway.

  • Nice to see positive development in a ghetto area close to downtown, but…not sure if a “massive new concert venue complex” is really what anybody needs. The houses across Little White Oak bayou will get a free loud show every night, whether they want it or not! Not to mention that the very nearby and relatively safe and right-across-the I-45-freeway Germantown neighborhood (with very narrow streets) is likely to become ground zero for a street parking battle on big concert nights. The locals could fight it, and possibly win, on the grounds of preventing a noise and parking nuisance, that is if anyone has the foresight and motivation to protest before the thing gets permitted and built.

  • @ UG: I thought the same thing as you when I saw what they want to build and where. Obviously putting it in the Heights area would stir up plenty of angst and possibly some legal challenges on the basis of a nuisance; but put it in a neighborhood with a less affluent demographic, and they may not like it but they probably won’t have the economic wherewithal, experience in civic activism, or the political connections that would enable them to fight it effectively. One wonders whether this is a manifestation of the fall-out from the Ashby ruling, that the poor are increasingly relegated to putting up with nuisances.

    (OTOH, it could’ve just been a decision driven by land prices and where is economic for a venue like this to operate.)

  • At kjb434, there’s just no way to fit FPSF here. The land is large but it’s not THAT large.
    At lhd, yes it’s right down the road.
    At ZPQ, the next meeting is August 14th at 6 to 8pm at 2102 South St.
    At UG, you think this is a ghetto?? You need to drive through there again.. I’ve lived in Glen Park for many years and it certainly is not ghetto. It’s probably the quietest, most family oriented place I’ve ever lived in and, unless the noise is unbearable from this development, I have no plans of moving either.

  • This seems a little close to a lot of houses for an outdoor stage.

  • it all looks really nice, but I take it a lot has changed from the old $10 cover and $2 lone stars from back when I was still young enough to go see bands

  • As long as nobody tries to tear down Fitzgerald’s, that’s fine. There’s too much beer and urine steeped in those old floorboards for it to fall to the developer’s construction ball. (Actually, no equipment would be necessary to tear down Fitz’s, just 10 strong men pushing hard enough could knock it over).

  • to ZPQ welcome to the neighborhood! Please come and introduce yourself to your soon to be neighbors at the Aug 14 meeting! We really like our quiet little haven and will hopefully be able to work with these folks to minimize any potential ‘infringement’ on us. #fingerscrossed

  • This is a great location for a new venue. The area is nice and there is no doubt that some good architecture can keep the majority of the sound toward the bayou and the property values around the refreshing development on the rise. Looking forward to hoofing it over there and watching someone sing.

    Great time to live in the Heights. Cheers to the developers for not going the way of anon’s comment (which was freakin’ funny)

  • A good place for this venue would be in the still-not-developed Hardy Yards. Skyline views aplenty.

  • @TheNiche, you would be surprised about the civic activism. A nearby neighborhood is working with the developers on this project. That same neighborhood is full of empty nesters who have downsized into those craftman bungalow homes and, since they have plenty of time on their hands, are working with the city on certain proposals for the area. Expect a few interesting announcements from this area posted on Swamplot.

  • Icehouse? This is Houston, we want A/C & liquor.

  • Actually that area isn’t as ghetto as you would think, it’s really cleaned up quite a bit. Recently looked at some homes over there before deciding on Oak Forest and was quite surprised at how much better things are getting.

  • I agree with limestone. The hardy Yards would be perfect… I love the view of downtown and don’t want them to build anything too high there

  • Hmmm, that is right where I45 expansion would happen. Looking at both sides of 45 there are the Germantown homes on one side and the all bills paid apartments on the other. Which one do you think gets dozed?

  • @Triton: you are correct, Glenview is not “ghetto” (and neither is Germantown), but there are some other streets close by that are, although I’ve noticed lately that on some of those streets across the bayou it looks like some higher end new construction going in. Now I don’t own property in any of these locations, but if I did, I would be watching this thing very closely.

    And I agree with some of the other posters, the Hardy Yards would be a more appropriate location for this sort of development.

  • The Hardy Yards are in the hands of a major developer from Austin. They already have a development plan, and will need every square foot to get financial return to justify the infrastructure, environmental and other investments they are making (not to mention the headaches endured dealing with local public agencies). An outdoor concert venue is NOT going to happen there.

    I’ve been doing work in the Northside area, and indeed the area is on the cusp of substantial gentrification / townhome-ization. Think of it as Washington Avenue of the mid-1990s, just as Rice Military began its redevelopment. Though I wouldn’t expect similar retail development in Northside, for various reasons.

  • I mean Glen Park….

  • I agree that the Hardy Yards would certainly be more appropriate although not as “walking friendly” as the location proposed but the Hardy Yards has a nasty little superfund site (at least one) and an extension of the Hardy Toll Road about to come through. While you might could fit it in nicely around the new road, the cost of cleaning up that mess is probably prohibitive, or waiting until someone else does it may be years away.

  • @NatTxn TXDoT’s plans for I-45 only include expansion of their current right of way north of 610. The three plans they have under consideration for this section all stay inside the current right of way.
    The eastern side is possibly more protected from expansion both by the cemeteries at North Main, and by the Near Northside National Historic District, which is in between North Main and 45 around Quitman and Hogan. The district was supported by residents precisely to try and limit TXDoT’s attempts to expand into the neighborhood, and while it is not a surefire defense, it would create additional red tap for TXDoT in having to justify destroying it before they can access federal money for the project.
    The Near Nothside does not want to be bulldozed by TXDoT or by townhouses. Assumptions that there is not civic engagement or pride in preserving the neighborhood are incorrect.

  • What meeting is this at the Castillo center on Thursday? What group?

  • The developer should put all of the noisy stuff inside, or else there is going to be a fight.