What Sugar Land’s New Performance Hall Might Look Like

Here’s a look at the recently approved designs of the new arts and concert venue that could start being built as soon as 2014 in Sugar Land. Drawn up by Washington, D.C., firm Martinez & Johnson, the 200,000-sq.-ft., 6,500-seat theater will eventually sit on 39 undeveloped acres in Telfair, just off the Southwest Fwy. and University Blvd.


Construction on the theater, vaguely reminisicent of Caudill Rowlett Scott’s Jones Hall at 615 Louisiana, is expected to take about 2 years.

Renderings: Martinez & Johnson Architects

25 Comment

  • It’s pretty much a direct rip-off of Jones Hall with a modern twist. Someone call up the suburbs and tell them they are getting ripped off.

  • Looking back at my time in Sugar Land (several years) I can say that this building would fit in quite well with all the ungainly piles of cookie cutter brick that festoon neighborhood streets.

  • Great looking building.
    The location is an epic fail, though.
    Just when Sugarland starts to get their act together with their imperial sugar mill re-purposing, they go and break your heart by putting this thing off the frontage road of 59 in an area bereft of development.
    This has boondoggle written all over it. Enjoy your marginal Texas country acts and the DUI’s / accidents that result when people drive home.

  • The bland brand of Sugarland. That venue will have to compete with youth soccer during the weekends though. Go Skeeters!

  • Why is this needed? Houston has all these world class venues and a bore of a suburb builds a bland concert hall? Is this going to compete with the Jones? Or Hobby?, give me a break. What a ridiculous waste of money. I guess maybe Barry Manilow or Kenny Rogers can play it to the elderly from Angleton or some Sesame on Ice for the kids

  • Probably will be located right across from the UofH Sugar Land campus …. at least someone might get some use out of it, although if I were a Sugar Land taxpayer paying on these bonds I might be a little upset, but I am not so meh.

  • As a inner looper there is no way I would drive all the way to Sugarland for a concert. I can’t stand the drive to Cynthia Woods and the only time I go to it is when someone else buys me a ticket and they drive and thats happened just twice in my lifetime.

  • There are 6.1+ million people in the Houston Metro area and about 10% of that lives in Fort Bend County. I guess some of you cannot fathom that everyone’s existence does not revolve around Inner Loop Houston . How can the Cynthia Woods Pavillion exist 30 miles from the city core? Oh the horrors, inner loopers actually drive out there to sit amongst their apparently less sophisticated northern suburb and exurb neighbors. There are more than enough performing artists, or community theatre groups or Chinese acrobatic groups or whatever to keep the Toyota Center available for all of the once youthful gays and club kids to vogue their sagging asses off when Madonna makes her next tour.
    Oh yes and and WASP = Shannon’s constant condescension cannot hide behind a moniker change

  • Junior Architect: “Aw crap, we have a giant blank wall on one side!”

    Lead Architect: “Oh, just slap a few trees and a fountain in front that the passing motorists can look at.”

  • It just seems an unnecessary venue, I think that’s the argument most if us are making. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is unique and is far superior to The Miller and yd are why it succeeds, this building will be in an improvement on Houston’s world class Preforming Arts Centers. It seems taxpayer money could be better spent in Sugar Land

  • *not be an improvement

  • I think its a great idea if it gets some of the concerts to come down from the Woodlands, particularly during the summer months. Sugar Land is definitely lot closer than the Woodlands and this place will be air conditioned.

  • I’m reading a lot of comments about how Houston doesn’t need this facility, but as was pointed out earlier in the comments, the population of Ft. Bend county is currently 600,000 people and is growing rapidly. If Ft. Bend were tracked as a separate metro, it would be around #90 in the US.

    I know that it’s very difficult for inner loopers to accept that Ft. Bend residents might want to be able to go to the theater or a concert without driving into Houston, but you might want to consider that this venue has the opportunity to be very successful without a single visit from the small percentage of Houston’s population that lives inside the loop.

  • Maybe this will be a good venue, maybe not. But this is the kind of thing that happens when metropolitan areas grow–arts venues start to be built away from the center.

    This has been happening for a long time in places like New York and Los Angeles. It only seems natural that we start to see it in Houston. Personally, I can’t see it as anything other than a good thing.

  • This thing is not going to compete with the CWMP. The cwmp has a 16k capacity vs this small venue in Sugar Land. Now double the capacity and maybe it could.

  • Seating capacity of existing area venues:
    Toyota Center – 19,000
    CWMP – 6,500 seats + 10,000 on uncovered lawn
    Miller Theatre – 1,705 seats + 4,500 on uncovered lawn
    Arena Theater – 2,750
    Bayou Music Center – 2,400 seated or 2,815 standing
    Jones Hall – 2,300 ~ 2,908
    Stereo Live – 2,078
    Warehouse Live – 2,030
    Cullen Performance Hall – 1,544
    House of Blues – 1,500
    Would be one of the largest INDOOR performance venues in the area.

  • The venue’s use will no doubt be limited to Suburban acts and useless minutia – but it will be quite handy for whatever regional universities, community colleges, and high scholls populate the region. To address the Inner Loop vs. Suburb issue – the Suburbanites need to realise that the reason to live inside the 610 Loop is greater degree of options for a fully balanced & culturally enriched life – this goes from shopping to eating to museums to art and live-work proximity. The average Sugar Lander that commutes downtown (assume a BP employee) spends approximately 17,225 minutes annually in traffic. This equates, roughly, to 287 hours. Which essentially is seven work week hours at 40 hours a week.

    Before criticising the Inner Loop mentality the Suburbanites should ask themselves what more in life they can do with 287 hours per annum? More time with kids? Dance classes with the wife? Cooking classes with the family? Take up adult sports groups to learn something new? That’s a lot of time. Now, the Suburbanite would bring back the usual argument: “but I have so much space and this big ol’ yard.” Yes, a yard you don’t really use other than to mow (be honest) and space you probably do not maximise (be honest) and so on. So, yes, you trade off space you don’t use and need to add 287 hours wasted in a car. Probably time to call family and such.

    All of which being said – this venue will serve whatever purpose it needs to serve for its audience and the usual array of chain restaurants (“Oh look! A new Cheddars! I love Sysco frozen food to be re-processed and heated up!”) will crop up and add to the local economy. However, in retrospect, the argument is sound: we have venues in the region that serve all these needs. There is no need for this venue, but if the citizens of Fort Bend County wish to fork up the money for a building that looks strikingly like Jones Hall or even the music hall on the UofH campus (lack of originality is the hallmark of Suburban construction motif – trading unique for “the same look”) then that is their business. I would still call a conference of some sort to ask why they couldn’t come up with something more original.

  • A fully balanced and culturally enriched life? Oh give me a break. I would venture to say that not even 20% of the metro population attends the “performing arts”
    and even less eat at the fabled four star eateries inside the loop. I don’t live in the suburbs nor have any desire to do so but who cares if everyone doesn’t want to live in the inner city for whatever their reason? Such snobbery…….

  • @Gilberto I think its funny that you selected “BP employee” for your fictional Sugar Lander’s occupation, as that is one of the many energy companies that chooses to locate outside of ITL to be closer to where their employees want to live.


    A Proud ITLer that Recognizes That the Burbs Have Value

  • The Stafford Center ( Centre) on Cash Road and Murphy Rd in Missouri City was pretty recently built as a concert venue and has a capacity of 1100.

  • Can’t wait for it to open. All of you cranky, whining naysayers stay away, we don’t want you here anyway. :)

  • A project like this is wasted on the side of a freeway off in the suburbs.

  • Seems obvious to me that the siting of this venue directly along the Southwest Freeway was done expressly to draw audiences from Houston.

  • Yeah, I’m thinking it could be very nice for the touring acts that don’t need Toyota Center but are probably not really suited for Jones Hall. Also, _not_ having a major tenant like the Houston Symphony or Houston Grand Opera to compete for dates with will help. Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie is about that size; I just saw Steely Dan there (sold out or darn near) and it was lovely, with excellent sightlines and sound, easy parking, decent food, and good lobby and restroom facilities. There’s no similar venue in the Houston metro area.

  • My God, I’ve lived here on and off for about 20 years but I’m truly wondering if “inner-loopers” (i will never utter this word in real life..just..no…)were always this annoying? Just ridiculous. If you have no interest in going there and aren’t even paying taxes on it, just do your best to ignore it. People on here love to complain about real estate.