Destination-Ization Plans for Airline Dr. Farmers Market Show New Rooftops, Playground, Multistory Observation Tower, Some Whitewashing

As mentioned earlier today, more details on the plan to redo the 1940’s farmers market on Airline Dr. are now out — MLB released some sketches and site plans this morning, which the company says are meant to help turn the spot into a “destination retail experience.” The renderings show most of the gaps between the existing market buildings bridged by new rooftops and green spaces, connecting the structures into a single complex (some of which will likely get air conditioned for fish and dairy operations and the like).

It’s not totally clear whether some the existing buildings are actually going to be painted white, or if the details of planned finishes just haven’t made their way into the renderings at this stage of design — but the currently-yellow front of Canino’s can be spied rocking a pale grey skin in the sketches above and below, behind the market’s new double-height entry facade:


The spots marked for a café and a bakery appear to take the place of the other Canino’s sign currently facing Airline, with the garage-style doors getting glassed over in the process:

That new tall entryway, per the siteplan, leads into a pavilion space that appears to fill the gap between the 2 existing market rows closest to the corner of Service St. and Airline. The melded structure stretches east to the new event lawn and playground area planned for the complex, which will take up the space between the pavilion and the other existing buildings closes to Lula St.: 

The little building on the far east end labeled Market Building E appears to be another new addition, capping off what the drawing labels the Market Plaza. Elsewhere around the property, the currently open parking lot between the sales areas and the warehouses to the north is depicted as a structured grid of mostly-right-angled spaces, copiously trimmed with trees and landscaping flourishes:

Other renderings give more grounded views of the lawn and playground areas, beneath what appears to be a 7-or-so-landing observation tower:

 Images: MLB Capital Partners (renderings); Chris S. (top photo);Vik P. (second photo)

The Canino’s Retail Experience

11 Comment

  • This is amazing! Great news! Some things that seems to make other markets around the world such successful destinations (Pike Place, Borough Market, Reading Terminal, etc.) is their accessibility within a dense urban core. In each case, the locations are accessible to pedestrians and located near high-traffic public transit locations. They are also near other walkable destinations like stores and restaurants, art galleries and museums; within walking distance from hotels and other destinations. It will be interesting to see how this works out in Houston on Airline with all of the car traffic and expansive space needed to accommodate parking. I hope Airline and Cavalcade get to be a little more walkable and buses run there more often.

  • Oh, there will most certainly be whitewashing but not necessarily in the form of painted buildings.

  • I still miss the Fiesta off Studewood…. Caninos was whitewashed long ago

  • I understand walking/cycling to restaurants, bars, and even work, but the appeal of grocery-shopping without a car is lost on me. I did it out of necessity when I lived car-less in Europe, but I dreaded grocery day, which meant schlepping handfuls of bags onto the tram or carefully balancing them on the handlebars of my bike. I guess it’s not so bad if you’re only running to get 2 or 3 items, but to me, making a trip to get 2 or 3 items is a waste of time.
    Plans for the market look great, can’t wait to see the finished product.

  • Honestly it makes me a little sad to see the change but I never go there. Mason is a smart guy though so it should be a good project at the end.

  • What I fail to see is more customer parking. If this is going to be a “destination venue” then that is a huge failing

  • The only people who like this are those who stand to profit from it.. Another institution ruined..

  • Say goodbye to reasonably priced fresh produce … and hello to triple toquadruple the price for yuppifiication …. yet another loss in the name of so called progress …

  • R, won’t there still be several vendors there to compete? Why would the price go way up? Might go up a bit to account for any possible increase in rent but it’s not like they all can say “Yuppies, we can charge 3x!” Not the way the market works.

  • Geez We Have To Have Some Spanish Culture Left In The Heights Everything Doesnt Have To Be White Linen Properties Everybody Likes To Buy Wholesale For Good Produce Or Special Catholic Or Hispanic Items Boohoo!

  • Cindy, what ARE you babbling about?
    I bet if the shoe was on the other foot – if your neighborhood was taken over by interlopers – you’d be crying in your Coco-Puffs.