Highrise Land Sale Triggers Early Chelsea Market Exit for Main Street Theater

Rendering of Proposed Chelsea Montrose Highrise, 4 Chelsea Pl., Museum District, Houston

Chelsea Market Shopping Center,  4611-4621 Montrose Blvd., Museum District, HoustonStreet Lights Residential completed its purchase of a strip of land on the east side of the Chelsea Market shopping center (behind the buildings shown at left) on Chelsea Blvd. east of Montrose Blvd. just last month; the 3 small retail buildings there, which used to house the Blue Mambo hair salon, Nolan-Rankin Galleries, the ELS language center, and Just Wax It, were themselves waxed off the site in April. Chelsea Market owner David K. Gibbs sold the property, which extends from Chelsea Blvd. to the edge of the Southwest Fwy., to allow a larger footprint for the development of the 20-story Chelsea Montrose highrise planned next door at 4 Chelsea Blvd. (pictured at top).

The resulting parking shortage at Chelsea Market is to blame for Main Street Theater’s exit from the space in the shopping center it had rented since 1996, according to the theater’s managers and its landlord. The theater group, which was renting 4617 Montrose Blvd. on a month-to-month basis for its Theater for Youth program, had also hoped to use it to stage 3 productions next season during the renovation of its Rice Village location on Times Blvd., which is scheduled to begin in November.


Main Street still plans to move into the new MATCH building in Midtown when that new building for multiple arts groups opens, but it didn’t expect to be losing its Chelsea Market spot before then. “The untimely loss of this valuable performance space, just as the season is beginning, is a blow to MST’s well-being,” marketing director Shannon Emerick wrote in an email to subscribers, “especially in a year when it is working to transition to two new performing venues.”

With weeks to go before beginning work on its 2014-2015 season, the theater company decided to cut 3 scheduled productions. And yesterday, it announced that that its Theater for Youth productions would take place in the Talento Bilingue de Houston theater on Jensen Dr. in the Second Ward. It’s still looking for a place to hold youth classes and camps. Main Street Theater is scripted to exit the Chelsea Market stage by the end of August.

Images: Street Lights Residential (Chelsea Montrose rendering); LoopNet (Chelsea Market)

Museum District Parking

8 Comment

  • Well, I like the rendering, I think it will complement the area –it looks vaguely like Ashby

  • With all the sights and sounds of a completely blocked southwest freeway most of the day, who wouldn’t want to live there?

  • It looks big-city. I like how all of these highrises are popping up like pimples across the broad face of the city. It must be that oily diet.

  • What a bind for MST! Although, if they were renting on a month-to-month basis, they should probably have planned for this eventuality.

    It’s a shame to have to cut their season, though. Wish they could partner with some elementary schools or middle school with a rarely-used auditorium. It doesn’t need to be fancy. I remember going to one of their first offerings at Autry House. Maybe they could do a “back to the roots” season instead?

  • The north-ish facing apartments will have some incredible views of downtown. Hopefully, the sound proofing is sufficient to tune out the freeway. I wonder how my shortcut between Montrose and Main St. will be affected.

  • Won’t this totally block northern views from Museum Tower? They are gonna be pissed.

  • Dana-X for the win!

  • Shame about MST’s season, right after they announced it. But school facilities are surprisingly hard to use. Generally you have to pay to have staff and custodial there, you have restrictions on your content and access, there are usually minimal support spaces available, the lighting and audio is generally not great, and there are usually not very many technical or production people associated with the school. This is less true with high schools as compared with middle schools or elementary schools. And high schools with their traditional proscenium style theaters and fixed seating are probably not ideal for MST shows.