Introducing East River
East Houston is buzzing with exciting growth and development, and the team at Midway is leading the charge.
The new East River development is the largest project happening in Houston right now. North of East Downtown and along the southern edge of the Fifth Ward, this mixed-use project is an equivalent of 60 downtown blocks. Apartments, restaurants, offices, retail, medical buildings, and entertainment are all a part of 1 million feet of new construction. East River 9, an exciting new golf course and the restaurant Riverhouse are open now. At East River, urban meets nature, harmonizing the beautiful natural gifts of Houston with all the amenities of a modern, sophisticated city. It is intended to be highly walkable, bikable, and livable, channeling the city’s energy and spirit into a mixed-use space just minutes from downtown. The project reconnects the urban setting of the East End with over 6,000 feet of water frontage along the Buffalo Bayou. Anna Deans, an Investment Manager at Midway, explains that the idea for East River began with a desire to create a large-scale destination within the Fifth Ward, with close proximity to downtown near the Buffalo Bayou. “We wanted to create a pedestrian oriented environment for all to enjoy that represented everyone in our city,” Deans says. This project has been in the works for years now and saw its fair share of challenges in the beginning. A project this large takes a lot of coordination and a lot of planning. “It’s basically one-fifth the size of Downtown,” Dean says. One of the largest projects in Houston is always a large undertaking, but some pre-leasing and building took place during COVID, making this job all that much larger. “It was an interesting challenge,” Dean says, “but now we’re well on our way to finishing the first phase.” The first phase includes 360 multifamily units, two office buildings, a parking garage, and retail buildings on the waterfront. East Houston is buzzing with exciting growth and development, and the team at Midway is leading the charge.
“We wanted to create a pedestrian oriented environment for all to enjoy that represented everyone in our city.” –Anna Deans
Deans says her and her colleagues looked to the industrial history of the area to find inspiration for design. “What drove the design of early industrial buildings was really the function within the building,” Deans says. In much of the design, Midway sought to embrace that spirit of functionality in the design. That means you’ll see a lot of exposed materials like steel and concrete. The design also sought to pair the area’s industrial roots with its history as a spot where artists and creators spent time. “The East End already has such a great kind of funky, cool, eclectic, artistic vibe,” Deans says. This legacy is reflected in space for murals, community art, and unique signage. Deans says her team is excited to bring a new experience to Houstonians, who may not always think of the town as a place where people spend leisure time on the waterfront. "It’s a very unique environment, waterfront patios and bike trails and beautiful park spaces along what really feels like a river in this part of the city,” Deans says. “It’s gonna be exciting when people can ride their bike along the trail and pull up to a restaurant and let their kids run around in the park with a great view of downtown in the background.”