Located just north of I-10 at Dairy Ashford and North Eldridge Parkway in the Woodcreek development, the site was originally designed in 1978 for Conoco by architect Kevin Roche to resemble a Japanese fishing village, with 16 three-story office pavilions connected by bridges above ponds and grassy areas. To preserve the land’s elaborate history and minimize carbon impact, Midway plans to repurpose a portion of the 70-acre site’s existing infrastructure to introduce new Class-A office and multifamily, high-end retail and restaurants, and boutique hotel opportunities to the West Houston corridor.
“At Midway, we are passionate about building remarkable places that endure, and sustainability is at the forefront of our approach,” said Brad Freels, Chairman and CEO of Midway. “Watermark is a prime example of our future-oriented mindset. It’s an urbanization of the suburban experience in one of the fastest growing regions in Houston. We look forward to introducing a thoughtful and environmentally friendly mixed-use environment that not only sets the stage for future growth and innovation in the area, but also brings the West Houston community together for generations to come.”
Maintaining the standard of quality for Watermark that it upholds across its portfolio of mixed-use destinations — from CITYCENTRE and Century Square to Memorial Green and the future East River development — Midway plans to repurpose portions of the property’s existing 1.3 million square feet of office space while still preserving the low-rise, low-density work environment that the post-pandemic workforce is increasingly seeking for its countless benefits.
Upon completion, Watermark’s 650,000 square feet of future-oriented, Class-A office space will offer people an abundance of natural light, flexible floorplans, and direct access to surrounding mixed-use amenities. A repurposed innovation hub will further attract companies to the city’s corridor.
Ensuring the district remains lively beyond working hours, Midway is also planning to repurpose existing buildings to create luxury multifamily apartments and a boutique hotel with accommodations for both short business trips and extended stays. A variety of chef-driven restaurants, cafes, and bars with waterfront views will provide opportunities for business lunches, family dinners, and happy hours alike.
Midway is slated to modernize the district’s existing 100,000-square-foot wellness/fitness facility and is currently in discussions with several operators. Featuring a full-sized basketball court, an Olympic-size saltwater swimming pool, and soccer field, the facility will add to the district’s wellness offerings, including onsite walking and biking paths, as well as access to Terry Hershey Park’s 12.5-mile network of trails along Buffalo Bayou.
In addition to significantly reducing carbon impact by repurposing a portion of the site’s existing buildings rather than tearing down and starting from scratch, Midway has partnered with U.S.-based cleantech social impact company 374Water to provide a first-of-its-kind onsite, fully integrated sustainable wastewater management system at Watermark. The system will utilize 374Water’s AirSCWO technology to transform wastewater and food wastes generated on property into valuable resources such as clean water, energy, and minerals. These recovered resources will then be reused within the district.
Additionally, the project is preserving more than 500 existing trees and the surrounding landscape of the site while integrating nature into an active, urban, and walkable mixed-use destination. Plans to introduce a new urban grid system will increase connectivity within the community while also showcasing more than 20 acres of green space and nine acres of lakes.
Strategically located along I-10 with Beltway 8 in proximity, Watermark provides access to other major thoroughfares including Loop 610, US-59, and I-45. Transit options include a commuter bus service between The Woodlands and the Energy Corridor as well as METRO’s Addicks Park & Ride service to downtown, Kingsland, Addicks, Texas Medical Center, and Northwest Transit Center. Future office tenants will join the plethora of global companies with headquarters and campuses in the vicinity, including Shell, BP, Enbridge, Baker Hughes, and ConocoPhillips, among others with offices in the Energy Corridor.
“Watermark will enhance the experience of those who work, live, and visit the Energy Corridor District by creating a thriving walkable destination that caters to all,” said Elijah J. Williams, The Energy Corridor District’s Executive Director. “The innovative, environmentally sustainable features Midway has planned for Watermark are consistent with the values of the district and our major employers, who are leading the global energy transition. An amazing example of the future of energy for commercial properties, Watermark creates a spark for The Energy Corridor District’s continued growth.”
Midway has assembled a project team for Watermark including OJB Landscape Architecture, Jacobs, and PDR, among others.
Construction is scheduled to commence in the first half of 2023.