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Imperial Market to Take Shape at Former Imperial Sugar Refinery Site


Imperial’s iconic twin smokestacks will serve as the focal point of Imperial Market’s central green space, a 30,000-square-foot linear park with interactive pop-up fountains and other unique architectural features.

Imperial’s iconic twin smokestacks will serve as the focal point of Imperial Market’s central green space, a 30,000-square-foot linear park with interactive pop-up fountains and other unique architectural features.

Plans include shopping, dining, office space, museum and hotel

The historic structures of the former Imperial Sugar refinery will soon be restored and brought back to life as the signature features of Imperial Market, an upscale shopping, dining, entertainment and cultural destination that incorporates a high-end boutique hotel, Class A office space, the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center and Sugar Land Heritage Foun­dation Museum, along with luxury, multi-family residences.

Construction of the 777,500-square-foot project at U.S. 90 and Highway 6 will begin in late 2015 with a grand opening slated for spring 2017. Imperial Market is being developed by partners Geoffrey Jones and James Murnane, founders of Imperial Market Development, LLC.

Situated along the banks of Oyster Creek within the 720-acre Imperial master-planned community, Imperial Market will encompass 269,600 square feet of upscale retail space and restaurants, some of which will be located in Imperial’s historic Three-Bay Warehouse, which is ideal for larger retail merchants and smaller tenants alike.

The historic, eight-story Char House, built in 1925, will be transformed into a luxury, 120-room Aloft Hotel. The varying floor heights, large windows and the iconic building’s steel and brick structure make it ideal for a boutique hotel experience unlike any other in the Houston area. An adjacent building with 10,000 square feet of conference and meeting space with a fitness center will also be built.

The project design calls for the restoration and relocation of Imperial’s iconic twin smokestacks. They will serve as the focal point of the project’s central green space, a 30,000-square-foot linear park with interactive pop-up fountains and other unique architectural features. The recently restored water tower, the tallest west of the Mississippi River when it was built in 1924, will serve as yet another landmark within the Imperial Market development.

Imperial Market’s massive silos will also be carefully preserved and repurposed for potential retail and restaurant space in a manner consistent with the rich historical character of the site.

“We are deeply respectful of the site’s historical significance and are devoted to creating a shopping, working and living experience where history and commerce seamlessly intersect,” Jones says.

“We want visitors to Imperial Market to know they are somewhere special; a place which expresses authenticity and underscores the history of the site that distinguishes it from any other in our market,” adds co-developer Murnane.

Imperial Market will also include 86,400 square feet of Class A office space over first-floor retail and 275 luxury-style, multi-family residences to be developed by Sueba USA, a premier multi-family residential developer.

In addition, the site will feature the new home of the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center (part of the Children’s Museum of Houston) and the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Museum, which are expected to attract 150,000 visitors per year. Site work on the museums is already under way.

Imperial Market will also benefit from its proximity to Constellation Field, part of the Imperial master-planned community and home of the Sugar Land Skeeters baseball club, which draws in excess of 500,000 fans per year. In addition, the existing Farmers Market at Imperial, a popular and long-standing tradition, will continue to be a signature event much to the delight of its 1,500 weekly visitors.

Imperial Market will be a short walk or bike ride from the upscale Imperial residential neighborhoods now under construction that will eventually feature nearly 2,000 new homes.

As a convenience to the entire Imperial master planned community, Imperial Market will operate a trolley service with stops in Imperial’s residential neighborhoods, Constellation Field and the adjacent headquarters of Nalco Champion with over 1,000 employees. Free parking for Imperial Market patrons will be available in a convenient four-level parking garage servicing 1,500 cars in addition to nearly 450 surface and curbside parking spaces. Valet service will also be available on-site.

Imperial Market will have multiple points of entry that will connect to an interior ring road which will provide superior circulation for patrons. Once inside the development, visitors will experience a family- friendly environment combining the finest in shopping and dining along with cultural opportunities provided by the museums. Multiple public parks and plazas will offer a peaceful escape for shoppers throughout the project.

Since reaching agreement to develop the property, the development team has actively worked with municipal and community leaders to ensure the project is completed in a manner that pays respect to the inherent character of the site while creating jobs and strengthening the local economy.

The project’s plans, subject to approval by the City of Sugar Land’s Planning & Zoning Department, have been warmly embraced by city leaders.

“The City of Sugar Land enthusiastically supports the project,” notes Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson. “It’s a real game-changer for the city and Fort Bend County.”

“We took the time to identify the best team with experience in the financing and development of quality, mixed-use projects,” notes Doug Goff, chief operating officer for The Johnson Development Corp., developer of the 720-acre Imperial master-planned community. “We’re very impressed with the project design. It’s just the right plan for this site.”

Imperial Market has been designed by the renowned global architectural firm HOK and will be constructed by the highly regarded general contracting firm Harvey Builders. Retail leasing is being managed by Garrett Retail Advisors of Fort Worth while office leasing will be handled by Cushman Wakefield. HFF is arranging project financing.

For more information on Imperial Market, go to ImperialMkt.com.

Free parking for Imperial Market patrons will be available in a convenient four-level parking garage servicing 1,500 cars in addition to nearly 450 surface and curbside parking spaces. Valet service will also be available on-site.

Free parking for Imperial Market patrons will be available in a convenient four-level parking garage servicing 1,500 cars in addition to nearly 450 surface and curbside parking spaces. Valet service will also be available on-site.

Imperial’s historic Three-Bay Warehouse will be converted into space for larger retail merchants and smaller tenants alike.

Imperial’s historic Three-Bay Warehouse will be converted into space for larger retail merchants and smaller tenants alike.

Situated along the banks of Oyster Creek within the 720-acre Imperial master-planned community, Imperial Market will offer an upscale shopping, dining, entertainment and cultural destination.

Situated along the banks of Oyster Creek within the 720-acre Imperial master-planned community, Imperial Market will offer an upscale shopping, dining, entertainment and cultural destination.


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