Another “urban development” project may be in the works on the site of Pearland’s defunct WaterLights District.
The 48 acres located off State Highway 288 was once the home of Houston sculptor David Adickes’ presidential busts, and a positive topic of conversation among locals before the economic meltdown of 2007 stopped the development project dead in its tracks.
Six years later, the still undeveloped tract has drawn the interest of Modern Green Development, a company that proposes a project similar in many ways to WaterLights, with retail, office, hotel, and eventually multi-family uses.
The publicly-traded company purchased the 48-acre site from the bank in 2013.
“They have bigger plans than just 48 acres, but Phase I is 48 acres,” project spokesman Drew Pelter explained to the council and planning commission.
A plan for the development has been under review with the city, with a presentation held before city council and the planning and zoning commission in a 2013 workshop. The next step in the process is a joint public hearing between Planning and Zoning and the council, set for Feb. 17.
During discussions, the City Council was generally receptive. “We need something to kick off this area,” Councilman Keith Ordeneaux said.
Areas of concern in the plan, according to city staff, include clarification of infrastructure needed, extension of streets, maintenance and ownership of green space and water amenities.
Unlike Waterlights, which had planned a central “canal” water feature with a “restaurant row,” the “Modern Green Ivy District,” as it is called, would include assisted living with a memory care component. Commercial development would be concentrated on the east side of the site facing the 288 corridor. Green spaces are integrated in both commercial and residential areas and are part of a storm water management system, according to the plans.
“Most of the uses they are proposing are ones the comprehensive plan did envision,” said community development director Lata Krishnarao. In fact, much of the renderings in the plan resemble the concepts illustrated in the city’s comprehensive plan, she said.
The next steps for the proposal include the joint public hearing, and two readings before city council. “Modern Green would like to begin work on this as soon as possible,” Pelter told the council.