A few months after Irving, Texas-based Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR) announced it will leave Sugar Land after 40 years, plans are underway for the redevelopment of the campus it’s vacating.
Sugar Land-based Planned Community Developers said it has the 53-acre Lake Pointe Plaza under contract with the property owner, prominent Houston businessman Charles Hurwitz’s Maxxam Inc.
PCD plans to develop a mixed-use waterfront district with retail, restaurants and entertainment venues; apartments, townhomes and condos; a 4-star hotel with
conference center and exhibition hall; boutique office space; and medical and life sciences facilities.
The Houston office of San Francisco-based Gensler is in charge of design for the development, which will accentuate the waterfront on both sides of the peninsula, PCD said.
That includes an “interactive wharf dining experience” with piers and bridges and activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding and water cycling on Brooks Lake.
Also part of the vision are mature tree-lined streets, walking trails and parks, and a beacon lighting theme, which “just make it (someplace where) people want to come … and just hang out, a place you’d like to go to have fun, not just to go eat, shop or anything
— just go there and have a great afternoon,” said Don Janssen, president of PCD.
PCD also developed the 10,000-acre First Colony master-planned community, including the 32-acre Sugar Land Town Square. It previously bought 190 acres surrounding the Fluor campus from Fluor and has since developed it into Lake Pointe Town Center, including retail, restaurants, townhomes and two hotels. The 53-acre site is the last piece of land PCD is scooping up in the Lake Pointe development, and it has been a long time coming.
“I’ve been really working with the current owner of the property for about four years,” Janssen said. “Because I knew there was the absolute chance that Fluor could leave, and I didn’t want to wait until I knew whether they were going to stay or leave.”
The property has been under contract for the past four months, he said, since before Fluor announced that it was going to move its Houston office to the Energy Corridor.
The global engineering and construction company has signed a 12-year lease with Plano, Texas-based Granite Properties for the entire Three Eldridge building, at 737 N. Eldridge Parkway, and plans to move its roughly 1,600 employees by the end of the second quarter of next year.
PCD hopes to get started on the development, including tearing down all or most existing buildings, in the third quarter of next year. Build-out of the entire mixed-use could take 10 to 12 years, Janssen said.
The developer also involved the city of Sugar Land in its vision for the site early on, he said, adding he wants it to be a collaborative effort that gives all stakeholders a seat at the table.
“The city has identified the Fluor campus as an opportunity site for future redevelopment in the city toward our effort in creating ‘Regional Activity Centers’ — compact, walkable mixed-use areas,” city spokesman Doug Adolph said in a statement. “We look forward to PCD presenting their project to the City Council tomorrow night (Aug. 22).”
Last November, Fluor sold another 50-acre site where it had originally meant to build a new campus, to Dhanani Private Equity Group. The Stafford-based developer also plans to turn that vacant site, on University Boulevard off Interstate 69 next to Sugar Land’s Smart Financial Centre, into a mixed-use development including townhomes, retail, restaurants, and office space.
Earlier this month, PCD handed over management of Sugar Land Town Square to Rebees Management Co. but continues to handle leasing for the town center.
PCD has since moved its office from there to Lake Pointe Plaza, at 1 Fluor Daniel Drive.