MetroNational plans Memorial City expansion north of I-10

March 28, 2019

MetroNational, the prolific west Houston developer behind Memorial City Mall and the growing commercial district around it, announced plans Thursday for a multibuilding project north of the Katy Freeway.

With its vast holdings centered around Gessner just south of Interstate 10, the new development is slated for an 18-acre site across Interstate10 from the mall. It will include several new restaurants, an office building and possibly a hotel.

“This master plan exemplifies the health of the West Houston corridor,” Jason Johnson, MetroNational president, said in a press release “This major expansion illustrates our continued commitment to developing and redeveloping the 265 acres that comprises Memorial City.”

MetroNational has signed a deal with the owners of Kirby Ice House, who will aim to replicate the popular Upper Kirby concept inside the Loop with a 7,000-square-foot wine bar with a large courtyard in the new development. Also leasing space are Mia’s Table, the Johnny Carrabba-owned casual dining restaurant, which plans a 5,830-square-foot eatery. Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos has committed to leasing 4,550 square feet.

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“Our customers have been requesting a Mia’s Table in their Memorial neighborhood for quite some time,” Houston restaurateur Johnny Carrabba, said in press statement. “We decided on Memorial City because it is such a dynamic location and a natural fit for this family-friendly concept.”

The Kirby Ice House space is being designed by Energy Architecture and is slated to break ground this summer, with an anticipated opening in fall 2020. Heights Venture Architecture will design Mia’s Table and Torchy’s, both of which are expected to break ground this spring and open in about a year.

MetroNational began developing the site a few years ago, and in 2017 it completed 10100 Katy Freeway, a six-story, 240,000-square-foot building on the site at the northwest corner of I-10 and Gessner. The largest tenant is Mexican building materials company Cemex, which occupies 80,000 square feet. This fall, insurance brokerage McGriff, Seibels & Williams will relocate to two floors in the building, totaling 69,448 square feet, from 818 Town & Country Boulevard.

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Josh Jacobs, Brooks Shanklin and Jamie Weaver of Edge Realty Partners represented MetroNational in the retail lease negotiations. Brad MacDougall represented the developer in the office lease and Lucian Bukowski and William Padon of CBRE represented the tenant.

Privately-held MetroNational was formed in 1954 and now owns and manages more than 9.9 million square feet of commercial real estate. The company’s largest development is Memorial City, a 265-acre complex with 9 million square feet, including office space, the shopping mall, apartments, a Memorial Hermann medical center and two hotels, including the new Hotel ZaZa.