AP NEWS

Despite delays, Market Street renovations nearing completion

November 27, 2018

In June, officials with the owners of Market Street —Trademark Property Co. — announced a six-month renovation project — the first since the property opened in 2004. Delayed by an unusually rainy fall, the new face of Market Street is set to debut in the first two months of 2019.

“We felt that it was time to make some enhancements,” said Marketing Director Noemi Gonzalez. “We have to evolve with the times and changing customers.”

The project, designed by Colorado-based 505Design and built by Hoar Construction, will include replacing the grass in its centerpiece Central Park with synthetic turf, installing updated furniture, pathways, lighting and signage, remodel the landscaping, add new shaded areas with pergolas and will almost triple the amount of seating available around the 560,000-square foot property.

Although the renovation was initially expected to be complete before Thanksgiving and the beginning of the busiest shopping season of the year, Gonzalez said the shopping center has seen flat — even slightly elevated — numbers of shoppers compared to this time last year. In part, she added, because the project has taken no parking space and rarely disturbs the more than 80 retail spaces and 20 restaurants.

A primary focus of the project, and a major source of the delay, has been the pop jet fountain at the northern edge of the shopping center. To renovate it, contractors have had to completely dig up the site and replace the flooring, as well as install a new fountain infrastructure.

“That’s what’s taking the longest — it was more than we anticipated,” Gonzalez said. “There were some drainage problems and a few more issues than we thought.”

Ironically, the same heavy rains that made replacing the grass in Central Park a priority has delayed the project. In the past, after heavy rains, the park would often have to be closed for weeks to allow the ground to recover and the grass to regrow. Most of the work is now complete, Gonzalez said, and the park and shopping area should return to normal by February.

Aside from the Market Street-wide infrastructure renovations, several retailers have undergone renovations of their own. The 70-room Hyatt Centric on the western edge of the center recently completed a renovation and replaced most of its interior features, Tommy Bahama remodeled the exterior and interior of its locale and enclosed its patio, allowing for year-round use, and new retailer True Food Kitchen opened in May. The space next to Michael Kors is also being renovated in anticipation of a new tenant, Gonzalez said.

The renovation project includes an overhaul of the Market Street logo suite. Gone is the star that marked the spot where residents of The Woodlands shopped upscale boutiques for 15 years — it’s been replaced by a modern, monochromatic, encircled M rolled out during an 18-month advertising campaign.

“We loved it, but it’s time to evolve,” Gonzalez said. “I wanted something fresher and cleaner that I could put on anything.”

The rebrand and renovation came at a perfect time for Market Street, Gonzalez said. The design of properties like Market Street are usually revisited every 10 or 15 years, and the shopping center is evolving to accommodate the changing population and demographics of The Woodlands. No major structural changes are being made, so the renovation is focusing on refreshing the wear-and-tear of Market Street.

Despite the construction around it, Market Street’s famed 70-foot Christmas tree was erected shortly before the Thanksgiving break. A break in the industrial fencing around it still allows for unobscured holiday photo sessions, Gonzalez said, allowing residents to continue celebrating the holidays at Market Street.

mrincon@chron.com

AP RADIO
Update hourly