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  • Houston First Corporation is seeking an urban design firm to redevelop Jones Plaza. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

Houston’s Jones Plaza Targeted for Major Redevelopment

Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange

by Adolfo Pesquera

Houston (Harris County) – The Houston First Corporation has issued a Request for Qualifications for the redesign of downtown’s Jones Plaza.

Houston First Corp. (HFC) is seeking responses from experienced urban design firms, landscape architects or architects “capable of creating an inspired, iconic, accessible and welcoming design for the reconstruction of Jones Plaza.”

The 1.5-acre public plaza is in the heart of the Theater District. HFC could budget as much as $18 million for the Plaza’s redesign.

HFC will first receive Statement of Qualifications from competing firms. The five finalists will be invited to prepare and participate in a preliminary design concept presentation for final selection.The five top-ranked firms will each receive a stipend of $5,000 and a copy of the visioning document for their participation.

The redesign of the Plaza is one of the short-term projects identified for implementation in the Theater District master plan.

Google Map with graphics by Adolfo Pesquera

HFC’s RFP states that the ideal design will transform the Plaza into a vibrant public square that is visually and physically accessible, welcoming and comfortable, programmed and managed, usable day and night, and reflective of s a performing arts character.

Recommended physical features include:

  • Shade – trees or structures
  • Dining facility
  • Moveable seating and tables
  • Water element
  • Green oasis with seasonal plantings
  • Art installation(s)
  • Informal/flexible/intimate performance space
  • Lighting and projection elements
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Easy access to garage & tunnel system
  • Easy access to facilities across the streets

The Plaza is envisioned to have a Food & Beverage Facility with the following key attributes:

  • Fast casual counter (grab-and-go) service with a seated upper casual component of 4,000 square feet
  • Shared kitchen facility and restrooms
  • Indoor and shaded outdoor seating
  • Ability to be rented as private event spaces
  • Transparent building skin
  • Good visibility and easy access to the building from sidewalks, tunnel, and garage stairs
  • Operable for breakfast and lunch, early (after work) & pre-theater dinner, and post theater dessert/drinks

The estimated budget, including soft and hard costs, is in the range of $10 million to $13 million for the Plaza. An additional $3 million to $5 million is being alloated for the Food & Beverage Facility.

The SOQ submissions are due September 5. Questions concerning the RFQ must be in before noon of August 21.

HFC was created by City Council as a local government corporation to manageme and operate more than ten city-owned buildings and plazas, including the George R. Brown Convention Center, Jones Hall, Wortham Theater, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Talento Bilingue de Houston, and outdoor facilities such as Jones Plaza, Ray C. Fish Plaza, Root Memorial Square, and several other landscaped properties and parking facilities.

Photo courtesy Google Maps.

Photo courtesy Google Maps.



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By |2018-04-23T10:16:53-05:00August 18th, 2017|Construction Preview|

About the Author:

Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.

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