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Sustainable Design: Montrose Market HEB, Houston

Not near the usual high-speed highway or major cross street, the HEB grocery complex that sits on Houston's West Alabama Street had an auspicious if controversial beginning. There was initial criticism of the project stemming from its location on the former site of a beloved but dilapidated apartment complex deep in the city's Montrose neighborhood. The community was also concerned over increased traffic in the area and the possible loss of large trees. So from the beginning, HEB treated the project as an extension of the neighborhood. In an effort to build community engagement, Lake|Flato Architects, HEB’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Design William Triplett, AIA,…

Buy Local

Downtown Austin is experiencing unprecedented growth — towers of hotel rooms, condos, and offices are going up, and many of them are banking on retail at the ground floor. This flurry of construction has its roots in a Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team (RUDAT) hosted by the AIA in Austin in 1992; recommendations for the redevelopment of downtown as a viable and vibrant community day and night supported the reintroduction of residential development and all of the amenities that go along with it. Local retail was central to the equation, and as the community armed itself with the “Keep Austin Weird”…

A Fresh Patina

Much ink, or more accurately, pixels, have been used to describe the decline of traditional retail in this country. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, the United States has over 46 sf of retail per capita, a figure that would seem plausible to anyone traversing an outer belt freeway around Houston or Dallas. Since the post-war era, retail has been in the throes of a Darwinian transformation, with Main Street shops and department stores overtaken by malls, which soon suffered with the arrival of big box “category killers.” Now the “e-tailers,” led by Amazon, have delivered a coup…