Modernization Begins on This State's Oldest Farmers Market
Restaurateur to Open Concept at Redevelopment
The modernization of a 76-year-old open-air market in Houston that is the oldest farmer’s market in Texas has begun.
MLB Capital Partners held a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 6 for the redevelopment of the Houston Farmers Market, a 17.5-acre open-air market located off Interstate 10 and the 610 Loop, nestled between Houston’s historic Heights and Northside neighborhoods. MLB Capital bought the property at 2520 Airline Drive from the Farmers’ Marketing Association of Houston in 2017 for an undisclosed price. As of January, the property was valued at $11.6 million, according to the Harris County Appraisal District.
Filings with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation show the redevelopment is expected to cost around $10.4 million and include adding a plaza, parking lot, a restaurant and renovating existing structures.
Chris Shepherd, a James Beard Award-winning chef and one of Houston’s biggest names in food, is working as a project consultant and will develop a concept for the Houston Farmers Market, according to the statement.
“As the country’s fourth-largest city and leading culinary capital, Houston is long overdue for a world-class market,” Todd Mason, managing principal at MLB Capital Partners, said in the statement.
The market will host wine tastings and chef demonstrations, and MLB Capital Partners will add more infrastructure to increase the market’s capacity for vendors. The Houston Farmers Market will remain open throughout the renovations, which are expected to be completed late next year.
MLB Capital is led by Mason, Jeff Lindenberger and Fred Baca. Mason and Lindenberger are principals at the Houston office of Toronto-based Avison Young. Baca served as president of Colliers International's Houston office from 2001 through 2009, according to MLB Capital's website.
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Studio Red Architects is the architect on the project, Clark Condon Associates is the landscape architect, Gunda Corp. is the civil engineer and Arch-Con Construction is the general contractor, according to the statement. Prosperity Bank is the lender, according to records with the Harris County Clerk.