Houston First Corporation (HFC) announced their redevelopment plans for Jones Plaza, located in the heart of downtown’s Theater District. Rios Clementi Hale Studios (RCHS) was selected to lead this project and stated that they aim to revitalize the plaza into a vibrant public square for all visitors. The project will begin in May 2018 and is slated to be completed in November 2020.
“Rios Clementi Hale Studios is thrilled to work with the Houston First Corporation, the City of Houston, and Theater District stakeholders on the redesign of Jones Plaza. For us, this is a remarkable opportunity to bring together the two things- public open space and venues for the performing arts- which have been at the heart of our most rewarding work” says Nate Cormier, ASLA, principal-in-charge, RCHS.
The Jones Plaza redevelopment is a partnership between the City of Houston, HFC, and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority. In addition, to a $5 million commitment by Bob Eury on behalf of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Jim and Whitney Crane joined the team. The redevelopment was first outlined in the 2015 Theater District Master Plan and was intended to create an “immersive arts and culture environment where the vitality of the performing and visual arts spill into the streets, sidewalks, and public spaces.”
“Downtown is the heart of Houston. It is a vibrant, urban center comprised of talented people, leading corporations, premier performing arts companies, and dynamic public spaces. The redevelopment of Jones Plaza will only enhance downtown’s cultural footprint,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We are grateful for the support of Houston First, the Downtown Redevelopment Authority and Jim and Whitney Crane for helping bring this vision to life.”
“Jones Plaza’s redevelopment will transform the space into the focal point of the Theater District as it was always intended. We look forward to redeveloping this area into a welcoming venue of its own that ignites excitement among Houstonians,” said David Mincberg, board chairman of Houston First Corporation.
Participating firms were tasked with submitting designs that encouraged visual and physical attributes, easy access from all sides, strong connections to nearby facilities, shade features like trees or structures, moveable seating and tables, a water element, flexible performance space, lighting elements, and artful elements.
In addition, HFC envisions the Plaza to incorporate a 4,000 square foot dining facility that will offer a fast-casual counter and seated, upper casual services for breakfast, lunch, early pre-theatre dinner, and post-theatre dessert and drinks.