Published Sep 14, 2023 by Hailea Schultz
When the $58 million Buffalo Bayou Park renovation project that beautified and transformed the iconic green space was completed in 2015, the area stretching from I-45 West to Shepard Drive, known as the Allen Parkway corridor, was primed for growth.
Gaining attention from developers and businesses, the area quickly became a hotspot for residents looking for a short commute to work and easy access to food, entertainment and green space. Groundbreaking developments such as Regent Square, the 24-acre master-planned mixed-use district combined with the area’s close proximity to downtown, propelled growth, establishing the Allen Parkway Corridor as a premier destination.
However, after Hurricane Harvey hit Greater Houston in 2017, people and businesses faced costly damages, and Buffalo Bayou Park was left submerged underwater. Dedicated to stay in the growingly popular Allen Parkway corridor, businesses implemented new flood mitigation processes, including podium-style parking garages that feature concrete parking structures on the bottom floors, serving as a barrier to protect buildings from possible flooding.
Other flood mitigation projects following Harvey include the North Canal project that will provide flood protection to 30,000 commercial and residential buildings downtown, and along White Oak and Buffalo Bayou, over 300 local drainage projects, and more than $100 million in dredging projects.
Six years later, the Allen Parkway corridor proves to be “Houston strong,” as it now reflects a bustling community, booming with new developments and business.
A new, sophisticated $500 million mixed-use development dubbed The Allen is breathing life back into the area and redefining its real estate market.
The first phase, The Residences at The Allen, includes the development of a $290 million, 35-story skyscraper that towers over Buffalo Bayou Park. The stylish new building will offer luxurious condos, high-rise penthouses, and a sleek 170-room Hotel – the Thompson, which will reside on the first 15 floors. The Thompson Hotel will feature lavish amenities such as a 24-hour valet service, a resort-style pool deck, a full-service spa, and a helipad that both guests and residents can access.
The Residences at The Allen is nearing completion, with residents expected to move in this fall. Nearly four years in the making, the remarkable development is set to revolutionize the Allen Parkway corridor, driving high-end property buyers and businesses to the area.
"These residences epitomize the pinnacle of the development,” said Acho Azuike, COO of DC Partners, the developer leading The Allen project. “The Penthouse Collection, each a masterpiece in design and style, take inspiration from the grandeur of condo living, infusing every residence with the world's most coveted luxury features. Buyers now seek properties and amenities that rival those found in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami. The Residences at The Allen are setting a new standard for elevated living in Texas."
The project also includes a 62,000-square-foot retail building – the Pavilion at the Allen, which has already been completed. The Pavilion at the Allen is home to a 34,000-square-foot gym by EOS Fitness, formerly known as Texans Fit, and Toca Madera, a high-end Mexican steakhouse scheduled to open by the end of this year.
Phase II of The Allen is anticipated to break ground in early 2024 and will include more retail and restaurant space and luxury multi-family living.
Alongside The Allen comes another massive mixed-use project – Autry Park, a 14-acre urban village designed to increase connectivity and walkability to food, entertainment, retail, and living.
The project's first phase includes two apartment buildings, Hanover Autry Park, a 24-story apartment tower with 324 units, and Hanover Parkview, an eight-story mid-rise with 421 units, as well as 50,000 square feet of mixed-use space. The apartment buildings opened last year, featuring gyms, dog parks and pet salons, movie rooms, coworking spaces, and all-inclusive pools.
Many unique restaurants, shops, and amenities will open in the upcoming months at Autry Park’s mixed-use space, including Doko, a sushi restaurant complemented by an intimate, 12-seat bar – Bar Doko, Duo, a fitness studio and café offering Pilates and spin classes and a full bar and kitchen and Sloan/Hall, an eccentric boutique featuring gift items, ready-to-wear clothing and fine jewelry.
The project will also bring a new lighted intersection on Allen Parkway at the development's main entrance on Buffalo Park Drive. This new road will create safer access to and around Buffalo Bayou Park. Other infrastructure updates include revamping pedestrian crosswalks and traffic signals and a new bike lane along West Dallas.
Future phases will include five additional buildings encompassing 1,450 residential units, thousands of square feet of retail space, and a hotel.
“With a 14-acre blank slate, we saw an opportunity to ‘re-mix’ the concept of mixed-use by creating great spaces that integrate entertainment, technology, and wellness in a way that meets the needs of today’s workers, residents, shoppers, and visitors,” Lionstone CEO Jane Page, Autry Park developer, said in a news release. “Sustainable and healthier spaces can result in more productive people, and Autry Park combines best-in-class real estate in a walkable environment with access to the relaxation and outdoor activities afforded by the park.”
Other new developments bolstering the Allen Parkway corridor include the Ismaili Center, a cultural hub spanning 11 acres placed at the southeast corner of Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard. The new center will consist of breathtaking outdoor gardens and serve as a gathering space for the Ismaili community to worship and provide cultural and educational programs. The center is slated to be completed by the end of 2024.
Additionally, the second phase of Regency Square – The Sterling, a 590-unit multi-family complex, recently opened in 2021. Adjacent to the apartment building, the new section will add 55,000 square feet of retail space, including three stand-alone restaurants surrounded by a pedestrian-friendly plaza featuring captivating green space and stunning water features.
Discover Houston’s neighborhoods and communities.