A 1980S-ERA STRIP CENTER AT 1102 PINEMONT DR NEAR ELLA BOULEVARD, is slated to become the area’s newest mixed-use development, a modern and sustainable project called The Common. The developers behind it, Gulf Coast Commercial Group, a Houston-based retail development, management, and leasing firm, are also behind Block 14 at 3201 N Shepherd Dr (on the other end of Garden Oaks). They’re hoping the new project will bridge the communities of Garden Oaks/Oak Forest and Acres Homes. It also joins a handful of new developments sprouting up all over the GOOF.

Plans for the 38,000-square-foot, 2.98-acre Opportunity Zone project, which the developers are calling a “life style hub,” will be centered around a namesake common area—a green space and activated plaza, where the neighborhood can expect farmers markets, artisan pop-ups, and room for dining and fitness classes as well. While reimagining the current structure—two sprawling single-story buildings—architects Schooley Design have paid special attention to creating an architectural aesthetic and environment intended for the diverse communities that The Common will serve, but innovative all the same.

With the remodel set for March, sustainability will also be in mind—the architects have called for reusing materials rather than demolishing, creatively repurposing elements instead of discarding them and integrating the existing structure’s materials when possible. The project will incorporate solar panels to power exterior lighting and water catchment tanks for irrigation. The buildings’s new facades will have a floating exterior of staggered Corten panels, mesh-like material made of steel and copper that will naturally oxidize over time.

OUTPOSTS Landscape Architecture, whose founder Alissa Priebe was also involved with Austin’s mass timber Hotel Magdalena and Saint Cecilia Residences, has planned the landscape design.

The Common’s tenants will include a mix of businesses, shops, and restaurants, including longtime Cajun favorite Esther’s Signature dish (which plans to remain open in its current location at the strip center during renovations).

To read the article published in Houstonia, click here.