Residents were first introduced to initial plans for the redevelopment of the historic Heights Waterworks site between 19th and 20th Streets at Nicholson back in December, and familiar name will be taking over part of the site’s redevelopment.
According to Leasing Director Zach Wolf, Braun Enterprises will purchase the waterworks property which sits on 2.1 acres at the northeast corner of 19th and Nicholson from Phoenix-based Alliance Residential in September and turn it into a collection of restaurants in the neighborhood near downtown. Alliance will continue with the unencumbered site at the northwest corner of Nicholson and 20th Street.
Wolf said Alliance Residential approached Braun late last fall about purchasing the former Heights water plant, and the company was only too happy to accept.
Redevelopment of the historic site will be Braun’s 25th project in the Heights area, following popular attractions such as Bernie’s Burger Bus and Harold’s.
“We will be reincorporating many of the water pumps and equipment in some of the buildings throughout the site,” Wolf said. “The goal is to embrace the old buildings while making the site feel like the overall neighborhood meeting spot. This truly is going to be something special.”
Wolf said Braun intends to embrace the walkability and help continue to connect Yale to Shepherd along 19th St, as it has always been the bullseye in the Heights for retail.
In Building C, Braun is in the final stages of negotiations with a coffee focused restaurant for which the space could be expanded to 3,200 square feet. However, the Reservoir Building (Building D) is the real gem of the project according to Wolf, and he said Braun is working in conjunction with several different groups about revitalizing the building into event space, food hall or wine bar and restaurant — complete with a beautiful oak tree in the back that can serve as a covered patio.
“This will be a great place for people in the Heights to enjoy the outside grass lawn with their family,” he said. “This truly is a blank canvas and we want to pick the right partner to embrace the building.”
In addition to the three historic buildings, Braun is developing an adjacent freestanding building on 19th street that will tie in with the site’s existing architecture, consisting of a 4,000 square-foot fast casual restaurant with a large patio opening up to the hustle and bustle of 19th street. There will also be an additional 1,000 SF of extra shop space on the west side for lease.
By adding the four free-standing restaurants (and with HEB already on its way to the Heights at 24th and Shepherd), Wolf believes the project will only further cement this northern end of the Heights as the ‘place to be’ for retail. The space will also include a lawn area in the center of the existing buildings.
“We are incorporating a considerable amount of greenery and outdoor space to make it very pedestrian friendly,” he said. “The Heights Hike and Bike Trail runs adjacent to the western side of our property and we expect to generate considerable pedestrian traffic off the trail.”
Jerry and Jared Tipps of Tipps Architecture are designing the overall site as well as the new construction building, which should be ready to roll in the second quarter of 2018.