by Laura Gillespie | Houston Business Journal
August 19, 2020
Two local boutiques, Common Assembly and June & Co., have signed leases in the massive M-K-T mixed-use development underway in the Heights.
Common Assembly, an online women's clothing retailer, will open its first store in a 1,200-square-foot space. Owner Karina Shivdasani said she probably took the harder route, opening an online store first a year ago, but now has a lot more confidence in her brand and has learned a lot through her online store. She'll bring over her three employees to the new space and might hire more. She chose M-K-T for the hype around the area and because she says the space is fun.
"When we came up with the concept of Common Assembly, we wanted to start off with a storefront. Because of the way the industry was going, it's best (if we) understand the online space, see what our customers like, get a lot of information, do a year and test and learn. Our goal was always to open our first store in Houston. It just worked out it's happening now," Shivdasani said.
June & Co. already has a store in Rice Village. The M-K-T location will be its second.
M-K-T is a joint venture of Houston-based companies Triten Real Estate Partners and Radom Capital LLC along with Boston-based Long Wharf Capital. JLL’s Russell Hodges, Bubba Harkins and Jenny Mueller are handling leasing for M-K-T’s office space, while Christie Amezquita, Brittney Austin and Linda Rubiola with Shop Cos. are handling the retail leasing.
Triten and Radom teamed up in 2018 for the project, which will redevelop 200,000 square feet of industrial buildings. M-K-T will contain 100,000 square feet of creative office space, 100,000 square feet of retail, an abundance of green space and a boardwalk-inspired gathering space around the Heights bike trails at North Shepherd Street and 6th and 7th streets.
One of the previously announced tenants is Pedego Electric Bikes, which will occupy 1,100 square feet near the development’s bike trails.
Jason Miller, co-owner of the local Pedego dealership, recently told the Houston Business Journal that his electric bicycle shop in the M-K-T will be complete in roughly the next two months. The build-out is expected to cost roughly $130 to $180 per square foot.
Miller will work with local restaurants for socially distant bicycle tours, as he does from his Fulshear location, stopping to try bites or wine before riding off. With the wide selection of Heights restaurants to choose from, Miller said he might do themed tours, such as an Asian food tour.
“We’ll probably approach (all restaurants). There are so many amazing places (in the Heights) that have opened up to outdoor pickup or seating, and we’ll work with them on that,” Miller said.
In May 2019, M-K-T signed its first two tenants, Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market and Honeychild's Sweet Creams. The tenant list soon increased to include SmartVault, Burdlife, Elite Meals, Miller Grossbard Advisors, Da Gama Canteen, Rishi Hospitality, XCL Resources LLC, Homestead Kitchen & Bar, Anjouil’s, Heights Icehouse, Treadwell, Huemn, and Union Studio Yoga.
Additionally, recent construction permits indicate that La La Land Kind Cafe, a Dallas-based coffee shop and café, also is preparing to open a location in the mixed-use development. The cafe, which focuses on hiring those who have aged out of foster care, serves coffee and matcha drinks, as well as a limited food menu that includes toasts, overnight oats and puddings.
M-K-T's first office tenant — Miller Grossbard Advisors — recently completed its office build-out and moved into its new space in July. With the addition of Houston-based advertising agency Decode earlier this month, the office portion is now 50% leased.
Other office tenants are expected to take occupancy over the third quarter of 2020, with retailers and additional office tenants anticipated during the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.
Long Wharf Capital financed the project, and it was designed by Austin-based Michael Hsu Office of Architecture.