Plans for Urban Community in Rice Village Unveiled

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorHouston–Ziegler Cooper Architects is designing a 578,000-sq.-ft. urban village for owner Lamesa Properties and developer Randall Davis Co. in Houston.Located within the Rice Village, near Rice University, Sonoma will have 213 condominiums, 60,000 sq.-ft. of retail space, 43,000 sq.-ft. of offices, four restaurants, a grocery store and parking for over 900 cars. Opened in the 1930s, the Rice Village is already a 16-block shopping, dining and entertainment district attracting nearby neighborhood residents, Rice University students and faculty, and Texas Medical Center workers. “This is a unique pedestrian community geared toward people who like the interaction that walking provides, and for people who don’t want to drive too much,” Scott Ziegler, senior principal of Ziegler Cooper Architects tells MHN.The Sonoma project will be built in two phases, with phase one expected to be completed by the end of this year and phase two to be complete at the end of 2009. The first phase, a single seven-story building with levels one to four for parking, is surrounded by retail and office space on the first two levels and condominiums on levels three and four. The second phase consists of two seven-story buildings with retail and office space as well as condominiums. “The two phases will be linked by a brick-paved pedestrian plaza, created by closing off a through-street to provide a public domain for café dining, weekend farmers markets and other activities typical of a village square,” Ziegler tells MHN.The two- to four-bedroom condominiums of 1,000 to 3,600 sq.ft. will have arched entries, wood floors and 10-foot ceilings with marble-tiled baths, soaking tubs and kitchens outfitted with custom cabinetry and wine coolers. They will range in price from $500,000 to $850,000.