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Former Houston Pavilions Getting Facelift to Go with Name Change

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When the downtown Houston Pavilions was being built, it was touted as a pass-through from Main Street and the rail line to the other side of town with Discovery Green, Toyota Center and the George R. Brown Convention Center. People would be able to leisurely stroll and browse various shops on their way. That never quite worked out and the odd concrete breezeway with very few stores turned into a ghost town.

Now the mixed-use space -- renamed GreenStreet in April -- is preparing for a much-needed facelift that sounds as if it will attempt to live up to the new name and fulfill its original mission of connecting two parts of downtown.

"Our focus is to implement a plan for GreenStreet that creates lasting value both onsite and for the surrounding downtown businesses," Midway CEO Jonathan Brinsden said in a release. "Ultimately, the changes we are making to the property will help elevate it into the type of mixed-use district that is needed to support the growth and diversification of downtown Houston."

According to the press release, the changes include a kind of atrium in the center that will serve as a green space for customers and diners.

In addition to creating a sense of interconnectivity between the three city-blocks, GreenStreet visitors can expect to enjoy a central courtyard known as The Lawn in the project block between Fannin and San Jacinto, mid-block crossings on Fannin and San Jacinto between Dallas and Polk, expanded outdoor dining spaces, unique water installations, as well as the addition of pavers, benches, planters, lawns and other natural architectural and environmental details along elevators, escalators and the interior walls.

It will be interesting to see how they pull that off considering the limited amount of sunlight that enters the structure, but it would be great if it worked.

Downtown needs more pedestrian-friendly areas, and this could serve to bridge two parts of town that, while only a few blocks apart, seem terribly far away from one another, primarily because of the limited access from the tunnel system that, for the rest of downtown, keeps people out of the summer heat.

The project begins at the end of August, with completion expected in six to nine months.

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