Monthly Archives: February 2017

Pedestrian-friendly plaza is latest part of Rice Village makeover

Houston Chronicle
Written by: Katherine Feser

A small parking area in a corner of the Rice Village will soon be a pedestrian plaza as part of an ongoing transformation of the longtime shopping and dining district.

Known as Morningside Plaza, the space will provide seating and free Wi-Fi in front of D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe, Nao Ramen Houston and the soon-to-open Hopdoddy Burger Bar. It’s on Morningside Drive, between Times and University boulevards.

“Within the tight confines of Rice Village, our biggest challenge has been finding opportunities to add much-needed public space for the community,” Tommy Miller, managing director of Trademark Property Co., said in an announcement Monday.

“This plaza was basically created out of thin air. We’re creating an engaging gathering place framed by landscaped planter boxes with new shade trees and seating. It is time for this beloved but neglected stretch of Morningside known for its vibrant restaurant and bar scene to evolve, and hopefully this will be a catalyst for future improvements.”

Eleven parking spaces were eliminated to make way for the new Morningside Plaza, Rice Village spokesman Bernard Kaplan said. That is a small fraction of the more than 750 parking spaces in a region of Rice Village owned by Rice University and managed by Trademark Property. The area is bounded by Morningside, University, Kirby and Times.

A planned widening of the 130-foot length of the sidewalk along Morningside will create a more pedestrian-friendly walkway and provide access to food trucks, Kaplan said.

Patrons of food trucks such as Dough Cone, Smoosh Cookie and Yoyo’s Hot Dog, which park along Morningside Drive, will be able to order from the new 5-foot-wide sidewalk.

Completion is planned in early March in time for the Hopdoddy Burger opening.

Rice Village is changing the parking set-up, essentially flipping the paid and free spaces, Kaplan said. Newly installed meters, currently undergoing testing, are expected to be in service next week. Shoppers will pay rates starting at $1 per hour for prime spots in front of stores, while garage parking will be free for the first two hours.

The parking changes follow a 2015 study by Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research that found that as many as 1,000 spots are unused during peak demand times such as lunchtime or on Saturdays.

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New Morningside Plaza taking shape in Rice Village

Houston Chronicle
Written by: Katherine Feser

Trademark Property Co. is creating a public gathering space along Morningside as part of the transformation of the Rice Village shopping and dining district.

Known as Morningside Plaza, the space will provide seating and free Wi-Fi in front of D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe, Nao Ramen Houston, and Hopdoddy Burger Bar, which is set to open in March. It’s located between Times and University Boulevard.

“Within the tight confines of Rice Village, our biggest challenge has been finding opportunities to add much-needed public space for the community,” Tommy Miller, managing director, Trademark Property Co.  said in an announcement.

“This plaza was basically created out of thin air. We’re creating an engaging gathering place framed by landscaped planter boxes with new shade trees and seating. It is time for this beloved but neglected stretch of Morningside known for its vibrant restaurant and bar scene to evolve and hopefully this will be a catalyst for future improvements.”

A new, wider sidewalk is also planned along Morningside to improve access to food trucks.

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Amon Carter Museum to Showcase Art at WestBend

FX TX
Written by: Laura Belpedio

Photography from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art is coming to WestBend.

The Amon Carter museum and Trademark Property Co., developer of the WestBend mixed-use district at South University Drive and River Run, have collaborated on a new public art program that features reproductions of the museum’s photography collection. The exhibit is currently showcasing nine photographs that will be replaced with new images every six months.

The inspiration behind the program comes from Trademark Property Co.’s Conscious Place initiative, in which the company strives to make its developments a place of community and meaning, Trademark Property Co. CEO Terry Montesi says.

“Incorporating public art into our properties by partnering with local and national artists and museums is a key initiative for Trademark portfolio-wide because it helps elevate the purpose of our properties beyond retail and commerce. Art adds soul to a property, along with educational and inspirational elements,” Montesi said in a statement. “We are thrilled that WestBend can serve as a home for these pieces and hope that the community gets as much enjoyment from them as we do.”

Along with the photograph collection, five photographic murals created by TCU graduate and assistant registrar at the Amon Carter, Devon Nowlin, are also on display.

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Owl-themed modern sculpture lands in Rice Village

Gonzo247’s mural on Morningside Dr.

Houston Chronicle
Written by: Katherine Feser

California artist Nathan Mabry has created a modernistic owl-themed sculpture as the latest public art installation in Rice Village.

A blue origami-like aluminum owl, along with four smaller lifelike owls, are a nod to Rice University, which has been transforming the shopping district with the help of Trademark Property Co. The sculpture is on Kelvin Drive, just north of University Boulevard.

Nathan Mabry

“While researching Rice Village, I became interested in the vibrant history of the neighborhood and proximity to Rice University. I find myself particularly engaged with the mascot of Rice University, the Owl,” Mabry said in an announcement.

“It’s a powerful symbol in both antiquity and contemporary life. My work has long explored the depiction of birds from all facets of art history.”

Other Rice Village art elements, being managed by MKG Art Management, include a mural by Houston artist Gonzo247/Mario Enrique Figueroa Jr. on Morningside Drive. The Rice Village garage will be the canvas for the next project.

“We want Rice Village to be a place people love to visit for reasons other than just shopping,” Terry Montesi, CEO, Trademark Property Co., said in an announcement.

“We believe enhancing the visual environment improves the experience and makes visitors to Rice Village feel cared about.”

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WestBend, Amon Carter Museum of American Art debute public art series featuring museum’s renowned photography collection

Media Contact:
Maggie Holley, mholley@sunwestpr.com; 214-373-1601

First iteration in series on display now at WestBend in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, Texas (Feb. 2, 2017) – WestBend, Trademark Property Co.’s University District mixed-use development, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art have partnered to bring the Amon Carter’s celebrated photography collection to the heart of Fort Worth’s University District through a unique public art program.

On display now at WestBend is a selection of nine, 4-by-6-foot reproductions from the Amon Carter’s photography collection. The photographs presented on backlit film and displayed in lightboxes, are the first in a series of exhibitions featuring the Amon Carter’s photography program. Each iteration of the series is curated by the Amon Carter and will be on display at WestBend for six month intervals.

The program is part of Trademark Property Co.’s commitment to local and artisan through its Conscious Place initiative, a stakeholder-driven development model that aims to ensure its properties are more than just places of commerce, but also places of community and meaning.

“Incorporating public art into our properties by partnering with local and national artists and museums is a key initiative for Trademark portfolio-wide because it helps elevate the purpose of our properties beyond retail and commerce. Art adds soul to a property, along with educational and inspirational elements,” said Terry Montesi, CEO, Trademark Property Co. “We are thrilled that WestBend can serve as a home for these pieces and hope that the community gets as much enjoyment from them as we do.”

The first iteration focuses on nine works that represent the breadth of the Amon Carter’s collection.

“We are delighted to be working with Trademark to introduce illustrations from our distinguished photography collection and program to the broader Fort Worth community through this innovative endeavor,” said John Rohrbach, senior curator of photographs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

With more than 45,000 works by over 450 artists, the Amon Carter is one of the world’s leading repositories of photography. The museum’s holdings span the development of photography, from one of the first images made in the United States, to digital prints made in the last twelve months. Besides tracing photography’s artistic development through works created by the medium’s iconic figures, the collection vividly reflects the nation’s diverse natural beauty and history.

In addition to the Amon Carter series, WestBend also features five photographic murals by Fort Worth artist and TCU graduate, Devon Nowlin, assistant registrar at the Amon Carter. The murals, which face the scenic Trinity River and Trinity River Trails and the new Tom Thumb, capture the shopping and dining experience, health and fitness, and the natural surroundings of WestBend. Additional public art initiatives are planned for the property in the coming months.

WestBend is located at South University Drive and River Run in Fort Worth, TX.

About WestBend

Developed by Trademark Property Co., WestBend is a 278,000-mixed-use development located on the Trinity River in Fort Worth’s University District. WestBend recently completed a major redevelopment adding new retail, restaurants and WestBend 2, a new 81,150-square-foot building that includes Tom Thumb on the ground floor and 57,000 square feet of new Class A office space directly above. Tenants include CorePower Yoga, Drybar, East Hampton Sandwich Co., HG Sply Co., Pax & Parker, Silver Fox, Tyler’s, Woodhouse Day Spa, Zoë’s Kitchen and the River Plaza office tenants. For more information, visit westbendfw.com or follow WestBend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Amon Carter Museum of American Art

The Amon Carter offers a renowned collection of American art housed in Philip Johnson’s masterpiece in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District. The museum is open Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursday until 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12–5 p.m. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Free admission. @theamoncarter

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