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A 150-acre stretch of land along the Buffalo Bayou is reportedly receiving a makeover and a new name:

No longer the Fifth Ward, say ‘hello’ to East River, Houston.


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Bayou City-based development firm Midway is said to be building a mixed use project on the land, currently planned to include living spaces, businesses, restaurants and retail.

According to the company’s brochure, The ‘East River’ project will be constructed across multiple phases over the course of decades.

If the name Midway sounds familiar, it may be because they are the developers behind Houston’s upscale Citycentre shopping mall.

Denver’s LoDo and Riverfront Park areas, the Ferry Building in San Francisco and both New York’s Meatpacking District, as well as Dumbo neighborhood, all provided inspiration for East River, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Midway also recently put out a video on the project’s Instagram account pitching East River to Amazon for its HQ2 headquarters building:

In the pitch, Midway emphasizes the location of its project – something additionally included in all of its promotional material – noting how downtown is less than a mile away and easy access to the waterfront.

It further maintains the space will be walkable and bike-able, offering a short trip to everything ‘hip’ in Houston, all while connecting with the existing network of Buffalo Bayou trails.

As is sometimes the case of new developments in historically working-class neighborhoods, however, some say they are worried the project could create problem for residents already being priced out of the area by rising property value and rents.

“It’s that double-edged sword,” Patrick Ezzell, director of economic development and infrastructure for the Greater East End Management District, said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. “On one hand, increasing property values should create wealth, and, on the other hand, it then creates a barrier to actually staying in a neighborhood.”

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Midway said it wants to start building in the next several years.

This is a developing story.

It’s the end of an era, as developers proclaim the death of Houston’s Fifth Ward, but what’s in name? AP Photo/Pat Sullivan
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