Pearland - Friendswood Edition | May 2022

Drive, started to take off around 2015, Banfield said. This is when Banfield, as head of the city’s Community and Economic Development Committee at the time, presented his findings about the downtown area to Friend- swood City Council, highlighting the amount of underdeveloped land the city was sitting on. According to the presentation, there were 25 vacant lots and build- ings throughout the city, including 734,225 square feet of vacant commer- cial property within a 1-mile radius of Friendswood Drive. The city generated

so there’s been a strong push to get some commercial growth,” Kabiri said. The three incoming downtown developments are the Albritton, the 1715 Project and the 161 Project—the former two being developed by Tan- nos Development Group. The Albritton, located at 408 S. Friendswood Drive, will be a $31 mil- lion mixed-use development fea- turing apartments and retail, and construction will start at the end of this year. The $20 million 1715 Proj- ect, located down the street at 1715 S. Friendswood Drive, is a medical office

to be able to put their families some- where for graduations, weddings and reunions, Foreman said. Several downtown revitaliza- tion projects are also happening. A $3 million Texas Department of Trans- portation-funded project is nearing completion that consists of upgrad- ing sidewalks, ramps, crosswalks and traffic signals on South Friendswood Drive between FM 2351 and Whisper- ing Pines Avenue. The project, which began June 14, is expected to finish at the end of May, according to Aubrey Harbin, Friendswood director of com- munity development. The city is also in the process of securing uniform street lighting and wayfinding signage to help tie every- thing together but will not knowmore about cost and timeline until later this summer, officials have said. “It’s amazing that when you make some improvements to your down- town that way, businesses also start to come in and add to the look and feel of the downtown, and it’s sort of a snowball effect,” Foreman said. Looking to the future Along with the three downtown developments, city officials are also looking toward developments outside


community with apartments, office space and retail space, said Brett Ban- field, co-owner of Banfield Properties, which is developing the 161 Project. “This was always the vision for downtown,” Friendswood City Man- ager Morad Kabiri said. “You can’t have a robust and vibrant downtown area without residential units within close proximity.” Along with downtown develop- ments, the city is also putting the finishing touches on revitalizing the downtown area and planning for the city’s future by updating its compre- hensive plan. Developers are also in the process of building three newmas- ter-planned communities that will add Development in Friendswood has not always been on the rise. Accord- ing to Banfield, Friendswood’s down- town area was declining in the 1980s. “By the late ’90s and early 2000s, downtown Friendswood looked so bad that investors and lenders started turning away from it,” Banfield said. Development in downtown, which is anchored by South Friendswood to the city’s residential growth. Breathing life into downtown

$21,403 in property tax revenue on these prop- erties in 2014. Since the presenta- tion, 10 of the 17 acres of land have been rede-

building that broke ground in April, Tannos Development Group President Louis Tannos said. The projects will be completed in 2023

Friendswood by 2024. 3

developments coming to downtown

veloped and have added $23.6 million to the commercial property tax base, Banfield said via email. City officials expect the three developments in the works to gener- ate a large amount of sales tax, and they said they hope to decrease the amount of property taxes residents have to pay. “In the last 20 years or so, we’ve been focused on trying to diversify that tax base beyond residential alone,

and 2024, respectively. Meanwhile, Banfield Properties’ 161 Project will include 30 hotel rooms, retail space, office space and 30 multifamily units. The estimated $20 million development will be at 161 W. Shadowbend Ave. The 161 Proj- ect is in design, and Banfield said he hopes to break ground in early 2023 and open it by the end of 2024. One of themain reasons for building the hotel is for Friendswood residents



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