NewForm expands Main & Co redevelopment

Acquisition of 119-year-old Houston bank building adds to plans for artsy nightlife district

NewForm Real Estate's Dan Zimmerman and 917 Franklin Street in Houston
NewForm Real Estate's Dan Zimmerman and 917 Franklin Street in Houston (Loopnet, NewForm Real Estate)

Downtown Houston’s historic section is about to add some sizzle.

NewForm Real Estate has purchased 917 Franklin Street in an expansion of Main & Co, its redevelopment of historic buildings centered around a vibrant art scene and nightlife, the Houston Business Journal reported. The price wasn’t disclosed.

The six-story building, previously owned by LM & Associates, will be the latest addition to NewFrom’s holdings on the historic strip, which now span from Commerce to Franklin streets. The building comprises just over 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 35,000 square feet of office space above, the outlet said.

The 917 Franklin building, built in 1904, was originally designed by architectural firm Green and Svarz for Commercial National Bank. The City of Houston gave the site a landmark designation in 2020.

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Certain traditional architectural features such as the limestone and brick facade will be preserved, but the interior is already undergoing considerable upgrades. Renovations include a redesigned lobby with new furnishings, wall coverings and articulated lighting. Office spaces will be revamped with new lighting, audio visual wiring and mini kitchens. 

“We look forward to preserving the architecture of the building, while sustainably restoring and updating the interior office spaces and street retail to meet the needs of today’s office tenants and customers,” NewForm president Dan Zimmerman told the outlet. 

NewForm has restores other Main & Co properties as well, including the  Raphael, Dorrance, and Brewster buildings. Zimmerman told the outlet that his team approaches these projects with “extreme sensitivity” to help cultivate a lively downtown scene of restaurants, bars, offices and art. 

—Quinn Donoghue

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