By CLARK CONDON

With the Hobby Area Management District becoming a hub for transportation and a gateway to Houston, an opportunity arose to enhance the streetscapes and create a character for the emerging District. Clark Condon worked with the District to assist them with their vision and the implementation.

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THE SCENE

The Hobby Area is rich with aviation history, transportation, and historic, mid-century, modern neighborhoods. Sadly, over time, the area became neglected and lacked a strong, clear identity. The Hobby Area Management District saw a unique opportunity to rebrand and reimagine their district with significant improvements to Broadway Boulevard and Airport Boulevard as their first statement projects.

Broadway Boulevard is in the heart of the Hobby Area Management District and serves as a major transportation corridor to and from William P. Hobby Airport. As a gateway and first impression for the City of Houston, Broadway Boulevard required a complete transformation including enhancement of the streetscapes and an identity for the emerging district. The district incorporated feedback from businesses and stakeholders, like City of Houston, Houston Airport Systems, and Glenbrook Valley, in the design of this signature project. This was also the first project funded by Scenic Houston, a local non-profit, with private and public donation funding.

THE PROJECT

Clark Condon led a comprehensive design exercise for the Hobby Area Management District. Broadway Boulevard required a complete transformation including enhancement of the streetscapes and an identity for the emerging district. The entire right-of-way was reimagined to enhance the experience of the visitors arriving to Houston but also to engage all the neighborhoods and multifamily residential that directly utilize the corridor.

The enhancements coincide with the City of Houston’s infrastructure project along Broadway and The Airport Systems’ Landscape enhancements along Airport Boulevard at the front door of Hobby Airport to improve mobility and walkability within the area. The theme continues a historic identity created in Houston with the use of live oak lined streets and native, adaptive plant material. A major design and implementation component included protecting over 200 mature trees along the corridor while reconstructing the roadway, sidewalks, bus shelters, and crosswalks. Trees for Houston provided over 400 live oak trees for the project, which continued the identity and fulfilled the vision for a lush and shaded thoroughfare.

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THE PROCESS

The approach was multi-fold and began with the creation of a new logo and brand for the District. This was adopted and is being used on signs, identity markers, bus shelters and print graphics throughout. Soon, it will be incorporated into gateway monuments that are currently in schematic design. The design brand also included new bus shelters, lighting, site furniture, special paving, and landscape improvements.

The implementation of the project included complex coordination between numerous stakeholders, in addition to the Hobby Area Management District, including the City of Houston Public Works, Scenic Houston, Trees for Houston, Glenbrook Valley Historic Neighborhood, TxDOT, and CenterPoint Energy, who donated the installation of the city’s first major LED street lights along the corridor. The project also utilized the City of Houston’s Adopt an Esplanade program to provide water for the corridor’s irrigation system. Additionally, through coordination with METRO, the District has installed the first mini, custom designed, bus shelters. The mini shelters provided the needed shelter for riders at less-populated stops. Coordinating, full-size, custom designed, bus shelters were also installed throughout the corridor.

THE RESULT

Clark Condon seamlessly unified the vision of the district into a comprehensive plan that protected over 200 mature trees, improved pedestrian mobility through the installation of new sidewalks and bus shelters, and increased visibility with new LED-efficient streetlights and wayfinding signage. The significant improvements along Broadway have earned multiple awards for its redevelopment from ULI Houston, Keep Houston Beautiful and the Houston Business Journal Landmark Awards.

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