Renovations started this week on the historic Sunset Coffee Building at Allen’s Landing on the north end of downtown.
The more than 100-year-old structure, now behind a fence as construction begins, is getting a $5.3 million facelift from Houston First Corp. and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. They hope the new design will reconnect the bayou with downtown Houston.
The building sits on a spot often referred to as “Houston’s Plymouth Rock,” according to a joint announcement Friday from the Partnership and Houston First. Brothers August Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen established Houston there in 1836.
The project should be completed in about one year. At that time the building will have an outdoor plaza with refreshment and rental facilities for runners, canoeists, kayakers and bikers. The first level will be office space for the partnership and the second level and a rooftop terrace will be used as event space.
A walkway will connected the building to Commerce Street. Ultimately, the building will connect to Buffalo Bayou’s trail system that stretches to Shepherd Drive.
We first heard about this almost a year ago. At the time, the plan was for work to begin in April, 2013. I don’t know what caused the delay – this story doesn’t indicate – but at least it’s getting started now. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finally done.