What could have been, Pearland. What could have been.
A 48-acre swath of land that once was envisioned as a park to showcase oversize busts of U.S. presidents has attracted a Chinese developer to Pearland.
Beijing-based Modern Green Development, an international company and one of the largest green building developers in China, hopes to build a large-scale mixed-use project on the site west of Texas 288 and south of Beltway 8.
The planned development would be its first in the United States and second in North America. The company has constructed 15 million square feet of mixed-use space around the world.
A similar mixed-use project was previously planned for that site around 2007, before the economic downturn stalled the idea and the property was taken over by a bank.
That project, to be called the Water Lights District, was to include a park to display 43 presidential busts by local artist David Adickes.
In Pearland, a suburb where farmland has rapidly given way to residential development in recent decades, the busts were meant to welcome visitors and give the area character.
Only six busts were installed in the Presidential Park & Gardens, and Barack Obama had yet to win election before the project stalled.
Adickes said the busts are now sitting in the yard near his studio in Houston. He said he did not know whether they would be utilized for the new plan.
“The set does exist and is waiting for a final home,” Adickes said. “Theoretically, they would do well there.”
See here, here, and here for the background, because OF COURSE I covered this obsessively. I’m sure this new project will be great and will be needed to deal with the demand of people wanting to live in Pearland. But seriously, you missed out on being the long-term home of the giant Presidential heads. That’s worth way more than any boring old residential development.