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Sugar Land’s Imperial Sugar Refinery gets another life

New development won't forget iconic refinery's roots
  • The Imperial Sugar Refinery will begin construction this year and be finished by late 2017.
  • The 165-acre former manufacturing facility will include 274 apartment units, a movie theater, restaurants and retail space.
  • The refinery closed in 2003 and developers have been planning the renovation for almost ten years.

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Render of the apartments designed by Sueba USA. The Imperial Sugar Refinery in Sugar Land, Texas, closed in 2003, leaving only the skeleton of a manufacturing plant that helped build the entire city of Sugar Land. However, a breathe of life was given to the area when Johnson Development moved on with plans to continue developing mixed-use retail at the location. Based on the preliminary renders, much of the existing landmarks will be re-used in some way or another. Owner and co-developer Geoffrey Jones, who has lived in the Houston area for 42 years, recalls the landmark from his early days in real estate. "The first time I saw it 30 years ago was at about the time I entered the real estate development business, and I recognized it all those years as being a great future site for mixed-use," he said. The silos that used to store some of the 2.5 million pounds of sugar produced everyday are being turned into restaurants. The iconic 1925 Char House -- one of the area's most...