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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.

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...