10:33 AM

Sunset Coffee House Renovation to Begin this Spring


By Claire Caton

Houston First Corporation and Buffalo Bayou Partnership held a press conference today to announce the renovation of the historic Sunset Coffee House, couched between UHD's College of Public Service and One Main Street building.

This facility, located at Allen's Landing on the banks of Buffalo Bayou, will feature an outdoor plaza and refreshment and rental accommodations for bikers, runners, canoers and kayakers enjoying the bayous' trails and waterways. The second floor of the building will house office space and the third level, including a rooftop terrace, will be used for private functions.

The renovation, set to begin this spring, will be funded by an $8 million investment from a joint public-private partnership and private donations raised by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, along with a $500,000 federal grant. Houston First, a local government corporation that operates the George R. Brown Convention Center and other downtown facilities, will provide the final $2.4 million to complete the project.

"The Allen brothers envisioned Houston from a series of waterways and worked tirelessly to build it from the ground up," said Mayor Annise Parker. "


These organizations have worked tirelessly to ensure that the point of origin for our city can become a vital hub for recreation and entertainment on the bayous."

The building sits at the union of Buffalo and White Oak bayous, where the Allen Brothers first came ashore and established the town of Houston in 1836. The facility originally was built in 1910 to take advantage of the intersection of the barge, rail and street transportation systems. In the late 1960s, the building was home to the Love Street Light Circus, a nightclub where top rock stars and bands converged when their tours came to Houston.

"This project is important to the city of Houston in that it recognizes the storied history of Allen's Landing and the Sunset Coffee Building and acknowledges the value of that history," said Dawn Ulrich, president and chief executive officer of Houston First Corporation. "Additionally, it provides a gathering point to enjoy the heart of our city, the bayou system, and preserv

es this significant piece of history for future generations."

Bruce Greer, an instrument technician at UHD and member of the University's cycling team, attended the press conference and noted about the renovation, "Having a central hub for UHD's cyclists and runners right on the water will add a lot to the area's walking and biking trails. I also think the close proximity of the building to the UHD campus will serve to familiarize many Houstonians with UHD and the great opportunities we provide to students."