After a nationwide search, officials with nonprofit Houston Botanic Garden just named West 8 to lead the master plan development for the city’s newest green space on the Glenbrook Golf Course property, a 120-acre tract of public land in southeast Houston just outside the 610 Loop in the area between downtown and Hobby Airport.
Houston Botanic Garden officials state they will be seeking input from nearby communities throughout the entire master planning process, as well as from stakeholders across the city. The first community meeting is targeted for mid-May, with a date and location to be announced.
“Our long-term vision is for Houston’s botanic garden to be among the nation’s best in terms of its beauty, educational value and contributions to the vitality of our community,” Nancy Abendshein, chairman of the board of Houston Botanic Garden, said in a statement. “We believe we have chosen a firm that can help us realize that vision and we are excited to get that process underway.”
In addition to serving as a guide for the development of the botanic garden, the master plan will be an important tool for generating interest and understanding among those who will support and share the project. While the City of Houston has provided the Houston Botanic Garden, with a long-term lease for the 120-acre Glenbrook site, located between downtown and Hobby Airport, east of the Gulf Freeway and south of Park Place Blvd. The organization is responsible for raising all funds needed to build, operate and maintain the garden.
In January, Houston City Council approved a contract with the Houston Botanic Garden for a 30-year lease of the Glenbrook Golf Course property. The organization must meet a $20 million fundraising goal by the end of 2017 to take control of the property. After that, the agreement includes provisions for two 30-year renewal options.
Cost estimates for the nature center are now estimated at about $40 million for “Phase I,” with other phases to come as the garden “grows” as Jeff Ross, president of Houston Botanic Garden, puts it.