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Back to life progresses at Imperial redevelopment site


Imperial General Manager Shay Shafie (right) and Dennis Parmer, Sugar Land Heritage Foundation President tour the Char House at the Imperial redevelopment site now that the interior renovations have begun.

A contract to begin the preliminary phase of the historic Char House renovation by the Johnson Development Corp continues the momentum of the Imperial redevelopment site’s progress.

Over the next four months, project principles advise that the majority of tanks, pipes, smoke stacks, and other process equipment will be removed from the building to make way for the build-out of the historic structure’s intended use.

“We are excited to start this clean-up phase of the refinery site,” said Shay Shafie, General Manager of the Imperial Redevelopment. He said that removing the equipment will allow them to focus on the best use of the historic building.

The work to be underway will be inside the Char House. The exterior of the structure will be protected, however, a smoke stack which spans from the third floor through the roof will be removed. The project principles indicate that the solid concrete smoke stacks must be removed for safety reasons and will allow for flexibility of the added build-out space. “We plan to replicate the stacks with a non-structural building material in the future in order to preserve the exterior look of the Char House,” said Shafie.

Johnson Development indicates that it has exercised meticulous care for the preservation of the historical significance of the Imperial site, which has involved working directly with the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. This is being accomplished as well as making the structures safe and in habitable condition. Several artifacts have been tagged by the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation to be preserved and incorporated into the development project.

Plans for Imperial, the 700 acre master planned community in Sugar Land, are for redevelopment of the historic Imperial Sugar Company refinery site and the preservation of iconic structures that date back to the early 1900’s.

Imperial is also the site of Sugar Land’s new minor league baseball’s StarTex Power Stadium. About a year ago, Johnson Development was selected as Imperial’s development manager by Cherokee Sugar Land LP and the State of Texas General Land Office. That means that Johnson’s charge is to bring life back to the old Imperial sugar refinery site with plans calling for a mix of retail, commercial, hospitality, restaurants, office, and urban residential land structures.

The master plan designates a significant amount of land across from the Sugar Land Regional Airport for the city’s next professional business and technology park. For more information on the status of the project, interested persons are asked to visit imperialsugarland.com

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