More than 100 Midway team members, investors, partners, tenant prospects and representatives from the Fifth Ward community gathered for Midway’s annual Moran Event on Friday, April 16. Created in honor of the real estate investment and development firm’s founder, Jim Moran, the outdoor, socially distanced luncheon took place on the site of Midway’s East River development in East Downtown. Guests enjoyed live music and casual lunch fare from Boombox Taco and Da Smoke Wagon while taking in the breathtaking downtown skyline and bayou views.
Jamie Bryant, President and Chief Operating Officer, kicked off the program welcoming guests, recognizing East River’s community partners, and highlighting current on-site activations, including Moonstruck Drive-In Cinema, the 60’x20’ Houston-themed mural inspired by the surrounding Fifth Ward and East End communities, and the fields of wildflowers soon to bloom in the fields all around later this spring.
Bryant then welcomed the East River team to the stage. Larry Sloan, Executive Vice President of Investment and Development, introduced a short video detailing East River. Anna Deans, Vice President of Investment and Development, followed with an overview of the transformational project. Designed to grow and evolve through multiple phases across a decades-long development horizon, the 150-acre East River development is expected to include new office, retail, restaurants, hospitality, entertainment, multifamily homes, and other uses found in mixed-use urban communities. The project will connect Houston’s urban fabric to an impressive mile of waterfront along Buffalo Bayou that was inaccessible to the wider community for decades.
Midway’s Chairman and CEO Brad Freels then shared a few words, reflecting on the challenging year and acknowledging the many successes that prevailed. He explained the significance of The James A. Moran Legacy Award, an annual honor given by Midway to an individual or organization that exemplifies a lifelong commitment to the firm’s core values. Since the award’s inception in2007, honorees have included OJB Landscape Architecture, Lionstone Investments, Cadence Bank and Colvill Office Properties, among others. For the first time in its history, Midway honored two partners with the 2021 Moran Legacy Award: ESC Federal and Prosperity Bank.
Handpicked by Midway’s Executive Leadership Team, ESC Federal is the firm’s janitorial partner throughout its extensive mixed-use portfolio. Micah Hart, Senior Vice President of Property Operations, joined Freels to present the award, praising the hardworking individuals on the ESC Federal team who were instrumental Midway’s pandemic response, supporting tenants and patrons throughout the difficult time.
Similarly, when the pandemic hit, Midway’s long-term partner Neil Briers, Prosperity Bank’s Area President in Bryan/College Station, was a critical partner for the firm. Bryant joined Freels in presenting the award to Briers.
“Midway upholds its commitment to vision, passion, teamwork, and generosity through ongoing connection to the values of founding partner Jim Moran: a family man, athlete, veteran, industry pioneer, and dedicated philanthropist. This event honors our partners that share our core values as a firm,” Freels told the crowd. “We couldn’t be prouder of our teams on the ground and our valued partners. To all of you who help us deliver our purpose to deliver remarkable places that enrich people’s lives, we are grateful and excited for what’s to come!”
Freels concluded the event by thanking guests and encouraging the audience to checkout the current East River activations. In the spirit of Midway’s continued sustainability and in homage to the fields of wildflowers soon to bloom on the East River site, guests received wildflower seed packets with a QR code to view a digital version of Midway’s 2020 Annual Report.