Groundbreaking ceremony held at old Sears building in midtown to transform into 'The Ion'

HOUSTON – The next major step in the transformation of the old Sears building in midtown took place Friday.

Houston city leaders and officials with Rice University held a groundbreaking ceremony at the future home of The Ion located on Fannin at Main Street. 

According to Mayor Sylvester Turner and the President of Rice University David Leebron, through their partnership, The Ion aims to bring the area’s entrepreneurial, corporate and academic communities together. 



“Our aim is to assure an education capacity and an innovation ecosystem that puts Houston at the forefront of innovation and energy, medicine, digital technologies, smart cities, education and other areas,” Leebron said.

According to Turner, the make-over of the historic Sears building is part of the city’s effort to create an innovation district transforming Houston into a world leader in medical and digital technologies.

"We are now entering a new frontier in becoming the home for the digital universe, a hub for innovation and imagination,” said Mayor Turner.” It’s the same kind of innovation and imagination that landed man on the moon 50 years ago and lead to Houston becoming space city, now we are sprinting to become hashtag-Silicon bayou.”

The project is expected to cost $100 million and the first phase of construction should be completed by 2020.

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