PaperCity Magazine

July/August 2019- Houston

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Page 63 of 83

62 ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, ONE CITY LOT AT A TIME T he homecoming of a Yale architect — accompanied by his Yale architect wife — represents one of the brightest moments in a town often under siege by developers. Meet Hilary and Steve Ybarra, both 35 years old, whose Ivy League architecture degrees bode well for the field on which they've zeroed in: developers. Their vision, to forge authenticity and community from prosaic or forgotten lots in the land of car culture and no zoning, guarantees that this mindful approach to architecture will make their firm, The Platform Group, one of Houston's most watched 21st-century developers. For proof, look no further than the calling card of their practice: 2132 Bissonnet, an 11,500-square-foot micro-center that has already made a big impact since opening in May, thanks to its organic aesthetic and a well-chosen ground-floor tenant, Tropicales. The coffeehouse, cafe, and cocktail bar — which is equal parts Miami, Havana, and Bogotá — is an offering by restaurateur David Buehrer (Greenway Coffee); the Ybarras are partners. Besides its unique and layered dining and coffee-culture BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON AND CHRIS BALDWIN. PRODUCED BY MICHELLE AVIÑA. PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW OKANO. Steve and Hilary Ybarra at their 2132 Bissonnet development, June 2019

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