PaperCity Magazine

October 2016 - Houston

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AND A 2 WILLS WAY B Y C H R I S B A L D W I N . P H O T O G R A P H Y M A X B U R K H A L T E R . P R O D U C E D B Y M I C H E L L E A V I Ñ A . WHITE OAK MUSIC HALL, HOUSTON'S NEW FIVE-STAGE, CITY-SHAKING MUSIC VENUE, COMES VIA WILL GARWOOD AND WILL THOMAS, A PAIR OF PRIVATE-SCHOOL, UNLIKELY REBELS. W ill Garwood spot- ted Will Thomas a c r o s s t h e Whole Foods Kirby parking lot and knew he had to act. Enough dickering around with the dream … Getting it done required firm action. 'I'm going for it,' Garwood told himself. As parking-lot bump-ins go, it doesn't get any more serendipitous than this. With their young kids at their sides (daughter Lila for Garwood, son Walker for Thomas), the men would commit to partnering on an audacious new concert venue — one that carries the potential to change Houston's music scene forever. More acquaintances than close friends at this juncture, Garwood and Thomas had first talked about the idea at a party six weeks prior. But it had seemed then like one of those dreamy late-night gab sessions that amount to nothing. In the light of the Whole Foods parking lot, it started to morph into reality. The lifelong Houstonians agreed to part- ner on a tract of land Garwood found at 2915 North Main Street along Little White Oak Bayou. Of course, they'd still need to secure $5.5 million from other investors to ever hear the music. "You go in ignorant of what you need, and if you knew what you needed to do it right, you would never do it in the first place because you would recognize how much luck you need," Garwood says. He observes this while sitting atop Raven Tower, one of five stages at their new White Oak Music Hall complex, where floor-to- ceiling windows frame a picture-postcard view of the downtown Houston skyline. Three years after that fateful parking lot encounter, it's all come together, with a 108

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