• Waterman Steele served as the solution for a food desert community that because of a lack of access to food resources struggles with a range of diet-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
  • To provide the residents of the community accessibility to a grocery store that has the availability of a broad selection of quality meat, farm fresh produce, and dairy products at extremely competitive prices.
  • To invest in the community by building their first new 19,000sf grocery store that would serve the residents of a vibrant but underserved inner-city neighborhood.
  • To serve as the catalyst for additional economic development in the community.
  • To construct a shopping center adjacent to the grocery store to provide additional access to retailers/services for the community.


  • As a leading expert in the nation on how to combat food deserts, Waterman Steele provided strategic counsel in partnership with the Food Trust to the City of Houston by identifying a grocer that was willing to join them in this intervention to address this neighborhood’s food desert issue.
  • Shepherded Pyburn’s through the process to qualify for a financial incentive from the City of Houston through their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • Provided oversight during the design & construction phase for the 19,000 SF grocery store as well as the adjacent 8,470 SF shopping center.
  • Provided tenant representation for the shopping center.
  • Developed and implemented a community engagement strategy to gain community support for the new grocery store and adjacent shopping center.


  • A new sustainable design and energy efficient 19,000 SF grocery store that provides a broad selection of quality meat, farm fresh produce and dairy products at extremely competitive prices.
  • Employs 40+ individuals of which 75% live within the surrounding community.
  • One of the largest private employers in the community.
  • Vastly improved the residents of community perceptions of food accessibility.
  • The construction of this new store has served as the catalyst for revitalizing the business corridor in the community.
  • 100% leased 8,470 SF shopping center which provides the community access to new retailers.
  • Well-respected community partner with the residents, non-profit organizations, churches, governmental entities and other businesses.