Slated to break ground March 30, 2011 on a 14-acre site on Interstate 45 North is MainStreet America® (MSA), a multi-million dollar new home and home product theme park. MSA is one of the most unique venues of its kind and the culmination of years of study and research by owners Michael and Barbara Feigin.
“MainStreet America® will be the only perpetual showcase of homes in the country,” says owner and CEO, Michael Feigin. “But it’s more than a showcase of new homes; it’s an educational, shopping and entertainment destination centered around the home.”
Twelve superbly appointed showcase homes along with a two-story, 44,000 square foot Guest Center will undergo construction throughout the coming months with a projected grand opening date of summer 2012. A wide range of architectural styles, interior décor and square footages will be represented by the group of showcase homes. Styles scheduled to be included are: Old World Mediterranean, Spanish Courtyard, French Hill Country, Coastal Plain, Greek Revival, Texas Hill Country, Contemporary Modern and Traditional.
Visitors to MainStreet America® will begin their experience at the Guest Center. Here, they will be greeted by an MSA Concierge who will provide them with a schedule of events along with directions to their location within the MSA complex. Housed within the complex will be a cooking demonstration studio, a custom home building office, a home remodeling center, mortgage financing services, an interior design studio, a specialty café and a childcare area. Visitors will be able to engage in a number of year-round activities including home product demonstrations, how-to workshops and home-buying seminars. They can even be a part of the Better Home Show – a Saturday call-in radio program that will be broadcast live from their studio located within the Guest Center.
The MSA park concept combines many new elements with several familiar ones. Guests will be able to take a self-guided tour throughout each showcase home to view, touch and experience interior and exterior building products. “One of the unique highlights of the tour is that each guest can access instant information on desired products in each showcase home through their use of our specially designed hand-held Technological Education Device (TED),” states Feigin. “TED can be described as online browsing merged with in-store shopping – taken to a whole new level.”
Utilizing RFID technology, TED will allow users to wave over a product’s RFID “hot spot” to initiate audio and/or visual feedback. “If you’re interested in a specific brick exterior, swimming pool accessory, surround sound system component, kitchen appliance, or even the radiant barrier found inside an attic – TED will access its brand name, list of features, provide buying information and create a virtual shopping list,” states Feigin.
Upon completion of the tour, guests will be able to download their virtual shopping list to their own personal device or email address. And for those wishing to purchase home furnishings such as a sofa, dining table or lamp, they can do that also. “Unlike traditional model home parks, just about everything in our showcase homes can be purchased onsite at MSA,” says Feigin.
MainStreet America® will be a destination the entire family can enjoy. The park will change with the seasons and feature activities such as: Christmas on MainStreet, with winter holiday lights and strolling carolers; a Fall Festival, providing a safe place for Halloween trick-or-treaters; Spring will boast flowers bring Easter egg hunts, and Summer nights will feature fireworks displays.
“Areas of the MSA park can also be rented for private functions, football block parties, corporate events, and any number of special occasions,” states Feigin. “We’ll have a continual rotation of home products, activities, and themes to ensure that guests will want to return to see what’s new on MainStreet.”
MSA is attracting some of the top brand name products within the building and remodeling industry. With the ability to interactively display their products in the showcase homes, many local and national companies are partnering with MSA for the chance to promote, demonstrate, test, and debut new offerings in a unique atmosphere.
A January 2011 report published by the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington DC ranked 150 cities in a global study to determine the level of recovery from the recession. Houston landed at 15th in the United States and 61st in the world. In times of trying economic conditions, especially in the housing and retail industry, Houston has always stood resilient. Over the long term, steady job and housing growth in Houston helps the city to remain an entrepreneurial testing ground for new businesses of all shapes and sizes. That makes it perhaps a perfect locale for unveiling a new beacon of hope symbolic of the promise that the American dream is alive and well.
Michael Feigin’s positive outlook for the city is evident in his enthusiastic approach to MainStreet America®. “There’s no doubt Houston is leading the recovery in housing and job creation,” continues Feigin. “The role of MSA, within the recovery and in the future, will be to inspire people to move forward with their dreams.”