Health & Science

Texas Medical Center holds grand opening for Helix Park

All buildings on the ground floor of the new research center and six public parks are open to the public, Texas Medical Center CEO William KcKeon said.

Texas Medical Center celebrated its Helix Park opening.
Patricia Ortiz/Houston Public Media
Texas Medical Center celebrated its Helix Park opening.

The Texas Medical Center (TMC) is celebrating the grand opening of Helix Park, a 37-acre campus that has the TMC 3 collaborative building and six parks.

The TMC 3 research center is designed for collaboration for healthcare, life science, and business professionals. TMC CEO William McKeon said the center is designed for more interaction between peers.

"You may be working on a new therapy for the heart, I may be working on one for the brain. And we'll have a discussion about what you're seeing in a chemical reaction, or a response to the central nervous system, and eureka." McKeon said. "Then I see a breakthrough in the brain that I would have never had, had I not had a discussion with another colleague trying to solve another problem."

The entire area is shaped around a double-helix green space, similar to a DNA structure. McKeon said the architecture for the space encourages more spontaneous connections.

"No longer do we think about building campuses that are simply buildings. ... The whole campus is designed for collisions," he said.

Helix Park will have academic institutions, laboratory partners, office space, a hotel, a residential tower, and a mixed-use building with retail. McKeon said everything on the ground floor at Helix Park is open to the public so that they can see the latest innovations.

"Every building will have retail in the front. It will have parks in the middle. So our researchers can come together socially, that the public can come and really celebrate this largest medical city in the world," he said.

Various local medical institutions will benefit from the new center, including the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, their Houston Health Science Center, the Texas A&M Health Science Center, and TMC.

"The future of life sciences in Houston is brighter than ever before as we come together to officially open the TMC 3 Collaborative Building," President of MD Anderson, Peter WT Pisters, said in a press release. "Our clinicians and scientists work daily to advance innovations in cancer research and care- all of which will be amplified in this new environment within Helix Park that further cultivates collaboration, connectivity, and creativity."

According to the release, the state will benefit from an ongoing annual impact of over $5.4 billion once the campus is fully built and occupied. More than 23,000 Harris County jobs from various industries, pay scales, tax levels, and educational backgrounds will drive that impact, the release said.