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Alta West Gray: 5-story, 166 unit mid-rise

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Looks good but seems like they are late to the multi fam party.

also - the other Apartment down Grey seem to be stopped again.

seems like a very bad spot to stall construction - exposed wood for 6+ mos????

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They think that they are in the suburbs and making a holiday inn?

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On March 20, 2016 at 1:10 PM, Texasota said:

What's with the exaggerated setbacks on this?

This is how it should be. Eventually the sidewalk can replace the grass once density warrants it. You know, like a real city.

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Yeah, because what makes Houston not a "real city" is a lack of setbacks? Come on. 

Sidewalk width should reflect potential pedestrian flow, so maybe it makes sense to setback a bit from Gray, but not all four sides. And density in this area already warrants pedestrian friendly design. Why not just do it right in the first place? Holding on to space just in case its needed in the future is wasteful and absurd. Make the space work now or it never will. 

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Ive been waiting on these for 2 years. Im definitely happy to see this instead of the health clinic, but really, no GFR?? 

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6 hours ago, Texasota said:

Yeah, because what makes Houston not a "real city" is a lack of setbacks? Come on. 

Sidewalk width should reflect potential pedestrian flow, so maybe it makes sense to setback a bit from Gray, but not all four sides. And density in this area already warrants pedestrian friendly design. Why not just do it right in the first place? Holding on to space just in case its needed in the future is wasteful and absurd. Make the space work now or it never will. 

I never said Houston wasn't a real city, just implying weingarten plans to densify the strip... It's really a whole section of town that can later support even more density/walkability before you hit the wall of Shepherd.

I guess we're both wrong. I see this project later adapting to wider side walks. You see it as poor planning and should be built to suit that need/desire now. But we both assume it will be there forever. I'll bet we see this thing come down quicker than the surrounding town homes to make way for new things in the future.

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This is nowhere near River Oaks Shopping Center. What it IS near is the most walkable part of Midtown and (somewhat) the intersection of Taft and Fairview. This area should be (and in some ways already is) one of the most walkable neighborhoods in the city. Making this development pedestrian-oriented fits a need that's there now and builds on recent and simultaneous developments nearby. "We can fix it later" is the kind of thinking that leads to accepting low quality developments (like the small strip center that's going in next to Barnaby's.)

Think about this location. Really, seriously think about it. This is a major intersection for pedestrians and cyclists that is only going to become more so with the light at Allen Parkway. 

Now, this is just a crappy rendering.  It's totally probable that the sidewalks and landscaping shown is not meant to be representative. But that, in its own way, is a bad sign, because it suggests what the developer's priorities are. 

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Ok I understand your point about River Oaks Shopping Center, but I fundamentally disagree with it. I will happily criticize proposed projects for not being good enough, and the idea that they can be improved later, or, worse, torn down and replaced with something better, is an argument for why one bad project is not, in the long term, the end of the world. It is not, however, an excuse or an opportunity. It is an opportunity lost. And, the thing is, you know what encourages higher quality developments? High quality developments. They spread out until they hit something that acts like a wall, like a CVS in the middle of a parking lot. Just look at how development in Midtown has happened.

Now, this is not as bad as a pad site, but it's still a missed opportunity to build on the positive developments nearby and continue growing them out and connecting them to each other. Maybe it will be good enough, but it could have been so much better.

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2 hours ago, Texasota said:

Ok I understand your point about River Oaks Shopping Center, but I fundamentally disagree with it. I will happily criticize proposed projects for not being good enough, and the idea that they can be improved later, or, worse, torn down and replaced with something better, is an argument for why one bad project is not, in the long term, the end of the world. It is not, however, an excuse or an opportunity. It is an opportunity lost. And, the thing is, you know what encourages higher quality developments? High quality developments. They spread out until they hit something that acts like a wall, like a CVS in the middle of a parking lot. Just look at how development in Midtown has happened.

Now, this is not as bad as a pad site, but it's still a missed opportunity to build on the positive developments nearby and continue growing them out and connecting them to each other. Maybe it will be good enough, but it could have been so much better.

You nailed it. This needs businesses at the ground level so this place can actually add something to the neighborhood. With all the residential nearby, and the school across the street, a cafe would be perfect here.  

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On 3/23/2016 at 0:58 PM, terra002 said:

You nailed it. This needs businesses at the ground level so this place can actually add something to the neighborhood. With all the residential nearby, and the school across the street, a cafe would be perfect here.  

They are adding something to the neighorhood - density (buildings and people).

Though I have vested interest in ground floor retail at this location (I live literally one block away), from this forum I've learned why it doesn't always make sense for investors. My understanding is that the cost for development goes up, extra insurance is required (ongoing), profit margins are lower, and vacancy rates are higher. This is comparing the retail space vs standard residential units.

Having apartments will help bridge the gap between the restaurants and bars just west of it (Skinny Ritas, Cecils, etc) and the main portion of midtown. And there are still other empty lots that can be developed in to retail, hopefully done smartly with a walkable urban feel and not strip centers...

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14 hours ago, skwatra said:

 

Though I have vested interest in ground floor retail at this location (I live literally one block away), from this forum I've learned why it doesn't always make sense for investors. My understanding is that the cost for development goes up, extra insurance is required (ongoing), profit margins are lower, and vacancy rates are higher. This is comparing the retail space vs standard residential units.

This is only the case for unsuccessful GFR. If it is successful, the rent for retail space is much higher than for residential. On West Gray, you have a natural retail corridor that would seem like a no-brainier for GFR. But some developers can't handle any risk regardless of potential payoff, others can.

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Is Post's GFR considered a success overall? The mainstays have been mostly constant, but the smaller spots seem to have turnaround and be vacant often. Even when Farrago closed, that corner location was vacant for close to a year. Meanwhile I've always seen apartment occupancy numbers in the mid to high 90% range.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for GFR, but many on here just complain that apartments just don't do it without questioning if it would be sustainable and profitable.

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Its a major selling point for the Post as well. Look at the apartments about to be built above the whole foods in midtown. Many people are going to want to live there because of that feature. 

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my (limited) understanding is that financing for buildings that are not entirely or at least predominantly one use (residential in this case) can be very difficult to get. They do have to set aside some space in the ground floor/garage for a lobby and office, so I wonder how much of an impact an extra 2000sf for a small cafe or bodega would make.

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http://www.stantonroadcapital.com/portfolio.html

 

 Alta West Gray is a luxury apartment development planned for a full city block within Houston's Montrose submarket. The property will feature upgraded unit amenities and will be within walking distance of Buffalo Bayou Park, Super Block Park and numerous dining and nightlife options.

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Definitely looks much better, just put a cafe in or something! This company also did the building with baraby's in downtown... Do it in midtown too. Its a very visible and active corner. Lots of foot traffic, people in the neighborhoods nearby walk down taft to Buffalo Bayou. There will be a new crosswalk across allen parkway so that foot traffic will grow even more. It cant be that big of a risk. 

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I havnt seen any movement here for a while... Maybe the developers are realizing no gfr is a waste of space on such a high traffic ( foot and vehicle) corner and are redesigning it. 

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