CrockpotandGravel

Westheimer Flea Market @ 1731 Westheimer

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Here are the proposed renderings for 1731 Westheimer (brochure)

From Loopnet and Davis Commercial

Building Size     5,000 SF

Parking for Restaurant up to 4,200 sf

Beautiful 1930’s Construction

High Metal/Wood Ceilings

500 SF Patio Area

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Gross. Parking requirements are tearing apart this city.

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If it wasn't clear from the images above, the current building takes up the whole lot, and there is no offstreet parking

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Yes, very clear. They have to destroy half the building, plus two others, to meet a parking requirement. Why do we subsidize motorists so brazenly? Why does each car need hundreds of spaces around the city just sitting waiting for it, in case its owner decides to come there? What could we be doing with all this space if it wasn't sitting empty waiting for a car that might come?

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Posted (edited)

They'll be demolishing the house next door to put the parking in but I wonder why it had so much not used space in back? [Never mind, just saw whats posted]

Edited by iah77

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Yeah, they're lopping off 60% of the old King antiques building to meet the parking requirement, plus demolishing Pride & Joy antiques next door.

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How would it change the inner loop if we eliminated parking requirements?  Let the market dictate how much parking to provide

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Agreed. Brasil never seems to struggle for customers, despite zero parking. Plenty arrive on foot, by bus, or bicycle.

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And on the flip side of the argument, downtown doesn't have parking minimums but developers still add parking to the projects; it just let's developers put the amount of parking in they want/need to have for the project, as opposed to a theoretical maximum

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Awful.  They are also getting rid of nice mature Montrose trees.  Classic Houston.  

 

The city doesn't need to be Portland or Austin, but let's at least preserve some of the few older areas with character that are left.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, roadrunner said:

Awful.  They are also getting rid of nice mature Montrose trees.  Classic Houston.  

 

The city doesn't need to be Portland or Austin, but let's at least preserve some of the few older areas with character that are left.

 

This project proposes to provide 45 off-street parking spaces. A restaurant of this size in Austin apparently would be required to provide 67 off-street parking spaces (one space for every 75 square feet).  If they include the patio area in calculating the requirements (which they surely do), Austin would require about 74 off-street spaces for this development. 

Edited by Houston19514
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The redevelopment looks quite nice, especially those metal windows.

 

That said, tearing up one of the most intact and vibrant blocks of lower Westheimer to put in what essentially will be a strip center blows goats. 

 

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The Westheimer Flea Market redevelopment at 1731 Westheimer was in yesterday's Houston Chronicle:
 

Freshly released renderings show plans to redevelop the Westheimer Flea Market, an antique furniture outlet along Westheimer's second-hand shopping corridor,  into a glass-faced retail and restaurant center. 
 

Built as a laundromat in 1929, the building west of Dunlavy Street has housed the flea market since 1970 and is known for its eclectic selection of used home fixtures. 

http://www.chron.com/business/bizfeed/article/Westheimer-Flea-Market-to-be-redeveloped-Montrose-11252886.php

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Posted (edited)

I think there is some major overreaction here. The antique store next to this place is not in the greatest shape overall for future urban development. The lot is going to be behind the building. We always complain why developers don't do this, and now that they are SAVING a historic structure and keeping parking in the back, we are STILL complaining. I would be more upset if the furniture place next door was the structure being demolished for parking. In many ways this is a win for the area imo. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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Posted (edited)

I'm not complaining about what the developer is doing, I'm complaining about the amount of parking that the City requires in the walkable urban core. Also, while the facade is saved, 60% of the building has to be torn down to make way for the parking lot.

Edited by kylejack
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I'm complaining for damn sure. A funky old house is being ripped to shreds for a driveway. Ditto a handful of mature trees. Also, it appears as if half the original building is going to be destroyed and replaced with surface parking.

 

The rehab looks nice but at a huge cost in my mind. And, nobody is talking about the obvious; the continuous sidewalk will be interrupted by a driveway/parking lot adding another obstacle for pedestrians. 

 

This is a net loss for "urbanity" or "density."

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, imagine if the big building had been allowed to turn into something else, like a big food hall with a few retail stores inside, and indoor bicycle parking. But no, the City makes us pave paradise to put up a parking lot.

Edited by kylejack

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for all those up in arms about the main building... the back half is a cheap addition that was built without much care. This building is being preserved which i am very happy about. The back half had no real value. The loss of the house next door is sad. It adds to the vibe and it will be missed.

 

Small parking garages are the only answer to these lots. Business wont succeed without parking (yet) and the city requirement is there. If the requirement went away the neighborhoods behind will receive the brunt of the cars and they dont want that. Our city is in the first few phases of becoming less car dependent. We may hate seeing all the apartment complexes, but they add to the densitiy that will at some point reach the needed level for a less parking focused commercial economy.

 

I think it is a slight net gain. If the house next door could remain, this would be a slam dunk.

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Hopefully Pride and Joy Antiques are relocating somewhere else. They do some beautiful restorations of old antique bars.

 

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Business wont succeed without parking


Yet somehow Brasil manages, year after year. Why not let the free market decide? If a place doesn't have sufficient parking then it will go out of business and something else will take its place.

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8 hours ago, Avossos said:

for all those up in arms about the main building... the back half is a cheap addition that was built without much care. This building is being preserved which i am very happy about. The back half had no real value. The loss of the house next door is sad. It adds to the vibe and it will be missed.

 

Small parking garages are the only answer to these lots. Business wont succeed without parking (yet) and the city requirement is there. If the requirement went away the neighborhoods behind will receive the brunt of the cars and they dont want that. Our city is in the first few phases of becoming less car dependent. We may hate seeing all the apartment complexes, but they add to the densitiy that will at some point reach the needed level for a less parking focused commercial economy.

 

I think it is a slight net gain. If the house next door could remain, this would be a slam dunk.

 

Wait who hates seeing new apartment complexes?

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Posted (edited)

Parking wouldn't be an issue if the city provided better public transportation and loosen parking requirements. It's not just residents who patron the businesses on lower Westheimer, but people drive to Montrose, Midtown, River Oaks, The Galleria, and The Heights from all the city. So it irks me when people make the argument that people can walk to these places because they live nearby and therefore, the businesses don't need parking. That's simply not true. Other than buses, there are no light rail options connecting these busy neighborhoods that would ease parking and the need for parking at individual places. Let's be honest, people aren't going to take the bus to Montrose if they live far away, that in itself takes longer than driving there themselves or hopping on a light rail. Light rail is needed to bring people to the area who would drive their cars because they don't live anywhere nearby.

As Kylejack said, the city needs to do away with parking requirements in dense urban centers like Montrose. The area can't contain excess space for parking lots and the focus should be on more crosswalks, stop lights and walkability. But I don't think parking should be eliminated. There should be parking garage structures that blend into the neighborhood every few blocks or so. Because light rail isn't in the foreseeable future, parking garages would provide a big and organized places for many people to park, while encouraging people to walk to places in Montrose. This would ease up parking requirements the city forces on businesses.

I'm more heartbroken that the funky Westheimer part of Montrose is losing everything that made it unique. All the quirky shops are gone. I don't like it at all.

Edited by CrockpotandGravel
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Lots of good (and erroneous as well)comments - please allow me to shed some light on the real deal since I am the one redeveloping this project:

-We will be demolishing the Pride and Joy Antique store next door for parking.  If anyone has been this place lately you will realize it is a 100% teardown and there is nothing worth saving here.

-We are planning on keeping 90% or so of the structure of the "back buidling"  It will serve as covered parking.

-We love the existing structure and will be keeping all of the look, feel, etc.  Just bringing up to newer standards with new windows, parking, utilities, etc.  This is a huge plus vs. knocking down completely and starting with something brand new.

-This will not be a "typical strip center" but most likely have one or two tenants -odds are a restaurant with one more smaller user  It will not be a Raising Canes/Mattress Firm redevelopment by any stretch of the imagination.  Tenants will be much more unique, cool, and appropriate for the development and neighborhood.

-I agree regarding everyone's feeling on parking - things are changing by the second and the old city parking model/requirements are no longer relevant for an urban redevelopment like this.  I think the city understands this but as with most government entities, it is going to take longer than any of us would like to see some meaningful change, but I do feel the city leadership "gets it" and we will be eventually moving in the right direction

 

 

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DCRE, thanks for standing up.  

 

So... what about the trees?  

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