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Angostura last won the day on July 7 2010

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  1. You could plat it out with (mostly) narrow streets (30-ft RoW), small-ish blocks (~200-ft), small plots (mostly 25-ft frontage, with some 50 and 100-ft lots), require zero front setbacks, allow zero-ft side setbacks, institute a height limit (say, 50 ft), and exempt the area from parking minimums. Within a generation it'd be one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Houston.
  2. Rice owns the (empty) corner lot next door.
  3. The lots ARE deed-restricted, but the restrictions allow for multi-family on these lots, with design approval. The two buildings have a total of 8 apartments, at an average of around 1000 sf each, and apparently not in great shape. Property taxes alone are $400+ per month per unit. Owners are probably facing either a renovation or a teardown. The two lots combined have an appraised value of around $1.5M. If they renovated the structures to a value of $200/sf, they'd need $1000/mo per unit just to pay the taxes, and probably $2500-3000/month to cover the debt service on the land + reno cost. Almost certainly doesn't pencil. It would also be an improvement to land value ratio of about 1:1, which is way underbuilt.
  4. Yes, there are wide streets in these places, and one would expect streets like Westheimer and Montrose to be relatively wide, but if you take a few steps off of one of the grand avenues in Paris, and you'll find yourself on streets that are 30 feet or less between facades. There are no such streets in most American cities. Take rapidly-densifying EaDo: all the streets are 70-ft ROW, plus a 5-ft building line (mininum), which means the distance between facades is never much less than 80 feet, almost 3X that of a typical pre-19th century side street. So the ONLY place you can put this kind of space is internal to a development.
  5. Convenient, I guess. The firm's Houston office is only a few blocks from the site.
  6. I think pretty much the exact opposite. Like most American cities, Houston suffers from overly wide rights of way. Distance between facades near this project on both Westheimer and Montrose is 90 feet or more. It's very difficult to create a low-stress pedestrian-focused environment when the RoW is so wide. One of the very few ways to create human-scale pedestrian areas, therefore, is within large blocks. (See the Laneways development in Midtown, for example.) The other thing you see with this layout is that the central courtyard is much more like a traditional European square than it is an American park, since it's surrounded on all sides with buildings, not streets. This gives it a much more intimate, quiet feel. And the grade separation from the two busy roadways should help. Finally, all of this doesn't come at the expense of a hostile streetscape. The outside-facing facades appear to be transparent and activated, and the setbacks are right up against the pedestrian realm. And at this address, they should be able to find tenants for the retail. Even the parking is underground or otherwise hidden from view. Some of the materials and massing might not be entirely to my taste, but from an urbanism standpoint, it's pretty outstanding.
  7. Here's a better shot of the SF totals: This is probably something like 700+ total residential units, between MF and condo, plus maybe 150-200 hotel rooms The 3D diagram would also seem to indicate 3 levels of underground parking 😲 Very ambitious. Probably something like a quarter-billion dollar build, on top of the land cost (which is prob worth low-8-figures).
  8. The overhead views show the building footprint covering everything from the corner up to and including the new-ish Memorial Herman building. That's 424 feet of frontage, 200 of which was the Sand Dollar property. The other lots are (were?) owned by the Baptist Temple (that fronts 20th). Presumably the agreement between LevCor and the Temple will include use of the new parking garage for Sunday services.
  9. Is there a link to this brochure? Hard to read the text in the images. ...but this makes a lot more sense now. Two floors of retail, topped by two floors of parking, then two floors of office. That top image may be off, though. The plan view shows the 5th floor decks facing the back, whereas the renderings show them facing the front (which would make more sense). Also, it looks like the curb cut in the rendering is in the wrong place. On the 1st floor plan view, it shows vehicle ingress from 19th, along the western edge of the building. There also appears to be access from the alley, so maybe the 19th St vehicle entrance can be eliminated.
  10. You mean the ones running straight through the I-beams? I'm sure it's fine.
  11. The property has 200' of frontage (200 x 132 = the 26,400 sf shown in the brochure). Scaling from the people in the rendering, it looks like about 20-ft between columns, which would make this about 280 feet across the front, which is about half the block, and would require them to acquire the Baptist Temple's parking lot next door. I also agree that this rendering (and the brochure) is too vague to give any kind of indication what Levcor plans to develop here. The ground floor is laid out kind of like retail (front-facing entry doors every 30 feet or so, but then there's what looks like an office building lobby entrance in the middle. The 2nd floor has only two small entry doors from the colonnade/deck, and looks more like a hotel conference facility. The third floor (or is it 3rd and 4th?) looks like a parking garage with a 40-ft atrium in the middle of it. And the top floor looks like a pair of very large bar/restaurant spaces. And yet the site only says 18k sf of leaseable area.
  12. I wish her the best of luck, but a couple of things in that article made my eyes roll. She was on a block with four restaurants. With several others within a couple-hundred feet. Seems like you oughta be able to sell desserts to some of those people instead of choosing a location where people will have to make a special trip to get to you. There are HUNDREDS of apartments literally RIGHT ON TOP of the Midtown location. Do these people not eat breakfast? I suspect the real story is that Post increased the rent, so she decided to move, because the actual reasoning makes zero sense.
  13. 2920 is the address of the Lucky Food Store. There was at some point a restaurant concept that would have occupied the rear half of that building (I recall a drawing showing a door facing the parking lot just West of the building. Not sure if the whiskey bar will take over the whole building or just the rear half.
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