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Binswanger Glass Site On Plaza Del Oro - El Rio St.


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Variance request notifications were just posted this weekend in South Union at the ends of Nathaniel Brown, Mount Pleasant, and Seabrook streets. These are all dead end streets that terminate at the 11.6-acre Binswanger Glass site on the east side of 288 at Holly Hall. See aerial photo here: Plaza del Oro/Binswanger Glass - Holly Hall at SH 288

The variance notification sign references "Plaza del Oro" as the proposed subdivision name. If I'm not mistaken, Plaza del Oro is also the name of a townhome complex on the west side of 288 at Holly Hall. There will be a variance hearing in a little less than two weeks (June 21, 2:30 pm).

Does anyone have any insight into this development? I live on one of the streets that has a notification sign. Please feel free to PM me if you'd rather not make this information public.

I'm assuming this will be some kind of residential development, but we're curious. The existing Binswanger Glass warehouse takes up about 75% of the 11.6-acre tract, leaving about 3 acres of undeveloped land. So...is the entire warehouse site going to be redeveloped? The only two streets that dead end into the undeveloped portion of the 11.6-acre tract are Corder and Nathaniel Brown Streets. If this will only be a new development of the 3-acre portion of the tract, then why the variance signs on Mount Pleasant and Seabrook?

We're not necessarily opposed to development of the site, but we'd like to know what it will be and how it will impact our neighborhood. Hopefully the variance request is to remove the requirement to tie into our public streets. As it is, our streets are tight...probably 20' wide asphalt streets with open ditches, and cars parked along both sides of the street (thanks to single-wide driveways). We can't take any traffic into a major development through our narrow streets.

I'm also curious about drainage. Will the development drain to 288? Certainly it won't drain through our 1'-2' deep roadside ditches...at least we hope not.

I'm sure someone here knows SOMETHING about the site. With some of the recent developments along 288 in the area (Alexan apartments, Urban Lofts, Parkside Point Apartments), I'm assuming this site that fronts on 288 will be more of the same. We're not thrilled to have apartments next door, but the big question is what quality of apartments will these be? Will they resemble the tax-credit Parkside Point apartments (which haven't yet shown themselves to be a problem), or will they bring in the high-rent residents of Alexan or Urban Lofts? I have my assumptions, based on geography and demographics, but I'd like to know the facts.

Edited by Original Timmy Chan's
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Original Timmy--

Plaza del Oro was originally purchased by Shell Oil back in the 1970's. Their thought process was to have a commercial/residential/cultural center at the NW corner of 610 and 288. Basically bounded by Fannin on the west, OST on the north, 288 on the east, and 610 on the south. I can remember a huge billboard between Fannin and Almeda back when they first purchased the area. At Greenbriar and OST is a huge white building which used to be Shell's credit card and IT building. Not sure what it functions as now. If you are traveling south on Fannin at OST and you look behind the shell station there is a sign that says Plaza del Oro bank.

I've looked for history on the area, but can't find anything more than my recollection. So I don't know why Shell bailed on the property. Back in the early 1990's I lived in Scotland Yard apts on Holly Hall.

Good luck on finding out what the plans are for the area by your house.

Variance request notifications were just posted this weekend in South Union at the ends of Nathaniel Brown, Mount Pleasant, and Seabrook streets. These are all dead end streets that terminate at the 11.6-acre Binswanger Glass site on the east side of 288 at Holly Hall. See aerial photo here: Plaza del Oro/Binswanger Glass - Holly Hall at SH 288

The variance notification sign references "Plaza del Oro" as the proposed subdivision name. If I'm not mistaken, Plaza del Oro is also the name of a townhome complex on the west side of 288 at Holly Hall. There will be a variance hearing in a little less than two weeks (June 21, 2:30 pm).

Does anyone have any insight into this development? I live on one of the streets that has a notification sign. Please feel free to PM me if you'd rather not make this information public.

I'm assuming this will be some kind of residential development, but we're curious. The existing Binswanger Glass warehouse takes up about 75% of the 11.6-acre tract, leaving about 3 acres of undeveloped land. So...is the entire warehouse site going to be redeveloped? The only two streets that dead end into the undeveloped portion of the 11.6-acre tract are Corder and Nathaniel Brown Streets. If this will only be a new development of the 3-acre portion of the tract, then why the variance signs on Mount Pleasant and Seabrook?

We're not necessarily opposed to development of the site, but we'd like to know what it will be and how it will impact our neighborhood. Hopefully the variance request is to remove the requirement to tie into our public streets. As it is, our streets are tight...probably 20' wide asphalt streets with open ditches, and cars parked along both sides of the street (thanks to single-wide driveways). We can't take any traffic into a major development through our narrow streets.

I'm also curious about drainage. Will the development drain to 288? Certainly it won't drain through our 1'-2' deep roadside ditches...at least we hope not.

I'm sure someone here knows SOMETHING about the site. With some of the recent developments along 288 in the area (Alexan apartments, Urban Lofts, Parkside Point Apartments), I'm assuming this site that fronts on 288 will be more of the same. We're not thrilled to have apartments next door, but the big question is what quality of apartments will these be? Will they resemble the tax-credit Parkside Point apartments (which haven't yet shown themselves to be a problem), or will they bring in the high-rent residents of Alexan or Urban Lofts? I have my assumptions, based on geography and demographics, but I'd like to know the facts.

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Original Timmy--

Plaza del Oro was originally purchased by Shell Oil back in the 1970's. Their thought process was to have a commercial/residential/cultural center at the NW corner of 610 and 288. Basically bounded by Fannin on the west, OST on the north, 288 on the east, and 610 on the south. I can remember a huge billboard between Fannin and Almeda back when they first purchased the area. At Greenbriar and OST is a huge white building which used to be Shell's credit card and IT building. Not sure what it functions as now. If you are traveling south on Fannin at OST and you look behind the shell station there is a sign that says Plaza del Oro bank.

I've looked for history on the area, but can't find anything more than my recollection. So I don't know why Shell bailed on the property. Back in the early 1990's I lived in Scotland Yard apts on Holly Hall.

Good luck on finding out what the plans are for the area by your house.

Yes, I'm aware of the "Plaza del Oro" name around the area. I'd forgotten that it's also attached to some of the buildings around Fannin/OST.

There's also a Plaza del Oro Townhomes on Holly Hall. That's why I found it curious that the same name would be attached to a new development on the east side of 288. Maybe they're trying to tie the east side of 288 to the west side now, instead of keeping it separated/segregated? Maybe not.

Just double-checked the HCAD website again...interesting, I didn't catch this the first time: Binswanger is protesting their property valuation. Their taxable value went from $4.0 million in 2006 to $5.6 million in 2007. Ouch. Sucks for them...then again it sucks for us too. Our market value (per HCAD) has increased 232% in the last 5 years. Nice to know our area is heating up a little...sucks about the taxes.

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Good to see something atleast. Whatever it is. I have some land for sale on Peerless north of this area. More Urban townhomes from the north and this project from the south leaves little old me in the middle! Just where I love to be!

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Contact Suzy Hartgrove with the City of Houston's Planning Department. It may take her a few days, but she can get you an answer.

From the sign, I also have the name and number of the engineer/planner for the subdivision. I'm going to start there, but thanks for the contact name at the City. I may check there just to get the story from both sides. ;)

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OK, I got the story this morning from the planner for the site. Unfortunately (or fortunately, maybe) it's nothing as exciting (or as frightening) as I had envisioned.

The glass company wants to build some overhangs for their garage, but in order to get their permits the City is requiring the site to be platted. The City's platting ordinance requires the public streets that dead end into the glass company's property to either be extended into the glass company site or terminated in a cul-de-sac.

The glass company is requesting a variance so that they don't have to do either one, but just leave our streets status quo. I'm fine with that...I don't see that cul-de-sacs onto the glass company's site are going to do anything positive for our neighborhood. I'm happy with the barricade we've got now.

Funny side story about our dead end street that's only marginally related to the topic...my wife's family has owned our house since it was built in the 40's. She has older step-brothers (triplets) who grew up in the house about 15-20 years before she was born. One of the older neighbors who grew up with her brothers was relating a story to me, since I've never met her step-brothers.

He says the brothers were smart, very smart, but crazy as hell. When they were about 10 years old they made their own go-cart from scratch with a lawn-mower engine. The neighbor says it went fast as hell...but they forgot to put on brakes. So on the test drive, they got the thing going, hauled a$$ down the street towards the dead end. Only thing is, back then there was no wooden barricade...only a barbed wire fence separating the neighborhood from the pasture next door. The crazy brothers hauled a$$ straight into the barbed wire fence!!!

They didn't use the go-cart too much after that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saw the Planning Meeting where area residences wanted to know what was going on too. They were mad about the noise but didn't get answers on record about what was going on. Too bad for them; they should read HAIF.

Interesting thing was that at the same meeting there was a 'hearing date set' (whatever that means) set for the Fountains at Peerless. Any one have info on this Peerless development? My guess is there are not going to be just doors!

Edited by txland
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  • The title was changed to Binswanger Glass Site On Plaza Del Oro - El Rio St.

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