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"The defunct Courtesy Chevrolet dealership -- which fell victim to the Katy Freeway widening project last year -- will soon become the site of hundreds of luxury apartments.

The Chevrolet dealership was well known because it had an advertising jingle promoting its high-profile site -- 7777 Katy Freeway. Now, up to 400 residents could have that catchy address when the apartment complex is finished in June 2009.

Trammell Crow Residential broke ground at the site on Halloween on its latest Alexan-branded apartment complex. Located on the busy freeway near Silber, the Alexan Silber will have 402 apartments described as ultra Class A by the Atlanta developer.

The complex will have four floors of residential surrounding a five-story parking garage. The project will include two pools, a 6,800-square-foot clubhouse, fitness center and wine tasting room. Designed by Wallace Garcia Wilson Architects Inc., the stucco and brick exteriors will have a traditional feel." Bizjournal article.

It's nice to see the feeder roads being used for something other than garrish retail. Having a view of the rat race could be interesting as long as the noise could be lessened somehow, although I'm thinking that's something that can only partially be cured and would become only white noise after a time.

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Interesting. I guess with all these new high end apartment blocks seemingly going up everywhere, I assume theres actually people out there to fill them....

Evidently there are lots of people willing to live in them. The Sawyer Heights complex is huge. I suppose the freeway corridors allow people without large incomes to live literally on the edges of nice areas and have the same access to retail etc. nearby.

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Evidently there are lots of people willing to live in them. The Sawyer Heights complex is huge. I suppose the freeway corridors allow people without large incomes to live literally on the edges of nice areas and have the same access to retail etc. nearby.

Living in new construction along a freeway doesn't have much to do with affordable housing. It has more to do with product positioning.

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Evidently there are lots of people willing to live in them. The Sawyer Heights complex is huge. I suppose the freeway corridors allow people without large incomes to live literally on the edges of nice areas and have the same access to retail etc. nearby.

Perhaps...but this place and Sawyer Heights for that matter, seem to be going after those WITH larger incomes. I bought in the Woodland Heights almost a year ago and my mortgage today is less than what rent will be at Sawyer Heights. I wonder if many of these will be held as corporate apartments or are best suited for all the ex-pats who are only here for a couple of years and have no desire to deal with home ownership. One could argue the mortgage crisis keeps people from getting mortgages now, but most inner loop properties have been immune to this downward spiral since the values of these properties are typically outside of the sub-prime range.

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I wonder if many of these will be held as corporate apartments or are best suited for all the ex-pats who are only here for a couple of years and have no desire to deal with home ownership.

Primarily young professionals, empty nesters. Secondarily, well-to-do transients (i.e. divorcees, job leap-froggers, students, etc.)

One could argue the mortgage crisis keeps people from getting mortgages now, but most inner loop properties have been immune to this downward spiral since the values of these properties are typically outside of the sub-prime range.

As for the subprime fallout, it varies widely in the Inner Loop. Your neighborhood is pretty stable. River Oaks, West U, and Bellaire are the most stable. Places like 3rd and 5th Wards, or near OST & Scott, are taking it on the chin. So I'd argue that although neighborhoods with better demographics may have had the rent/own calculus affected by a couple extra points of interest on a loan, the effect is reasonably small as it would pertain to prospective residents of these new complexes.

Edited by TheNiche
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I simply look at these new developments as replacing existing old apartment stock, and the same type of people will live in Saywer Hieghts as who lived in all the Harold Farb complexes back in the day, minus the sprawling 2-story compounds with 'clubhouses.' Cheaper to build up rather than out, on the edge of the highway, and the new buildings are marketed accordingly. Because you park in a garage and take an elevator to your apt, it's 'urban luxury living'. But I don't see apartment dwellers as fundamentally different or decreasing in number. Whom Niche, btw, did a good job of categorizing. Thank god I've saddled myself with a mortgage again or I'd be a well-to-do transient on two counts. ^_^

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Living in new construction along a freeway doesn't have much to do with affordable housing. It has more to do with product positioning.

Not exactly "affordable", as in low-income, but a level down from an entry-level mortgage payment for new construction in the same area, maybe 50% less or so. If by product positioning you're talking about visibility, that would be an advantage for the developer, and I suppose it might balance the negative of constructing residential next to noise and pollution.

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In this location, I just don't see any noise, pollution, or construction negatives that need to be balanced. (assuming eventual completion of the 1-10 work). People will lease precisely because of its location (almost) right on the loop, with Uptown practically in the backyard. The rental units in that area (the southwest corner of the loop and 10) consist of a few old condo complexes, the big old apartment block a little further away, off Wirt, and that's pretty much it until you get to the really pricey stuff around Woodway/Memorial/Post Oak.

Edited by crunchtastic
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First use of the term "ultra luxury" that I have seen used on a typical class A apartment building. What does that make the Museum Tower, "ultra-duper luxury"?

Have you ever been inside a unit? It's nice. Finger spent a lot of money on amenities, upgrades, and really nice finishes...not to mention that its a really well located highrise with a Montrose address.

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Another nice thing for some is these units are in Spring Branch ISD zoned to nice schools including Memorial HS. Quite an advantage over a "Galleria" area apartment for say a single parent who wants to be close to work downtown/uptown who want better schools for the kiddos.

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Another nice thing for some is these units are in Spring Branch ISD zoned to nice schools including Memorial HS. Quite an advantage over a "Galleria" area apartment for say a single parent who wants to be close to work downtown/uptown who want better schools for the kiddos.

Nice observation.

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Have you ever been inside a unit? It's nice. Finger spent a lot of money on amenities, upgrades, and really nice finishes...not to mention that its a really well located highrise with a Montrose address.

Yes, I have been in it and that's my point. The Museum Tower IS what I could consider to be ultra luxury. And now you have an Alexan-branded property (which I have visited a couple, including the Alexan Lofts east of DT) right off the Katy Freeway that I have a hard time believing can life up the level of luxury of the Museum Tower.

On a funny note, my wife and I have this hobby of visiting and pretending to be interested in a number of high-priced condos/town homes that we cannot possibly afford. I'm planning on marching into 2727 when it is done to see their penthouse. I'm expecting that to be Uber-Ultra Luxury. Maybe I will pretend to be a middle eastern oil man that day...

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Yes, I have been in it and that's my point. The Museum Tower IS what I could consider to be ultra luxury. And now you have an Alexan-branded property (which I have visited a couple, including the Alexan Lofts east of DT) right off the Katy Freeway that I have a hard time believing can life up the level of luxury of the Museum Tower.

On a funny note, my wife and I have this hobby of visiting and pretending to be interested in a number of high-priced condos/town homes that we cannot possibly afford. I'm planning on marching into 2727 when it is done to see their penthouse. I'm expecting that to be Uber-Ultra Luxury. Maybe I will pretend to be a middle eastern oil man that day...

To be completely fair, the Alexan Lofts were not developed by Trammell Crow Residential; it was a project undertaken by Alan Atkinson. Alexan complexes are most frequently built by TCR specifically to be Alexan, and they aren't nearly as unique or appealing.

...but to my knowledge, nobody has copywritten the phrase "luxury apartments", so it doesn't really matter what it looks like. Even a cheap tax credit complex built out of modular blocks on a factory floor and assembled on site, destined to sprout slimy growths on the shady sides of walls within two or three years, could be (and has been) described as luxury. ...but you know, considering the tenant base that they're going for, "luxury" might be an accurate descriptor, if only it is used as a relative term.

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  • 6 months later...
Who in their right mind would want to live on the ground level witht eh feeder road of I10 right there ???

I have no idea what they plan on doing, but I lived in a Post complex once where the ground level had furnished apartments that you could rent by the day. They were intended for people that had family visiting, they could stick them in one of those, instead of putting them in a hotel or whatever. That way no-one had to actually live in the ground floor ones.

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would be nice to have commercial on teh bottom.....couldn't tell if it was or not. Who in their right mind would want to live on the ground level witht eh feeder road of I10 right there ???

Oh? You mean like the apartments on the N.W. Corner of the SouthWest freeway and 610?

Personally, I'd love the view. I'd sit there, drink beer and laugh at all the poor bastages suffering in traffic.

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Oh? You mean like the apartments on the N.W. Corner of the SouthWest freeway and 610?

Personally, I'd love the view. I'd sit there, drink beer and laugh at all the poor bastages suffering in traffic.

I live on the 3rd floor of the Broadstone W18 (W 18th@610), and yes watching traffic pass by at 5:30PM is very entertaining, especially when there's a north loop accident backing up traffic onto the west loop. :lol:

The freeway noise isn't bad at all. My only complaint is when the Crapplebee's patrons are hanging out in the parking lot after 11:00PM.

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i spent a year living on the 3rd floor of Lofts at the Ballpark...............the noise didn't both me at all, but I can't imagine living on the first floor over there on I10............just seems like a little trashy over there...........

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i spent a year living on the 3rd floor of Lofts at the Ballpark...............the noise didn't both me at all, but I can't imagine living on the first floor over there on I10............just seems like a little trashy over there...........

Don't know about that, maybe some of the more adventurous of the tenants would help enliven part of that area by spending money at the local stores and restaurants.

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I noticed the progress on this while driving back into town Sunday. From the freeway, it looks like 1-10 is higher than the ground floor of the building. I don't think it's trashy, but it would be weird to be in a ground level unit. Imagine opening your front door and eye level is 16 lanes of traffic. How depressing.

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