nate

2929 Weslayan: 40-story Residential Tower by PM Realty

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nate    184

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/sto.../14/story6.html

According to Mandola, Interfin plans to tear down the building as soon as the restaurant clears out and construct a 27-story building of an undetermined type.

Matt Waller, a senior vice president with Interfin, would only confirm that the tenants are leaving this summer.

"We have not yet decided what we're going to do with the property," Waller says. "I have nothing to report."

Meanwhile, Mandola has given up the search for another State Grille site due to a lack of an affordable location inside Loop 610.

"We could not afford the rents that they're charging," says Mandola. "The land prices are ridiculous, and rents are very high."

Doug Nicholson of Grubb & Ellis Co., Mandola's real estate broker, says land prices inside the Loop range from $75 to $125 per square foot, which is too expensive for a restaurant.

Nicholson wryly observes that the only way to make that pricing work would be to build a 25-story high-rise and put the State Grille on top of it.

"The prices are just out of sight," Nicholson says. "Right now, everything's so high, we couldn't find anything."

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ricco67    382

That is truly a pity that they're shutting down. You would have expected that they would be able to get a place in an established area for reasonable prices. I would equate it with the Rainbow Lodge; It's in a dump but it's constantly busy.

Do you think that perhaps they have stayed in that location for so long that they lost perspective and simply "think" its expensive for a business to be able to support a location?

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PuroAztlan    1

win_button.jpg

Build you bastids, BUILD! MEGA-HOUSTON! SKYSCRAPERS FROM DOWNTOWN TO GREENWAY AND UPTOWN AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN!

That is all. :D

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musicman    178
Do you think that perhaps they have stayed in that location for so long that they lost perspective and simply "think" its expensive for a business to be able to support a location?

no the mandolas have been here too long and know houston well.

Edited by musicman

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crunchtastic    336
no the mandolas have been here too long and know houston well.

totally. The margins are so thin on fine dining now it doesn't take much. That's a shame; it was a little old fashoniod but the food at State Grille was excellent.

Restaurants are starting to adjust menus for rent. Or maybe not, I've just never noticed it before.

One of my sales guys told me the new Jimmy Wilson's at Post Oak was quite a bit more expensive that the far west location, for much of the same menu items.

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Dieseldrvr    0

This is indeed sad, this is one of the best restaurants in Houston over the years it's been there. They never should have changed the name, but the food has not suffered over time, truly a Houston gem, hopefully they can find a way to relocate it.

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rsb320    114

This building has been known as Black Angus, Condederate House and now State Grill. We lost The Stables and now Felix. I guess it's just a sign of progress, but it's still hard to see these Houston traditions vanish. Molina's on Buffalo is also closing, but I think they'll just be moving to another location. I think I read that HEB is building something there at Buffalo and Westpark.

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This building has been known as Black Angus, Condederate House and now State Grill. We lost The Stables and now Felix. I guess it's just a sign of progress, but it's still hard to see these Houston traditions vanish. Molina's on Buffalo is also closing, but I think they'll just be moving to another location. I think I read that HEB is building something there at Buffalo and Westpark.

What happened to Felix? It looked open to me awhile back.

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It was better when it was the Confederate House, but political correctness fixed that a few years ago. Bring on the high rise.

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Dieseldrvr    0
It was better when it was the Confederate House, but political correctness fixed that a few years ago. Bring on the high rise.

I would somewhat agree with you, although I thought it was very good. Luckily Houston is blessed to have a large number of great Italian restaurants and grills. But hopefully this restaurant will be reborn in some capacity, because the staff and the food and the Happy Hours were great.

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KinkaidAlum    2,258

When it was the Black Angus, it seems as if area teens always made off with the G from the sign. That was always a site worthy of a chuckle.

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nate    184

An update on this one.

I received the free throw around newspaper, the Village News (no website) this morning. They have a front page story on the proposed high rise.

To summarize:

In mid-May, permit applications were filed with the city for "site utilities and foundation for future high rise apartments" at 3816 W. Alabama. They were returned with a number of corrections, including a traffic study analyzing the impact of a high-density development on neighboring streets. The developers will not confirm their plans. The Highland Village Civic Club president, Jimmy Glotfelty, says the surrounding community supports lower-density development, but a high rise "would get a tremendous outburst" from surrounding neighborhoods. The State Grille's lease is up on July 31. All buildings will be torn down at the end of the summer.

Looks like this is going to happen.

Edited by nate

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An update on this one.

I received the free throw around newspaper, the Village News (no website) this morning. They have a front page story on the proposed high rise.

To summarize:

In mid-May, permit applications were filed with the city for "site utilities and foundation for future high rise apartments" at 3816 W. Alabama. They were returned with a number of corrections, including a traffic study analyzing the impact of a high-density development on neighboring streets. The developers will not confirm their plans. The Highland Village Civic Club president, Jimmy Glotfelty, says the surrounding community supports lower-density development, but a high rise "would get a tremendous outburst" from surrounding neighborhoods. The State Grille's lease is up on July 31. All buildings will be torn down at the end of the summer.

Looks like this is going to happen.

I can't imagine that this thing will have a huge traffic impact compared to all the traditional 3 story apartment complexes (with hundreds of units) around there, not to mention the 5,000 trips a day in and out of Central Market and all of the other stores. And given that it is on the corner of two major comercial streets, Alabama and Weslayan, I can't see much of a basis for freaking out. But freak out people will.

The highrise hysteria is an interesting phenomenon. I was by the Huntington today and I swear in the hour or so I was looking at the building I saw maybe 3 cars come or go. 40 story tower of traffic!!

If this thing is 27 stories and has maybe 125 units, I can't see that making much of an impact. I have a friend who has a view of 2727 Kirby from their yard and are up in arms about what they think will be traffic from it, but the fact that West Ave is going to drop more people and retail customers into their neck of the woods doesn't seem to bother them. They just don't want to see a highrise on the horizon.

Edited by capnmcbarnacle

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strickn    121
If this thing is 27 stories and has maybe 125 units, I can't see that making much of an impact. I have a friend who has a view of 2727 Kirby from their yard and are up in arms about what they think will be traffic from it, but the fact that West Ave is going to drop more people and retail customers into their neck of the woods doesn't seem to bother them. They just don't want to see a highrise on the horizon.

I agree with you, although one can't blame them for enjoying suburban comfort in the middle of the city in a way very few cities offer. In Midtown Manhattan right now neighbors are fighting mad about a proposed 75-storey building which is, of course, "totally out of character" with the surrounding neighborhood of 45-storey towers. It wasn't until the latest round of developers' attention to Houston that density began to reach a point where many folks felt like maybe their piece of the pie is in danger of shrinking - that's why all of the hostility and hedging all of a sudden - but it's why density is its own poison in democracy (I've noticed that Houston is actually more intensively developed relative to its infrastructure than Brooklyn is, and the Manhattan example tells you why: the more people there are, the harder they make it to add any more).

And maybe that's not a bad thing - once there are too many toes that can get stepped on that have to be protected from one another by an oversight process, which will exist to guarantee "legitimacy" of local actions on anything from street furniture to you-name-it, neighborhoods lose all of their real trial-and-error responsiveness in the name of proper public management, and it becomes impractical for individuals to actually have agency in shaping their environments.* No amount of community participatory visioning sessions will ever change that, but planners overlook the fact, perhaps because they are disciplined to view themselves as being the factor of-which-still-more-is-still-needed in shaping environments, the thing that's still not gotten its due for being as indispensable as it is. Going that route will make the same mistake here that the East and West Coasts have made, not to mention it'll erase/calcify the central Houston character that led us to fall in love with the place.

*Imagine trying to adaptively craft a sculpture one weekend, when every suggestion from your brain to your hand and every signal from hand to mind has to be vetted in a four-month political procedure: you simply can't make anything suited more and more responsively to its living surroundings - so the pinnacle still available to strive for becomes a misbegotten perfectionism. "Okay, we've hashed this out, as few people as possible are alienated, it's DONE. For ever, if possible." If you think an exurban cul-de-sac is deadening, try an ideational one, like that. You'll find them all over the richer coasts, and I'll give them that they're certainly glamorous: "Why can't we have urbanism like that in Texas?!" - since the foregoing paragraphs are reasons why, if we can, we shouldn't.

Edited by strickn

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JWW    7
good luck trying to sell that site.

1) they paid $95 psf pretty much at the market peak

2) the site is only suitable for a vertical development, especially because of the size and that price

Any valuation out there what "fair" price would be right now?

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Any valuation out there what "fair" price would be right now?

problem is, there really isn't a "fair" price because of the current lending environment and the huge gap between bid/ask. heck, mandola didnt want to sell but was made an offer they couldnt refuse. interfin overpaid and is now stuck holding the bag.

total hypothetical...

say a STRONG buyer wanted to move forward. to get a loan, they probably put down 40% equity of what the bank values the deal at (probably 25%+ less than what it would have been a year ago). top that off with personal guarantee on the outstanding loan. probably need to JV and use the land as collateral. if i were to guess, think a bank would put a value of $50 psf on the dirt today.

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Highway6    367
heck, mandola didnt want to sell but was made an offer they couldnt refuse. interfin overpaid and is now stuck holding the bag.

Typical Sicilian!

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UrbaNerd    28
Typical Sicilian!

Hell, even the owner of Interfin is Italian or something like that. Mwahahaha

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for a little background, mandola got a really good deal when he purchased the property, even worked out of the back offices. when interfin offered terms where mandola could continue operating with free rent, figured it was too good to be true. which in hindsight, unfortunately, was the case.

interfin reneged, demoed the site, and now here we are.

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JWW    7
for a little background, mandola got a really good deal when he purchased the property, even worked out of the back offices. when interfin offered terms where mandola could continue operating with free rent, figured it was too good to be true. which in hindsight, unfortunately, was the case.

interfin reneged, demoed the site, and now here we are.

Correct my slow understanding of your story, but are you stating that Interfin broke a contract offering free rent for the restaurant?

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JWW    7
problem is, there really isn't a "fair" price because of the current lending environment and the huge gap between bid/ask. heck, mandola didnt want to sell but was made an offer they couldnt refuse. interfin overpaid and is now stuck holding the bag.

total hypothetical...

say a STRONG buyer wanted to move forward. to get a loan, they probably put down 40% equity of what the bank values the deal at (probably 25%+ less than what it would have been a year ago). top that off with personal guarantee on the outstanding loan. probably need to JV and use the land as collateral. if i were to guess, think a bank would put a value of $50 psf on the dirt today.

Thanks for the effort of estimating a "fair price." Also, are you talking about a "strong buyer" wanting to develop a vertical project here, that the bank values the deal at 25% less than pro forma estimated value of the developed project? 40% SUCKS but I am surprised the development loan would be a recourse loan....

Does Borlenghi want to get rid of the land (anyone know?) or hold out?

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Correct my slow understanding of your story, but are you stating that Interfin broke a contract offering free rent for the restaurant?

it's called "renegging" or "retrading" and unfortunately, happens all of the time in our industry. theres usually either a loophole or not worth the legal fees / headache / etc forcing a party to their obligations.

Thanks for the effort of estimating a "fair price." Also, are you talking about a "strong buyer" wanting to develop a vertical project here, that the bank values the deal at 25% less than pro forma estimated value of the developed project? 40% SUCKS but I am surprised the development loan would be a recourse loan....

Does Borlenghi want to get rid of the land (anyone know?) or hold out?

with the exception of hud 221(d)4, 99.99% of all development deals today include recourse.

borlenghi will sell at the right price. unfortunately for him, i dont foresee anyone buying it.

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JWW    7
it's called "renegging" or "retrading" and unfortunately, happens all of the time in our industry. theres usually either a loophole or not worth the legal fees / headache / etc forcing a party to their obligations.

with the exception of hud 221(d)4, 99.99% of all development deals today include recourse.

borlenghi will sell at the right price. unfortunately for him, i dont foresee anyone buying it.

I guess the free rent deal was not big enough of a deal to Mandola to go after Interfin.....

Sucks sucks sucks about recourse....I just figured w 40 percent equity down, the deals would just be collateralized with the land and improved structure under construction and no personal liability on top....talk about a deal killer.

Again, maybe a very obvious question, but you don't see value at that site at 50 a ft or something near that? Are you saying you don't forsee people seeing value in that site or just many sites with current market conditions?

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TheNiche    961
Are you saying you don't forsee people seeing value in that site or just many sites with current market conditions?

Based strictly on current market conditions, I'd be doubtful if there were a dozen parcels of land in Houston's urban core that had any value whatsoever because current market conditions are so completely unfavorable to the use of land for development in any capacity. Land only has positive transactional market value right now (to the extent that transactions can be made to happen) because people know that this won't last forever.

Even once development activity does pick back up, though, there are going to be a lot of people (and probably banks as well) finding that they got a raw deal on land they purchased in the mid-2000's.

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ChrisPHous    72

Link

"Upon completion, the project will feature approximately 250 for-rent luxury apartment homes and 12,500 SF of ground-floor retail, which will be anchored by an upscale restaurant that will service the surrounding community and the tenants. Construction is planned to commence in the second quarter of 2012. "

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lockmat    1,965

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"Upon completion, the project will feature approximately 250 for-rent luxury apartment homes and 12,500 SF of ground-floor retail, which will be anchored by an upscale restaurant that will service the surrounding community and the tenants. Construction is planned to commence in the second quarter of 2012. "

per the press release, this is a very vague description of what it will be like. I could not find a rendering on the architect's website.

RTKL, the global architecture and planning practice responsible for the project’s design, drew their inspiration from traditional architectural motifs but reinterpreted these in a fresh and contemporary way. The result fits well within the established upscale nature of the neighborhood and reflects a growing appreciation for quality design in today’s market.

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LTAWACS    69

i hate to think that it could look like some of the other cookie cutter highrise condos such as "the mark" or "1200 post oak".

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KinkaidAlum    2,258

I am thinking this is going to look more Miami or Dallas than tunnel form cookie cutter judging the other renderings for PM Realty Projects.

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Utinga    3

I am thinking this is going to look more Miami or Dallas than tunnel form cookie cutter judging the other renderings for PM Realty Projects.

Miami or Dallas cookie cutter then? lol I just wished we could have something truly inspiring. IMO

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Montrose1100    2,741

Miami or Dallas cookie cutter then? lol I just wished we could have something truly inspiring. IMO

When was the last time you saw an inspiring residential tower outside of Dubai? Condos & Apartment buildings are fillers, not corner stones.

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Utinga    3

When was the last time you saw an inspiring residential tower outside of Dubai? Condos & Apartment buildings are fillers, not corner stones.

Touché. I can dream. They needn't even be anywhere near as inspiring as those you're talking about either. I understand for cost efficiency, etc the huge mega Corp developers use the same garbage over and over in all metroplexes. But..... Please? Am I in Denver, Saint Louis, Atlanta, Houston or.....? lol

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Montrose1100    2,741

Touché. I can dream. They needn't even be anywhere near as inspiring as those you're talking about either. I understand for cost efficiency, etc the huge mega Corp developers use the same garbage over and over in all metroplexes. But..... Please? Am I in Denver, Saint Louis, Atlanta, Houston or.....? lol

I wish the new residential towers wouldn't look so... cheap? The new one on Studemont comes to mind. At least they tried with 2727 Kirby.

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Utinga    3

I wish the new residential towers wouldn't look so... cheap? The new one on Studemont comes to mind. At least they tried with 2727 Kirby.

Yes, for sure. I actually ran acros a very similar high-rise 2727 Kirby minus the balconies, believe it was in Europe somewhere. It was on an architectural site I was cruising. I meant to post the foto here, but got side tracked and now can't remember which site it was.

Edited by Utinga

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