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Construction at 11 1/2th and Studemont


J008

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Interesting timing - Because of the 11th Street road construction, the course for the Houston Marathon on Sunday has been altered from past years. The "normal course" takes runners north on Michaux, west on 11th, and south on Studewood. This year, the course goes north on Michaux, west on Key, and south on Studewood.

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I heard it was going to be townhomes several months ago from someone, but probably just hearsay. We'll see. I've seen several cars destroy themselves on the entrance to that lot (its like a 2ft drop off). This is going to hurt the parking situation for Decapos and The Brazlian Arts Foundation (several of us Capoeiristas parked in that lot).

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Interesting timing - Because of the 11th Street road construction, the course for the Houston Marathon on Sunday has been altered from past years. The "normal course" takes runners north on Michaux, west on 11th, and south on Studewood. This year, the course goes north on Michaux, west on Key, and south on Studewood.

Your explanation makes the most since to me. Come Monday it will go back to being the quasi waste dump big rig hangout that heights yankee more eloquently describes on her blog.

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Your explanation makes the most since to me. Come Monday it will go back to being the quasi waste dump big rig hangout that heights yankee more eloquently describes on her blog.

Well, someone on my FB page pulled the permit and looks like it is going to be mixed use. Someone on the blog commented that they heard six stories. I wonder if the Heights Assoc is going to address that like they did on White Oak.

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Well, someone on my FB page pulled the permit and looks like it is going to be mixed use. Someone on the blog commented that they heard six stories. I wonder if the Heights Assoc is going to address that like they did on White Oak.

wow. I just looked it up and seems there will be ~$3 Million of construction there they got there permit on the 20th so the timing is only coincidence

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Yeah, looks like its a mixed use development. The property is owned by these guys. http://vitanuovallc.com/index.html

yes their website is very strange, whole bunch of extremely non-specific hype.

"Novemeber 2010. Purchased land for development"

"December 2010. Completed design for latest development concept"

Picture of downtown Houston.

Thats it.

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http://swamplot.com/studewood-place-some-new-building-behind-the-11th-st-someburger/2011-01-25/

From Swamplot's article:

"They’re planning a cast-in-place concrete structure with an all- or mostly masonry exterior, containing apartments or condos and “some retail.” Also included: some multi-level parking and some “really cool green space.” Car entrances will be on both Studewood and 11th 1/2. The architect is from San Antonio; a local historical consultant is working to make sure the design is what the developer considers “period appropriate.” The long-vacant site is the former home of the Globe Laundry; the new project is registered under TCEQ’s Dry Cleaner Remediation Program, which the developer says doesn’t appear to require any solvent cleanup on the site. Vita Nuova plans to put a sign up soon announcing more details in the next 30 days."

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  • 2 weeks later...

I live about 1/2 a block away from the development, my neighbor (who is three houses closer) said he talked to the foremen on site the other day. The foreman described it as an 8 story project, we surmise two stories for the ground floor retail and six stories for whatever else. Have to monitor site to see how big the excavation for the piers are. It seems pretty big from my vantage point, but I'd like to see drawings; wonder if they'll match colors with Someburger?

Another thought about the "new developer", wondering if it could be a front/spinoff for an established company, since I imagine a start up design firm might have a hard time getting the financial backing for a project this size right off the bat.

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I live about 1/2 a block away from the development, my neighbor (who is three houses closer) said he talked to the foremen on site the other day. The foreman described it as an 8 story project, we surmise two stories for the ground floor retail and six stories for whatever else. Have to monitor site to see how big the excavation for the piers are. It seems pretty big from my vantage point, but I'd like to see drawings; wonder if they'll match colors with Someburger?

Another thought about the "new developer", wondering if it could be a front/spinoff for an established company, since I imagine a start up design firm might have a hard time getting the financial backing for a project this size right off the bat.

I heard it's the same guys who did 2727 Kirby. However, I am surprised if those guys have the capital considering I heard that high rise was kind of a flop??? On the other hand, there is another "developer" out of CT with the same name and it seems like this is a spin off of that group. Either that or these guys are 100% ripping off someone else's ideas.

http://www.vitanuova.net/index.php

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On the other hand, there is another "developer" out of CT with the same name and it seems like this is a spin off of that group. Either that or these guys are 100% ripping off someone else's ideas.

http://www.vitanuova.net/index.php

I see the similarities in the published profiles to "economically rehabilitate environmentally distraught land". The CT company looks like the parent which provides services to remediate, handle stakeholder engagement and market on behalf of owners of tainted properties. The plan here may be to remediate the dry cleaner contamination and handle the NIMBY's to a point where the property can be flipped for a profit or developed by the client.

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Anyone know whats happening with the SE corner of the street? It looks like there's some work being done on the abandoned building there (stone work and paint on the exterior). I thought I remembered reading about plans for a restaurant there a while ago, but haven't heard anything since... any scoop?

And, it looks like plans are moving full-steam ahead and quickly with the project on the NW corner behind Some Burger... they've already dug a gigantic hole that takes up much of the property. Looks like it will be used for underground parking or a deep foundation...

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Anyone know whats happening with the SE corner of the street? It looks like there's some work being done on the abandoned building there (stone work and paint on the exterior). I thought I remembered reading about plans for a restaurant there a while ago, but haven't heard anything since... any scoop?

Restaurant. Same owners as BRC.

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Liberty Kitchen, if the name stays ....

Were they able to work around the issues with serving alcohol near the school? I thought i heard something about the building being grandfathered in since it was there before the school, but i'm not sure.

Still gonna be Liberty Kitchen. If there were issues about selling alcohol, they would have never gone ahead with the project.

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Its within 1000 feet of Middle School property line. No way to work around. Can't sell liquor. If it going in, its going in without liquor.

Actually, there is a possibility to get around it if the premise derives less than 50% of its revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages, and it has a food and beverage permit from TABC. See TABC Sec. 109.33 (f). However, the 300 foot rule still applies. This property appears to lie within 300 feet of a public school.

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Actually, there is a possibility to get around it if the premise derives less than 50% of its revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages, and it has a food and beverage permit from TABC. See TABC Sec. 109.33 (f). However, the 300 foot rule still applies. This property appears to lie within 300 feet of a public school.

Maybe they will get around it however Paulie's and Lanier Middle do (I think they are a "club" or something). There is no way they are 300 ft apart.

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  • 1 month later...

Just drive by a bit ago and was surprised by how deep that hole is.

Maybe the perc contamination from the former dry cleaner is really bad. The site was listed in the top 5 priority of Texas contamination sites, and the remediation effort is underway. To quote cleantechnica.com " TCE and perc contamination is notoriously difficult to remediate. Unlike oil, which floats, TCE and perc are more dense than water. In an aquifer, they sink to the bottom. Further complicating the problem is their solubility, of which they have very little. Instead of diluting evenly through an area, they form plumes that contain a relatively small core of concentrated contaminants. The core is often difficult if not impossible to find, and it can continue to leach contaminants into the aquifer, polluting the fresh water that enters for an indefinite period of time. "

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I don't think it is remediation, either, since there are already some support columns being poured in the hole. Remediation is generally conducted prior to any construction. I am not an expert, but it looks to be simply the foundation and lower level being built.

For those who have not seen the hole, it is a square hole taking up most of the lot, and about 12 to 15 feet deep. There are what appear to be several columns under construction within the depression.

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The net result would be that the site is remediated, but that is not the way it is normally done. The reason is that the contaminated soil must be disposed of properly, and it would be very expensive to dispose of an entire block 12 feet deep if it didn't all need to be remediated.

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The net result would be that the site is remediated, but that is not the way it is normally done. The reason is that the contaminated soil must be disposed of properly, and it would be very expensive to dispose of an entire block 12 feet deep if it didn't all need to be remediated.

So they dug all the dirt out, technically making the site itself remediated but there is doubt that they disposed of it properly?

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No, I'm not suggesting that anything was done improperly. Imagine a lot that is 50,000 square feet in size. Now, imagine that the previous dry cleaner used to dispose of its toxic chemicals out the back door. The chemicals drained outward, taking up an area of 100 square feet. They also seeped downward for 10 feet. The other 49,900 square feet of the lot is not contaminated. Therefore, remediation is only required on the 100 square feet of contaminated soil, down to a depth of 10 feet. So, 1000 cubic feet of soil must be removed and taken to a toxic disposal site. This would be much less expensive than taking 500,000 cubic feet to a toxic disposal site. The other 499,000 cubic feet of soil can be taken anywhere. It could even be sold to someone who needs dirt to fill in a low spot on their land. Since it is not contaminated, it is far less expensive to dispose of that soil than the contaminated soil.

When remediation is done, the soil is tested, and only the contaminated soil is removed, plus a little extra for good measure. Then the soil is retested to make sure the contamination is gone. Then the site is declared remediated, or clean. Once it is clean, no more testing or supervision is required. This is all done prior to any construction or dirt removal. In fact, I do not believe construction permits can even be issued on a site that requires remediation. It is very unlikely that the entire site had to be remediated to a depth of 12-15 feet, the size of that hole. It is also unlikely that they would be pouring support columns if the site was undergoing remediation. Since actual construction appears to be occurring, it appears to me that either remediation has already occurred, or testing showed remediation was not required.

Iam basing this on what I know in general about remediation, not any specific knowledge of this site.

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... and it would be very expensive to dispose of an entire block 12 feet deep if it didn't all need to be remediated.

It's only expensive if you have to pay for it. The DCRP provides up to $5mm from the state to dig your foundation, er, I mean remediate your site.....not that a developer would take undue advantage of free money or anything. In any case, from the looks of it we don't have to worry about perc anymore, or that nasty lot.

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is it possible that they took core samples at the beginning to better understand what needed to be disposed of appropriately or not?

I believe there is a $5,000 fee to register your site with the DCRP which is deductible against assessment costs. I would think coring is mandatory to asses perc contamination since perc tends to head for the water table instead of leach to surface.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

just curious if anyone has any update on this site. They are making huge progress. The big hole they dug is all walled with concrete, a visible paring garage ramp in the back, a big crane, and several pillars sticking out.

Really curious what this thing will wind up being.

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Swamplot has something on the design for this spot. Looks pretty cool, hope they keep the rooftop pool.

http://swamplot.com/...-03/#more-29399

http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2011/06/heights-building-to-have-retail-and-condos/

According to this, the roof top pool is included with an outdoor kitchen. Developers claim that the architecture is supposed to look like a conversion of a historic warehouse. Hard to tell from the computer graphic what the detailing will be like. At least it looks like there is a good set back, leaving room for outdoor seating for a restaurant.

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http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2011/06/heights-building-to-have-retail-and-condos/

According to this, the roof top pool is included with an outdoor kitchen. Developers claim that the architecture is supposed to look like a conversion of a historic warehouse. Hard to tell from the computer graphic what the detailing will be like. At least it looks like there is a good set back, leaving room for outdoor seating for a restaurant.

Not exactly a gem, but it seems inoffensive enough. I'm curious how the 2nd and 3rd parking levels will look from the street. From the computer graphic there appear to be dark gray windows.

Edited by barracuda
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