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Maybe my dream house... EaDo renovated warehouse


woolie

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Haven't been on HAIF in a while, but thought I'd make a post.

My wife and I were poking around HAR this weekend and came across this --

http://search.har.co..._HAR1804034.htm

It's a ~4700sf renovated warehouse in really cool looking part of EaDo (drove by it earlier today.) The selling feature is the basically featureless and windowless exterior, but the glass atrium the interior revolves around. Wide open hard-loft spaces, exposed trusses, concrete floors. Also, the 4 car garage and workshop attached (hobby areas...) We've done the 3-story town house thing for about 4 years now and while we really like it, there has been a little "single story curiousity." But hadn't even realized this type of space existed until both of our mouths were agape viewing the listing. A little sad that we were just looking -- would have to sell our current house first. Looks like it was only on the market a week before it went "option pending."

Anyway, has anyone ever lived in a warehouse space like this? Would it be possible (not prohibitively expensive) to build this type of simple ~4k sf concrete block structure on our own lot? I suppose I should look up a builder and ask them... Seems like this structure was one-of-a-kind and unlikely to come across again when we're looking to move. This might be a stupid thread -- just thinking out loud, get a couple pointers from the real estate gurus here :)

Edited by woolie
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Love it! The good news and the bad news. On a fairly draconian budget, finished out warehouse space built by a contractor is hard to build for less than $60 per square foot. This was a 4,700-square-foot building, so its replacement cost new is at least $282,000. But...for a warehouse...it has some pretty nice finishes and is totally air conditioned. So, call it $300,000 even, not including the purchase price of land, which in that area could be $25 per square foot...call it another $130,000. So that's the bad news. Don't think you can build this and have it get bank financed.

The good news. Keep an eye out for commercial listings in this area. Many warehouses come to market that are priced for the underlying dirt. The caveat is that you can expect that they've been maintained as such. (I'm thinking that this one probably was in good enough shape that the building still had some residual value.) You have to be careful. It'd be great if you were friends with a structural engineer. But if you can find such a warehouse and your cash budget permits, then you can do some amazing things with it.

Good luck. Small brick warehouses are in high demand for commercial purposes right now and don't stay listed for very long. (Personally, I'd be tempted to go metal, then build out a modest and secured living enclosure inside, and then put money into the building itself (mechanical, insulation, landscaping, security devices) over time. Keep an eye out on listings on LoopNet or Commgate in 77003, 77011, 77023, and the part of 77020 that is south of I-10. Also watch 77087, where an old business park off of Long Dr. might yield some opportunities.

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(Personally, I'd be tempted to go metal, then build out a modest and secured living enclosure inside, and then put money into the building itself (mechanical, insulation, landscaping, security devices) over time.

I've often wondered about metal. How would it hold up in a hurricane? Wouldn't it get shredded by flying metal sheets?

Edited by brian0123
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I've often wondered about metal. How would it hold up in a hurricane? Wouldn't it get shredded by flying metal sheets?

Metal buildings do quite well in hurricanes. We have a 60x100 metal building on the coast that was hit by IKE. It was designed to withstand hurricane winds and it did just fine....The only damage that was sustained was the 20x20 roll up doors; All 4 of them were destroyed by the water from the storm surge. ...Where debris hit the building the panels are supposed to be removed and replaced b/c the paint that protects the galvanized steel will start rust...

Overall the building did exceptionally well. No movement on the interior that is finished, and minimal damage.

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Thanks Marksmu, that's great to know. So let's say someone were to go the route Niche proposed and have a hurricane rated metal structure with living quarters inside. Would it be something you'd feel confident staying in during a hurricane... or would you feel safer in a typical Houston wood-framed house?

Also, what do these structures feel like in a Houston summer?

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Also, what do these structures feel like in a Houston summer?

Long ago I lived in an east side warehouse, and while the concrete tilt-walls with minimal windows are good for insulation, the thin roofs are a major problem. They just radiate heat down into the space, especially if they're black-top. We had to put in very thick insulation behind a drop ceiling, although there may be some good spray-on insulation options now. A white roof would be really helpful too.

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Thanks Marksmu, that's great to know. So let's say someone were to go the route Niche proposed and have a hurricane rated metal structure with living quarters inside. Would it be something you'd feel confident staying in during a hurricane... or would you feel safer in a typical Houston wood-framed house?

Also, what do these structures feel like in a Houston summer?

Metal buildings are built out of a metal frame....the inside is actually built out just like a traditional home would be using wood and drywall to frame the interior...

The sounds that a Steel building make in high winds may make you weary at first, but you can rest assured the structure is indeed much stronger than its wooden counterparts. They brace the large metal frames with large cables put in tension When the wind load increases the cables become more taught and the wind can cause them to hum like a guitar string. Its an interesting sound. I stayed in our barndominium through hurricane Humberto back in 2008 or 2009. I was not scared at all. I would feel entirely comfortable staying there through any hurricane...its the water that worries me - not the wind.

In terms of temperatures - they make a variety of different options that you can build around. Some much cooler, some hotter.

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Long ago I lived in an east side warehouse, and while the concrete tilt-walls with minimal windows are good for insulation, the thin roofs are a major problem. They just radiate heat down into the space, especially if they're black-top. We had to put in very thick insulation behind a drop ceiling, although there may be some good spray-on insulation options now. A white roof would be really helpful too.

I don't like flat roofs. But...if you must...budget for replacement with Durolast (which is a PVC membrane material) or a comparable product. It'll reflect most of the heat back into the atmosphere and will not degrade as quickly as most other roofing materials. Have a layer of foam board installed under that for good measure. Any wood or metal joists or decking below that should be cool to the touch after installation.

I've often wondered about metal. How would it hold up in a hurricane? Wouldn't it get shredded by flying metal sheets?

Expect that flying debris can dent the metal panels in a storm, but that a dented panel is usually still functional. Marksmu is correct that fenestrations (i.e. doors, docks, windows) are more problematic, however that (again) comes back to using the right building materials and construction methods.

Most of the damage I see on metal buildings is the result of user error. (You'd be amazed at how often trucks get backed against gutter downspouts or into loading docks that are not open!) But one design issue to actively avoid is with the placement of garage doors in cross-dock configurations, where more than one side of the building can be open at the same time. In those circumstances, the entire building acts like a pair of venturi tubes, and wind will flow turbulently along the interior surfaces of the building, tearing apart insulation on the walls and ceiling. You don't want that.

**DISCLAIMER: I am not a structural engineer. I am not a broker. Consult licensed professionals prior to investment of your time, energy, or money in any real estate endeavor.**

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Love it! The good news and the bad news. On a fairly draconian budget, finished out warehouse space built by a contractor is hard to build for less than $60 per square foot. This was a 4,700-square-foot building, so its replacement cost new is at least $282,000. But...for a warehouse...it has some pretty nice finishes and is totally air conditioned. So, call it $300,000 even, not including the purchase price of land, which in that area could be $25 per square foot...call it another $130,000. So that's the bad news. Don't think you can build this and have it get bank financed.

The good news. Keep an eye out for commercial listings in this area. Many warehouses come to market that are priced for the underlying dirt. The caveat is that you can expect that they've been maintained as such. (I'm thinking that this one probably was in good enough shape that the building still had some residual value.) You have to be careful. It'd be great if you were friends with a structural engineer. But if you can find such a warehouse and your cash budget permits, then you can do some amazing things with it.

Good luck. Small brick warehouses are in high demand for commercial purposes right now and don't stay listed for very long. (Personally, I'd be tempted to go metal, then build out a modest and secured living enclosure inside, and then put money into the building itself (mechanical, insulation, landscaping, security devices) over time. Keep an eye out on listings on LoopNet or Commgate in 77003, 77011, 77023, and the part of 77020 that is south of I-10. Also watch 77087, where an old business park off of Long Dr. might yield some opportunities.

Thanks for the info, Niche. I was hoping you'd respond.

I was on LoopNet last night, looking 77003 -- I'll check out Commgate too. I saw a couple reasonable metal structures, but nothing masonry under 10k sf that was appealing. I drove around the area some more today, and it's really come a long way since the last time I was over there (I used to hang out a bit at some of the artists's warehouses in this area.) Here is a question for you, though. LoopNet only shows about 1/3rd of the listings without a subscription... I suppose I'm only seeing listings that have paid an extra fee to be "public"? Should I get an account for a couple months to get a better idea of the market?

Maybe when I'm ready to sell this house I'll look up the current 1121 Delano owners on HCAD and make an unsolicited offer :)

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I was on LoopNet last night, looking 77003 -- I'll check out Commgate too. I saw a couple reasonable metal structures, but nothing masonry under 10k sf that was appealing. I drove around the area some more today, and it's really come a long way since the last time I was over there (I used to hang out a bit at some of the artists's warehouses in this area.) Here is a question for you, though. LoopNet only shows about 1/3rd of the listings without a subscription... I suppose I'm only seeing listings that have paid an extra fee to be "public"? Should I get an account for a couple months to get a better idea of the market?

Maybe when I'm ready to sell this house I'll look up the current 1121 Delano owners on HCAD and make an unsolicited offer :)

I think that LoopNet will allow you to see all the listings if you subscribe as a free member. Either that, or they give you a 30 day trial or whatever. And when you get serious, their monthly subscription isn't especially expensive and might actually be worth it so that you can find sales comps and peruse their property database.

Don't forget to look at land listings. Some of these warehouses don't get listed as warehouses.

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Long ago I lived in an east side warehouse, and while the concrete tilt-walls with minimal windows are good for insulation, the thin roofs are a major problem. They just radiate heat down into the space, especially if they're black-top. We had to put in very thick insulation behind a drop ceiling, although there may be some good spray-on insulation options now. A white roof would be really helpful too.

Actually this is a problem in any structure. The biggest cause of temperature change in any building is the roof. Asphalt shingle roofs are much worse than metal roofs, since they absorb heat. In Houston, code reuires upwards of R-38 for ceiling or roof insulation. For super energy efficiency, some engineers recommend up to R-60. That's a lot of batt insulation (up to 12 inches). However, foam board insulation can be used under metal roofs as well. As with anything else, research is your friend. But, the short answer is to use white or silver on the roof, and lots of insulation under it.

Metal can be great in hurricanes if the fasteners are wind rated. So can wood structures. If they are strapped properly, and OSB board is properly fastened to the studs, wood structures can withstand very high winds. Studies in Florida show that wind rated homes rarely fail during hurricanes. In Bolivar, the wind did not damage many homes. The storm surge simply smashed into them and knocked them down. If they were on taller stilts, most would have survived. Of course, in Houston, the odds of winds over 115 mph are slim. Houston code requires engineering to withstand 120 mph, so if you meet code, you should feel safe in whatever you build.

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Woolie-

Fear not, I've noticed 1121 Delano St. a few times over the last few years on HAR. I'd be interested to see how many times it has sold. I know this new listing is different from the last one I saw a few years ago (all the furniture is different).

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I'd prefer EaDo to 3rd Ward (just prefer the warehouse chic aesthetic), but this is kindof interesting...

http://www.loopnet.c...0923&StepID=101

There's also a little brick commercial building near my current house that seems to have just put a sign up recently (Chenevert at Dennis). I don't see it on HAR or LoopNet -- it's just a phone # on the sign. Although probably too expensive -- it is a little on the big side and it seems people are asking something like $50 sf for land in midtown. I just checked on HCAD and it's a 6000 sf building on a 7500 sf lot, although the appraisal is only 260k...

Edited by woolie
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Almost all of EaDo is within the Third Ward, though I wish I could get people to stop saying EaDo.

Well, allow me to be more specific. I like the area North of 45 more than the area South of 45.

I was under the impression there was a big process to come up with "EaDo," as silly as it sounds. I'd be fine with calling the little discrete area between 59 and maybe Scott St. as "Warehouse District" instead of EaDo. But I thought people wanted to distinguish it from both "3rd Ward" (or what most people consider 3rd Ward) and the "East End."

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

Seems to be working fine at the Caroline Collective, since 2008.

I always assumed that was an artists non-profit; it's in the museum district and the name is "collective." I didn't know until now they also leased out desks.

It'll be interesting to see if they can lease out enough desks to cover the mortgage, utilities, taxes, insurance, and management on a $330k residential property in a warehouse district. Especially considering that the previous business based there offloaded the property -- I imagine in part b/c it didn't work out as a leased event space.

When the property comes up again I will pursue it. I just hope they don't cut the interior up into tiny little spaces. At the very least, I'm on the lookout for similar properties or doing a conversion myself. Of course, assuming I don't move to another city in the meantime.

Edited by woolie
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