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Bell Heights: Residential Redevelopment At 17th And Ashland St.


s3mh

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Interesting repurposing. I admit I don't know the economics but it makes me wonder why an ATT building can be transformed but the buildings on Louisiana can't be saved.

 

Better economics for the AT&T building. You can save any building with enough money. The problem is that most owners don't want to spend $4 million to end up with a building that's worth $1 million. Nor do they want to spend a pile of money to rhab a building that can't generate enough rent to make the investment worthwhile.

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The interesting part of this buildout is the big dig on the east side of the building.  I assume they are converting the basement into a parking garage given the excavation is shape like a big ramp to the street.  But I wonder how in the world they will be able to keep the garage from flooding every time we get a few inches of rain.  All the water will just rush down the driveway and into the garage.

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Probably a very over-designed drainage system at the ramp - imagine both a square drain in the drive way to the ramp as well as a metal grate across the entire crest of the ramp.  That could all go down into a subterranean cistern, and then pumped back up to the storm sewer level.

 

Or they put up a sign that says "Basement may flood in severe weather.  Management not responsible for damage."  Might be slightly cheaper

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Probably a very over-designed drainage system at the ramp - imagine both a square drain in the drive way to the ramp as well as a metal grate across the entire crest of the ramp.  That could all go down into a subterranean cistern, and then pumped back up to the storm sewer level.

 

Or they put up a sign that says "Basement may flood in severe weather.  Management not responsible for damage."  Might be slightly cheaper

 

Ha.  They are condos, so the sign would actually have to say: "Basement may flood in severe weather.  Developer not responsible for damage." 

 

I do not see any sign that they are putting in any sort of a significant drainage system (although they are just beginning to move dirt around).  I wonder if they could just put in a big flood door?  Or maybe have everyone park on a mechanical lift that would raise the cars up once flood waters come in.  Anything that relies on the existing stormwater system is not going to be effective in a big rain event.  I saw my neighbors' trash cans floating down the street during the Memorial day floods.  Things back up pretty quickly even just with an inch or two.  So, I will be watching this one with a lot of interest to see what happens.   

 

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I am no fan of the New Orleans-ification of this building, but have to admit that the work they did looks to be pretty high quality.  This project could have been another Houston wrap with hats multifamily apartment complex.  So, keeping the original building and putting in town homes on the neighboring lots was as good a result as could be expected.

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  • The title was changed to Bell Heights: Residential Redevelopment At 17th And Ashland St.

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