Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
s3mh

Morrison Multifamily?

Recommended Posts

Hearing through the grapevine of a mid-rise multifamily going in on Morrison.  Only possible lot would be where the old folks home is currently located.  According to HCAD, that property was sold to what looks like an investor back in 2007.  Plans to build may have been put on hold during the market crash.  Anyone heard anything?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugliness aside, that is very interesting.  Given the price inflation of single family and town homes inside the loop, you would think that there would be more development of condos at this price point (217k-364k).  But, we just keep seeing apartments getting built.  It will be interesting to see whether Houston gets swept up by condo conversions like what happened when areas of Boston, Atlanta, Chicago went got hot in the 80s.  Also would be interesting to see whether this kind of product will replace the medium sized garden style apartment complexes in the Heights area.  According to the website, they have already sold 11 of 36 units with pre-construction pricing through September.  If they can reach 60-70% sold before construction starts, that will mean enough demand to get similar projects financed in Houston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugliness aside, that is very interesting.  Given the price inflation of single family and town homes inside the loop, you would think that there would be more development of condos at this price point (217k-364k).  But, we just keep seeing apartments getting built.  It will be interesting to see whether Houston gets swept up by condo conversions like what happened when areas of Boston, Atlanta, Chicago went got hot in the 80s.  Also would be interesting to see whether this kind of product will replace the medium sized garden style apartment complexes in the Heights area.  According to the website, they have already sold 11 of 36 units with pre-construction pricing through September.  If they can reach 60-70% sold before construction starts, that will mean enough demand to get similar projects financed in Houston.

 

Houston is a lot less dense than either Boston or Chicago. I think there's still an expectation here that buying a home gets you your own property with at least a small yard, particularly in a neighborhood like the heights. 

 

I know for me personally, I would love to buy a condo in or near downtown, but I have no idea what the appeal of a condo in the Heights would be. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Houston is a lot less dense than either Boston or Chicago. I think there's still an expectation here that buying a home gets you your own property with at least a small yard, particularly in a neighborhood like the heights.

I know for me personally, I would love to buy a condo in or near downtown, but I have no idea what the appeal of a condo in the Heights would be.

I guess if you want in the heights but can't afford meaningful square footage a condo might bridge the gap

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess if you want in the heights but can't afford meaningful square footage a condo might bridge the gap

 

That is what I am getting at.  Atlanta underwent a big condo conversion push when Buckhead got hot in the late 80s early 90s.  Atlanta certainly has enough sprawl that everyone can get an affordable home in the burbs.  But, all the young singles and couples, as well as confirmed bachelors and empty nesters, wanted to be in Buckhead.  There wasn't enough land to build more apartment and not enough big investment dollars to do high rises (those would eventually come later).  So, they started converting apartments into condos.  If the current trends continue unabated, I could see condos becoming more popular in Houston as rent prices get to be the same as owning.  Just not sure whether people would want to buy a condo in the current ubiquitous pencil box design or would prefer new construction like this place, the condos on Waugh or the one in Jackson Hill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wonder how much overlap there is between the population that wants to live in the Heights and the population interested in living in condos. I think the fact that this project looks extremely cheap might suggest that there isn't much confidence in condo construction in the Heights.

 

You used the new condo building on Waugh as an example, but that's a much, much higher quality building than this one. (Or at least it seems to be.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wonder how much overlap there is between the population that wants to live in the Heights and the population interested in living in condos. I think the fact that this project looks extremely cheap might suggest that there isn't much confidence in condo construction in the Heights.

 

You used the new condo building on Waugh as an example, but that's a much, much higher quality building than this one. (Or at least it seems to be.) 

 

I meant the Piedmont, which is actually on Rosine.  The Mirabeau down the street on Waugh is definitely higher quality and for a different market segment. 

 

I think that people aren't looking for condos in Houston, but will have to settle for them if they want to live inside the loop, whether in the Heights or elsewhere, at the $250-350k price point.  It is just one of those critical mass things with condos.  It is a big risk to buy if the resale market is weak.  That has been the case for Houston for a long time.  But, if the resale market gets some steam due to the lack of housing at the $250-350k price point, then condos become an attractive alternative to renting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know many people that want (have) condos in Houston.  Most of them travel a lot (one person spends a few months a year out of town researching) so they like the convenience of just locking it up and leaving for weeks/months at time.  With as many oil/gas people that live in the area, this can't be a rare situation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know many people that want (have) condos in Houston.  Most of them travel a lot (one person spends a few months a year out of town researching) so they like the convenience of just locking it up and leaving for weeks/months at time.  With as many oil/gas people that live in the area, this can't be a rare situation.

 

Townhomes have been available to those who would normally be inclined to go with condos.  At the 300-350k price point, you used to be able to get a townhome and minimal maintenance fees compared to condos.  So, why bother with elevators, parking garages and high maintenance fees and assessments with condos when you can have a townhome for the same price or less?  But, I think that is changing.  300-350k pushes you out of a lot of neighborhoods inside the loop for a townhome now.  Thus, I wonder whether more projects like this will happen or whether condo conversion might be on the horizon for Houston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Townhomes still have yards albeit tiny ones, and are a lot more obvious that they are sitting vacant for months at a time.  I know another guy who owned a loft at St. Germain downtown, he only worked in houston probably 15 weeks out of the year, and maybe spendt another 5 weeks here for various other reasons... His company gave him a living expense budget and it  basically covered his mortgage (not the maintainance fees) for the whole year.  He treated his loft like a hotel.  Something like this on/near a bus route to downtown/galleria/etc  would probably fit a lot of people's ideal scenario.  I know my company is looking for things similar to this to purchase for corporate housing for when we have people commuting to Houston for weekly/monthly work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Townhomes have been available to those who would normally be inclined to go with condos.  At the 300-350k price point, you used to be able to get a townhome and minimal maintenance fees compared to condos.  So, why bother with elevators, parking garages and high maintenance fees and assessments with condos when you can have a townhome for the same price or less?  But, I think that is changing.  300-350k pushes you out of a lot of neighborhoods inside the loop for a townhome now.  Thus, I wonder whether more projects like this will happen or whether condo conversion might be on the horizon for Houston.

 

It's amazing to me the wide brush strokes you take applying "your thinking" to everyone else.....maybe condo buyers don't want all the stairs that a 3 or 4 story townhome has, maybe they want to be able to travel and not have to worry about their place looking vacant, maybe they don't want the exterior maintenance that a townhome requires, maybe they just want a condo instead....everyone has different wants and needs, quit trying to put your ideas on everyone else...

Edited by HoustonMidtown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's amazing to me the wide brush strokes you take applying "your thinking" to everyone else.....maybe condo buyers don't want all the stairs that a 3 or 4 story townhome has, maybe they want to be able to travel and not have to worry about their place looking vacant, maybe they don't want the exterior maintenance that a townhome requires, maybe they just want a condo instead....everyone has different wants and needs, quit trying to put your ideas on everyone else...

 

Well, you did an excellent job refuting my supposition about the market for condos/townhomes with nothing more than your own speculation and insults.  But, that is par for the course for HAIF/Heights.  Heaven forbid that an intelligent and respectful discussion break out. 

 

The facts are that condo development inside the loop has been virtually non-existent for a city the size of Houston while townhomes have been springing up like mushrooms after a heavy rain.  Even before the 2008 crash, condo developments inside the loop were often landing with a thud (see, e.g. Shamrock Hotel replica downtown, 1600 block of Westheimer, the completed, but troubled Tremont Tower etc.).  So, while there are certainly people who prefer condos to townhomes, those numbers are virtually non-existent in Houston given the near complete lack of condo development, especially compared to townhomes.  But you aren't interested in having an intelligent and respectful discussion of market trends.  You just want to fuss.  Just another day at HAIF/Heights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the things you point out s3mh are more attribuited to the low cost of inner city real estate over the previous years.  Developers couldn't make the same profits with condos until they reached a higher threshold (which is currently happening).  Demand was there... supply wasn't, but it is one of those instances where the demand alone wouldn't raise the price.  All prices had to increase to make the demand even higher while providing developers with better oportunities for profits (which leads to "better" developers building condos)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you did an excellent job refuting my supposition about the market for condos/townhomes with nothing more than your own speculation and insults.  But, that is par for the course for HAIF/Heights.  Heaven forbid that an intelligent and respectful discussion break out. 

 

The facts are that condo development inside the loop has been virtually non-existent for a city the size of Houston while townhomes have been springing up like mushrooms after a heavy rain.  Even before the 2008 crash, condo developments inside the loop were often landing with a thud (see, e.g. Shamrock Hotel replica downtown, 1600 block of Westheimer, the completed, but troubled Tremont Tower etc.).  So, while there are certainly people who prefer condos to townhomes, those numbers are virtually non-existent in Houston given the near complete lack of condo development, especially compared to townhomes.  But you aren't interested in having an intelligent and respectful discussion of market trends.  You just want to fuss.  Just another day at HAIF/Heights.

 

How do you know this is my speculation?  I live in the EDGE condos -- I sold a townhome to move in to a condo for the exact reasons I stated, there were many condo developments that I looked at (not as many as available townhomes, I agree with you there)....and where did I insult you?  Sounds like you are speculating....

Edited by HoustonMidtown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you know this is my speculation?  I live in the EDGE condos -- I sold a townhome to move in to a condo for the exact reasons I stated, there were many condo developments that I looked at (not as many as available townhomes, I agree with you there)....and where did I insult you?  Sounds like you are speculating....

 

Read the discussion and be constructive instead of jumping in and telling me to stop trying to "put my ideas on everyone else".  I am talking about broad market trends and am not claiming that no one in Houston likes condos because everyone prefers town homes.  Yes, there are people in Houston who prefer condos to townhomes for the same reason you moved into one.  My point is simply that the broader market trend has been for people to go for townhomes instead of condos inside the loop because you can get townhomes for the same price as condos.  The benefits of condo living are minimized in Houston's car centric neighborhoods as compared to a neighborhood like the Back Bay in Boston.  Thus, there are only a smattering of condos inside the loop.  However, I think that this project may signal a tipping point where townhomes are getting out of reach for those in the $300k price point.  But the problem in Houston with condos is that the resale market has not been very good compared to other places where people read the obits to try to get a jump on a condo sale.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In writing a reply on another topic, I noticed that according to the current list of MLS approvals, the eastern face of this block of Morrison St. is covered by a minimum lot size restriction, with a minimum lot size of 7085 s.f.  Houston Ordinance section 42-194 (k) reads:

 

 

For any lot and tract that was in use for single family residential purposes at the time the complete application for establishment of a special minimum lot size area was filed, the subdivision plat, development plat or building permit must provide only for the construction of not more than one primary dwelling unit and one secondary dwelling unit of not more than 900 square feet on a lot. Each lot must meet the minimum lot size requirement of this section.

 

The MLS designation was approved on 31 October, 2007.  I don't have info on when the application was filed. 

 

The tax records show that the lot was then used as an office/warehouse in 2007 and as single-family residential in 2008.  If this change happened prior to filing of the MLS application, there would be reasonable grounds to block the permitting of this project based on the MLS restriction. 

 

Those who are opposed to this development might want to look into this further, perhaps by looking up a copy of the MLS application, and determining when in 2007 the property in question changed hands.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In writing a reply on another topic, I noticed that according to the current list of MLS approvals, the eastern face of this block of Morrison St. is covered by a minimum lot size restriction, with a minimum lot size of 7085 s.f.  Houston Ordinance section 42-194 (k) reads:

 

 

 

The MLS designation was approved on 31 October, 2007.  I don't have info on when the application was filed. 

 

The tax records show that the lot was then used as an office/warehouse in 2007 and as single-family residential in 2008.  If this change happened prior to filing of the MLS application, there would be reasonable grounds to block the permitting of this project based on the MLS restriction. 

 

Those who are opposed to this development might want to look into this further, perhaps by looking up a copy of the MLS application, and determining when in 2007 the property in question changed hands.

This is the perfect example of the fallacy of the almighty power of the MLS restriction. MLS works great at keeping people from doing what they already do not want to do (divide the lots that they live on or switch from single family to multifamily). MLS is powerless at getting someone else who holds the land for investment from dividing or turning single family into multifamily because they will never agree to sign on and usually own more than enough of a % of the lots to stop the process.

There was a very good push to get Morrison to have MLS restriction. They succeeded in getting the 2600 block and 2900 to 3100 block. Of course, the 2700 and 2800 block did not agree because some of those land owners were holding for investment and wanted to be able to sell to someone who was going to divide for townhomes or do multifamily (2700 block has the old folks home which will probably be the next shoe to drop, 2800 block gets Morrison Heights). The push to get the restriction came after someone tried to develop a lot on the 2600 block into townhomes. That development died during the market crash, but appears to be back on track. MLS cannot stop what is already platted because state law says that once you plat, you are bullet proof from any subsequent legislation. I would certainly recommend that everyone do MLS. But, I would never give up the historic district for MLS or say that zoning isn't needed because of MLS. I think we are going to see lots of these projects popping up all over the Heights. I have heard that the developer is ready to do more if this is a success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I think we are going to see lots of these projects popping up all over the Heights. I have heard that the developer is ready to do more if this is a success.

 

Why would that be a problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the perfect example of the fallacy of the almighty power of the MLS restriction. MLS works great at keeping people from doing what they already do not want to do (divide the lots that they live on or switch from single family to multifamily). MLS is powerless at getting someone else who holds the land for investment from dividing or turning single family into multifamily because they will never agree to sign on and usually own more than enough of a % of the lots to stop the process.

There was a very good push to get Morrison to have MLS restriction. They succeeded in getting the 2600 block and 2900 to 3100 block. Of course, the 2700 and 2800 block did not agree because some of those land owners were holding for investment and wanted to be able to sell to someone who was going to divide for townhomes or do multifamily (2700 block has the old folks home which will probably be the next shoe to drop, 2800 block gets Morrison Heights). The push to get the restriction came after someone tried to develop a lot on the 2600 block into townhomes. That development died during the market crash, but appears to be back on track. MLS cannot stop what is already platted because state law says that once you plat, you are bullet proof from any subsequent legislation. I would certainly recommend that everyone do MLS. But, I would never give up the historic district for MLS or say that zoning isn't needed because of MLS. I think we are going to see lots of these projects popping up all over the Heights. I have heard that the developer is ready to do more if this is a success.

 

 

MLS restrictions cover no less than a full block face.  Morrison from 2600 to 2898 is a single block face, so the MLS restriction on the 2600 block of Morrison should cover this property.  The only question is whether it was single family residential at the time of the application. If it wasn't, then the property is, in essence, moving from commercial use to multi-family use, which is usually not the sort of thing MLS is meant to prevent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the perfect example of the fallacy of the almighty power of the MLS restriction. MLS works great at keeping people from doing what they already do not want to do (divide the lots that they live on or switch from single family to multifamily). MLS is powerless at getting someone else who holds the land for investment from dividing or turning single family into multifamily because they will never agree to sign on and usually own more than enough of a % of the lots to stop the process.

There was a very good push to get Morrison to have MLS restriction. They succeeded in getting the 2600 block and 2900 to 3100 block. Of course, the 2700 and 2800 block did not agree because some of those land owners were holding for investment and wanted to be able to sell to someone who was going to divide for townhomes or do multifamily (2700 block has the old folks home which will probably be the next shoe to drop, 2800 block gets Morrison Heights). The push to get the restriction came after someone tried to develop a lot on the 2600 block into townhomes. That development died during the market crash, but appears to be back on track. MLS cannot stop what is already platted because state law says that once you plat, you are bullet proof from any subsequent legislation. I would certainly recommend that everyone do MLS. But, I would never give up the historic district for MLS or say that zoning isn't needed because of MLS. I think we are going to see lots of these projects popping up all over the Heights. I have heard that the developer is ready to do more if this is a success.

 

Just to paraphrase exactly what you just said.  Someone else bought the land a long time ago with plans to do something I don't agree with, so I want to change the laws to suit MY preferences exactly, even though I bought after them without doing any research.

 

When you buy a house, its your JOB to look at the entire area and decide if its a good buy - its not someone else's job.  Every house and property I have ever bought I have looked at ALL of the surrounding properties and who owns them.  Prior to moving to the Heights I wanted to buy 2 lots totaling 8800sq ft on the 1000 block of Waverly.  They were $129,000 each, which was at the time SUBSTANTIALLY lower than other lots in the area.  I did an hcad search and looked up the blocks owners...about 8 lots were owned by an LLC, I did a SOS search and got the contact information for the LLC and I called the guy asking what the deal was with the lots.   He told me 2 years prior to the construction that he intended to build the outpatient mental treatment center that is on the 1000 block of Waverly now.   I looked at his website after that and saw that he focused on schizophrenia, and Bi-Polar mental disorders, and then decided that was a very poor choice of location to buy.   I was proactive - I absolutely did not expect that I could buy the lots I wanted at a reduced price, and then go in and change the law to stop this guys plans.  That is not a reasonable expectation.

 

If you dont take the time to research who owns what, you deserve what you get.  If the current owners do not want MLS restrictions then you do not get to impose them on them b/c you do.  It is the perfect example of a MINORITY of people who think their opinion should prevail over the majority of the other owners.  If the current owners want to sell to people to build townhomes, why should your opinion be more important than their opinion?  Why should your expectations prevail over their expectations?  The minority and current or historic use is NOT and should NOT be given ANY precedence over the majority of the property owners.  Your investment is not, I REPEAT, is NOT, more important than another persons, regardless of what percent of your income that investment is compared to theirs.

Edited by Marksmu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mbvgrRv.jpg?1

 

ACQ3uiP.jpg?1

 

Zoomed in, terrible quality but it shows you just how big this is in the neighborhood

 

Bt3peHL.jpg?1

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is seriously a horrendous development for this area. Now most people are wrong in that there aren't other large structures right by it but it is certainly the tallest. The worst part about it is the cheap quality used all around. I watched them put up the fake brick. It looks okay from a distance but it is clearly fake when you walk up to it. I feel bad for Morrison and I hope my neighborhood down the road doesn't start getting crap like this too.

 

13634096955_b99f3b5e30_c.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The good news is that homebuyers aren't desperate enough to actually purchase the units. The other good news (long term) is that the quality of materials is so low that it is unlikely to be here for long. I was actually worried when they poured the first and second floor foundations, that this would not only be an ugly building, but ugly and built to last. Instead, I watched four additional floors of nothing but timber go up.

Edited by Morrison

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That building doesn't look like it will survive the next tropical storm. If we get a hurricane I expect to see it floating upside down in the bayou.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...