Jump to content

Knapp Chevrolet Dealership At The Corner Of Washington Ave. & Houston Ave.


Triton

Recommended Posts

I don't have any renderings available yet but my good friend who is a salesman there said they are already beginning on a new dealership for the corner. The row of cars that line that intersection will be moved to other lots that they recently bought. 

 

The remaining Art Deco building will be used simply for vehicle service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I don't have any renderings available yet but my good friend who is a salesman there said they are already beginning on a new dealership for the corner. The row of cars that line that intersection will be moved to other lots that they recently bought. 

 

The remaining Art Deco building will be used simply for vehicle service.

Demolition (or remodel)  is happening on a building to the west of the dealership

 

Edited by HoustonMidtown
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is that where the hat company was?

 

Yep. You can see the remnants of the "SHUDDE BROS." signage on the front of the building in the pic. I happened to be in the Sixth Ward yesterday afternoon and got a look at the other side of the building. It almost looks like there are some materials reclamation efforts going on as opposed to a straight demo. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep. You can see the remnants of the "SHUDDE BROS." signage on the front of the building in the pic. I happened to be in the Sixth Ward yesterday afternoon and got a look at the other side of the building. It almost looks like there are some materials reclamation efforts going on as opposed to a straight demo. 

 

There were some people on the second floor when I took the picture -- it looked like they had a bunch of the old windows stacked up together like they were going to reclaim them

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And...  (cough)

 

What are the official boundaries of The Heights?  I don't think I'd call Washington and Houston Avenue The Heights.  Isn't I-10 the southern boundary?

 

Knapp would be in the Sixth Ward, I think...

 

Since the Heights was platted in the 19th century and freeway construction rarely respected traditional neighborhood boundaries, no, not exactly.

 

The southern boundary was White Oak Bayou, except for one block on either side of Heights Blvd all the way down to Washington.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And...  (cough)

 

What are the official boundaries of The Heights?  I don't think I'd call Washington and Houston Avenue The Heights.  Isn't I-10 the southern boundary?

 

Knapp would be in the Sixth Ward, I think...

 Should this be posted to Other Houston Neighborhood?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This should stay in the heights...

 

And does anyone have a rendering? How much can we hope for here? Anything like the Audi dealership? I hope they build a cool garage / show room combo and sell off their surface parking - I dont think they should honestly expect to hold on to surface parking with the area taking off like it is.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This should stay in the heights...

 

And does anyone have a rendering? How much can we hope for here? Anything like the Audi dealership? I hope they build a cool garage / show room combo and sell off their surface parking - I dont think they should honestly expect to hold on to surface parking with the area taking off like it is.

Find another new Chevy dealership and you will have a pretty good idea what it will look like.  The manufacturers, especially US and Japanese, tend to want a very similar look for their franchisees' new buildings.  Dealerships also save a few bucks by recycling architect's plans. 

 

The Audi dealership was a major exception to the norm.  They put a ton of money into that store (largest dealership sq footage in the country) because that store was killing it in sales even in the terrible old location it shared with VW.  They also had the benefit of being part of a publicly traded company and the finances that go with it. 

 

Knapp is an independent and not part of a big group.  They won't have the cash to do anything crazy like the Audi store did.  It would be nice if they were able to keep as much of the old architecture around.  Chevy would probably pooh pooh it, but that dealership does have a lot of history:

 

http://www.knappchevrolet.com/KnappHistoricalPhotos

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Find another new Chevy dealership and you will have a pretty good idea what it will look like.  The manufacturers, especially US and Japanese, tend to want a very similar look for their franchisees' new buildings.  Dealerships also save a few bucks by recycling architect's plans. 

 

The Audi dealership was a major exception to the norm.  They put a ton of money into that store (largest dealership sq footage in the country) because that store was killing it in sales even in the terrible old location it shared with VW.  They also had the benefit of being part of a publicly traded company and the finances that go with it. 

 

Knapp is an independent and not part of a big group.  They won't have the cash to do anything crazy like the Audi store did.  It would be nice if they were able to keep as much of the old architecture around.  Chevy would probably pooh pooh it, but that dealership does have a lot of history:

 

http://www.knappchevrolet.com/KnappHistoricalPhotos

 

 I understand what you are saying. It very well may be true. But I think this historic dealership - and Houston - deserves better than a dumb surburban *pun intended* dealership. In fact, I dont know how they could do the  STANDARD dealership... space is so limited. They have no room to grow their space. The nature of their existance is unique and I dont know how they can expect to grow without going up.

 

We may not get an audi dealership. But Knapp has money, and maybe (hopefully) he chose to invest in the building.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This should stay in the heights...

 

And does anyone have a rendering? How much can we hope for here? Anything like the Audi dealership? I hope they build a cool garage / show room combo and sell off their surface parking - I dont think they should honestly expect to hold on to surface parking with the area taking off like it is.

 

I'm friends with the general manager at Knapp because of my profession and he's only showed me the floor plans. It's nothing too fancy. Showroom floor along Washington and a small piece of the floor on Houston Ave. Only six salesman offices, a general managers office, a couple of finance offices, and a funding office. From what I saw, it was only one floor. Knapp isn't like the Audi dealership or the BMW dealership just south of downtown. Knapp actually almost went bankrupt not too long ago so at the moment, the plan is to keep buying lots in the area. I was actually shocked how many vacant lots Knapp owns in the area just to hold future inventory.

 

Edit: I'm not aware of any rendering. The salesmen I know haven't even seen a rendering. It's a little strange, right?

Edited by Triton
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm friends with the general manager at Knapp because of my profession and he's only showed me the floor plans. It's nothing too fancy. Showroom floor along Washington and a small piece of the floor on Houston Ave. Only six salesman offices, a general managers office, a couple of finance offices, and a funding office. From what I saw, it was only one floor. Knapp isn't like the Audi dealership or the BMW dealership just south of downtown. Knapp actually almost went bankrupt not too long ago so at the moment, the plan is to keep buying lots in the area. I was actually shocked how many vacant lots Knapp owns in the area just to hold future inventory.

Edit: I'm not aware of any rendering. The salesmen I know haven't even seen a rendering. It's a little strange, right?

Boo - stop buying lots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apparently Knapp is just a block south of The Heights. :D

Well not really. The Heights is a mile or so west of Houston Ave and "Texasota" is correct,  Washington Ave is the southern boundry of the Heights. Heights State Bank was on Washington Ave for decades at the southern entrance to the Heights. Think back if you were living in Houston at the turn of the century (the one before last), and you were going to visit a relative in the Heights, your journey would have been out Washington Ave, past the cemeteries and various other buildings and landscapes. As you got close to Heights Boulevard you saw a two story building up ahead, you knew you were getting close to the Heights........at last!, but wait, this was only the entrance road, you still had to travel several blocks up Heights Bouleavrd before you actually got close to your relatives house.

 

Aren't you glad we have freeway's now?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well not really. The Heights is a mile or so west of Houston Ave and "Texasota" is correct, Washington Ave is the southern boundry of the Heights. Heights State Bank was on Washington Ave for decades at the southern entrance to the Heights. Think back if you were living in Houston at the turn of the century (the one before last), and you were going to visit a relative in the Heights, your journey would have been out Washington Ave, past the cemeteries and various other buildings and landscapes. As you got close to Heights Boulevard you saw a two story building up ahead, you knew you were getting close to the Heights........at last!, but wait, this was only the entrance road, you still had to travel several blocks up Heights Bouleavrd before you actually got close to your relatives house.

Aren't you glad we have freeway's now?

Indeed - those two miles must have been hell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

They are clearing the area where the new cars and trucks were parked...

 


As for the Shudde building - there was a major salvage effort (they're just about done with the demo by now, I think. It's been a couple weeks since I was there). Stay tuned for pictures.

 

The building is gone now...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The auto industry apparently thinks that we buy a particular make of car based upon the architecture of the dealerships; i.e., we might accidentally walk into something else if it doesn't have the silly silver V with a curve on top like Buick, or the centered blue square (in exactly the same shade last seen on a '72 Vega) for Chevy, the blue waves of Honda, the silvery white of a Ford or Lincoln store, or the sand colored Mayan mashup of a Lexus dealer's overhangs.  

 

Dipsticks.  I like architecture more than most (which is why I think Buick GMC stores are as ugly as the POSes they try to sell inside), but when I'm looking for something to drive I buy a car, not a building.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The auto industry apparently thinks that we buy a particular make of car based upon the architecture of the dealerships; i.e., we might accidentally walk into something else if it doesn't have the silly silver V with a curve on top like Buick, or the centered blue square (in exactly the same shade last seen on a '72 Vega) for Chevy, the blue waves of Honda, the silvery white of a Ford or Lincoln store, or the sand colored Mayan mashup of a Lexus dealer's overhangs.

Dipsticks. I like architecture more than most (which is why I think Buick GMC stores are as ugly as the POSes they try to sell inside), but when I'm looking for something to drive I buy a car, not a building.

It's called brand control. You may not like it, but the GM brand is extremely valuable and homogeneous storefronts protect that brand.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's called brand control. You may not like it, but the GM brand is extremely valuable and homogeneous storefronts protect that brand.

 

Strict adherence to the same exact architecture???

 

Brand control is one thing... Look at the European dealerships - while they look similar, they can vary in appearance.

 

GM has a primitive understanding of what makes a difference. I think this will hurt them in the long run. Now there isnt anything special to this dealership... and I forsee this being gone in 10 years anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GM is notorious in the dealership world for their heavy handed control over the design of franchisee dealership buildings.  They actually mandated a specific floor tile for dealerships a few years back.  Honda has also been very aggressive in forcing franchisees to upgrade to very similar building designs.  It has been a long running battle between manufacturers and dealerships on control of brand image.  Dealerships want to create their own brand image to set themselves off from the other stores in town.  Manufacturers want to diminish the dealerships brand image because they think that it minimizes their brand, especially when a dealership group carries multiple manufacturer lines.  Also, for a small dealership like Knapp, using an off the shelf design saves a lot of money versus hiring an architect to design a dealership showroom from scratch.  I am sure the design they are using has already been built several times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's called brand control. You may not like it, but the GM brand is extremely valuable and homogeneous storefronts protect that brand.

 

"Brand control" as imposed by the same bright light MBAs that came over from Proctor & Gamble, etc. to run a car company as if it were selling toothpaste and laundry soap - with the result that engineering and differentiation between the nameplates went into the dumper, followed by sales.

 

As I said, dipsticks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Brand control" as imposed by the same bright light MBAs that came over from Proctor & Gamble, etc. to run a car company as if it were selling toothpaste and laundry soap - with the result that engineering and differentiation between the nameplates went into the dumper, followed by sales.

As I said, dipsticks.

Like I said, you may not like it, but that's what drives these types of decisions. I'm not even defending it, but trying to provide a little conversation on how large corporate decisions might be made.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No argument here over the fact of the process - but when consensus mediocrity is the goal, a descending circle into the drain is frequently the result.  GM at its peak was driven (and run at the top) by engineers and stylists; more recently it's been the CYA and shuffle responsibility types that somehow determined that if they kept the same part number on the redesign of a very defective ignition switch perhaps they could hide the mistake a while longer - a decision that's ultimately costing the company even more.  It's going to be a very slow ship to turn, but Mary Barra at least came up from the engineering side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In all fairness though car companies are hardly the only ones to try to maintain a unified appearance.  Gas stations started standardizing layouts back in the 1930s.  While commercial architecture is rarely stunning, it's extremely interesting to me to see how it evolves.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Branding of structures makes more sense when one is dealing with a commodity product - gas, groceries, motels.  

 

At least for some of us, though, cars are not so easily turned into beige commodities.  Try too hard to do that and you get this: http://jalopnik.com/the-2014-oldsmobile-cutlass-is-better-than-ever-1550547372

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Branding of structures makes more sense when one is dealing with a commodity product - gas, groceries, motels.  

 

At least for some of us, though, cars are not so easily turned into beige commodities.  Try too hard to do that and you get this: http://jalopnik.com/the-2014-oldsmobile-cutlass-is-better-than-ever-1550547372

Funny article.  Always been into cars, so I sympathize, but there's always going to be a market segment for mundane cars and architecture.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's the rendering posted on Knapp's website.

That's very strange. The blue print I saw for the building had the dealership look more like a modern version of their art deco store right behind it. Apparently now it has 15 salesman offices now instead of the 6 I report earlier. I think the change in design comes from GM now. GM is providing 50% of the funding while Knapp is paying the other half.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • The title was changed to Knapp Chevrolet Dealership At The Corner Of Washington Ave. & Houston Ave.

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...
×
×
  • Create New...