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Pappas Warehouse on Yale St. being Replaced by Heights Mercantile


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Realized the other day that I cannot remember the last time I saw a truck going or coming from the Pappas warehouse on Yale St.  It looks like they may have closed it.  I thought I saw a demo permit a while back for the office space they have just south of the warehouse on the SE corner of Yale and 7th.  This is/was a terrible location for a warehouse with lots of semi deliveries.  Even without all the traffic on Yale St., it always took semi drivers multiple tries to get lined up with the loading dock.  Hopefully, they finally gave up and have moved to another location. 

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you can almost smell the self-entitled douchebaggery from the computer screen.  a few pointer for you:   1) no one - and i mean no one - cares what you think 2) the well established restaurateurs,

Heights Mercantile by Marc longoria, on Flickr   Heights Mercantile by Marc longoria, on Flickr   Heights Mercantile by Marc longoria, on Flickr   Heigh

They topped out a two story building and put a tree. I love it.  😂

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About a year ago Pappas bought the old Glazier warehouse at 2727 Summer behind the Kay Roger....to go along with the entire 20-block parcel they own on the south side of 2400 Summer.  I believe the City is to punch Summer St through to Oliver as part of the Kroger deal and turn Summer/Stude into a major intersection for E/W traffic to Houstron Ave.  2727 looks big enough for Pappas and already was used for restaraunt supply.

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The lady who lives next door to the warehouse on Yale was told that the developer that built those 3&4 story townhomes on the same block also bought all that land from Pappas and has plans to build more vertical eyesores with no yards.  It's unfortunate that this is going on in the Heights.

 

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Corbella Builders is trying to build a 4-story townhome at the corner of Yale and 17th and started the project without ANY permits.  (Why do people do that??)

 

Interesting note:  this small lot is that it is in the Historic District.  Dont see a COA for anything that tall in the neighborhood.

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Corbella Builders is trying to build a 4-story townhome at the corner of Yale and 17th and started the project without ANY permits.  (Why do people do that??)

 

Interesting note:  this small lot is that it is in the Historic District.  Dont see a COA for anything that tall in the neighborhood.

 

Neighbors spotted this and have contacted the City.  It looks like construction has been shut down.  Barely two blocks of Yale St. are inside historic districts.  The rest of Yale St. is not.  Town home clusters are sprouting up all over Yale St.  At least four or five are on their way.  The City is happy to grant variances from the 25' set back for these town home clusters.  Yale St. is definitely going to be the runt of the Heights if it fills in like a vertical version of Cottage Grove. 

 

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I was amazed at the townhome complex being built at Harvard and 25th.  Dont understand how the infrastructure is going to handle all of this buidling...... 

 

Corbella got pinged for the dirt work without a permint and then still went ahead on installling a t-pole for electric.  Saw the electric company doing the dirt work and installing the conduit - felt like asking if they had a permit but I just contacted the permit department.

 

 

Glad I live on Heights Boulevard towards 19th street and can feel a little insulated from it all - Barely.

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Neighbors spotted this and have contacted the City.  It looks like construction has been shut down.  Barely two blocks of Yale St. are inside historic districts.  The rest of Yale St. is not.  Town home clusters are sprouting up all over Yale St.  At least four or five are on their way.  The City is happy to grant variances from the 25' set back for these town home clusters.  Yale St. is definitely going to be the runt of the Heights if it fills in like a vertical version of Cottage Grove. 

 

I'll take a vertical version of anything over a horizontal version of dilapidation.

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Neighbors spotted this and have contacted the City.  It looks like construction has been shut down.  Barely two blocks of Yale St. are inside historic districts.  The rest of Yale St. is not.  Town home clusters are sprouting up all over Yale St.  At least four or five are on their way.  The City is happy to grant variances from the 25' set back for these town home clusters.  Yale St. is definitely going to be the runt of the Heights if it fills in like a vertical version of Cottage Grove. 

 

 

 

I would expect most buyers don't see Yale as an attractive place for street-facing single-family residential. Higher density is perfectly appropriate on a major thoroughfare, and on a street as busy as Yale, these central-driveway townhouse clusters seem as good a solution as any. The alternative is probably multi-family.

 

As land values in the Heights increase, the default development model is slowly shifting from 2-story single-family to 3 to 3.5 story townhouses.  It started with the narrowing of lot sizes down to 25-ft frontage as standard. Some of the newer single-family houses are being designed as 2.5 stories.

 

There are only so many buyers at the $700k+ price point that new 2-story houses are selling for in the Heights. By building townhouses, developers can offer at a price point (just) south of half-a-million (for which the typical buyer doesn't need a jumbo loan).

 

If you live on a residential block outside an HD with, say, two lot-value properties side-by-side, and don't want a dozen townhouses as a neighbor, I'd recommend looking into minimum lot size protection for your block.  

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There has been activity on and off and on and off on that property and the lot just south at the NW corner of Yale and I-10.  I saw an environmental company working there a few months back.  There have been survey flags up and down a couple of times.  Moody Rambin had a "conceptual" design for the property that was a strip mall a while back, but they claimed that it was not going to happen.  This did not include the Cal-Tex parking lot to the north.  If the entire Cal-Tex property and the property at the NW corner of Yale and I-10 gets redeveloped at the same time, anything is possible.  But I would think that given the way developers work in Houston that the NW corner of Yale and I-10 would end up as retail if it was developed on its own.  But something is certainly going to happen soon.

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RE construction at corner of 17th and Yale. I take it this is the SE corner, 128 W 17th.

 

The lot at one time had two two-story houses on it, built in the 80s, with hardboard siding. Apparently they had multiple mortgage liens on them, part of the whole Couch Mortgage fiasco. Dean Couch was convicted of fraud in 1992 and committed suicide in the Harris Co jail using one of those electric coffee cup heaters. Anyway the places stood empty for years, and it was a real study in how hardboard siding can and will deteriorate over time if not kept sealed and painted. It hung from studs like seaweed at low tide. None of the lienholders would compromise, and at some point the buildings were torn down and the lot was used as a garden for many years. Looks like it became valuable enough to satisfy all the interested parties and improvements can again be added. 

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The owner of property across the street is posting on nextdoor that a developer has been making offers to buyout neighboring properties.  Vague details about plans to start building soon and doing two restaurants on the property.  Very fuzzy on details. 

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The owner of property across the street is posting on nextdoor that a developer has been making offers to buyout neighboring properties.  Vague details about plans to start building soon and doing two restaurants on the property.  Very fuzzy on details. 

For parking right?

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The owner of property across the street is posting on nextdoor that a developer has been making offers to buyout neighboring properties.  Vague details about plans to start building soon and doing two restaurants on the property.  Very fuzzy on details. 

 

A Pappas restaurant?  Probably too small for one of their's, but my wife and I were just saying on Saturday night that we were surprised there wasn't at least one of their's in the neighborhood (the Bar-B-Q places are the closest, but don't qualify for a date night).  So we have this gift card from last Christamas that is still unused.

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For parking right?

 

 

What else?

 

The site on the NE corner of 7th and Yale is about 40,000 s.f. Pappas also owns (owned?) the building on the SE corner, between 7th and the electrical substation, which sits on about 13,000 s.f. By way of comparison, Berryhill on 11th is a 4300 s.f. restaurant on 12,500 s.f. of land.

 

Despite being on the bike trail and catty-corner from 350 apartments, two 6000 s.f. restaurants will require 120 parking spaces in order to get permitted. That's almost certainly more than they can fit on site, and neither of the two parcels are really big enough for a multi-story parking structure.

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For parking right?

 

Yes.  No idea whether Pappas is the developer or someone else is developing.  Very little info at this time.  But it does sound like something is going to happen soon. 

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@Angostura re minimum lot size restrictions: Sunset Heights is odd in that each address usually consists of 2, 3k sq ft lots. Any workaround to get the City to see each address as the total 6k sq ft parcel rather than the 2 separate lots (aside from a replat), or no? Neighbors on our block are hoping to limit the number of shotgun style townhomes.

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@Angostura re minimum lot size restrictions: Sunset Heights is odd in that each address usually consists of 2, 3k sq ft lots. Any workaround to get the City to see each address as the total 6k sq ft parcel rather than the 2 separate lots (aside from a replat), or no? Neighbors on our block are hoping to limit the number of shotgun style townhomes.

 

 

From what I can tell, MLS restrictions in Sunset Heights tend to be 3000 s.f., even though most houses sit on double lots. This prevents Shady Acres-style townhouse developments (6 townhouses with a central driveway), but doesn't prevent replacing one house on 50-ft frontage with two on 25-ft frontage.

 

Additional details here, including an Excel file of approved and pending applications, and a phone number for CoH to ask further questions.

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Very cool concept going on here including restaurants, retail and small office all being designed by a well known austin designer. I believe it entails 3 of the four corners on Yale and 7th.

 

 

Interesting.

 

I presume one of the three corners will be given over to parking, or will they go vertical?

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They made a presentation to the Heights Association.  It is going to be a restaurant/retail development.  The warehouse is going to get demoed in a few months.  The Finial Group is marketing the property and looks to be taking a roll in redeveloping.

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They made a presentation to the Heights Association. It is going to be a restaurant/retail development. The warehouse is going to get demoed in a few months. The Finial Group is marketing the property and looks to be taking a roll in redeveloping.

Street-facing, or strip center?

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Street-facing, or strip center?

 

Don't know.  I wasn't there.   I just heard about it second hand.  It did not sound like there was a lot of detail on the design.  It is a funny shaped property that does not really lend itself well to much of anything.  It will take some creativity to maximize the space.

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Variance sign is up at the property seeking off street parking variance, building line and something else.  They will go to the planning commission on Feb. 8.  We should probably be able to see some info on the site when the agenda is released at the end of the month.

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Building-line variance is a good sign (I'm generally in favor of zero front setbacks for commercial developments). In this case it may indicate that they plan to build close to the street.

 

The off-street parking variance could be a couple of things:

 

- Plan to take advantage of the head-in spaces along 7th.

 

- Plan to use the mixed-use nature of the development to consider parking minimums of the development as a whole (i.e. take advantage of office parking for restaurants).

 

- Plan to use the proximity to the bike path to substitute a higher proportion of car spaces with bike spaces.

 

 

I'm generally in favor of much lower parking minimums, and given that this site is located across the street from 500 or so apartments and sits at the intersection of a shared-use trail (MKT) and a popular pedestrian trail (Heights Blvd esplanade), I fully support making this less car-centric. It also sits between two major thoroughfares, both of which offer a lot of on-street spaces.

 

 

That said, the planning commission generally takes a much harder line on parking minimums than it does on setbacks.

 

 

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The request to reduce parking in an area that already lacks available street parking will almost certainly be opposed?  Two proposed restaurants?   The imminent completion of 500 plus apartments on Yale will not help the parking situation.  The streets are already pretty narrow when people park along 7th and Heights to access Revival Market, the bike trail, the jogging trail, Donovan park etc.  Forget the inconvenience to residents, how will emergency vehicles respond? 

 

Look at the situation on Arlington St. with Coltivare; the residents are very upset.  Coltivare received a reduction in parking from the City when they added 40 bicycle spaces.  Unfortunately, no more than two bikes are ever parked there.  Rather, for every table that is occupied you see multiple cars.  Gelazzi does not have enough bathrooms so their guests have urinated in yards on Harvard St.  And Revival Market at 550 Heights is a tiny place, but it is packed to the gills with tables and standing patrons that often exceeds its occupancy permit.  Now Revival also wants to start a dinner service with a bar license,  Diners at Revival already occupy the parking lot and much of White Oak and Heights Blvd. 

 

Heights Blvd in particular has a lot of nice homes.  I feel so sad for those residents on Heights and nearby streets who will experience the noise from the thumping bass from the proposed rooftop restaurant late into the night, the lack of parking, elevated crime and emergency vehicle problems. 

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Oh boo hoo.  Emergency vehicle problems? Give me a break, 7th street is more than wide enough for cars parked on both sides and I never have a problem finding space along the street for parking at Revival and Gelazzi.  Two great local businesses that add a lot to the community.  Sorry that you don't own the parking in front of your house, people park in front of mine all the time, I don't get upset because that's their right and there is plenty of space.

 

Coltivare is the single greatest restaurant addition to the Heights in years, I hope it stays in business for a long time.  I'm glad it has ample space inside and out because it didn't need a 20 car parking lot.  I personally walk there, but if I lived nearby I'd be happier about being so close to great food than bitching all the time about customers parking around the neighborhood.

 

Houston needs more great places to eat along its walkable streets and I can't think of a better place for them.

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The request to reduce parking in an area that already lacks available street parking will almost certainly be opposed?  Two proposed restaurants?   The imminent completion of 500 plus apartments on Yale will not help the parking situation.  The streets are already pretty narrow when people park along 7th and Heights to access Revival Market, the bike trail, the jogging trail, Donovan park etc.  Forget the inconvenience to residents, how will emergency vehicles respond? 

 

Look at the situation on Arlington St. with Coltivare; the residents are very upset.  Coltivare received a reduction in parking from the City when they added 40 bicycle spaces.  Unfortunately, no more than two bikes are ever parked there.  Rather, for every table that is occupied you see multiple cars.  Gelazzi does not have enough bathrooms so their guests have urinated in yards on Harvard St.  And Revival Market at 550 Heights is a tiny place, but it is packed to the gills with tables and standing patrons that often exceeds its occupancy permit.  Now Revival also wants to start a dinner service with a bar license,  Diners at Revival already occupy the parking lot and much of White Oak and Heights Blvd. 

 

Heights Blvd in particular has a lot of nice homes.  I feel so sad for those residents on Heights and nearby streets who will experience the noise from the thumping bass from the proposed rooftop restaurant late into the night, the lack of parking, elevated crime and emergency vehicle problems. 

What you describe is called "Urban Living". You can move you know.

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There is a parking problem, but it is really a public infrastructure problem.  When the Heights was built, 18' wide roads next to commercial streets like  White Oak were no problem because most everyone hopped on the trolley or walked to get where they needed to go.  No one needed to park on the residential streets.  Now, people do need to park on the residential streets.  Even if every restaurant met the City parking minimums and then some, people would still be parking on the residential streets.  The problem is that many of the streets are only 18' with open drainage ditches.  The streets that are curbed are often not wide enough for parking on both sides of the street.  So, people get trapped in their driveways and it is difficult for emergency vehicles to get through.   Of course, I have no sympathy for people who build a lot line house with a two car garage on the alley a few doors down from White Oak and expect to have exclusive domain over the parking spot they built over the drainage ditch in the public right of way.   

 

The solution is to widen and curb/gutter all the residential streets that feed into White Oak and that will be affected by the new apartment complex and retail development.  Parking should be restricted to one side of the street so people can get out of their driveways. 

 

Restricting development is really not a viable option at this point.  We cannot unring the bell of poor development decisions in and around the Heights.  The apartment complexes should have had ground floor retail.  Everything south of I-10 should have been built up instead of stripmalled and suburban big boxed.  The result is that we are going to squeeze about 1200 multifamily units into the Heights in the next two years and possibly another few hundred if some proposed developments got their funding before the recent red light on multifamily in Houston.  The Heights desperately needs more restaurants, especially near the new multifamily development.  Most restaurants in the Heights are already packed to the gills on Friday and Saturdays.  I do not want to the Heights to be one of those hot areas where restaurants just phone it in once the get a location because they know that all the restaurants are packed and people will take whatever they can get.

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I was just trying to point out that in the instances in which the city overlooked its own requirements (parking, occupancy, bathrooms) there have been negative repercussions.    The residents expect the city to regulate as it is authorized so nuisances can be mitigated.  Granting a variance on parking at this location ultimately hurts the community so I doubt it will be supported.

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I have seen the application.  The city requires 145 spaces.  The developer wants to provide 58 spaces on site and get credit for the 97 existing head in parking spaces on 7th between Yale St. and Heights Blvd.  The shopping center will have 35k sq ft of retail space.  I believe they will demo the warehouse, but keep the building on the 600 block of Yale. 

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Everything south of I-10 should have been built up instead of stripmalled and suburban big boxed.  

 

I suspect it eventually will be, just as the architecturally significant old Micro Center got bulldozed for Amegy once the dirt became precious enough.

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Does the city granting a variance for a credit of 70% of the parking requirement seem reasonable?  Is there even a precedent for such numbers anywhere in the city?   If so, where?  If not, why is it justified here?

 

Someone needs to take pictures of the current usage of the street parking the developer wants to claim to assess whether those spaces are actually available.  On a recent Saturday afternoon I did not see ANY empty spaces.

 

And then there is the live example of how this plays out: Coltivare.  40 bike spaces used to obtain a variance to reduce the parking requirement.  The last time I was there I saw a handful of people come in on foot, two people on bikes, but mostly young people driving in from all over the City so a table of six means six cars.   Great restaurant, but poorly planned by the city.

 

You can look at the plans for the 7th Yale/ Heights development.  Not sure how to attach it here but I saw them.  The proposal is a glorified strip mall with all the onsite parking visible from the street (very different from 19th Street which has much parking oriented in the rear so the area is pedestrian friendly).   I am still making sense of it all, but it looks like 3 or possibly 4 restaurants with additional outdoor patio seating. 

 

Imagine. 3 or 4 restaurants.  Coltivare is one restaurant and Arlington is a disaster.  I doubt a HFD truck can get through. 

 

In my mind the real question is whether the neighborhood will push back?  I suspect they do not want to be another Montrose and they city will be under pressure to respond appropriately after the embarrassment of the Coltivare fiasco.

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Does the city granting a variance for a credit of 70% of the parking requirement seem reasonable?  Is there even a precedent for such numbers anywhere in the city?   If so, where?  If not, why is it justified here?

 

Someone needs to take pictures of the current usage of the street parking the developer wants to claim to assess whether those spaces are actually available.  On a recent Saturday afternoon I did not see ANY empty spaces.

 

And then there is the live example of how this plays out: Coltivare.  40 bike spaces used to obtain a variance to reduce the parking requirement.  The last time I was there I saw a handful of people come in on foot, two people on bikes, but mostly young people driving in from all over the City so a table of six means six cars.   Great restaurant, but poorly planned by the city.

 

You can look at the plans for the 7th Yale/ Heights development.  Not sure how to attach it here but I saw them.  The proposal is a glorified strip mall with all the onsite parking visible from the street (very different from 19th Street which has much parking oriented in the rear so the area is pedestrian friendly).   I am still making sense of it all, but it looks like 3 or possibly 4 restaurants with additional outdoor patio seating. 

 

Imagine. 3 or 4 restaurants.  Coltivare is one restaurant and Arlington is a disaster.  I doubt a HFD truck can get through. 

 

In my mind the real question is whether the neighborhood will push back?  I suspect they do not want to be another Montrose and they city will be under pressure to respond appropriately after the embarrassment of the Coltivare fiasco.

 

You keep on bringing up Coltivare but I believe you are incorrect. If I remember correctly, they received a variance to be allowed to use parking that was not allowed by PWE because the spaces were not wide enough and resulted in cars blocking the sidewalk.  It was granted because the parking already exists and not granting the variance will not stop anybody from parking there and continuing to block the sidewalk.  Also, it is written into the parking ordinance that business owners can use bike racks to reduce their overall parking requirement by a few spots.  Coltivare did not need or get a variance for the bike racks and did not get a variance to lower the total number of required parking spaces. Please correct me and attach the variance if I am wrong.  

Edited by bedmondson
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bedmondson is correct.  Coltivare leases the pull-in spaces from the laminating company next door.  The city would not give them credit for the spaces along the Arlington side of the building because they were partially in the ROW.  They wanted to use those spaces so they could plant the garden and would have had to use that part of the property for parking without the variance.  The variance allowed them to get credit for the spaces in the ROW.  The variance did not reduce the off street parking requirement.  I cannot recall anyone getting a variance to reduce the number of spaces required.

 

The CoH parking minimums are not sufficient to keep people from having to park in the neighborhoods.  They are just mitigation of the issue.  Unfortunately, a lot of people in Houston are not used to dealing with parking in an urban area and will block driveways and ignore other parking restrictions just to keep from having to walk a few blocks.  Even if everyone follows the parking minimum rules, there will always be spillover when you have a very popular restaurant. 

 

 

Edited by s3mh
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I am sorry but that is not correct.  There is no onsite parking at Coltivare due to the variance.  There are only onsite bike spaces.  Usually bike spaces can only be used for 10% of the allotment.  However, Coltivare received a variance to pump up that allotment.  They have also obtained some leased spaces, but the variance was largely to reduce parking requirements due to increased bike racks.  See the tweet above from the Planning Department.

 

Well,  I needed to post something to get rid of that "parking lot" on my profile!  So here is picture of what is proposed for Heights Blvd.  http://www.heightsmercantile.com/#!look-book/c1ppg  It says more than I ever could!   I am really curious what the Historic Commission will say when they see it?  Do these structures need to go through HAHC?

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