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Dakota79

Lower Heights District

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Obnoxiously suburban, but having a Nordstrom Rack there will be nice.

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So the parking garage is in the middle with the stores on each side facing the garage? Something seems weird, like from the outside of this development all you'll see is the garage and the back of the stores wrapped around the garage. Maybe I'm picturing it wrong?

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Wasted opportunity.  More and more people are making use of the bike path.  There is a nice new ramp connecting the near north side to the bike path by the community center off Quitman.  There are a bunch of new high rises going up on the north side of downtown that have easy access to the bike path.  

 

What I really do not get is why this pre-packaged big box development is still getting built with all the big changes in retail.  I know for developers this combination of stores has been a proven money maker.  But that assumes that the retail world is static.  With Amazon, ebay and big shifts in retail spending habits, this kind of development seems to be dangerously backwards looking.

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30 minutes ago, CrockpotandGravel said:

I agree @s3mh. This should have been vertical retail, providing room for more development next to it like greenspace, offices, and maybe residences. Building this as a traditional horizontal retail with a wasteful parking lot, is not a good use of space in this area.

 

Step by Step guys. This is more vertical than the rest of the area. At least there is a garage and not all surface parking.

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44 minutes ago, CrockpotandGravel said:


Maybe you're right but haven't developers learned anything? You can't continue to build out for retail and homes, you have to build up as the population becomes denser.

 

This developer is big in the suburbs. The site didn't have a whole lot adding the pressure to go 'up'. Target / Kroger are essentially basic suburban layouts. I believe this development here is 2-4 floors, which is more that 1! Once this is built, we could see it change in time. Some of the surface parking could become apartments (they love being near groceries). 

 

My biggest hope here is that they play up that connection to the trail. If people could ride their bike to the movies, that would be a huge win.

 

I am personally going to get a bike this year. There is no reason I cant bike almost everywhere at this point.

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15 hours ago, Ctaf said:

So the parking garage is in the middle with the stores on each side facing the garage? Something seems weird, like from the outside of this development all you'll see is the garage and the back of the stores wrapped around the garage. Maybe I'm picturing it wrong?

 

There looks to be some engagement with the Kroger to the West, but the north side, which faces the freeway feeder, the south side, which faces the railroad, and the east side, which faces the back of the Target, will be essentially blank walls.

 

However, if they were to use the spaces on the ground floor of the parking structure as restaurant spaces, fronting a pedestrian mall, with the retail across the way, it could potentially be not terrible.

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8 hours ago, Avossos said:

 

Step by Step guys. This is more vertical than the rest of the area. At least there is a garage and not all surface parking.

 

Right.  But where is the next step going to be?  Looking at all the great development along Washington Ave in the 1st/6th wards, the arts district on Summer St., and the redevelopment of the Ravinia rice plant and you have to wonder where else in that area is there space to do something big?  It would just be nice to get a development that was looking twenty years into the future instead of something that was more relevant twenty years in the past.

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15 hours ago, s3mh said:

 

Right.  But where is the next step going to be?  Looking at all the great development along Washington Ave in the 1st/6th wards, the arts district on Summer St., and the redevelopment of the Ravinia rice plant and you have to wonder where else in that area is there space to do something big? 

 

Part of the problem is that IS big. The existing and announced projects along lower Washington and around Sawyer St are better because there's an existing street grid to engage with, and they're smaller. This development would probably be better as 20 1-acre projects instead of one 20-acre project.

 

That said, that development along Washington is still an archipelago of street-facing buildings in a sea of surface parking.

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52 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

So what exactly is the city of Houston's planning and development dept doing?

 

They're not really empowered to do a whole lot. They enforce Chapter 42, and can allow variances under certain circumstances, but that's about it. When someone sells a site like this for development, they don't have a whole lot of say in how it gets developed.

 

In theory, back when Sawyer Heights was being developed, the City could have used eminent domain powers to secure rights of way to extend Spring, Shearn and Crocket Streets to Oliver, then replatted the area as smaller reserves. They could then have extended those streets further, to Studemont, when the additional parcels became available several years later. Now, however, there's no street grid to connect to, so it's very hard to make a convincing eminent domain argument for this parcel.

 

However, in order to have done this for Sawyer Heights (where Target it now), in addition to an uncanny ability to see the future, the city would have had to pay for the RoW. At $40/sf, it'd be $9M; more if they acquired ROW for north-south streets as well. In addition to paying for the RoW (and the lawyers for when they have to defend the taking in court), the city would be forgoing its portion of the property tax on the land they acquired for RoW, plus its portion of the sales tax revenue on a pretty big commercial development, as presumably much of the development would shift to residential after the re-plat.

 

So for it to have made sense, the additional property tax revenue from denser development and subsequent appreciation in value would have to compensate for the cost to acquire the RoW, PLUS the forgone property tax revenue, PLUS the forgone sales tax revenue. And that additional property tax revenue probably wouldn't have kicked in until well after the end of the then-mayor's term. Oh, and the city would have had to have several million dollars laying around to do all this.

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I'm guessing this is a result of the traffic impact analysis. What I think they'll do is:

 

  • extend the left turn lane that allows cars to enter the Kroger development from SB Studemont 
  • provide a right turn lane for cars on NB Studemont to turn onto the EB 1-10 feeder
  • re-configure the median on Studemont to extend the left turn lane (from NB Studemont to WB I-10)
  • provide a right-turn lane for those entering the development from the EB I-10 feeder

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Kind of surprised we have not seen any activity on this property, especially with the big boom in retail going on in the Heights area right now.

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Wasn't this project under the Development List on the Gulf Coast Commercial Group website? I no longer see it there.

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Now a mixed-use development.

 

[/quote]

Lower Heights District, a mixed-use development that's in the pre-development stages, is being planned for a site on the east side of Studemont Street and south side of Interstate 10 next to the Kroger at 1440 Studemont St., sources close to the deal told the Houston Business Journal.

 

The project will be a mixed-use development with office, retail, residential and entertainment components. The site was recently appraised at $36.7 million, according to the Harris County Appraisal District. 

 

Lower Heights District was originally pegged to be a two-level big box retail development. Additional information, including a groundbreaking timeline and information on subcontractors, wasn't made available.

 

Financing on both projects is still being secured.[/quote]

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Let's just pray they make it PEDESTRIAN! I just came back from dallass and let me tell you that they are doing a solid job building for PEDESTRIANS! It felt like a different city from just 10 years ago when I lived there. 

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Not around Park Lane and Greenville Ave. Its a death trap for pedestrians just like the 99% of DFW that is not located in that 1 square mile known as uptown.

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15 minutes ago, Reporter said:

Not around Park Lane and Greenville Ave. Its a death trap for pedestrians just like the 99% of DFW that is not located in that 1 square mile known as uptown.

I'm simply speaking about how they are slowly building very cohesive development one after the other that's really starting to connect their neighborhoods. I also noticed fewer parking lots in many areas. 

Edited by j_cuevas713

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I live in Dallas. Where are you talking about? Because for every one example you may have of a "connected" neighborhood, I can give you a dozen examples of one's that are not.

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Alexan will plant a multifamily complex here (Alexan Lower Heights), somewhere between 150-250 units. Construction begins by the end of the year.

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4 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

Alexan will plant a multifamily complex here (Alexan Lower Heights), somewhere between 150-250 units. Construction begins by the end of the year.

As part of a larger mixed use project I presume?

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1 hour ago, Avossos said:

Hasn’t construction already started and the crane is up?

There are two projects on both sides of Studemont that I think confuse people. There's Lower Heights District and then there's Studemont Junction. The later currently has construction projects occurring

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7 hours ago, Triton said:

There are two projects on both sides of Studemont that I think confuse people. There's Lower Heights District and then there's Studemont Junction. The later currently has construction projects occurring

 

19 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

Alexan will plant a multifamily complex here (Alexan Lower Heights), somewhere between 150-250 units. Construction begins by the end of the year.

 

So is this thread the "Lower Heights District' which is where we were getting stacked big box stores, and the plans have changed? (LHD is east of Studemont and S of i10)

 

- OR - 

 

Is this thread for Studemont Junction? (West of Studemont) where we have already one apartment U/C...

 

I need the clarification because the information shared on this page is quite confusion... I believe there are separate threads for each. Thanks for helping! I might just be slow...

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This thread is for the Lower Heights District project but people keep adding Studemont Junction material here. I've renamed the thread now.

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1 hour ago, Triton said:

This thread is for the Lower Heights District project but people keep adding Studemont Junction material here. I've renamed the thread now.

 

Thanks Triton.

 

I wonder what the plan is for the site, overall. We heard awhile back the plans had changed to something more truly mixed use. Hoping for the best!

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While this is certainly the lower Heights geographically and topographically I get a real kick out of the paradox of the phrase "Lower Heights." Hopefully there will be a seafood market that sells fresh jumbo shrimp. :D

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I just hope they tie it in well for pedestrians, especially considering the development around it. Even the newest developments do a poor job, like the Sawyer Heights/Yale shopping areas. I mean they're walkable, but not what they could be. 

Edited by j_cuevas713

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3 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I just hope they tie it in well for pedestrians to the development around it. Even the newest develeopments do a poor job for pedestrians. Like the Sawyer Heights/Yale shopping areas. They could definitely make both better for pedestrians. Houston smh

I think we already know the answer to this...

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Well, this is great to know. Thanks for the update about this!

 

On 3/2/2015 at 0:32 AM, Slick Vik said:

I know the guy who bought this land. Hilarious to see the chronicle's dollar amount, it's way off. Secondly it won't be a suburban style development so calm down.

 

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On 9/7/2018 at 6:07 PM, EllenOlenska said:

From my apartment's parking garage I saw an excavator on this property.  

Clearing/excavating a drainage channel it appears. 

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Site says 15,000 sf of retail and 375 units on 5 acres. 

 

5 acres is almost a quarter of the total area, so the site layout must have changed significantly.

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15 hours ago, Angostura said:

Site says 15,000 sf of retail and 375 units on 5 acres. 

 

5 acres is almost a quarter of the total area, so the site layout must have changed significantly.

Wonder if stacked retail is still in play or if they are going to go the more traditional mixed use route. 

 

I've got a retail/non-residential wishlist for this area and the large blocks of land are drying up fast.

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New dirt is nice, but I'd like to see site plans and renderings :) I at least need to know if i should keep following this or just throw in the towel. 

Edited by Visitor
.

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