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andre154

Nicholson @449 W 19th by Alliance Residential Heights Waterworks Reservoir, 2 Tracts)

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Tract 1 should be street-facing retail. (Or Chase should move onto Tract 1 so their current site can be developed into mixed use w/ GFR.) It would help bridge the no-mans-land on 19th between Ashland and what is set to become a very lively cluster of restaurants at Shepherd.

 

 

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This has apparently been sold, pending City Council approval, to an as-yet-unnamed buyer.

 

Not clear from the article if the sale includes the second tract between 20th and 21st streets.

 

 

 

Edited by Angostura

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Alliance Residential is set to acquire the sites. A public meeting will be held on November 29th to discuss their plans.

 

 

Edited by andre154

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On 11/19/2016 at 9:05 AM, Houston19514 said:

Very interesting that they plan to save the historic structures.

 

Don't think they have a choice.

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Does anyone know the price they're paying to acquire these sites? It seems as if it would be information available to the public.

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AFAIK, City Council will have to approve the sale, at which point the amount will be public, if it's not already. 

 

Apparently there were 19 bidders and Alliance submitted the highest bid.

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i love that dark brick building too!!! love that 4th shot and i cannot wait to do a photoshoot in front of it!!! thanks for posting!

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Wondering how Alliance Residential will balance the landmark status with building a mega-complex. Anyone know what the historical status actually protects/does not protect?

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37 minutes ago, bedmondson said:

I believe it requires notifications and waiting periods before you tear down a city recognized building.

 

The water works is a protected landmark, which means they can't be demolished without a Certificate of Appropriateness from the HAHC, which is unlikely to be forthcoming. 

 

Anything Alliance plans for that site will have to either incorporate or build around the three existing buildings. AFAIK, this only applies to the exterior of the buildings. Alliance can pretty much do what they want with the interiors without needing a CoA.

 

 

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I don't know about the other two buildings, but my first thought of the best way to save the water tank is to take the top off and make it the pool.

 

 

PJ_pool.jpg

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20 hours ago, Angostura said:

 

The water works is a protected landmark, which means they can't be demolished without a Certificate of Appropriateness from the HAHC, which is unlikely to be forthcoming. 

 

Anything Alliance plans for that site will have to either incorporate or build around the three existing buildings. AFAIK, this only applies to the exterior of the buildings. Alliance can pretty much do what they want with the interiors without needing a CoA.

 

 

http://www.chron.com/homes/article/What-does-it-take-to-protect-a-historic-Houston-6075235.php

"The 'protected' designation means that the structure cannot be demolished or altered without the approval of the Commission," Hartgrove says. "The landmarks can proceed with an inappropriate alteration or demolition after the Commission denies their application for that activity once 90 days is up."

 

Is this Houston Chronicle article incorrect on this?  

 

Edited by bedmondson

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The wording in the article is confusing.

 

They're contrasting Protected Landmark status with just Landmark status. Landmarks may be altered or demoed after a 90-day waiting period; Protected Landmarks may not. The Alabama Theater (mentioned in the article) only had Landmark status. The water works has Protected Landmark status.

 

Anyone can apply for a building to be designated a Landmark, but only the property owner can apply for Protected Landmark status, which CoH did as then-owner of the water works site.

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1 hour ago, Angostura said:

The wording in the article is confusing.

 

They're contrasting Protected Landmark status with just Landmark status. Landmarks may be altered or demoed after a 90-day waiting period; Protected Landmarks may not. The Alabama Theater (mentioned in the article) only had Landmark status. The water works has Protected Landmark status.

 

Anyone can apply for a building to be designated a Landmark, but only the property owner can apply for Protected Landmark status, which CoH did as then-owner of the water works site.

 

The city website indicates that the waterworks has just landmark status.

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The City could sell the property with deed restrictions that limit what can be done with the existing buildings.

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13 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

I care more about those massive trees on the southeast corner of Tract 2 than those buildings.

 

 

Same here! I'd love to see tract 2 turned in to a park (although, I know that won't happen). The Heights could use some more parks.

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On 11/23/2016 at 1:48 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

The city website indicates that the waterworks has just landmark status.

 

The website is incorrect. Well, partially correct. It has both Landmark and Protected Landmark status.

 

HAHC Report: https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/HistoricPres/landmarks/15PL123_Heights_Water_Works.pdf

 

City Council Minutes: http://houston.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/DisplayAgendaPDF.ashx?MinutesMeetingID=176

 

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7 hours ago, jmitch94 said:

Wow very promising. I hope this comes to fruition.  

 

There was a fair amount of hand-wringing and pearl-clutching at the meeting, as one might imagine. 

 

Concerns expressed included:

 

  • "How will this affect children coming to and going from Helms ES?" (across 21st from the 275-unit building)
  • "It's already hard enough to cross 20th at the bike trail, now it will be impossible"
  • "Where will all the poop go?"
  • "That sure seems like a lot of apartments. Couldn't you build fewer?"
  • "If people park on Nicholson (like they do around the apartments on 23rd & Nicholson) it will be impassible."

 

The irony of wanting ever more walkability but opposing every apartment development is apparently lost on the Heights.

 

Also, the renderings kind of make these building stick out, but they're adjacent to a hospital and across from a medical building of similar height.

 

The value of Alliance's bid won't become public until city council votes to approve the sale, but I'm guessing it's in the low 8-figures. I wonder what will happen when Chase realizes that their drive-thru lanes are sitting on $5M worth of dirt?

 

 

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http://theleadernews.com/initial-plans-for-19th-street-waterworks-site-revealed/

 

Cyrus Bahrami, who oversees development, investment and construction operations for the Houston office of Alliance, said he previously lived in the Heights and has been looking at the site for some time.

 

Council member Cohen stated that the property would most likely have been multi-residential property regardless, because that’s what the highest bidders were proposing.

 

Bahrami said that the orientation for both would face the commercial areas with entrances facing 20th Street. He also said that in large part the parking for both structures would be underground, with an additional wraparound so that the public won’t see the parking.

 

Exezidis has plans for two to three restaurants on the waterworks site. Because of the dry statute, they would follow the private club route. Since the decommissioned water plant is a City of Houston protected landmark, it cannot be demolished, and Exezidis he plans to keep the structures much the same as they are, particularly on the outside.

 

He told the group of his work on La Grange in Montrose which used to be a horse hospital in the 1920s, and pledges to do something similar with the waterworks site with regard to repurposing elements and keeping as much as possible of the architectural features.

“We let the building tell us what the concept is going to be,” he said.

In addition to the restaurants Exezidis proposes a 5,000 square foot community garden, with a shed, and irrigation. The space could also host farmers markets and special events. Exezidis is also talking to artists about excavating the old water pipes in the ground and turning them into sculptures.

 

waterworksrending3.jpg

 

waterworksrendering2.jpg

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Counting the square footage occupied by buildings they can't knock down, that's over $90/s.f., which is... high. Even so, given the size of the project, I'd guess the dirt is only about 1/4 of the total cost.

 

Chase should approach whoever submitted the 2nd highest bid, and sell them the land their drive-through is on.

 

Edited by Angostura
Corrected price per s.f.
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There is a lot of work going on around the property. Men are digging up the ground between the road and the Nicholson facing property line, and there are people working on 19th street. The gates to the water work plant open. A lot of energy expended but little else to report. 

The Chase Bank building has for sale signs up. 

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On 3/13/2017 at 4:40 PM, EllenOlenska said:

The Chase Bank building has for sale signs up. 

 

So... There are for sale signs up for the areas currently occupied by the Chase drive-thru and associated 2-story building (essentially the entire block bounded by 19th, Lawrence, 20th and Nicholson, except for the two properties at 527 and 527 w 19th) as well as the Chase parking lot on the south side of 19th. There is also a for-sale sign up for the former Water Works tract, though NOT for the empty tract at the NW corner of Nicholson and 20th. 

 

My guess is that, rather than develop the two catty-corner sites they acquired at auction from CoH, Alliance will develop JUST the empty site, and try to sell the site with the water works buildings to be co-developed with the Chase site.

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Just saw the for sale signs myself. This is all so exciting. Hopefully we can slowly connect downtown Heights to all the development along Shepherd.

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This makes a lot of sense. Re-developing the waterworks site was never in Alliance's wheelhouse, and Braun has some credibility and history in re-purposing older structures like this. Probably means two multifamily projects, on the NW and SW corners of Nicholson and 20th; probably >500 units total. 

 

What I'd really like to see is a parking structure on the SE corner of the waterworks site, which could serve the Harold's development as well as this one. That would free up one or both of the two parcels of land on 18th dedicated to parking for that development. Renderings seem to show surface parking on the east half of the site, though.

 

Wonder if Braun is getting close to a critical mass of properties along 19th/20th to start looking into a special parking area. 

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Why are we always getting these Dallas based restaurants in our new developments like this one? Is it the same the other way around? 

Edited by HOUCAJUN
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That's a pretty impressive set of tenants so far.

 

It looks like they're meeting their parking requirements fully on-site. Depending on the final square footages and use classifications, with the 40% break for historical buildings (provided they get a CoA), they'll need something between 120 and 130, which is about what's on the site plan. I was hoping for structured parking here, as it would let them re-purpose some of the land used for parking at the Harold's development, but I guess they couldn't make those numbers work.

 

 

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2 hours ago, CrockpotandGravel said:


I was hoping for structured parking too. What's being proposed won't be enough for surface parking. This development will bring in people from all parts of town, and there needs to be structured parking to provide enough room and limit the number of parked cars on the street.

 

Both Nicholson and 20th are no-parking. 19th has a couple dozen street spaces, but probably not enough to absorb demand, especially with the 40% break they'll get for re-developing historic buildings. So some of the people that park on the street will have to do so on 18th and 21st.

 

There are also surface lots for the hospital at 19th & Ashland and 20th & Ashland that could be developed if Braun were to go vertical here.

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8 hours ago, CrockpotandGravel said:


I was hoping for structured parking too. What's being proposed won't be enough for surface parking. This development will bring in people from all parts of town, and there needs to be structured parking to provide enough room and limit the number of parked cars on the street.

 

Why is limiting cars parked on the street a good thing? If there's street parking available than that's exactly what's it's for, and I have to imagine that the vast majority of Heights residents have off-street parking.

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There's already a four story parking deck across the street for the Heights Medical Tower that I bet doesn't get much use in the evenings and on weekends.  Maybe they could arrange something with those guys.

 

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Every off street parking space takes away space for an actual business, residence, or other use. What is the negative impact of using on-street parking as much as possible? Again, if most people who live in the Heights have off-street parking (which has certainly been my experience) then non-residents aren't really competing directly with residents for these spaces.

 

Not to harp on this, but I really think it's important. There has to be a reason for streets not to be "clogged up" with cars. Is it aesthetic? Is it speed? And is it a good enough reason to waste an existing resource and shift the burden onto individual businesses? Is it a good enough reason to exchange additional space for parking rather than an actual use? 

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14 hours ago, Texasota said:

 

Why is limiting cars parked on the street a good thing? If there's street parking available than that's exactly what's it's for, and I have to imagine that the vast majority of Heights residents have off-street parking.

 

I don't have any issue with street parking. It's just that of the 3 streets bordering this development, 2 don't have any.

 

I think the missed opportunity is that instead of 3 surface lots (this development, NW corner of 19th and Ashland, SE corner of 20th and Ashland) we could have one parking structure and two new developments, bringing a lot more density to this retail corridor. Between the waterworks and whatever goes on the Chase site, we could finally have a continuous corridor of street-facing buildings from Yale to Shepherd.

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