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EXCLUSIVE REPORTS

From the August 12, 2005 print edition

Car dealership gives way to urban infill

Jennifer Dawson

Houston Business Journal

A high-end development mixing retail, residential and possibly office space will soon be parked on an inner-city tract that has been occupied by auto dealerships for the past three decades.

Trademark Property Co. is negotiating a long-term ground lease on six acres on Westheimer just west of Mid Lane, which is currently home to a Central Ford dealership.

Trademark is the Fort Worth-based developer behind the $100 million Market Street project in The Woodlands. That successful 34-acre development includes 400,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 100,000 square feet of office space.

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EXCLUSIVE REPORTS From the August 12, 2005 print edition Car dealership gives way to urban infill Jennifer Dawson Houston Business Journal A high-end development mixing retail, residential and po

I removed "cancelled?" from the title since the project is now moving forward again.

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This is really good news! The first time I went down Westhimer and saw that place I knew that it looked out of place, and I imagined it with some urban developments, and now its coming true.

When my uncle from Boston came down to Houston from Boston to tour the city and look for a job, thats where he and his wife rented a car at.

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This is really good news! The first time I went down Westhimer and saw that place I knew that it looked out of place, and I imagined it with some urban developments, and now its coming true.

When my uncle from Boston came down to Houston from Boston to tour the city and look for a job, thats where he and his wife rented a car at.

And to think that you had lost all faith in Houston development, eh? :lol:

But, anyway, the site is really close to Highland Village, and The Galleria! great news, indeed!

That's one small step for Houston...One giant leap for the future of houston development...

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There is a large residential population within walking distance to this place also. Lots of apartments and townhomes.

If you've notices, there have been lots of proposals floating around for new urban mixed use development in the area. If not all of them get built, at least the interest of the developers are there which means couple will follow through and finish.

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This is really good news! The first time I went down Westhimer and saw that place I knew that it looked out of place, and I imagined it with some urban developments, and now its coming true.

I totally agree. That is valuable property over there and the dealership has become out of place with the area.

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I think car dealerships are ok only if they are luxury (like the Bently dealer in Uptown). You can also have urban cardealers, I went to NYC, and they sold cars out of buildings. There are big glass displays where you can look in at the cars.

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Maybe these dealerships can do what Momentum VW did off Richmond and Kirby.

They built a tall parking garage to store their inventory of cars. It works well. It allows you to car shop in the rain and out of the sun. It's right across from the Papadeaux on Richmond just west of Kirby.

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Maybe these dealerships can do what Momentum VW did off Richmond and Kirby.

They built a tall parking garage to store their inventory of cars.  It works well.  It allows you to car shop in the rain and out of the sun.  It's right across from the Papadeaux on Richmond just west of Kirby.

I'm OK with that. I've never seen an auto dealership in New York, but I'm sure they exist. If Target can build vertically, auto dealers can, too. Or they can keep one of each kind of car in the city and let you test drive it, then keep the inventory in some lot in an industrial area in the burbs.

You have to wait three hours for your car to be "prepared" when you buy it anyway. They might as well drive it in from the suburbs.

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^ It was a mini copper dealealership in NYC that I saw. I think it was near where they tape Entertanment Tonight.

This development will be great, but I hope the developers work with the city to better the traffic along that stretch. It is very hard to pull onto Westview if you are heading East on Westhiemer. But all in this is good news.

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Textbook infill. The last pieces connecting the River Oaks and Uptown spending district are being slowly snapped into place. Our upscale shopping mecca is going to be huge in 30 years.

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Now, we need something to tie that into The Village, and then, far west, to the new Memorial City development/T&C.

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Textbook infill. The last pieces connecting the River Oaks and Uptown spending district are being slowly snapped into place. Our upscale shopping mecca is going to be huge in 30 years.

Yeah, now if only the owner of that Zone'd Erotica can be convinced to relocate to Pearland, it would be nonstop niceness for sure.

If anyone here knows the owner, could you spank him/her for me? (no pun intended)

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Great idea.  I think auto dealerships are the second worst use for inner city land.  Parking lots are the worst.

I defiantly agree open ground parking lots are and eyesore for the inner-city, but if a car dealerships opened up downtown with a parking structure with ground level pedestrian access and large widow displays to allow the public to view their showroom. I bet you would think it was cool and urban.

The fact of the matter is that when developers build in the inner city they need to rethink how they build, and not just build designs meant for the suburbs. I don

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Yeah, now if only the owner of that Zone'd Erotica can be convinced to relocate to Pearland, it would be nonstop niceness for sure.

If anyone here knows the owner, could you spank him/her for me? (no pun intended)

You bring up a great point that I have always wondered about. Why could the owners of the Galleria (Simon I think) not throw a bunch of money at the Zone and tear that place down once and for all. Whenever Lukes burned, the galleria owners should have jumped at the chance to pay big dollard to buy that property. I am looking out my window right now at the Dillards parking lot and am amazed that the Zone is still there.

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It was also an Internet Cafe.

The truth of the matter is that the Galleria is hurt in no way from the existence of this place. Also, Dillards is not the Galleria.

The reason I feel it doesn't affect the Galleria is because it is not in a convenient location. If you are on the streets of Uptown and not on the loop, you never notice this place.

If the Galleria was getting bad press and patrons were not going there because of the Zone D'Erotica place, I think you might see some action. The fact that this place has changed hands so many times leads me to believe that the current tennant won't be there for long anyway.

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  • 2 months later...
I hope that not all the car dealerships move out of the inner city I would not want to drive out to Katy to buy my next car.

I agree - the thought of having to schlep my car to a megadealer in Katy or Alvin for repairs (and then find a ride back into town) makes me cringe. What a pain. <_<

Plus, the small lot dealerships in town are one last glimmer of the way Houston used to be ...

Edited by GoAtomic
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A little birdie told me today that thea partment complex next door to the old Central Ford also sold.

Not sure if it will be part of the same complex, but the apartments are coming down in the name of progress.

Great view from Transco from this area.

Good to here, mabe it will be an even big project now.

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I think Washington, Shepard, and Durham are the small lot dealer's central.

Its a shame, Up Shepard, inbetween the 610 and 45, its really a cool drive. Alot of 50's architecture and style along there. Like old theatres, strip centers, heck, even that Sears! :) But there are way too many small used car dealerships along there. Shame...

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All those apartments? That complex is HUGE. It was ghetto too. I had a friend that lived there... lots of obnoxious fresh college grads having loud parties and throwing up off the balconies.

I looked there once for a two bedroom, two bath. They originally didnt' have floor plans like that, so they knocked out walls between 1/1 and efficiencies. It was very odd, because then the larger apartment had two entrances in front and a back door in each of the bedrooms that let out into the parking lot.

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I agree - the thought of having to schlep my car to a megadealer in Katy or Alvin for repairs (and then find a ride back into town) makes me cringe. What a pain. <_<

Plus, the small lot dealerships in town are one last glimmer of the way Houston used to be ...

I remember when I was younger here in Bryan/College Station we use to get a lot of Houston TV Stations and there where alot of local car commercials like:

Mc Hike Chevrolet or something like that.

they had a little song with it "Mc Hike Chevrolet, Katy freeway,....something...something, exit Katy" Yall know what Im talking about. I think it was the one with the Peacock. And I think they had a parking garage for there cars. Does it still exist?

I forgot those other comercials but there where a lot of them like that. Do any of you remember any other car dealers that aren't there anymore?

Edited by citykid09
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Mc Hike Chevrolet or something like that.

they had a little song with it "Mc Hike Chevrolet, Katy freeway,....something...something, exit Katy" Yall know what Im talking about. I think it was the one with the Peacock. And I think they had a parking garage for there cars. Does it still exist?

I forgot those other comercials but there where a lot of them like that. Do any of you remember any other car dealers that aren't there anymore?

Here you go:

Old car dealers

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from direct sources, the apartments next door (1,200 units on +/- 28a) will meet the wrecking ball to make way for a massive multi-use redevelopment comparable to tc/morgan's hisd deal. i wasnt going to say anything but since the cat is already out of the bag :D

and fyi - it was not sold; just brought in new/additional partners due to the amount of equity required for a deal of this magnitude.

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from direct sources, the apartments next door (1,200 units on +/- 28a) will meet the wrecking ball to make way for a massive multi-use redevelopment comparable to tc/morgan's hisd deal. i wasnt going to say anything but since the cat is already out of the bag :D

and fyi - it was not sold; just brought in new/additional partners due to the amount of equity required for a deal of this magnitude.

do they have a website or renderings? will it be a walkable neighborhood development meant for mixed-use?

will it be easy to accommodate rail to the new development? will it fill in the gap between the Highland Village and this location? will it be a seamless transition landscape after it is built? Will this area be identified as the Galleria or something else all together?

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Hmmm....

Let me ask my hair dresser again, and I'll get back with you ;-)

Seriously...

As far as the gap between HV, it's called a rail road track. West of the RR, there are shops (mainly salon) up to where the old Jack-n-Box was.

So it will essentially all be connected, except for two roads the the dreaded RR tracks.

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Hmmm....

Let me ask my hair dresser again, and I'll get back with you ;-)

Seriously...

As far as the gap between HV, it's called a rail road track. West of the RR, there are shops (mainly salon) up to where the old Jack-n-Box was.

So it will essentially all be connected, except for two roads the the dreaded RR tracks.

OK other then the rail road and two streets will it be a seamless landscape. was it not discussed for a while I think only considered that a toll road would go along were the rail road is now and the rail road would be redirected to another spot? I think it was considered but I have not heard of it anymore. the road was to go underground through the park and be elevated along the rest of the way.

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do they have a website or renderings? will it be a walkable neighborhood development meant for mixed-use?

will it be easy to accommodate rail to the new development? will it fill in the gap between the Highland Village and this location? will it be a seamless transition landscape after it is built? Will this area be identified as the Galleria or something else all together?

they closed on the equity only the other week, so a website is a ways off. i have only seen the preliminary drawings and "may" post new ones when i get my greedy hands on them ;)

there's some office and retail on mid lane/westheimer, so there should be an easy transition between hv, the former ford dealership, westcreek, and the galleria.

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