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Ivy Lofts, 28-Story Residential High-Rise East of Downtown

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Sounds like they couldn't find enough buyers that wanted to live there

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2016/07/25/exclusivehouston-s-first-major-micro-unit-condo.html?ana=RSS%26s%3Darticle_search&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_houston+%28Houston+Business+Journal%29

 

Quote

However, four months after opening an on-site sales center, Ivy Lofts had secured contracts from only 68 prospective buyers, said Wen Pin Tsai, Novel Creative Development’s vice president of business development.

Of those buyers, few were actually the targeted market of Millennials, urbanites and suburban empty nesters, Tsai said. The majority of the interest was from investors looking to purchase the smaller 300-square-foot units to use as investment properties, renting them out to young professionals, Tsai added.

 

I know I looked at it, and decided it was just too far from the rail line.  I think they didn't choose an urban enough location for who they wanted to sell to.

Now they are going to make it a condo-hotel hybrid

 

Quote

The developer is now redesigning the project into one of the first condo hotels in Houston, Tsai said. Condo hotels, or a contel, is a condo building that is operated as a hotel. When the buyers aren’t using their condos, it is rented out to visitors.

“The micro-condo concept works, but we had to tweak our project a little bit, trying to create something more favorable to investors,” Tsai said. “Investors want an investment vehicle. We project between a 7 percent and 9 percent return.”

 

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Their goal seemed a bit unrealistic. They wanted all of them bought before they started construction? I don't see this project really taking off anymore. Although hotel is incredibly hot right now around the country (will most likely be the second best year ever, after 2015), you have to be smart about your hotel location. There's just not much of a market for hotel in this area... most of the locations we see are either downtown or uptown. I think a more realistic project is to perhaps just make this a smaller condo project. I know they're trying to make more bang for their buck and I'm sure they can work an agreement to get a discount on materials for a larger project, I just don't see this going forward at least in this market if they're not willing to be a little speculative with at least 30% to 40% of their units on a smaller scale project.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Triton
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Gotta give them credit, This developer has been getting some amazing PR out there.  I seem to recall that their original timeline was "aggressive" (IMO) and the Real Estate agent was talking some interesting talk.  They needed dozens of sales per week on one timeline that they reportedly presented as I recall..

 

Now, they want to do a condo hotel concept?  Did I read that this developer is funded by Doctors in NYC?  Well, that concept seems to work at the Plaza but, EADO?  I guess that we shall see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm not glad it failed because this will make other developers more hesitant to target the downtown market with condos

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6 minutes ago, cspwal said:

I'm not glad it failed because this will make other developers more hesitant to target the downtown market with condos

They weren't really targeting the downtown market though. Their condo property feels like a true outlier... condo prices for sub-par grocery stores, little connectivity to light rail (ok, perhaps a few blocks away but would you walk to there?) or any parks, almost zero retail in the immediate vicinity, the list goes on....

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It was a decently long walk too - past townhouses and industrial buildings.  Almost half a mile iirc

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I have a slightly different view on this. While a lot of your concerns are logical. I'm old enough to remember (and I'm not very old) coming to the ball park with family and parking a sea of empty lots and derelict buildings. When I was there recently, looking around at the town houses, the lofts, and the soccer stadium, I was surprised how close the Ivy Lofts was to an invigorated area. This is probably because it seemed father away on a map, to my eye. But, in comparison with the past, the future for Live Oak seems pretty bright.

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I dont think anyone is arguing that the area is not improving. I just do not think it is a good location for a super-urban, walkable highrise. If you're going to sacrifice living space, you need to be able to walk out of your building and be in the middle of a city. 

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On 7/26/2016 at 0:58 PM, terra002 said:

I dont think anyone is arguing that the area is not improving. I just do not think it is a good location for a super-urban, walkable highrise. If you're going to sacrifice living space, you need to be able to walk out of your building and be in the middle of a city. 

This.

 

And I would agree...The future sure does seem bright here but it's not there yet. And to try to market relatively expensive micro-units here with almost nothing in close proximity... it's just not going to work yet. The project was a little too ambiguous but I do give them credit for trying.

 

Ambitious

 

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I agree the prices were too high. For a 2 bedroom at Ivy you could spend around the same or a little more for a three bedroom house in the same area and avoid the monthly fees.

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Who are these guys?

 

A micro condo/hotel could work in this market, but not on the southside of east downtown. Downtown? Yes. Midtown along the light rail? A solid maybe. Feeling a bit isolated on the wrong side of US 59? Good luck.

 

Why are they so set on for sale units? The original building likely would have been a slam dunk as a more affordable rental option (comparatively speaking for the market). 

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I suspect they wanted a for-sale model because that crowd-sources the funding for the buidling

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the PR blitz on this property was very robust.  Do I recall that the Realtor who was marketing this said that they were "looking for buyers who could think outside the box of dollars per sqft" (or something like that)?  I guess that they didn't find enough.

 

 

 

 

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If all things that weren't were moved out of "going up" the haif-world would be a much less cluttered, and, perhaps, a little less exciting place.

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Interesting.  Their website says that there are five floor plans and "micro" units.....  Other than the new building design, are they still pursuing the previous (unsuccessful) plan?

 

 

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Yea still don't think this is getting built... 

 

Edit: See previous page.

Edited by Triton

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^^^ apparently following in the lofty footsteps of WHOLE FOODS MIDTOWN.  numerous renderings / concepts, lengthy construction start......

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On 9/23/2016 at 8:44 PM, monarch said:

^^^ apparently following in the lofty footsteps of WHOLE FOODS MIDTOWN.  numerous renderings / concepts, lengthy construction start......

 

if you drag your feet long enough you may just have your grand opening when oil is rebounding rather than floundering. as all signs point to oil rebound day stretching farther and farther out, you gotta have a 'fish or cut bait day' for when you plan on your grand opening happening.

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On 9/23/2016 at 8:41 PM, htownboy said:

http://swamplot.com/ivy-lofts-to-release-even-newer-drawings-in-october-break-ground-in-january/2016-09-23/

 

The new design is apparently not going to be the design that will be built. An even more updated design by a new architect will be released in mid-October.

I heard that the reason they need a new design is because Powers Brown quit the project.

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Can't wait for the next update where the remove the tower completely and it's just a parking garage.

 

Edit: I do count 28 stories though.

Edited by BigFootsSocks
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I liked the first design because it was unusual.  I liked the second design even more because it was something very cool that was unlike anything else.  But the third design is entirely forgettable, easily confused with a number of other towers recently built or proposed.  Of course, if it never gets built this is moot, but it's a shame if this is the final design.  It just screams 2013.

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I'm not going to say it's better or worse. My opinion is that the first drafts were a bit inelegant. This in a sense owns its inelegance, but's easier not to notice. 

All in all, from a certain distance it'll look nice and help even out views of downtown. From the top floors it'll have some great views. 

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9 minutes ago, Sanjorade said:

That first unit is way too expensive for EaDo at this point.

I thought the second, much smaller unit, was the bigger problem.  $1,000,000 for a three-bedroom unit with what should be penthouse views is not beyond-the-pale, although I concede the square footage is less than one would expect at that price point.  However, I find it harder to justify pushing $159K for a 390 square foot studio without any remarkable features, when other larger units can be had for less also near to Downtown.

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First pitch - swing and a miss, strike one.

Second pitch - swing and a miss, strike two.

Third pitch - more of the same, ring 'em up. 

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