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First of all, I'm not being "let's demolish everything that helps po folk" guy. This is a genuine inquiry.

 

How do Label Warehouse and Sand Dollar stay in business? I imagine the tax rate on those places is insane, and while I do see people shop there, I can't imagine it's enough revenue to cover (letter alone profit). Is there some sort of subsidy or tax shelter for businesses like these? Has no one thought this would be a good indie movie theatre or retail spot?

 

Just curious.

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Being pedantic, the tax rate for those buildings is the same as for any other building with the same taxing entities. Total taxes vary on property value and any exemptions. The taxes on the Sand Dollar property were $41k last year, the label warehouse owners paid $29k. Neither of those amounts is that high, and the business model for those types of stores are to buy stock for almost nothing, and get it out the door for a 300% markup, with prices that are much less than a regular retail establishment.

 

The label warehouse owners have several other stores in Houston, all of them owned for some time, so their carry costs are probably minimal, as they acquired them when property was much cheaper.

 

There are three Sand Dollar stores with similar ownership histories. I doubt either company is interested in selling their properties, or they likely would have by now.

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22 minutes ago, txcat84 said:

You think Sand Dollar clears that plus overhead?

Absolutely. $41k per year is only $800 per week. As long as they've been in business, they know  what they are doing. 

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16 hours ago, Ross said:

The label warehouse owners have several other stores in Houston, all of them owned for some time, so their carry costs are probably minimal, as they acquired them when property was much cheaper.

 

There are three Sand Dollar stores with similar ownership histories. I doubt either company is interested in selling their properties, or they likely would have by now.

 

Carrying costs are one part of the equation; opportunity cost is the other. It's not inconceivable that they could sell a location on 19th and buy 3 others in less expensive parts of the city.

 

However, in close proximity to these two, there's a relatively new Goodwill on 20th, the Value Village on 23rd, and any number of "antique" shops that aren't too far removed from the same business model. I suspect there's value to both customer and proprietor in this kind of clustering, and wouldn't expect these stores to go away anytime soon.

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As best I can tell, both Sand Dollar and Label Warehouse own the dirt they are on through related entities.  The appraised value for 1903 Yale St. went from 827k to 1.619 mil in four years.  222 W 19 went from 712k to 1.152 mil over the same period.  You may be able to keep the lights on with those taxes, but having your tax bill go up while your main clientele gets gentrified out of the area is something that is not sustainable in the long term.

 

But you never know what the motivations are behind the people who hold on to properties in the Heights.  Why does Solar Supply still maintain a warehouse on Waverly in the middle of a residential area where the property tax appraisal has gone from 1.1 mil to 2.3 mil in four years?   Why has the owner of the old National Flame and Forge site just let it sit for years?  Why does Weingarten sit on a cruddy strip mall with a beat up old Kroger while HEB is racing into the market with a shiny new store down the street?  Is the Happy All Cafe a front?

 

I suspect it largely depends on everyone's sense of how to time the market and whether they are satisfied with the cash flow they get from the existing use.  I am always surprised by the number of people who are just happy to sit on an asset with half decent cash flow and have no interest in selling or redeveloping.  Just because a property owner can do something to make a good return does not mean that they are going to do it.

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21 hours ago, s3mh said:

I suspect it largely depends on everyone's sense of how to time the market 

 

I think that's where you're right.  I give the owners credit that they know how much money they could make by selling.  But then where are you going to invest the money next?

 

With the uncertainties of Trump, Brexit, sub-$50 oil, etc. I bet that these people and many others figure that land in the Heights, even with increasing taxes, is still a wise investment with more potential upside. 

 

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There's also a strong bias in favor of doing nothing, especially in the case of family-owned properties.

 

As long as the status quo is financially tenable, there's a fair amount of emotional inertia to overcome before these properties move.

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i wish they would at least maintain the building a bit better.  the rust stains on the building facade by the gutters and the worn out parking lot make it look as lackluster as the items they sell.  i also wish the solar supply would sell.  i'm tried of the 18 wheelers coming down my street.  waverly is only about 20' wide.

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  • 2 years later...

This was originally posted  September 5, 2018 in the previous thread for Sand Dollar Thrift Store | 1903 Yale | The Heights.



From Reddit Houston, the two remaining Houston area Sand Dollar Thrift Stores are closing, including the store in the Heights at 1903 Yale St.


UmzCvxX2WLv0F8SjMKxges5oLlNJ74A0xA7MH4iLjnw.jpg?s=72ebebf778b3ac3a90442f695717dae82c2f80f0

https://old.reddit.com/r/houston/comments/9d7xyq/posted_yesterday_at_sand_dollar_thrift_after_37/

 

 

Edited by CrockpotandGravel
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This was originally in the previous thread for Sand Dollar Thrift Store | 1903 Yale | The Heights.

 

 


Originally posted by Angostura, September 5, 2018 in the previous thread for Sand Dollar Thrift Store | 1903 Yale | The Heights.


 

The land changed hands in July. 

 

The address listed on HCAD for the LLC that owns the land is the same address as the property developer Levcor. They appear to do mostly suburban big-box retail, but are also behind the retail conversion of 7800 Washington.
 

 

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This was originally in the previous thread for Sand Dollar Thrift Store | 1903 Yale | The Heights.

 


Originally posted by Angostura, September 6, 2018 in the previous thread for Sand Dollar Thrift Store | 1903 Yale | The Heights.


Between this site and the label warehouse across the street, there's an opportunity to extend the walkable stretch of 19th St another half-block. Ideally, someone would cut a deal with the Baptist Temple, and build a GFR-fronted parking structure in place of their current lot. This would allow both of these sites to be developed without surface parking.

 

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This was originally in the previous thread for Sand Dollar Thrift Store | 1903 Yale | The Heights.

 


Originally posted by September 7, 2018 in the previous thread for Sand Dollar Thrift Store | 1903 Yale | The Heights.



From Swamplot: 

Sand Dollar Thrift Nears Houston Extinction

http://swamplot.com/sand-dollar-thrift-nears-houston-extinction/2018-09-06/

 

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This was originally in the previous thread for Sand Dollar Thrift Store | 1903 Yale | The Heights.

 


Originally posted by April 7, 2019 in the previous thread for Sand Dollar Thrift Store | 1903 Yale | The Heights.


 

1903 Yale, the site of Sand Dollar Thrift Store, is on the market.

Levcor has leasing materials for a retail space. 


https://levcor.com/projects/1903-yale-street
(archive link)

Brochure
https://levcor.com/media/Projects/1903-Yale-Street/Yale-Street-Brochure.pdf

(archive link)


From Loopnet

https://www.loopnet.com/Listing/1903-Yale-St-Houston-TX/15176950/

(archive link)

 

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  • 2 months later...

Sweet! I was just telling someone the other day how this would be such a perfect mixed use area right here, so close to downtown Heights. Based on how massive this is, this must also include the parking lot behind the former Sand Dollar as well.

 

Can't wait for the pawn shop to go next! Their parking lot has banged up my car several times.

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This looks a bit too SimCity to be real.  It looks large enough to go all the way from Yale to Rutland.  It also looks very purposefully vague as to whether it is office or multifamily on top of retail.  I suspect this is just an attempt to see what kind of leasing interest there would be in the property and not an actual rendering of a project that is ready to build.

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21 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

 

This would definitely be an improvement, though not very Heights-like. Gives me an uptown Dallas vibe for some reason.

 

I am curious if the Heights would be better off diversifying architectural styles or if it should try to strictly adhere to an older / more mature architectural style. I think this building would be fine and activate a bit more street life starting down at Yale. It would be nice to see a pedestrian friendly mini 'downtown' between Yale and Shepard.

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1 hour ago, Avossos said:

 

This would definitely be an improvement, though not very Heights-like. Gives me an uptown Dallas vibe for some reason.

 

I am curious if the Heights would be better off diversifying architectural styles or if it should try to strictly adhere to an older / more mature architectural style. I think this building would be fine and activate a bit more street life starting down at Yale. It would be nice to see a pedestrian friendly mini 'downtown' between Yale and Shepard.

 

"heights-like" is very arbitrary and subjective. I'm sure if you asked the older generations it is one thing, and if you asked the newer generations its another. Are we talking about West Heights or East Heights or South Heights or North Heights or Woodland Heights? I've never understood this idea of The Heights as this monolithic entity. Its way more eclectic than people think. I'm sure the Kroger across the street is very "Heights-like". Same for the former Sand dollar, or the Heights Homes, or the Hospital, or the Dunken Donuts and MickyD's across the street. Being so architecturally rigorous in style is going to do the opposite of what people want this area to be, more vibrant and active, because it will hinder what people will want to do and what they want things to look like.

 

1 hour ago, s3mh said:

This looks a bit too SimCity to be real.  It looks large enough to go all the way from Yale to Rutland.  It also looks very purposefully vague as to whether it is office or multifamily on top of retail.  I suspect this is just an attempt to see what kind of leasing interest there would be in the property and not an actual rendering of a project that is ready to build.

 

This is literally the point of doing a render...This is also a spec building. The point is that its suppose to be vague, so it has a broader appeal to as many people that look at it as possible.

Edited by Luminare
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31 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

"heights-like" is very arbitrary and subjective. I'm sure if you asked the older generations it is one thing, and if you asked the newer generations its another. Are we talking about West Heights or East Heights or South Heights or North Heights or Woodland Heights? I've never understood this idea of The Heights as this monolithic entity. Its way more eclectic than people think. I'm sure the Kroger across the street is very "Heights-like". Same for the former Sand dollar, or the Heights Homes, or the Hospital, or the Dunken Donuts and MickyD's across the street. Being so architecturally rigorous in style is going to do the opposite of what people want this area to be, more vibrant and active, because it will hinder what people will want to do and what they want things to look like.

 

 

This is literally the point of doing a render...This is also a spec building. The point is that its suppose to be vague, so it has a broader appeal to as many people that look at it as possible.

 

Architecture in the Heights isn't that hard to figure out.  We have late Victorian, Craftsman, some Art Deco and a few MCMs.  It is not at all difficult to design something that is in the ballpark of those styles.  The Broadstone Waterworks gave it the old college try.  Re-vive, Radom and Braun have generally done a nice job paying respects to the historic architecture while also incorporating what the market wants in terms of a more modern aesthetic.  The whole "Heights eclectic" thing is basically a way for developers to get a free pass on architecture by looking at buildings that were obviously built without any regard for the historic neighborhood.  Just because one guy built a bunch of fake New Orleans style houses in the Heights in the 1990s and early 2000s doesn't mean that the "style" has now become a legitimate part of the Heights.  Same for strip malls, McDonalds, public housing, etc. built long after the original Heights went in.

 

Also, I don't think they are being vague about a real project that is in the works.  I think that they are just throwing out a design to see what kind of interest is out there.  I have seen a bazzillion renderings of projects in and around the Heights and this one is so over the top that I have to say that it does not look like it is anything that will actually happen.  

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1 minute ago, s3mh said:

 

Architecture in the Heights isn't that hard to figure out.  We have late Victorian, Craftsman, some Art Deco and a few MCMs.  It is not at all difficult to design something that is in the ballpark of those styles.  The Broadstone Waterworks gave it the old college try.  Re-vive, Radom and Braun have generally done a nice job paying respects to the historic architecture while also incorporating what the market wants in terms of a more modern aesthetic.  The whole "Heights eclectic" thing is basically a way for developers to get a free pass on architecture by looking at buildings that were obviously built without any regard for the historic neighborhood.  Just because one guy built a bunch of fake New Orleans style houses in the Heights in the 1990s and early 2000s doesn't mean that the "style" has now become a legitimate part of the Heights.  Same for strip malls, McDonalds, public housing, etc. built long after the original Heights went in.

 

Also, I don't think they are being vague about a real project that is in the works.  I think that they are just throwing out a design to see what kind of interest is out there.  I have seen a bazzillion renderings of projects in and around the Heights and this one is so over the top that I have to say that it does not look like it is anything that will actually happen.  

 

To spare another pointless thread battle. I know from previous discussions on The Heights that you have a very rigid and firm position on what you imagine The Heights to be. That is ok! You are entitled to your opinion. From my experience; professional, educational, and personal, I respectfully disagree. There are truths to what you say here, but you have no wiggle room to see another point of view on this, so I don't really see a reason to engage you further on this. The only thing I will say is maybe, just like I could be wrong, you could be wrong as well.

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22 hours ago, s3mh said:

This looks a bit too SimCity to be real.  It looks large enough to go all the way from Yale to Rutland.  It also looks very purposefully vague as to whether it is office or multifamily on top of retail.  I suspect this is just an attempt to see what kind of leasing interest there would be in the property and not an actual rendering of a project that is ready to build.

 

 

The property has 200' of frontage (200 x 132 = the 26,400 sf shown in the brochure). Scaling from the people in the rendering, it looks like about 20-ft between columns, which would make this about 280 feet across the front, which is about half the block, and would require them to acquire the Baptist Temple's parking lot next door.

 

I also agree that this rendering (and the brochure) is too vague to give any kind of indication what Levcor plans to develop here. The ground floor is laid out kind of like retail (front-facing entry doors every 30 feet or so, but then there's what looks like an office building lobby entrance in the middle. The 2nd floor has only two small entry doors from the colonnade/deck, and looks more like a hotel conference facility. The third floor (or is it 3rd and 4th?) looks like a parking garage with a 40-ft atrium in the middle of it. And the top floor looks like a pair of very large bar/restaurant spaces.

 

And yet the site only says 18k sf of leaseable area.

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19 hours ago, HNathoo said:

Here are some more images from the brochure: 

 

 

Is there a link to this brochure? Hard to read the text in the images.

 

 

...but this makes a lot more sense now. Two floors of retail, topped by two floors of parking, then two floors of office. 

 

That top image may be off, though. The plan view shows the 5th floor decks facing the back, whereas the renderings show them facing the front (which would make more sense). 

 

Also, it looks like the curb cut in the rendering is in the wrong place. On the 1st floor plan view, it shows vehicle ingress from 19th, along the western edge of the building.  There also appears to be access from the alley, so maybe the 19th St vehicle entrance can be eliminated.

 

Edited by Angostura
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18 hours ago, Luminare said:

are the other parking lots owned by separate entities? or is it all Sand Dollar?

 

The overhead views show the building footprint covering everything from the corner up to and including the new-ish Memorial Herman building. That's 424 feet of frontage, 200 of which was the Sand Dollar property. The other lots are (were?) owned by the Baptist Temple (that fronts 20th).

 

Presumably the agreement between LevCor and the Temple will include use of the new parking garage for Sunday services.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to 1903 Yale St: Future Mixed-Use
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