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Skirting my way to downtown through side streets this morning, I noticed that they have the sales office building installed.

They've had a sales trailer up from the start, so I'd guess that is nothing new.

If they couldn't finance this thing before the last few weeks of credit market turmoil, I can't imagine it'll get done anytime soon. The least they could do would be to plant some grass and turn in into a park in the meantime. It's a big piece of land - people could bbq, play soccer, fly kites...etc. I guess I'll stop daydreaming and get back to work.

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They've had a sales trailer up from the start, so I'd guess that is nothing new.

If they couldn't finance this thing before the last few weeks of credit market turmoil, I can't imagine it'll get done anytime soon. The least they could do would be to plant some grass and turn in into a park in the meantime. It's a big piece of land - people could bbq, play soccer, fly kites...etc. I guess I'll stop daydreaming and get back to work.

What a great idea! To bad Davis wouldn't donate the land to the city for a park.

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This isnt candy land. Why would any sensible business man do such a thing? Unless there were some kickbacks involved.

I understand that it's not smart business my friend, but why can't a guy who's filthy rich give a tax deductible donation to a city he loves? Anyway, it was just a comment about how cool of an idea it would be to have a park in that location. Don't take it so seriously. <_<

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I understand that it's not smart business my friend, but why can't a guy who's filthy rich give a tax deductible donation to a city he loves?

He doesn't own that land by himself. He's probably only even a minority equity partner on land that was financed for four times more than was put down on it.

Besides which, being a condo developer right now means that you're taking it in the ___. ...and he's got a project in Vegas, of all places! And one at the end of the seawall on Galveston! I like the guy on a personal level, but I'm not sure that he's going to qualify as filthy rich when all is said and done. He may have to effectively start over from scratch, like he has in the past.

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He doesn't own that land by himself. He's probably only even a minority equity partner on land that was financed for four times more than was put down on it.

Besides which, being a condo developer right now means that you're taking it in the ___. ...and he's got a project in Vegas, of all places! And one at the end of the seawall on Galveston! I like the guy on a personal level, but I'm not sure that he's going to qualify as filthy rich when all is said and done. He may have to effectively start over from scratch, like he has in the past.

Exactly. My understanding is that Randall is a "fee developer" on this project. Meaning he is doing the development work for a fee... someone else actually owns the land and the project.

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Exactly. My understanding is that Randall is a "fee developer" on this project. Meaning he is doing the development work for a fee... someone else actually owns the land and the project.

Lamesa Properties, led by Julie S. Tysor, is the developer, technically. At least, they initiated the project and called Davis in after the fact. Initially, I think that there was talk about just using him for marketing purposes, sort of as a branding strategy. But I think that his involvement was ultimately that of the fee developer, having taken on more responsibilities. In person, he certainly talks about it as though it were his project.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Swamplot post today referencing an examiner story about some conditions to the sale of Bolsover Street that must be completed soon (otherwise it could revert back to the city):

link

Perhaps this will finally spur something to happen to the site...

You beat me to it...

I sure hope this financing mess doesn't take the joy of new projects out of our lives. <_<

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  • 2 weeks later...

An update about Sonoma from an email that I received from their sales team:

Thank you for your interest in Sonoma. Just a friendly follow-up to inform you the developer has obtained financing for the property. We anticipate ground breaking February of 2009 when Walgreens lease expires.

Our sales center is up and running again after Ike, and we invite you in for the latest information on Sonoma. Our hours are Monday - Friday 11-5, Saturday 11-5, and Sunday 1-5. We are elated of the progess, and would love for you to make Sonoma your new home.

Please contact us if you would like us to email you floor plans, floor plates, or a price sheet. We look forward to working with you.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Gloria/ Keith

Sonoma Sales Team

713.524.0444

713.822.3163 (cell)

2401 1/2 Bolsover

Houston, Tx 77005

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  • 4 weeks later...
I can't beleive they got the utilities in under Bolsover. But at least they have 4 years to get a crosswalk done. At this pace that sounds rather ambitious.

Anyone care to revisit my option of turning it into a park in the meantime? If someone cuts a whole in the fencing, I'll walk around the site and sprinkle grass seeds from my pocket!

It's really depressing that it is just going to sit there as an empty lot for so much longer in the future. I really liked Nit Noi and the Cafe Rabelais wine bar that were in the building they tore down too.

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Anyone care to revisit my option of turning it into a park in the meantime? If someone cuts a whole in the fencing, I'll walk around the site and sprinkle grass seeds from my pocket!

It's really depressing that it is just going to sit there as an empty lot for so much longer in the future. I really liked Nit Noi and the Cafe Rabelais wine bar that were in the building they tore down too.

It wouldn't be the first empty lot to sit there for an extended period of time... a shame this particular instance has to be in the Rice Village.

I completely agree with your idea to make it a green space, if the development is going to be on hold for so long. An empty grass lot looks better than an empty mud lot, not to mention the affect it has on adjacent businesses. Who wants to have directions given to their business that go "Yes, we're located in the village, a block east of Kirby Drive, next to the big empty dirt lot"

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

For now, it might be green space and parking:

For its part, owner Lamesa would much prefer to be building its complex, complete with plaza. Company representative Julie Tysor said that while construction is on hold, the firm is open to ideas for the site to have some “long-term benefit to the community.” For now, plans are under way to make the unpaved area a green space, and the paved area may be used for much-needed Village parking.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/6235599.html

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
Now there are even more equipment and bulldozers on site. Does anybody have some surprising good news?

I thought I heard something about an "Equipment and Bulldozers Expo" going on this weekend.

:P:D

On the real...I hope it's good news

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Now there are even more equipment and bulldozers on site. Does anybody have some surprising good news?

With construction costs down right now, it'd be a really good time to build... if they could finance.

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I would be surprised that they may try to move forward with construction cost going down so much.

The city of Houston is noticing a lot of a contractors coming in with really low bids for jobs with concrete being the major component to cost reductions. Concrete for paving going to for $32/SY versus $46/SY. It dropped a million dollars from the construction estimate.

Steel and wood prices are dropping also. Looking at this project, it'll be mostly wood with a concrete/steel structure for the first one or two floors. The other extreme it could be like West Ave and be all steel.

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I would be surprised that they may try to move forward with construction cost going down so much.

The city of Houston is noticing a lot of a contractors coming in with really low bids for jobs with concrete being the major component to cost reductions. Concrete for paving going to for $32/SY versus $46/SY. It dropped a million dollars from the construction estimate.

Steel and wood prices are dropping also. Looking at this project, it'll be mostly wood with a concrete/steel structure for the first one or two floors. The other extreme it could be like West Ave and be all steel.

Construction costs are coming down, but they'll have a bit further to fall yet until capital markets resume some semblance of equilibrium.

If something is happening here, it is not what was proposed. That project is dead and has been for some time. Condos don't work anymore.

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It seems like a lot of projects are going forward now. The new hotel downtown, Regent Square. So the tax incentives really work. The city should do it for all of its proposed developments. Even the Randall Davis Sonoma development.

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It seems like a lot of projects are going forward now. The new hotel downtown, Regent Square. So the tax incentives really work. The city should do it for all of its proposed developments. Even the Randall Davis Sonoma development.

Incentives with an expiration date can be used to encourage particular projects, however if these were implemented uniformly to all projects then market prices for land would only rise on order to restore market equilibrium. The subsidy intended for all developers (on its face, a bad idea) would be captured by all owners of developable parcels. Depending on which parts of the City were or were not considered eligible for such a program, there would probably also be supply-side market distortions resulting in some pretty bizarre patterns of urban growth.

As for the Sonoma project (which Randall Davis is no longer involved in, btw), I don't believe that the City ought to be subsidizing housing for wealthy people. The retail component, maybe, depending on the net fiscal impact. But the retail component doesn't represent the bulk of the taxable value of Sonoma as it was proposed.

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Incentives with an expiration date can be used to encourage particular projects, however if these were implemented uniformly to all projects then market prices for land would only rise on order to restore market equilibrium. The subsidy intended for all developers (on its face, a bad idea) would be captured by all owners of developable parcels. Depending on which parts of the City were or were not considered eligible for such a program, there would probably also be supply-side market distortions resulting in some pretty bizarre patterns of urban growth.

As for the Sonoma project (which Randall Davis is no longer involved in, btw), I don't believe that the City ought to be subsidizing housing for wealthy people. The retail component, maybe, depending on the net fiscal impact. But the retail component doesn't represent the bulk of the taxable value of Sonoma as it was proposed.

Randall Davis is not a part of the Sonoma project anymore? Has the scale or plan changed?

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Incentives with an expiration date can be used to encourage particular projects, however if these were implemented uniformly to all projects then market prices for land would only rise on order to restore market equilibrium. The subsidy intended for all developers (on its face, a bad idea) would be captured by all owners of developable parcels. Depending on which parts of the City were or were not considered eligible for such a program, there would probably also be supply-side market distortions resulting in some pretty bizarre patterns of urban growth.

As for the Sonoma project (which Randall Davis is no longer involved in, btw), I don't believe that the City ought to be subsidizing housing for wealthy people. The retail component, maybe, depending on the net fiscal impact. But the retail component doesn't represent the bulk of the taxable value of Sonoma as it was proposed.

Thanks for explaining! I should have paid more attention the economics courses. Are you a economics major? or marketing, management?

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Randall Davis is not a part of the Sonoma project anymore? Has the scale or plan changed?

The plan as presented is dead. Rigor morits has set in and maggots have partially consumed its flesh.

It was around late summer of last year that Randall Davis began complaining that he'd hit reasonable pre-sales figures but that the terms of the debt kept on becoming more stringent. As time passed, the more he pre-sold, the higher the requirement ratcheted up. Finally, they had to give up on the condos because even if they could get something ridiculous like 80% of the units pre-sold, the cost of the debt was outrageous. This all hasn't exactly been a state secret, either.

The owners of the land and the original developer was Lamesa Properties, and Randall Davis was just the fee developer they brought on for his experience and connections. I doubt that Davis has the land on his books, and that circumstance is very good for him. I'd be willing to bet that Lamesa's land is currently worth about 55% to 65% of whatever they paid for it (if they absolutely positively had to get rid of it right now).

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...

Hmm, I was just in the vicinity a couple of times recently, and there has been construction work going on, with backhoes and the like. Are they doing the park thingy already, or something else?

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Hmm, I was just in the vicinity a couple of times recently, and there has been construction work going on, with backhoes and the like. Are they doing the park thingy already, or something else?

I walked through a few weeks back and was under the impression that the construction equipment was related to the road work on Kirby. Maybe they are just using the lot for storage?

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I walked through a few weeks back and was under the impression that the construction equipment was related to the road work on Kirby. Maybe they are just using the lot for storage?

Nah, they were actually tearing the dirt up there or something...

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  • 3 months later...

It looks like this may stay an empty lot for awhile - the village news has a story about an agreement being reached to turn part of the lot (I assume the already paved portion around the old sales office) into a paid parking lot for the rest of the village and installing pay stations etc. For some reason it's not letting me post the link, but here is the site http://village-southwest-news.com (then choose the 'village news' option)

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  • 9 months later...

Village news is reporting that the site was acquired by Hanover who is proposing a new luxury apartment complex with 14k sq foot of retail and public park space...etc. It'll be nice to see something go up on the site, but the reduction in retail space is pretty considerable.

http://www.village-southwest-news.com/register.aspx?sec=1

Click on "village news" and see page 1

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Village news is reporting that the site was acquired by Hanover who is proposing a new luxury apartment complex with 14k sq foot of retail and public park space...etc. It'll be nice to see something go up on the site, but the reduction in retail space is pretty considerable.

http://www.village-s...ster.aspx?sec=1

Click on "village news" and see page 1

Groundbreaking is scheduled for JULY? Whoa!

gallery_723_64_26560.jpg

Edited by lockmat
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Village news is reporting that the site was acquired by Hanover who is proposing a new luxury apartment complex with 14k sq foot of retail and public park space...etc. It'll be nice to see something go up on the site, but the reduction in retail space is pretty considerable.

Yes. See, now this is a realistic development for this business environment. For-rent multifamily in an irreplaceable location picked up at a deep discount by a highly-reputed developer that specializes in exactly this type of product. Everything about this deal looks rock solid. No lingering question marks. Nothing marginal or experimental.

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