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Westmore Condominiums: 2323 W Main, Upper Kirby

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29 minutes ago, db650 said:

Finally builders have caught on that you can fit many more condo units than townhomes on the same sized lot. And most people prefer one floor to four. What took so long?

 

Houston has never been much of a condo city. Most folks prefer to own their home completely, and not be at the beck and call of an out of control condo board, and not pay outrageous monthly condo fees.

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14 minutes ago, Ross said:

 

Houston has never been much of a condo city. Most folks prefer to own their home completely, and not be at the beck and call of an out of control condo board, and not pay outrageous monthly condo fees.

 

I dont believe its as simple as consumer preferences. Though that dynamic does play into some peoples decisions--- I think the more real reason is merely economics. Single Family homes inside the city are still relatively cheap compared to cities of similar size. In my opinion, that depresses demand for condominium housing. 

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1 minute ago, Purdueenginerd said:

 

I dont believe its as simple as consumer preferences. Though that dynamic does play into some peoples decisions--- I think the more real reason is merely economics. Single Family homes inside the city are still relatively cheap compared to cities of similar size. In my opinion, that depresses demand for condominium housing. 

We have like 1/6 the density of Uruk circa 3000 BC. There's a lot of space. 

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8 minutes ago, Purdueenginerd said:

 

I dont believe its as simple as consumer preferences. Though that dynamic does play into some peoples decisions--- I think the more real reason is merely economics. Single Family homes inside the city are still relatively cheap compared to cities of similar size. In my opinion, that depresses demand for condominium housing. 

 

This is spot on. Now that its hit a critical point its going to come down to location. That whole Kirby corridor from 59 all the way up to river oaks is fertile ground for this building type. I fully anticipate more in that one pocket between San Felipe and Avalon near River Oaks, and between W. Alabama and Richmond. Good centralized location, but with how much land is getting squeezed in this area I think the townhouse type is a dying breed in this particular area. Just shows how dense this area has become in just this past decade.

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Many of these condos are more expensive than homes in the neighborhood, so I’m not sure it’s simply cheaper dwellings. Condos in the U.K./River Oaks are are well over 600 per square foot and the newer ones are usually greater than 3,000 square feet in size. That’s way more expensive than townhomes and many single family homes in the neighborhood.

Edited by db650

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2 hours ago, Ross said:

 

Houston has never been much of a condo city. Most folks prefer to own their home completely, and not be at the beck and call of an out of control condo board, and not pay outrageous monthly condo fees.

I don't know.  Many people prefer the lock it and leave it lifestyle and very little maintenance as opposed to a house in the burbs.

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12 minutes ago, htownbro said:

I don't know.  Many people prefer the lock it and leave it lifestyle and very little maintenance as opposed to a house in the burbs.

 

I'd argue more people would prefer a stand alone house even if it's a tightly packed one. I was looking at some condos and the killer was the fact that you have a mortgage and basically a rent too.  Similar size and location and a condo is going to be significant more expensive.  

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3 hours ago, db650 said:

Finally builders have caught on that you can fit many more condo units than townhomes on the same sized lot. And most people prefer one floor to four. What took so long?

 

2 hours ago, Purdueenginerd said:

 

I dont believe its as simple as consumer preferences. Though that dynamic does play into some peoples decisions--- I think the more real reason is merely economics. Single Family homes inside the city are still relatively cheap compared to cities of similar size. In my opinion, that depresses demand for condominium housing. 

 

45 minutes ago, db650 said:

Many of these condos are more expensive than homes in the neighborhood, so I’m not sure it’s simply cheaper dwellings. Condos in the U.K./River Oaks are are well over 600 per square foot and the newer ones are usually greater than 3,000 square feet in size. That’s way more expensive than townhomes and many single family homes in the neighborhood.

 

It all comes down to (a) land costs and (b) what market segment these are aimed at. 

 

This project probably has a floor area ratio (total square footage divided by total land area) of 2-3x a typical TH project. That makes a lot less difference at a land cost $30/sf than it does at $100/sf. In this neighborhood, at an FAR of, say, 4.0, even with higher construction costs (steel or concrete vs wood frame, elevators, etc.), it should be possible to hit a price point similar to that of townhouse at FAR of 1.5. In cities with very high land values, townhouses are prohibitively expensive for all but the highest end of the market.

 

 

28 minutes ago, jmitch94 said:

 

I'd argue more people would prefer a stand alone house even if it's a tightly packed one. I was looking at some condos and the killer was the fact that you have a mortgage and basically a rent too.  Similar size and location and a condo is going to be significant more expensive.  

 

Again, depends on the target market. A building without that many amenities and limited common areas can be pretty competitive. Recall that the condo fee is paying for lights, climate control and maintenance of the exterior and common areas (including elevators), usually water and sewer, and a significant chunk of your homeowner's insurance costs. And your utility bills will generally be lower on a per-sf basis, since these buildings tend to be more thermally efficient than standalone houses. If you actually compare apples to apples, it's not that different.

 

That said, I'd expect these to be marketed at a much higher price than the current Houston TH market.

 

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In Houston, a condo seems like a luxury purchase whereas in most other cities it’s a budget purchase. In Houston, condos cost more, in part because construction quality is much higher than wood framed homes and land is still relatively inexpensive. Condo fees support the non-profit HOA which is t like rent but paying for maintenance and services and some insurance. The fees are high because most people don’t budget properly for home repairs, maintain their homes like they probably should and/or do things themselves. There is also staff like security and doorman to pay for. If you don’t value the staff, you are throwing away money.

 

Houston will never get large scale, dense residential development high rises like most cities as long as condo prices are greater than single family homes. Most people prefer a house, even with its hassles. And the fact that they’re usually cheaper makes the house for most a no brainer. In fact, it’s mostly empty nesters or two career couples without kids who can afford and live in these.

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Heading home from the Kirby Mr Car Wash I go right by this. Finally took a pic.They have a sales office set up.

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Webiste fully launched

 

http://westmorehouston.com/index.html

 

http://www.pelicanbuilders.com/location_Westmore.html

 

The Westmore is a 33 residence mid-rise condominium at 2323 West Main, just east of Kirby Drive. Attractive architecture, excellent floor plans, creative finishes, and sensible pricing make The Westmore an inviting option for those buyers who want condominium living in the vibrant and walkable Upper Kirby District area. The Westmore offers high ceilings, spacious windows, hardwood flooring, Bosch appliances, and other features required to make this a quality and well-designed condominium development. 

 

 

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These are still expensive (and more expensive than comparable townhomes in the neighborhood) but less expensive that recent projects in the area. The units are also smaller (most if not all appear to be 2 bedrooms) and have lower-end buildouts (e.g., Bosch versus the more typical Wolf or Gaggenau appliances). So this is a plus as it's a different demographic than buildings such as the Giorgetti and Revere which are very nearby.  Even if land is very expensive, why are less expensive units with lower-end finishes not viable in the neighborhood or is the condo buyer in this part of town only in the luxury market?

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11 hours ago, db650 said:

These are still expensive (and more expensive than comparable townhomes in the neighborhood) but less expensive that recent projects in the area. The units are also smaller (most if not all appear to be 2 bedrooms) and have lower-end buildouts (e.g., Bosch versus the more typical Wolf or Gaggenau appliances). So this is a plus as it's a different demographic than buildings such as the Giorgetti and Revere which are very nearby.  Even if land is very expensive, why are less expensive units with lower-end finishes not viable in the neighborhood or is the condo buyer in this part of town only in the luxury market?

 

I dl'ed all the floor plans, didn't see anything bigger than 2/2.5. No three bedrooms at all. Plus, with the less expensive build-out,  clearly going after a different demo than The River Oaks or Giorgetti. 

 

I didn't see prices. What are the sqft prices for this project? How does that compare to TRO or Revere?

 

I would guess the market for a less expensive but nice condo is bigger than the market for the ultra-lux condos. But that's a WAG, not backed by specific knowledge.

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5 hours ago, astrohip said:

 

I dl'ed all the floor plans, didn't see anything bigger than 2/2.5. No three bedrooms at all. Plus, with the less expensive build-out,  clearly going after a different demo than The River Oaks or Giorgetti. 

 

I didn't see prices. What are the sqft prices for this project? How does that compare to TRO or Revere?

 

I would guess the market for a less expensive but nice condo is bigger than the market for the ultra-lux condos. But that's a WAG, not backed by specific knowledge.

They start at 960,000 which would put entry units around 580 per square foot. Other buildings nearby start at between 630 and 650 per square foot. The Westmore looks like it has few amenities and limited staffing which will mean lower HOA fees but also less of a reason to be in a building. You’re paying a lot more for a potential view, single floor living, and construction quality. We’ll have to see if there is a market for this when a bigger and nice townhome nearby is comparable in absolute price.

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Went inside the sales center today.  The person who helped me was very nice!  Here's the take home packet.

 

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 The pricing starting at $960,000 is what I expected. What is surprising, however, is what you appear to get for this.  It comes with mid range Bosch appliances. The cabinet maker is not specified, which likely means builder grade cabinets. The same goes for the tile work. I was, however impressed, with four layers of drywall at “party”walls.  Is that an official term? There is also a limited customization, which seems like a mistake at this price point. On the plus side, I like how they have storage units on the actual residence floor. I also know the builder is top notch.

 

 Only the market will tell if there is demand for very expensive, on a per square-foot basis, smallish condos in a terrific location with mid range build outs and limited building services. 

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 The pricing starting at $960,000 is what I expected. What is surprising, however, is what you appear to get for this.  It comes with mid range Bosch appliances. The cabinet maker is not specified, which likely means builder grade cabinets. The same goes for the tile work. I was, however impressed, with four layers of drywall at “party”walls.  Is that an official term? There is also a limited customization, which seems like a mistake at this price point. On the plus side, I like how they have storage units on the actual residence floor. I also know the builder is top notch.

 

 Only the market will tell if there is demand for very expensive, on a per square-foot basis, smallish condos in a terrific location with mid range build outs and limited building services. 

Edited by db650

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3 hours ago, db650 said:

 The pricing starting at $960,000 is what I expected. What is surprising, however, is what you appear to get for this.  It comes with mid range Bosch appliances. The cabinet maker is not specified, which likely means builder grade cabinets. The same goes for the tile work. I was, however impressed, with four layers of drywall at “party”walls.  Is that an official term? There is also a limited customization, which seems like a mistake at this price point. On the plus side, I like how they have storage units on the actual residence floor. I also know the builder is top notch.

 

 Only the market will tell if there is demand for very expensive, on a per square-foot basis, smallish condos in a terrific location with mid range build outs and limited building services. 

Party wall is a term for the shared wall between units. 4 layers provides extra fire resistance, but not much sound deadening. The only way to get sound deadening is to have separate sets of studs for each of the walls, with an air gap between them. A few inches will help. Insulation doesn't help much to reduce sound transmission if the solid structure of the walls is shared, since the studs will transmit the sound through the insulation. If you are building a home theater or stereo room, you get a much better result if it's framed out without touching the rest of the structure.The same concept applies to walls between units in a multi-family building.

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Random thoughts in no order:

 

I like the glass walls. I still see too many high-end condo bldgs being built with windows, as versus glass. I think the glass makes for a *much* nicer look, both from the exterior, and for the resident.

 

Not a bad location, but at that height (6-7 stories?), in that area, not directly on Kirby, I would expect just so-so views, to be blocked as time goes on, and more development surrounds it.

 

Echoing @db650 , Bosch is barely an upgrade on appliances, and no-name cabinets?  Surprising!

 

All small to mid-size units, no larger ones (3 bed+). Probably makes sense in that building.

 

From the brochure, I'm getting the impression there won't be any concierge service, or 24/7 doorman. Pool?

 

Any idea what the HOA/condo dues will be?

 

Pricing is mid $650K a sqft. On the high end, for a building that is only upper-middle.

 

If it was me, I'd go The River Oaks, where $700/sqft gets you much more building--pool, concierge, valet parking, etc. Plus better high-rise views. The offset is the monthly nut is probably twice as much, if not more. OTOH, there are no smaller units left at TRO, only the larger ones.

 

It is a good looking building. I like it much more than say, The Revere. 

 

my .02

Edited by astrohip
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Disagree on the glass walls.  I think normal windows make for a more flexible home and I like some various finishes besides all buildings being curtain walls.

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7 minutes ago, kbates2 said:

Disagree on the glass walls.  I think normal windows make for a more flexible home and I like some various finishes besides all buildings being curtain walls.

Counterpoint: When you walk into (or live in) a condo with windows, it's like being in a house, or an apartment. The focus of the room turns inward, just as it does in a house. Sure, you get some light, and you get (maybe) a view, but aesthetically, you're in a house. With walls, and a few windows. And a furniture layout that says house.

 

Live in a condo with glass walls, and you're in a CONDO. The focus moves out. Your eyes are drawn to the view. No matter where you are in the room, you can't but help see the view, see the vista, see the horizon. Sure, decorating is a tad more challenging, but not a big deal.

 

I do think it helps to have some sqftage. I've visited smaller glass wall condos, and it does restrict your design options.

 

By putting some vertical & horizontal elements in the Westmore, and not a solid glass curtain, perhaps they've addressed your desire for some finish variety. I like the look.

 

 

FWIW: I've lived in both. Much prefer glass walls.

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2 hours ago, astrohip said:

.

 

If it was me, I'd go The River Oaks, where $700/sqft gets you much more building--pool, concierge, valet parking, etc. Plus better high-rise views. The offset is the monthly nut is probably twice as much, if not more. OTOH, there are no smaller units left at TRO, only the larger ones.

 

It is a good looking building. I like it much more than say, The Revere. 

 

my .02

The River Oaks is a beautiful building but there is little overlap in market appeal. It’s full service with HOAs probably around double the Westmore. It’s also a much bigger building in terms of number of units,  so it has a different feel. Finally, the units are much larger in The River Oaks so they are much more expensive, even assuming you can still get in for 700 a square foot.

 

Other comparison buildings are the Revere and Giorgetti which are around 30 units. The Revere is more full service than the Giorgetti but both have much higher end finishes than the Westmore. But both the Revere and Girogetti also have much larger units than Westmore. So the Westmore does fit a niche of relatively modestly priced units because of smaller unit sizes and lower quality finishes.

 

I was not not a big fan of the exterior design of the Revere, but it’s grown on me. A glass wall building wouldn’t be a good fit for the neighborhood, despite the San Felipe tower around the corner.

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4 minutes ago, db650 said:

 

I was not not a big fan of the exterior design of the Revere, but it’s grown on me. A glass wall building wouldn’t be a good fit for the neighborhood, despite the San Felipe tower around the corner.

Agree. Glass walls don't work everywhere. And probably don't work in anything less than a taller mid-rise. I like how the Westmore uses the vert/horiz accents; otherwise it would look out of place also.

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No real updates, but lately I've been seeing a lot of signage on roads for this development in the Montrose area. Seems like they are really trying to up the pace of sells for this one.

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Any sales update on this one? My instinct is that sales for these types of luxury new construction condos has slowed substantially. I do worry that demand is simply not here right now. There are plenty of nearby resales (including at the very nice 2727 Kirby) at this price point or less. Bosch appliances at this price point is also very surprising. I do like the design of the building but given the (relative) low cost of land even in the inner loop (compared to denser cities like San Francisco or NY), condos are going to remain a niche market.

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14 hours ago, db650 said:

Any sales update on this one? My instinct is that sales for these types of luxury new construction condos has slowed substantially. I do worry that demand is simply not here right now. There are plenty of nearby resales (including at the very nice 2727 Kirby) at this price point or less. Bosch appliances at this price point is also very surprising. I do like the design of the building but given the (relative) low cost of land even in the inner loop (compared to denser cities like San Francisco or NY), condos are going to remain a niche market.


It might be a niche, but it's getting to be a pretty big niche in central Houston.

Here's an incomplete list:

Bayou Bend Towers 1981 22 floors

1400 Hermann converted 1977 17 floors

2016 Main converted 1979 26 floors

Park Square 1982 22 floors

3525 Sage 1975 17 floors

Warwick Towers 1983 30 floors

Houstonian Estates 1982 28 floors

Parklane 1983 35 floors

The Spires 1983 40 floors

The Willowick converted 1978 15 floors

The Huntingdon 1984 34 floors

5000 Montrose 1981 22 floors

The St. Clair 1982 13 floors

The Woodway 1974 19 floors

Four Leaf Towers East 1982 40 floors

Four Leaf Towers West 1982 40 floors

Inwood Manor converted 1978 16 floors

The Oxford 1981 20 floors

Regency House converted 1980 13 floors

The St. James 1975 25 floors

The Greenway I 1979 30 floors

The Greenway II 1979 30 floors

The Lamar Tower converted 1979 23 floors

The Parc IV converted 1978 12 floors

The Parc V converted 1978 12 floors

The River Oaks 1962 16 floors

The Tealstone 1984 15 floors

Woodway Place II 1982 20 floors

Executive House 

The Campton at Post Oak

Villa d'Este

The Rise

The Robinhood

The Mercer

The Royalton at River Oaks

Montebello

The Mark

Commerce Towers

Residences at the Four Seasons

St. Germain

Bayou Lofts

Keystone Lofts

Franklin Lofts

Arabella

SkyHouse Main

SkyHouse Houston

SkyHouse Uptown

Briar Place

Briar Glen

Highland Tower

Wilshire

Beaconsfield

The Cosmopolitan
Marlowe
Byrds Lofts

Capitol Lofts

Hermann Lofts

Astoria 

Belfiore

Bristol

Woodway Place Attium

Mosaic at Hermann park

Moderne Rice Village

6007 Memorial

The Sophie

Edge Lofts

Rise Lofts

Mondrian

2727 Kirby

The River Oaks

Mimosa Terrace

Revere at River Oaks 

Riva at the Park 

Giorgetti

 

 

 

 

Edited by Houston19514
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14 hours ago, db650 said:

Any sales update on this one? My instinct is that sales for these types of luxury new construction condos has slowed substantially. I do worry that demand is simply not here right now. There are plenty of nearby resales (including at the very nice 2727 Kirby) at this price point or less. Bosch appliances at this price point is also very surprising. I do like the design of the building but given the (relative) low cost of land even in the inner loop (compared to denser cities like San Francisco or NY), condos are going to remain a niche market.

 

In any other part of Houston I would agree, but Upper Kirby is one of the few neighborhoods where it makes most sense at the moment.

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I agree it makes sense in theory, but in practice, these buildings are too expensive so they are niche markets. I love the Giorgetti building nearby the Westmore, but it's not selling very well. Granted, the Westmore or priced slightly less expensive, and with smaller units. We will see how the market speaks.  

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4 minutes ago, db650 said:

I agree it makes sense in theory, but in practice, these buildings are too expensive so they are niche markets. I love the Giorgetti building nearby the Westmore, but it's not selling very well. Granted, the Westmore or priced slightly less expensive, and with smaller units. We will see how the market speaks.  

 

65% sold prior to completion, ,according to their website.  That seems like pretty decent sales.

Edited by Houston19514
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9 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

65% sold prior to completion, ,according to their website.  That seems like pretty decent sales.

It's been stuck at around this number for a long time.

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1 hour ago, Paco Jones said:

This one will start in November.  No major design changes.

 

7 story, 33 unit condominium with 2 levels of parking.  Amenity deck and pool at level 2.

 

 

 

Great! I love these smaller infill developments and the renders are handsome. 

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