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The Astoria Condos (28 stories) at 1405 Post Oak Boulevard in Uptown Houston

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Is it just me or is that a heck of a lot of concrete for a McDonalds? This really puts into perspective how much space the Astoria is working with, which isn't much compared to their neighbor.

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Yeah this is just weird, though very Houstonian. Integrating the mcdonalds into the base of the tower would have made more sense. I wonder if Astoria didnt want to deal with retail, or if the rent they would ask would have been to high? I would have thought that property values in that area would have made wasting a lot on a drive-through mcdonalds less than desirable

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Yeah this is just weird, though very Houstonian. Integrating the mcdonalds into the base of the tower would have made more sense. I wonder if Astoria didnt want to deal with retail, or if the rent they would ask would have been to high? I would have thought that property values in that area would have made wasting a lot on a drive-through mcdonalds less than desirable

 

I would imagine it was McDonald's that didn't want to be in the tower.  They need parking and a drive-thru for the heavy lunch crowds in the area.

 

The land is valuable, but if anyone has the money to afford expensive land, it's McDonald's.

 

The foorprint for the Astoria doesn't have to be that large.

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I have a dumb question, it seems that Astoria and the McDonald's are sharing a pretty small site.  Just south of this site are some crappy 2 story apartments.  Why isn't that parcel being redeveloped.... or is there a plan in the works that we don't know about.

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I have a dumb question, it seems that Astoria and the McDonald's are sharing a pretty small site.  Just south of this site are some crappy 2 story apartments.  Why isn't that parcel being redeveloped.... or is there a plan in the works that we don't know about.

 

Don't underestimate the value of having a Post Oak address and frontage.

 

Also, that other parcel looks like more land than they would possibly need and I doubt the owner would subdivide.  They may be old "crappy" apartments but if they are close to fully occupied and cash flowing well, I doubt the owner is in a big hurry to sell.  

McDonalds, on the other hand, realized they could build a modern store on less land and make a bundle on the sale of the rest of the lot.  It was win-win for them.

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I have a dumb question, it seems that Astoria and the McDonald's are sharing a pretty small site. Just south of this site are some crappy 2 story apartments. Why isn't that parcel being redeveloped.... or is there a plan in the works that we don't know about.

Interestingly enough that crappy two story apartment building is for sale and has been for quite a while.

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Let's cut to the chase; the only reason this tower MIGHT be built is due to foreign buyers "investing" in this property and getting into the USA.

 

No sane resident of the USA is going to move into a Randall Davis building that shares a lot with a drive-thru McDonald's, especially at his prices.

 

I think we're going to see Houston's first "Miami" condo building. 100% sold but 30% occupied.

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Let's cut to the chase; the only reason this tower MIGHT be built is due to foreign buyers "investing" in this property and getting into the USA.

No sane resident of the USA is going to move into a Randall Davis building that shares a lot with a drive-thru McDonald's, especially at his prices.

I think we're going to see Houston's first "Miami" condo building. 100% sold but 30% occupied.

If it is built I'm sure it will be occupied it may not be owner occupied but it will be occupied.

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Let's cut to the chase; the only reason this tower MIGHT be built is due to foreign buyers "investing" in this property and getting into the USA.

 

No sane resident of the USA is going to move into a Randall Davis building that shares a lot with a drive-thru McDonald's, especially at his prices.

 

I think we're going to see Houston's first "Miami" condo building. 100% sold but 30% occupied.

 

I think you're attaching way too much importance to what is next door.  It's not like they will be fighting with McDonald's for parking sports.

 

People are going to buy for the proximity to the Galleria and surrounding area.

 

Any if you think this will be one of the first condos in the area that has a ton of foreign owners, you haven't been paying attention.

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I think you're attaching way too much importance to what is next door.  It's not like they will be fighting with McDonald's for parking sports.

 

People are going to buy for the proximity to the Galleria and surrounding area.

 

Any if you think this will be one of the first condos in the area that has a ton of foreign owners, you haven't been paying attention.

i was going to say the exact same thing... i'd venture to guess the majority of condos in this area have a decent percentage of foreign national ownership, many of whom are not there a lot of the time.

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Interestingly enough that crappy two story apartment building is for sale and has been for quite a while.

 

Someone know the listing price?

 

Let's cut to the chase; the only reason this tower MIGHT be built is due to foreign buyers "investing" in this property and getting into the USA.

 

No sane resident of the USA is going to move into a Randall Davis building that shares a lot with a drive-thru McDonald's, especially at his prices.

 

I think we're going to see Houston's first "Miami" condo building. 100% sold but 30% occupied.

 

Kinkaid Alum is not too prescient...and not familiar with this project's market.

 

I think you're attaching way too much importance to what is next door.  It's not like they will be fighting with McDonald's for parking sports.

 

People are going to buy for the proximity to the Galleria and surrounding area.

 

Any if you think this will be one of the first condos in the area that has a ton of foreign owners, you haven't been paying attention.

 

Very well put, each of your points.

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Ha.

 

The changes in the EB-5 visa program in 2011 have changed the game. The Astoria is the first Houston project to actively seek this type of foreign investment.

 

Will it work?

 

Short term- yes, the building will likely be built on the backs of people "investing" in job creation by buying units and allowing for construction to commence.

 

Long term- much riskier. The Houston high rise market is a tough nut to crack and this building's price points (starting at $1 million) are quite high, especially since the main competition all offer more bang for the buck with properties, sprawling yards, dog runs, tennis courts, in ground pools, and more whereas this one will share a small lot with a fast food joint. 

 

 

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Ha.

The changes in the EB-5 visa program in 2011 have changed the game. The Astoria is the first Houston project to actively seek this type of foreign investment.

Will it work?

Short term- yes, the building will likely be built on the backs of people "investing" in job creation by buying units and allowing for construction to commence.

Long term- much riskier. The Houston high rise market is a tough nut to crack and this building's price points (starting at $1 million) are quite high, especially since the main competition all offer more bang for the buck with properties, sprawling yards, dog runs, tennis courts, in ground pools, and more whereas this one will share a small lot with a fast food joint.

But they don't start at $1 million. The unit pricing starts in the $590s.

Edited by Houston19514
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Ha.

 

The changes in the EB-5 visa program in 2011 have changed the game. The Astoria is the first Houston project to actively seek this type of foreign investment.

 

Will it work?

 

Short term- yes, the building will likely be built on the backs of people "investing" in job creation by buying units and allowing for construction to commence.

 

Long term- much riskier. The Houston high rise market is a tough nut to crack and this building's price points (starting at $1 million) are quite high, especially since the main competition all offer more bang for the buck with properties, sprawling yards, dog runs, tennis courts, in ground pools, and more whereas this one will share a small lot with a fast food joint. 

while what you said is likely true i've heard that Astoria may actually be restructuring its loan to lean less heavily on the visa program due to higher than anticipated local demand.

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Ha.

 

The changes in the EB-5 visa program in 2011 have changed the game. The Astoria is the first Houston project to actively seek this type of foreign investment.

 

Will it work?

 

Short term- yes, the building will likely be built on the backs of people "investing" in job creation by buying units and allowing for construction to commence.

 

Long term- much riskier. The Houston high rise market is a tough nut to crack and this building's price points (starting at $1 million) are quite high, especially since the main competition all offer more bang for the buck with properties, sprawling yards, dog runs, tennis courts, in ground pools, and more whereas this one will share a small lot with a fast food joint. 

 

The EB-5 program is not based on getting foreign investors to buy condo units.  It is based on getting foreign investors to invest in the partnership that will build/develop the building.  Minimum investment:  $1 Million. That is probably the source of your confusion about the starting prices of the condo units.

 

Most high-rise condos in Houston do not offer all the amenities you list above.  All have swimming pools.   Few have tennis courts. The Astoria appears to be quite competitve with the other offerings in town (e.g., 2727 Kirby, Cosmpolitan...)

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But they don't start at $1 million. The unit pricing starts in the $590s.

 

 

while what you said is likely true i've heard that Astoria may actually be restructuring its loan to lean less heavily on the visa program due to higher than anticipated local demand.

 

 

The EB-5 program is not based on getting foreign investors to buy condo units.  It is based on getting foreign investors to invest in the partnership that will build/develop the building.  Minimum investment:  $1 Million. That is probably the source of your confusion about the starting prices of the condo units.

 

Most high-rise condos in Houston do not offer all the amenities you list above.  All have swimming pools.   Few have tennis courts. The Astoria appears to be quite competitve with the other offerings in town (e.g., 2727 Kirby, Cosmpolitan...)

 

All very well put.

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The Huntingdon, The Spires, Four Leaf Towers, Montebello, Villa d'Este, Woodway Place, The Parklane, Hermann Towers, Bayou Bend, The Bristol, The Houstonian, Regency House, the St Clair, and the St James all have tennis courts. Most of them have resort style pools too. More than half of those listed have their own grounds with things like dog runs. The buildings that don't have large grounds tend to be located next to parks (Hermann, Tanglewood, Memorial) and none of them share property with a drive-thru fast food joint.

 

 

 

 

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The best comp is the Cosmopolitan across the street. As ugly as it is, it sold quite well. People with money who are willing to put up with Galleria area traffic just for the perceived prestige are not necessarily rational buyers.

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The Huntingdon, The Spires, Four Leaf Towers, Montebello, Villa d'Este, Woodway Place, The Parklane, Hermann Towers, Bayou Bend, The Bristol, The Houstonian, Regency House, the St Clair, and the St James all have tennis courts. Most of them have resort style pools too. More than half of those listed have their own grounds with things like dog runs. The buildings that don't have large grounds tend to be located next to parks (Hermann, Tanglewood, Memorial) and none of them share property with a drive-thru fast food joint.

 

As I said, most Houston high-rise condo buildings do not have tennis courts and even fewer have sprawling yards and dog runs.   Thanks for confirming. 

 

All evidence says that the Astoria will indeed offer condo units that are competitive in the market.

 

You apparently have some problem with Randall Davis and his developments, so we'll mark you down as not interested in purchasing a unit at The Astoria.  

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The best comp is the Cosmopolitan across the street. As ugly as it is, it sold quite well. People with money who are willing to put up with Galleria area traffic just for the perceived prestige are not necessarily rational buyers.

 

Some people think differently and have different priorities than you. That does not make them irrational.

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I think 11 replies to refute Kinkaid's assertions and predictions are enough....

 

Does anyone see much of a market for mid/high rise condominium living off Post Oak or nearby at a lower density/higher price point than Astoria?  (2727, Monetebello, Huntingdon).   

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The Huntingdon, The Spires, Four Leaf Towers, Montebello, Villa d'Este, Woodway Place, The Parklane, Hermann Towers, Bayou Bend, The Bristol, The Houstonian, Regency House, the St Clair, and the St James all have tennis courts. Most of them have resort style pools too. More than half of those listed have their own grounds with things like dog runs. The buildings that don't have large grounds tend to be located next to parks (Hermann, Tanglewood, Memorial) and none of them share property with a drive-thru fast food joint.

 

how many of these were built in the past 20 years?  I see two, and they are in the same development.

 

Current land costs make sprawling complexes in high density areas impractical.  The added expense for these tennis courts and dog runs is just not worth it from a cost/benefit standpoint.

Edited by diggity

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2013 05 18:  Weekly update.  Sign now says 45% sold.  They have been doing work on site between 11pm and 6am the last few nights.  No one is pleased.  

 

IMG_1831_zps74461f74.jpg

 

 

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 While I understand business is business, to me this setup is just plain moronic.

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I'm hoping that the McDonalds land will end up in a few years being bought up by someone who also buys that small old apartment complex behind it, and makes it a new complex with a little front entrance out on Post Oak. Seems like the only real option for future development of this space now. The property is too small to do much else with.

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I'm hoping that the McDonalds land will end up in a few years being bought up by someone who also buys that small old apartment complex behind it, and makes it a new complex with a little front entrance out on Post Oak. Seems like the only real option for future development of this space now. The property is too small to do much else with.

 

Why would you think it's too small to do much else with?  It's bigger than the next-door property on which a 25 story condo tower is about to be built...

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Why would you think it's too small to do much else with?  It's bigger than the next-door property on which a 25 story condo tower is about to be built...

 

The fact that it is right next to the Astoria pretty much negates any chance of something being built UP very much on this site. While there are no real restrictions against it, this isn't NYC, so I don't see anyone building a tower that will be three feet away from a condo tower right next to it. They could probably build up to about the top of whatever the garage height of the Astoria is, and that severely limits the site's potential.

Edited by Golyadkin

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I don't think there is a law against building something tall right next to it, but neither tenant facing the other building would be too happy.

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I don't think there is a law against building something tall right next to it, but neither tenant facing the other building would be too happy.

 

There may not be a law against it, but if I were the developer here, I would not have purchased the land from McDonald's unless McDonald's agreed to a height restriction on their remaining land to prevent any development that would adversely affect Astoria. 

 

You would have to check the real property records to be sure, but it would be a major oversight if Randall Davis didn't secure such a restriction. 

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It would interesting to know who owns the McDonald's franchise and the land.  If the same entity owns both, I'm sure they/it will make lots of money from operating it over the next few years and then selling the land.

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It would interesting to know who owns the McDonald's franchise and the land. If the same entity owns both, I'm sure they/it will make lots of money from operating it over the next few years and then selling the land.

I don't think that McDonalds will be going anywhere anytime soon. I can think of 4 fairly large properties that have been for sale for quite sometime in that area. Maybe once those properties are finally sold and developed/redeveloped maybe then there will be enough demand in that area for the McDonald's to be sold and redeveloped.

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There may not be a law against it, but if I were the developer here, I would not have purchased the land from McDonald's unless McDonald's agreed to a height restriction on their remaining land to prevent any development that would adversely affect Astoria. 

 

You would have to check the real property records to be sure, but it would be a major oversight if Randall Davis didn't secure such a restriction. 

 

No major oversight - no oversight, at all, actually.   McDonalds has too much leverage in this deal.  The site has the value.   Not that it is impossible, but good luck preventing a next-door development from general "adverse effect" of your development....too many things a development can do that can adversely affect your adjacent development.   

 

It would interesting to know who owns the McDonald's franchise and the land.  If the same entity owns both, I'm sure they/it will make lots of money from operating it over the next few years and then selling the land.

 

I would presume McDonald's owns the land and the franchisee rents from McDonalds.   Regarding selling the land, remember the hackneyed Ray Kroc quote about McDonalds being in the real estate business.

 

I don't think that McDonalds will be going anywhere anytime soon. I can think of 4 fairly large properties that have been for sale for quite sometime in that area. Maybe once those properties are finally sold and developed/redeveloped maybe then there will be enough demand in that area for the McDonald's to be sold and redeveloped.

 

The best thing the new remaining McDonalds site has going for it is that it is not as large as these other sites - aka it is cheaper.   The hard part will be getting something more profitable on that small site that is feasible to build/exist on it.  

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From these last few posts, it seems as if Astoria isn't going to be built. Is my assumption correct?

 

No, the plan is still for it to get built. Apparently they're almost halfway pre-sold now, so things seem to be moving in that direction. I think they are discussing if someone were to buy the McDonald's property after the Astoria got built. If that happened and there was no height restriction, someone could feasibly put another tower right next to the Astoria that would adversely affect the views from one side of both buildings.

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OK. Thanks for the clarification. That's a really lovely tower. It would be a shame if it weren't built. It would be amazing if this tower matched the Williams tower in height. Seeing the crown on this building (from a long distance at night) at a higher height would be awesome.

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2013 05 18:  Weekly update.  Sign now says 45% sold.  They have been doing work on site between 11pm and 6am the last few nights.  No one is pleased.  

 

IMG_1831_zps74461f74.jpg

 

They initially were shooting for a May opening, so I imagine the night work is to try to finish by the end of the month.

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No major oversight - no oversight, at all, actually.   McDonalds has too much leverage in this deal.  The site has the value.   Not that it is impossible, but good luck preventing a next-door development from general "adverse effect" of your development....too many things a development can do that can adversely affect your adjacent development.   

 

This is nonsense.

 

The leverage in a voluntary business transaction is primarily money. Whoever owned the McDonald's land felt like it was wise to redevelop the restaurant and monetize a portion of the lot. In this case, it is perfectly reasonable that the seller agree to a height restriction on its remaining land as part of the benefit of the bargain to purchaser, who would probably pay a little more for its lot because it has the benefit of the height restriction on seller's remaining land.

 

You cannot immunize yourself completely from adverse effects of adjacent development, but restrictions and covenants can mitigate a lot of adverse effects and are imposed all the time. In fact, since most McDonald's locations in the Houston area are located on shopping center pad sites, I presume that most McDonald's locations in the Houston area have height restrictions since shopping center owners typically won't sell a pad site without imposting a 20-30ft height restriction.  

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This is nonsense.

 

The leverage in a voluntary business transaction is primarily money. Whoever owned the McDonald's land felt like it was wise to redevelop the restaurant and monetize a portion of the lot. In this case, it is perfectly reasonable that the seller agree to a height restriction on its remaining land as part of the benefit of the bargain to purchaser, who would probably pay a little more for its lot because it has the benefit of the height restriction on seller's remaining land.

 

You cannot immunize yourself completely from adverse effects of adjacent development, but restrictions and covenants can mitigate a lot of adverse effects and are imposed all the time. In fact, since most McDonald's locations in the Houston area are located on shopping center pad sites, I presume that most McDonald's locations in the Houston area have height restrictions since shopping center owners typically won't sell a pad site without imposting a 20-30ft height restriction.  

 

1.  You obviously have no idea what you are talking about.  It was not done, and for the exact reason I stated - the leverage.   

 

 

2.  Who claimed restrictions and covenants are not imposed "all the time" ?   You, apparently, did not read or did not follow my statement - so I will repeat one line of it - "good luck preventing a next-door development from general "adverse effect" of your development. "GENERAL 'adverse effect' " - not specific.   There is always a way an adjacent development can adversely affect your property.

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1.  You obviously have no idea what you are talking about.  It was not done, and for the exact reason I stated - the leverage.   

 

 

2.  Who claimed restrictions and covenants are not imposed "all the time" ?   You, apparently, did not read or did not follow my statement - so I will repeat one line of it - "good luck preventing a next-door development from general "adverse effect" of your development. "GENERAL 'adverse effect' " - not specific.   There is always a way an adjacent development can adversely affect your property.

 

1. I never claimed that I know whether height restrictions were imposed or not. What I did say is that it would have been wise for the developer to obtain them. Do you know what was done? If so, could you please share with the group what restrictions were imposed on the McDondald's lot? It took me all of two minutes to find that a 12 page agreement likely concerning restrictions was imposed pursuant to Harris County Clerk's File No. 20120583367. Since you claim that I don't know what I'm talking about, I presume that you have this document and don't mind posting it so that we can settle this silly argument.

 

2. My original post intended to refer to the adverse effects of height. I apologize if that wasn't clear. Since your reply discussed adverse effects generally, I pointed out that generally, adverse effects are dealt with through restrictions and covenants all the time.

Edited by nate

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1. I never claimed that I know whether height restrictions were imposed or not. What I did say is that it would have been wise for the developer to obtain them. Do you know what was done? If so, could you please share with the group what restrictions were imposed on the McDondald's lot? It took me all of two minutes to find that a 12 page agreement concerning restrictions was imposed pursuant to Harris County Clerk's File No. 20120583367. Since you claim that I don't know what I'm talking about, I presume that you have this document and don't mind posting it so that we can settle this silly argument.

 

2. My original post intended to refer to the adverse effects of height. I apologize if that wasn't clear. Since your reply discussed adverse effects generally, I pointed out that generally, adverse effects are dealt with through restrictions and covenants all the time.

 

1.  Of course it would be "wise for the developer to obtain them".   It would also be wise for the developer to get first right of refusal on a sale of the remaining McDonalds property.   It would be wise for the developer to obtain any restriction he can on the adjacent property - and as I keep telling you, that was not going to happen - because of McDonalds having the LEVERAGE because the site has the value here.   If you do not believe it, I could not care less.   The only thing silly thing here is that you are talking academically about a deal with details that you do not know about and your generalizing is inaccurate.   "Perfectly reasonable that the seller agree..." - not at all.   McDonalds has too much leverage in the deal.   "Who would probably pay a little more for its lot" - not at all, was not going to happen.

 

Your academic generalizations do not accurately describe this deal and the leverage in it.   Of course the buyer wants to institute every restriction he can on the McDonalds site.   Of course the buyer wants to put in a height restriction.   And, as I said in my post that you have continued to argue with -  

     

       "No major oversight - no oversight, at all, actually.   McDonalds has too much leverage in this deal.              

        The site has the value.   Not that it is impossible, but good luck preventing a next-door development  

        from general "adverse effect" of your development....too many things a development can do that  

        can adversely affect your adjacent development."   

 

You have gone from taking an academic and obvious approach at looking at how to buy a property to extrapolating what is "nonsense" in this deal, "perfectly reasonable" in this deal, that the buyer would "probably pay a little more" in this deal,  and then trying to rebut my comment about "good luck preventing .....general 'adverse effect'..." by stating that some restrictions and covenants are implemented "all the time" - which does not rebut what I said, at ALL - I said good luck preventing GENERAL "adverse effect".   When you use subjective "nonsense", "perfectly reasonable", and "probably pay a little more" claims in a deal that you obviously do not know about, that is when your argument goes awry.   

 

2.  Your request for a document between the seller and buyer to be posted on HAIF is not going to get any more of a response than this.   Get serious.

Edited by JWW

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1.  Of course it would be "wise for the developer to obtain them".   It would also be wise for the developer to get first right of refusal on a sale of the remaining McDonalds property.   It would be wise for the developer to obtain any restriction he can on the adjacent property - and as I keep telling you, that was not going to happen - because of McDonalds having the LEVERAGE because the site has the value here.   If you do not believe it, I could not care less.   The only thing silly thing here is that you are talking academically about a deal with details that you do not know about and your generalizing is inaccurate.   "Perfectly reasonable that the seller agree..." - not at all.   McDonalds has too much leverage in the deal.   "Who would probably pay a little more for its lot" - not at all, was not going to happen.

 

Your academic generalizations do not accurately describe this deal and the leverage in it.   Of course the buyer wants to institute every restriction he can on the McDonalds site.   Of course the buyer wants to put in a height restriction.   And, as I said in my post that you have continued to argue with -  

     

       "No major oversight - no oversight, at all, actually.   McDonalds has too much leverage in this deal.              

        The site has the value.   Not that it is impossible, but good luck preventing a next-door development  

        from general "adverse effect" of your development....too many things a development can do that  

        can adversely affect your adjacent development."   

 

You have gone from taking an academic and obvious approach at looking at how to buy a property to extrapolating what is "nonsense" in this deal, "perfectly reasonable" in this deal, that the buyer would "probably pay a little more" in this deal,  and then trying to rebut my comment about "good luck preventing .....general 'adverse effect'..." by stating that some restrictions and covenants are implemented "all the time" - which does not rebut what I said, at ALL - I said good luck preventing GENERAL "adverse effect".   When you use subjective "nonsense", "perfectly reasonable", and "probably pay a little more" claims in a deal that you obviously do not know about, that is when your argument goes awry.   

 

2.  Your request for a document between the seller and buyer to be posted on HAIF is not going to get any more of a response than this.   Get serious.

 

1. See my post above. The leverage is primarily the money. The right to develop a tall building is a valuable right, but land owners will give up that right in exchange for money or other rights. As I said before, it would be wise for Mr. Davis to demand as a part of the bargain that McDonald's right to develop a tall building be forfeited. That kind of exchange is done all the time.

 

2. The document is filed for public record and is available to anyone who wants to read it. In fact, the document was filed specifically because they want people to read it. All you have to do is go down to the Harris County Clerk's office or hire an abstractor to pull it.

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