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The Buzz On Binz at La Branch


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Cheers to all...lurker here for about a year and decided to start posting since I have heard nothing about this development at the corner of Binz and La Branch across from the Children's Museum. Sign on the property has a high-rise and says it's condo and medical office? Just wondering if anyone has any info...next time I am out I will snap a photo of the sign and post.

Edited by BuilderGeek
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I've noticed that sign a few times too. That's my route to UH. I think I first noticed the sign in September. It seemed like a weird spot for office space though since it was several blocks away from the medical offices near the Park Plaza and seemed to be smack dab in the middle of a residential hood. That's Houston for ya though!

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This is the one by WC Perry, I think. it will compliment Mosaic nicely. There is a story in the Chron somewhere....

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I thought Perry's development was going to be East of 288? The one with medical office space and two hotels?

This site is near the Children's Museum on Binz West of 288. I don't think they are one in the same.

I think you're right. According to the Chron article announcing the Perry project and Mosaic, Perry is on the east side. No info here as of yet.

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Some info from Shasta at SSP.

O.K. found out the scoop on the mystery proposal near the Children's Museum at the northwest corner of Binz @ LaBranch...

There's a rendering on-site and a phone number. I called. A really nice guy in Manhattan answered. The developers are calling themselves binzmedcorp. They expect a website to be up and running in about a month at www.binzmedcorp.com

Details are...

35 floors

ground level retail including a bank and a STARBUCKS (will make a killing in the museum district) that are supposedly signed on already

medical office space to serve the Park Plaza Hospital nearby

for sale condos

This would be a HUGE boon to the area to go along with the Hotel ZaZa, Asia House, and possible expansions to the Children's Museum and MFAH.

Construction to begin in 6-8 months with a late 2007 opening.

Edited by WesternGulf
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Yeah and then one developer will get excited and think he or she is really cool and open up a strip mall. That area in Houston is the only decent area in Houston where zoning looks in place somewhat.

Almeda could get some strip mall action if as land is probably still cheap enough, but I have no idea if it is or not.

The downside of this 35 story project is that it will mean the end for a lot of those potentially fine old homes still lingering in the South Midtown, East Museum District area. I love the high rises and new developments but we have few older neighborhoods left with decent housing stock.

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I agree with you about the houses. There are some really great 1920s/30s homes back there that are in great shape. That said, this particular proposal is for a vacant lot that sits across from a surface parking lot that serves the Children's Museum. I hope that surface lot is where the rumored CM's expansion will take place. It ruins the streetscape right now.

The Asia House proposal is also for land currently vacant as is the Mosaic.

However, the townhome movement has caused quite a few of the older homes to go by the wayside, although, to be fair, many that have been lost were in horrible condition and had been turned into duplexes/fourplexes years ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Binz Street's future keeps looking up

Developers move into hot spot with big plans for condominiums and high-rises

By NANCY SARNOFF

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

The area around Binz Street near the Texas Medical Center is a logical place for new residential development because of its parks, museums and proximity to downtown.

A few builders have already started to change this urban neighborhood

by replacing older single-family homes, duplexes and run-down apartment buildings with pricey townhomes.

Now it's the turn of high-rise developers. Just a few months after a 28-story condominium project was announced for a site on Almeda, another developer is testing the waters for what could be an even taller building nearby.

New York developer Peter Sareyani has bought about a half-acre of land at Binz and LaBranch for a tower that could stand 35 stories. Sareyani said he has developed smaller commercial projects in Houston and built 26 high-rises in New York. He wouldn't say how much he paid for the Binz parcel, but he expects land prices in the area to hit $100 per square foot within a year.

In addition to condos, which would sell for between $300 to $350 per square foot, Sareyani said the project could include some medical space.

But at this early point, Sareyani added, "it's so hard to say what will actually happen there."

Sareyani is in negotiations with a bank on an adjacent site to acquire its land for the project.

A possible deal would relocate the bank into the proposed building.

He said he believes the project is viable because of its location near the Main Street rail line, the Medical Center and downtown.

Phillips Development & Realty and Wood Partners of Atlanta apparently feel the same way about the area.

The group is developing the twin-tower Mosaic project at 5925 Almeda Road.

It's expected to have 788 residential units and 25,000 square feet of retail space when it opens in 2007.

Chronicle link

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I wonder if they are talking about the sign that's up on an empty lot on Binz across from the Children's Museum. The sign advertises a highrise condo of some sort. I can't really make out the design but it's been there less than three months.

Yeah I saw that. It must be the same one. It's great to see improvement along Binz. For a long time that street was kind of run-down, but the neighborhood has great potential.

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  • 3 weeks later...
^^^ agreed. i see almeda becoming the next kirby - a vibrant and active corridor between hcc/midtown and the tmc.

Indeed - I'm new to Houston and live on Prospect near Almeda, a couple blocks from Asia House. I read an article recently in 002/Envy/one of the culture mags (Novemeber 05?) that our neighborhood is the next big thing.

Would love to work on getting some conservation guidelines in place for the Binz neighborhood (SN #66). There is some terrific architecture and Deco that needs to be preserved, as the townhouse movement is now going full force there (some of it attractive and museum-district appropriate, most of it cheap, cookie cutter and disruptive). Also, the pedestrian connections to Hermann Park could be strengthened south of Binz.

Is there a neighborhood plan already in place? Considering what is happening to the Deco HISD building on W. Grey, it would be a shame to see the cluster of Moderne and Deco buildings in the Binz/MacGregor neighborhoods fall by the wayside.

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i've admired many of the homes in your neighborhood for a number of years.

contact:

greater houston preservation alliance at www.ghpa.org

houston heights association at www.houstonheights.org/citypreservation.htm

any other historical neighborhood association might have information you could use.

i've often wondered if an older neighborhood could establish a homeowner's association in order to preserve structures or the historic "look" of it's surrounding areas.

keep us posted on what you learn. good luck.

oh, and welcome to the forum.

moderators, these last two posts might enjoy greater discussion in a new thread. do you have the "power"? ;)

Edited by bachanon
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^^^ agreed. i see almeda becoming the next kirby - a vibrant and active corridor between hcc/midtown and the tmc.

I agree, too. We are about to move over to S Midtown next to HCC and are really stoked about being in the middle to all the action around the Gray and Brazos area to the North, along with having the Almeda area pick up equidistant to the South. Plus each area has its own unique vibe. Not only is it fun to cruise to those areas on the weekends, but also we'll pass through on the way to work in the Med Center and Downtown. We didn't really discover this area until after we decided on the house, so it was a great surprise. There is so much space in between Elgin and Hermann Park with outstanding potential.

Edited by bwj
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  • 2 weeks later...

This development will be great! While the points about some of the unique architecture in this District are valid, I think the homes that are being torned down were either rat colonies or in dire need of major rennovations! I can't wait to see how all the new developments (townhouses, condos, etc.) look when they are completed.

Also, the upcoming Starbucks is a fantastic addition to the neighborhood. I had emailed Starbucks last summer suggesting a new shop on Binz! Their reply at that time was very optimistic. Maybe they listened to me? :rolleyes:

Edited by chibimaru
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A neighborhood can form an association and then set up deed restrictions. I do not know governing laws in tx for this, but the reason say winlow or mandel place (two montrose subdivisions) do not have the proliferation of townhomes is that they both are heavily deed restricted. Deed restrictions can cover any number of important things, including but not limited to:

1. The type of buildings you can construct (single family, multi-family, town homes commercial)

2. The use for the property i.e. only residential, one family, no duplexes, etc or even if they canhave a single family with a home office and if so do they restrict the type of business or the number of visitors

3. Very importantly - type of construction and materials to be used i.e. 60% brick etc. which is how many neighborhoods maintain architectural cohesiveness

4. In some heavily restricted areas, even the type of landscaping is dictated

You have to research the subdivision and then find the retsrictions. A good title agent can usually help a lot with that.

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  • 4 months later...
Cheers to all...lurker here for about a year and decided to start posting since I have heard nothing about this development at the corner of Binz and La Branch across from the Children's Museum. Sign on the property has a high-rise and says it's condo and medical office? Just wondering if anyone has any info...next time I am out I will snap a photo of the sign and post.

125pf1s.jpg

From the Chronicle

By NANCY SARNOFF

Switch to medical tower

A developer who had planned to build an upscale residential tower near the Museum District and the Medical Center has changed course. Instead of selling places to live, he now wants to sell places to work.

Peter Sareyani, a New York developer who owns almost an acre on Binz between Austin and LaBranch, said he plans to build a medical tower where doctors can buy office space as well as share in the profits of a surgical center. The building will also include hotel-type suites for recovering patients.

The 2,500-square-foot office will cost about $750,000.

Before the building breaks ground, about 30 doctors must commit to buying space there. So far, Sareyani said he has about 18 nailed down.

And he's still negotiating with a group to manage the property and its medical operations.

Ziegler Cooper Architects has designed the building, which could have 12 to 14 stories, with the top levels used for upscale recovery suites.

Sareyani envisions the facility catering primarily to plastic and orthopedic surgeons.

He said there's a demand for space where patients can see their doctors, undergo minor surgery and recover all in one facility.

"I think it will shorten time for everyone and be more profitable for the doctor," said Sareyani, president of Binz Medcorp.

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I spoke with the developer this morning. Business seems solid, and although a lot of the details are still very much up in the air, he's hoping for groundbreaking in about six to eight months. I didn't get the sense that the tower would be quite as tall as it had initially been proposed, though.

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So does anybody know if this is actually going to happen? I am considering moving into that neighborhood and just wondering what itmight be like in 3-5 years if I end up staying...

An urban style starbucks sounds good to me.

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I emailed the developer, he says it's on track for this year, but that's about it. The email address on the webpage (www.binzmedcorp.com) was an @msn.com address, not too professional for something of this scale.

By the way, could we merge the threads?

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I just noticed that they cut down all of the trees on the site last week. It used to be a jungle on that lot. Any idea what's going on? My guess was that this project was dead a long time ago, and the current financial situation makes it even less likely that anything is happening, but I'm wondering why they clear cut the lot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am a close friend of the new owners of this property and they tell me they cleared the lot because of letters they received from the HPD Neighborhood Protection to clean up the property. No one was sure why HPD would care, but my friends were threatened with a fine.

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I am a close friend of the new owners of this property and they tell me they cleared the lot because of letters they received from the HPD Neighborhood Protection to clean up the property. No one was sure why HPD would care, but my friends were threatened with a fine.

Thanks for the info, Dalai... now, the next question has to be, what are your friends going to do with the property, and when? Inquiring HAIFers want to know!

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