Jump to content

Houston House At 1617 Fannin St.


WesternGulf

Recommended Posts

Looks like Houston Pavilions is already making changes

GlobeSt.com EXCLUSIVE: 394-Unit Downtown Landmark Up for Sale

By Amy Wolff Sorter

Last updated: January 16, 2006 09:27am

HOUSTON-The 394-unit Houston House, a 31-story, 40-year-old landmark, has gone on the block for $28 million. With a $200-million, mixed-use neighbor on the horizon, the time has finally come to end an 11-year hold, the owner's broker says.

Houston House, located at 1617 Fannin St., will be marketed exclusively to condominium converters. "Everyone in town has been trying to get hold of this building for years, mainly because the area is booming and it's across the street from what's likely to become a retail-and-office complex," William Forrest, senior investment adviser in Houston for Sperry Van Ness, tells GlobeSt.com. "The location is likely to generate a lot of demand from the residential side, from people who will want to walk to work and their entertainment."

Just recently, William Denton of California and Geoffrey Jones, a local developer and broker, paid more than $20 million for three blocks of buildings to develop Houston Pavilions, a 360,000-sf project with high-end retail, entertainment, condominium and office space. The development site is bordered by Main, Caroline, Dallas and Polk streets. As a result, demand is booming for residential properties in the neighborhood.

"There aren't many 30-story residential properties in Downtown Houston. Most of them are loft conversions," says Forrest, who with Sperry Van Ness' Bruce Ripper, is representing Houston House's seller. "Basically, whoever gets this and converts it will make a mint."

Forrest says Houston House's owner, H.H. Paseo, a local general partnership led by Larry Hill, purchased the property in 1985 for a long-time hold. "Right now, they're in a position to sell it," he says, citing the difference in its marketability from a few years ago. Not only has the Houston Pavilions' plan made the 86%-leased multifamily complex a hot property, but several of its owners are ready to retire from real estate investment, according to Forrest.

Houston House, situated on a little more than a half acre, is a mix of 40 efficiencies, 257 one-bedroom units and 57 two-bedroom apartments. Units range from 428 sf to a 4,150-sf loft. Monthly rents go from $750 to $4,150.

http://www.globest.com/news/454_454/houston/142011-1.html

Edited by WesternGulf
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little TLC would do wonders for it.

Yeah, like adding plug outlets to the bathrooms? My boyfriend lived here in '98 and that was pretty annoying. And the one time the elevators broke all day - he lived on the 28th floor.

Great views though, they could definitely do wonders to that place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Yea well I live here an this place sucks. At least 1 elevator breaks every day, the pools been closed since 4ever (year round heating my ass), they cut the water off every wednesday, management likes 2 play hide and seek, and they raised ev1s rent. Can't beat the view though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have some experience with condo conversions. I think whoever buys to convert to condos will most likely have a long hard sell. There were only 100 sales in downtown all year in 2005 and of those, nearly 25% were under 100k. There are currently over 125 units listed on the market downtown, this doesn't include units not listed on the mls at buildings such as St. Germain and Commerce. If you add the Houston House, you will have 400 more units which brings it to over 500 units for an area that is only absorbing about 75 units a year over 100K. That is a min. of a five year absorption, but most likely it will take them longer to sell out unless their prices are very very low.

Just my opinion though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have some experience with condo conversions. I think whoever buys to convert to condos will most likely have a long hard sell. There were only 100 sales in downtown all year in 2005 and of those, nearly 25% were under 100k. There are currently over 125 units listed on the market downtown, this doesn't include units not listed on the mls at buildings such as St. Germain and Commerce. If you add the Houston House, you will have 400 more units which brings it to over 500 units for an area that is only absorbing about 75 units a year over 100K. That is a min. of a five year absorption, but most likely it will take them longer to sell out unless their prices are very very low.

Just my opinion though.

I believe Commerce and St. Germain are both on MLS. But assuming your sales figures for 2005 are correct, your point is still a good one. Where can we see sales figures for 2005? Do you suppose sales will pick up as the park and Houston Pavilions come together? If not, what else is holding back condo sales in downtown?

One other thing that may help an absorption time-line for a possible converter... It seems possible they would convert the 394 apartments into some smaller-number of condos.

Edited by Houston19514
Link to comment
Share on other sites

St Germain and Commerce are both listed, but very often agents at these properties will not list the entire inventory - they'll just put a portion in that is representative of everything they have.

I think the problem with downtown is a chicken-egg problem. They want people to pay a real premium to be downtown, when in reality it is a transitional neighborhood. They need to up the pop. by incentivizing people to move down there and they need to seriously incentivize retailers to go down there by giving away a year or two on a five yr. lease so that there are the basic services (dry cleaners, grocery etc.) available to residents. Retail doesn't want to move down b/c there is not enough people. people don't want to move down b/c there is no good retail, and besides why should I pay that much moeny to live there when it is a ghost town. People who are developing down there should look at some case studies like SOHO, Williamsburg or Dumbo in NYC to see how these developed - what elements were crucial for their redevelopment and start thinking about how to get those elements and market them effectively.

Sales figures for 2005 are available on MLS. Will sales pick up - I think so, will these other projects move forward, I don't know I guess. I am a skeptic when it comes to downtown.

I do agree that they can reduce the number of units by combining some, but it is still a lot of SF to sell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes if enough projects are announced they create their own momentum. People tend to feel comfortable if they know other projects will happen. On the flip side, you don't want a glut of available stock. But I believe for the immediate future, new projects will only help create a better residential environment. I'm not saying commercial services wouldn't help the situation.

Edited by SMUrban
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe Commerce and St. Germain are both on MLS. But assuming your sales figures for 2005 are correct, your point is still a good one. Where can we see sales figures for 2005? Do you suppose sales will pick up as the park and Houston Pavilions come together? If not, what else is holding back condo sales in downtown?

One other thing that may help an absorption time-line for a possible converter... It seems possible they would convert the 394 apartments into some smaller-number of condos.

Shirleysanders.com publishes statistics on high rise units on the market and what has sold in each building. Excellent reference information on that market. You can see how many sold in a particular building last year as compared to how many are currently on the market in that building. This will give you an estimate of how many months supply is available.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Any word on projected prices for units in the Houston House condo conversion?

Great question. Will the market accept 8-ft. ceilings? 3525 Sage has just come on the market and it also has 8-ft. ceilings. If the Houston House units are priced right I guess the ceiling height may not matter.

It will be interesting to see if Houston House and Raiders Lofts come on the market at all and if so, at what price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have heard that the condos that would be converted in the project would be in the lower price range bracket with the majority being between...$100,000 to $200,000. per unit and that there is a possibility that the new owners will combine several of the units as they have already done so in just renting current units.

I have also heard they are planning to put almost 10-12 million in the renovation of the project.

Current sources show that at this time there are less than 100 units available vbtw the 100-300K. And 50 of those units are brand new this year. Last year alone 50 were sold in downtown and the momentum is picking up with several units already being sold this year, such as the St Germain lofts being sold out.

I think this coversion along with the new Houston pavillions project will bring a lot to downtown. Of course it may take several years to sell out..because it is a lot of square footage but I think the price range they are planning to sell at is good for downtown and will incentivize people to move there. It will be located only 3 blocks for the Houston pavillions offering retail to the immediate area. You gotta start somewhere

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
Any word on projected prices for units in the Houston House condo conversion?

Chicago firm to restore Houston House's glitz

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/busine...ff/5270371.html

A Chicago real estate firm is buying downtown's Houston House Apartments with plans to spruce up the 41-year-old building...

"We're going to bring it back to luxury status," said Claude Jones, director of acquisitions for NVG Residential, which is expected to close on the property in January.

Jones said the renovations will include new windows and an exterior paint job. The lobby will be fixed up, as well as the building's ninth- and 10th-floor amenity areas, which will have an updated club house, a fitness and business center, a pool, a basketball court and an outdoor dining area.

I didn't read anything about the renovation of the rooms, but maybe that goes w/o being said?

Edited by lockmat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know what the occupancy rate for it is?

According to the Chronicle article the Houston House is at 90% occupancy. I live across the street in the Beaconsfield, and judging by the apartments in the Houston House, which are lit in the evening I think 90% is a credible number.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to the Chronicle article the Houston House is at 90% occupancy. I live across the street in the Beaconsfield, and judging by the apartments in the Houston House, which are lit in the evening I think 90% is a credible number.

I agree with this. I jog downtown every evening, and can see the same thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a buddy that recently moved out of the Houston House, and per my almost weekly visits, I can tell you that the 90% vacancy is right.

The amenity floors they spoke of in the article will be a nice change as the B-ball court, and pool need upgrading desperately. I do love the B-ball court though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
Apparently not if you drive through the exit

What kind of stupid comment was that? :rolleyes:

Or was that a lame attempt at trolling?

APPARENTLY you CAN'T drive through the exit,

seeing as to how:

A) The exit is a one way, two story ramp with an electronic gate that closes after a car exits and

B ) whoever found you parked in their assigned spot would report you and your car would be towed immediately. And this is all IF you were somehow able to drive OVER or THROUGH the car coming down the ramp and "drive through the exit" gate on time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sign has been there since at least 91. I had a buddy that lived on the 18th floor from 88 to 92, who I regularly visited, and the sign was in place then. Certainly it wouldn't apply to a baseball game since Minute Maid wasn't in existance then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sign has been there since at least 91. I had a buddy that lived on the 18th floor from 88 to 92, who I regularly visited, and the sign was in place then. Certainly it wouldn't apply to a baseball game since Minute Maid wasn't in existance then.

That sign hasn't been there since "at least 91" so you must have been hallucinating. I just spoke with Debra whose worked at Houston House for EIGHTEEN years and she told me the sign wasn't put up until after Enron Field/MMP was completed so CERTAINLY IT DOES APPLY to apply to people going to baseball and basketball games as that was the managements intention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, typical lazy Houstonians. Too lazy to walk or take the train ;-)

Oh come on tubby, like you would walk from Houston House to MMP in the dead heat of a humid Houston summer.

I bet you only leave the air conditioning of your skyscraper during the day under protest and stay in the tunnels like a mole. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sign hasn't been there since "at least 91" so you must have been hallucinating. I just spoke with Debra whose worked at Houston House for EIGHTEEN years and she told me the sign wasn't put up until after Enron Field/MMP was completed so CERTAINLY IT DOES APPLY to apply to people going to baseball and basketball games as that was the managements intention.

I knew Deborah from back in the day and i can tell you that she's wrong. In fact she used to join us for the wine tasting classes they used to have in the lobby.

Anyway, I know for a fact that sign was up in 91 as my buddy Mike and I had a coversation about it while he was moving out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew Deborah from back in the day and i can tell you that she's wrong.

Yea, I think I'll go with the facts from the Houston House staff instead of the story from someone who was a friend of someone who lived in the building for a couple of years a long time ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea, I think I'll go with the facts from the Houston House staff instead of the story from someone who was a friend of someone who lived in the building for a couple of years a long time ago.

I'd probably go with the guy who spends less time posting unfunny pictures through out the forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Off topic but still on the Houston House, have they started the renovations that were talked about a few months ago in the Chron?

No. Condos don't make sense anymore and that was what had been planned.

I would peg the probability of renovations starting sometime in 2009 as being 'very high' (>90%) but as rental apartments, and certainly not done by the same people that were talking about it in the article you mentioned.

Edited by TheNiche
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. Condos don't make sense anymore and that was what had been planned.

I would peg the probability of renovations starting sometime in 2009 as being 'very high' (>90%) but as rental apartments, and certainly not done by the same people that were talking about it in the article you mentioned.

I think the previous poster is referring to a different article than the Niche is referring to. There was an article in the Chronicle near the end of last year stating that the Houston House had been sold and would remain a rental building, but it would be remodeled with new windows, exterior paint, and upgraded common areas.

Update: the article is here: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/busine...ff/5270371.html

Edited by jdbaker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to Houston House At 1617 Fannin St.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...