Jump to content

Recommended Posts

devlopment.jpg

PENDING PROJECTS

At the end of the line

Stubborn area to develop now looks primed with cheap land that's close to the Medical Center

By NANCY SARNOFF

Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

DRIVE around the southern end of Metro's nearly year-old light rail line just outside the South Loop, and what emerges are overgrown tracts of land surrounded by a hodgepodge of warehouses, apartments, AstroWorld and even pumps from an old oil field.

But observers say the area is on the cusp of a development explosion because of its cheap land and proximity to the ever-growing Texas Medical Center.

"The area's been slow to develop," said Bob Parsley of realty firm Colliers International. "But we're beginning to see an overall acceptance in the marketplace for being south of 610."

Indeed, home builders, industrial developers and land speculators are jockeying for still-vacant parcels just beyond the Metro terminus, fueling a land rush in this long-neglected area.

Houston developer Frank Liu, who's building new homes nearby, owns about 60 acres surrounding Metro's Fannin South station, the last stop on the city's 7.5-mile light rail line connecting downtown with this area just south of Reliant Stadium.

While he's not yet ready to tip his hand, Liu controls enough land in the area to create a sizable community where folks could live, work and shop.

"The great thing about that piece of property is that it's so close to the rail stop and so close to the Medical Center," Liu, president of InTown Homes, said. "You just can't go wrong."

These open spaces and still-low land prices are attracting developers whose options for development closer in are limited.

"Land costs are just a fraction of what they are in the Medical Center," said David R. David of Warehouse Associates, a real estate firm building warehouses in the area and attracting more medical users than ever before.

The company has leased space to a DNA lab, surgical center and a dialysis facility.

In 2001, when the company built its first project there, medical firms didn't want to move south of the Loop, which was then seen as too far from the Medical Center.

"We're seeing more demand for our sites," David said. "Today, I think we're a politically acceptable location for medical support."

Jumping on bandwagon

Other local developers have quickly caught on to the growing acceptance of this area, which, if it was noticed at all, was associated with a stretch of crime-ridden apartment buildings in the western corner.

A group of investors has put together around 200 acres south of West Bellfort and east of South Main where it plans to develop a master-planned residential community.

The project, which could spawn 1,000 homes, has been dubbed Buffalo Lakes.

"We were attracted to the area primarily because of its proximity to the Medical Center and Reliant Center," said Joel Scott, who manages the partnership and is a principal in Terramark Communities, a Houston-based real estate development firm.

Road work is tackling a long-standing obstacle to development.

Buffalo Speedway, a major north-south thoroughfare that ends at West Bellfort, will likely be extended south to Holmes Road, improving access to Scott's project.

Not waiting around

Other developers haven't needed much convincing. A smattering of residential and commercial projects have been sprouting up among all the vacant land.

Dozens of $200,000 townhomes line the streets near Link Valley, a neighborhood off Stella Link that used to be known by the nickname Death Valley.

And Chancellor Properties recently completed Villas at Coronado, a 344-unit apartment complex on the Lakes at 610 just south of West Bellfort.

The new project is around 80 percent occupied, according to O'Connor & Associates, a research firm.

Apart from his planned development near the rail stop, Liu has started building townhomes in a project called Lake Pointe across from the apartment complex.

The patio-home development built around a clubhouse, jogging trail and swimming pool will include 219 units when complete. Since the end of February, 77 units have been sold.

The majority of buyers are professionals from the Medical Center, said Emily Wang, a sales consultant for Liu's company InTown Homes.

"They're first-time buyers, mostly," she said.

But it will be a while before development hits the area surrounding the end of the line.

Liu is still formulating a plan for his acreage near the Fannin Street station.

He said it will ultimately contain a combination of uses that will play off the light rail system.

"Houston has always been a society of cars," said Tony Patronella, a real estate broker with Southwest Realty Advisors who has brokered many of the land deals in the area. "This will be the first time a subdivision is planned directly because of the light rail."

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/front/2931497

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

I found this while browsing around DPZ's website, after learning that they are involved with the Sugar Land Charhouse residential development with the City of Sugar Land, and Cherokee Development.

It looks like a plan to redevelop the old Astroworld site. If so, this is great news as DPZ has helped cities across the nation bring back intelligent, practical, and most importantly: functional, mixed use developments over the last 30 years. To have them in the game here in H-Town for two different projects is a great start. I hope to see more from them.

Does anyone here have anymore information about Fannin Station?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very cool plan. I love the roundabout.

Doesn't it look like there are tunnels under the roundabout

It also looks like, per their site, that whole cities are contracting DPZ to develop large tracks of land for urban infill. I would love to see them take on some more projects in Houston.

Edited by Jeebus
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't it look like there are tunnels under the roundabout

it looks like almeda rd and belfort are put into a tunnel or maybe the dashed lines represent the existing overpasses.

that would be crazy....like being underneath the pearce elevated?

and the freight trains will go straight thru the roundabout???!!

Edited by gnu
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found this while browsing around DPZ's website, after learning that they are involved with the Sugar Land Charhouse residential development with the City of Sugar Land, and Cherokee Development.

It looks like a plan to redevelop the old Astroworld site. If so, this is great news as DPZ has helped cities across the nation bring back intelligent, practical, and most importantly: functional, mixed use developments over the last 30 years. To have them in the game here in H-Town for two different projects is a great start. I hope to see more from them.

Does anyone here have anymore information about Fannin Station?

I was at the meeting when these plans were unveiled. Most of the images at your link depict land that is not owned by Frank Liu. Duany and his firm are overly ambitious in projecting or suggesting that a street grid system will be implemented in this area. It is only wishful thinking, and land ownership is so thoroughly divided in this area that even if a grid system were built, many blocks would contain parcel/ownership configurations that are essentially useless. Duany made a point that recognized this problem, but presented this rendering anyway.

The roundabout that is shown was to be paved at grade level, and the Almeda and Bellfort overpasses would be retained as they are at present. The railroad tracks would not be relocated or buried. Duany made comparisons to DuPont Circle in Washington D.C., though I think he's absolutely crazy for having done so. If he has altered his plans since then, then he is crazy for thinking that such a massive public works project is going to be undertaken by the City of Houston. The mechanisms behind public finance of such a project would not be very forgiving. It'd be all locally funded.

The development that was sketched in that is along Fannin and north of Holmes is what he proposed that METRO have built. None of the land is owned by his client.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was at the meeting when these plans were unveiled. Most of the images at your link depict land that is not owned by Frank Liu. Duany and his firm are overly ambitious in projecting or suggesting that a street grid system will be implemented in this area. It is only wishful thinking, and land ownership is so thoroughly divided in this area that even if a grid system were built, many blocks would contain parcel/ownership configurations that are essentially useless. Duany made a point that recognized this problem, but presented this rendering anyway.

The roundabout that is shown was to be paved at grade level, and the Almeda and Bellfort overpasses would be retained as they are at present. The railroad tracks would not be relocated or buried. Duany made comparisons to DuPont Circle in Washington D.C., though I think he's absolutely crazy for having done so. If he has altered his plans since then, then he is crazy for thinking that such a massive public works project is going to be undertaken by the City of Houston. The mechanisms behind public finance of such a project would not be very forgiving. It'd be all locally funded.

The development that was sketched in that is along Fannin and north of Holmes is what he proposed that METRO have built. None of the land is owned by his client.

Too bad. This would be a great living option for Med Center employees and students.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Frank Liu owns the corner lot on Fannin and W.Belfort. In-town homes was going to build a "fannin station" development there. The traget date had been set for Summer 07 I think. They took down their signs and quikcly pulled the info from their site. I attributed this to them waiting on the Astro-World development plans... perhaps they are trying to be involved in a bigger plan for that area.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 years later...

before skyscrapers and apartments started sprouting at rapid rates, it seems like we were even excited about townhome developments.  Of course, they haven't been recieving the same attention as of late.

 

I remember this was a development that we were well aware of. I guess phase I is done and phase II is ramping up.

 

It looks like a great development, and more importantly it's south of 610 - hopefully bridging the gap even more between TMC and 610/Astrodome area.

 

Phase I images:

http://www.intown-homes.com/community.aspx?idcity=1&wlink=12

 

 

 

 

Phase II plans from the planning commission:

 

10923_624341653760_8299657458834380822_n

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Fannin+South/9425+Fannin+St,+Houston,+TX+77045/@29.6703706,-95.4030568,17z/data=!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x8640eaa8cbf65921:0x72e298b3d4ce4882!2m2!1d-95.402837!2d29.6735677!1m5!1m1!1s0x8640eab034155d6f:0x49cddf41f3c7b948!2m2!1d-95.402059!2d29.666362!3e2

This one is only a 1/2 mile walk to Fannin South, but right now that area is not a great walk: there are trees but they aren't big enough to provide shade, the side walk is 3' wide, you have 2 cross two large intersections, and Fannin itself is 4 lanes wide and people go a decent clip down it

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately this is a common complaint in Houston, and it's one of the major issues that the city, TIRZ's, civic clubs, schools, and individuals like you and I need to come together to make a priority for a much more viable, reliable, and enjoyable, option for getting around. 

1 hour ago, cspwal said:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Fannin+South/9425+Fannin+St,+Houston,+TX+77045/@29.6703706,-95.4030568,17z/data=!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x8640eaa8cbf65921:0x72e298b3d4ce4882!2m2!1d-95.402837!2d29.6735677!1m5!1m1!1s0x8640eab034155d6f:0x49cddf41f3c7b948!2m2!1d-95.402059!2d29.666362!3e2

This one is only a 1/2 mile walk to Fannin South, but right now that area is not a great walk: there are trees but they aren't big enough to provide shade, the side walk is 3' wide, you have 2 cross two large intersections, and Fannin itself is 4 lanes wide and people go a decent clip down it

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to Fannin Station By InTown Homes
  • The topic was unlocked

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...