A Melody Oaks Contemporary With the Blues Tunes Up to $750K



hr3096737-28 at 300Note: The original version of this story misreported the home’s asking price. It is being offered at $749,900.

Blue. Red. Green. Orange. Were it not for the Dublinesque color rotation on the doors of a 4-pack of eco-friendly contemporary homes in Spring Branch’s Melody Oaks neighborhood, might owners accidentally enter the wrong one? Unit 1 — the bluesy one (top) that shores up one end of the lookalikes — is back on the market. Its listing by the owner-agent over the weekend has a $789,900 $749,900 price tag attached. That’s up, uh, somewhat from its purchase price in April 2013: $484,950.

The team at The ODD Group, (aka Open Design &  Development, and including Royce/Eagleton Architects), is behind these “urban cottages” (above) proliferating in a newly minted “pocket community” tagged Janak Place. It’s located north of Westview Dr. between Wirt Rd. and Antoine Dr.



Do the cottages’ retro style and nowadays efficiencies make them a modern take on the suburban ranches of Spring Branch — as the project’s website describes? Unit 1’s front columns frame the porch on the north face and support part of the 2,456-sq.-ft. home’s second level (above). Inside, the entry door’s dash of Dutch blue also splashes onto an accent wall dominating the open floor plan:







Slider sets open to a screen porch that currently divides its uses, duplicating the interior’s living and dining arrangement:


Heavy curtains are ready to defend against sun attention from the west — or neighbor interest in what’s on the telly:


The home’s master suite is downstairs:




So is one of the 3 secondary bedrooms . . .


which shares its bathroom for general household use:


Much of the living space downstairs sits beneath a vaulted ceiling; so do the rooms off the gallery hallway upstairs:



Located above the kitchen, a loft at the back of the home delivers an extra space, with built-ins and backyard view:


Of the 2 bedrooms nearby . . .


this one gets . . .


a perch facing the street:


The reconfigured property’s lot now measures 6,013 sq. ft., with the back portion tucking in a patio and pool:


The waterfall end is adjacent to a completed sister property:


Replatting the street’s large, older lots appears to be a continuing trend; recent redevelopment now outnumbers original homes. A pair of Janak Place III cottages finish the block’s corner at Jacquelyn St.; the 11,918-sq.-ft. lot between them and this blue-door home was subdivided into 3 residential lots last year.


Signs and the company’s website currently indicate Janak Place IV is in the works for the even-numbered side of the street.

Urban Cottage Cluster

11 Comment

  • Could this be a sign of “the return of the yard”?! Albeit small, it’s nice to see yards in this type of development I call “row houses of the future.” Other developers would have fought to squeeze two crappy town homes into one of these lots. But with a price tag of almost $800K, that’s one pricey yard!

  • Clearly these folks have lost their minds….

  • I’ve always felt that a small and insular community of tasteful contemporary-style homes should be able to find a market very easily. However…this isn’t really what I had in mind. These designs are too safe.

  • It’s large by a few hundred square feet, the townhouse-repetition look is deathly boring, and that price is about 50% crack pipe, but damn if this isn’t some nice new construction! Shame about the large lots, but I suppose we must densify if we hope to save ourselves from sprawl.

  • Good to see Crack is still in heavy use in that neighborhood…

  • THAT location supports THAT price. Wow.
    We have an apt building in that area for sale. It’s under contract (I’m selling it) — but maybe I priced it wrong?

  • I actually like it, but it’s at least $300-400K overpriced..

  • Price is way too high. This section of North Spring Branch is trying to piggy back of proximity to Spring Valley and Hilshire Village. This area is not zoned to Valley Oaks or Memorial High School.

  • Really like the design and proportions. Perfect size, looks clean and handsome, like it will age well, and scaled to nicely complement the older homes in the neighborhood.

    But agree that it’s obscenely overpriced. These homes are well-designed, but they do look like they’re built to a price, and that price is a lot less than $700+. Also, it would’ve been nice if they had mixed up the floor plans a bit more.

  • What is the thinking going on inside the heads of the developers/agents/sellers who price these “edge of Memorial HS zone” right up there with the neighboring properties that actually are zoned? Are they trying to take advantage of buyers who don’t do their homework and assumed that the high price they paid means that they’ll be zoned to better schools? Are buyers knowingly betting that SBISD will eventually improve all of their schools to the level of Memorial (et al), or hoping that their properties will eventually be rezoned to more favorable schools?

  • Thanks for all of your comments. We really appreciate your feedback. There are a few things; however, we would like to clarify.

    Open Design & Development, Inc. (The Odd Group) designed and built this house in 2012. We sold it in April of 2013 for $484,950. We are not its current owner and, therefore, Odd Group doesn’t have any thing to do with its listing price or its sale now.

    You should also know that much has happened in the neighborhood since Odd Group starting building there. Since 2012, land prices have more than doubled and housing prices have substantially increased as well. Consequently, the face of the neighborhood has totally changed.

    When we first started building on Janak, we committed to ourselves and our neighbors: that we would subdivide any lot we purchased in no more than two parcels; that we would not build higher than 25 feet from grade; and, that we would make every effort to fit into the neighborhood context. We, and all of our neighbors, believe that we have honored that commitment.

    We love the Janak neighborhood, and regret that Phase IV will be our last project there. However, the increase in land prices has made it impossible to continue to honor our commitment and build what we build. We are left with no choice but to move on.

    Heidi Eagleton, President
    The Odd Group