A Third of Former Shell Tech Center Eyed for Southside Place Homes

Shell Oil moved out the last of its things from the 3-building Bellaire Technology Center in 2012, consolidating R&D operations about 15 miles west of Southside Place in a spruced-up campus near Texas 6 and Richmond. Now, it appears that these 3.2 acres (shown in the map) of the 9.7 that the Center vacated are being eyed for residential development.


A Swamplot reader sends these photos, taken from the parking lot of Molina’s Cantina across Braes, of a Southside Place notice posted near the northwest corner of 3747 Bellaire; the notice indicates that a public hearing on January 29 will discuss rezoning the 3.2 acres of for 45 3-story homes — rezoning them from a prior designation for low-intensity mixed-use. Presumably, they’d bump up against the backs of those homes facing south on Gramercy, between Braes and Edloe.

Images: Commercial Gateway (map); Mark Murrah (sign)

6 Comment

  • Interesting. I heard initially that Rice U was looking @ using the facility.

    You know Southside owns apts. further on down Bellaire @ the corner of Academy and they talked about 3-4-5 story apts replacing the old ones there. Braeswood Place neighbors were upset. And I wondered what Southside would do with the Shell property. It THEY would want apts. near their homes. I guess not.

    Altho are any of these new homes going to front Bellaire? Ick.

  • Extremely valuable real estate: Some developer is going to be richer than Croesus. And I suppose the SS Place cops will have to set up more patrols on that block.

  • i live in Braes Heights. It is my understanding that this land is slated for 3 story townhomes very similar to the ones built a few years ago in the neighborhood off of Academy. The biggest complaint is that they are asking for a height variance. Don’t quote me, but our homes are restricted to 36 feet (I think). I think they are looking for a variance to 45 feet. Most folks in the neighborhood are against the variance, but not against the construction of the townhomes per se.

  • The issue is that with the current restrictions a developer can not go in there and pay the asking price for the land then turn around and sell 2,000 sf 2 story townhomes for a price that would make any sense. So he is trying to get them to raise the height and density restrictions. So then he can sell 3,000 sf 3 story town homes for a price that will make sense.

  • Jabber correctly notes that the Braes Heights residents aren’t going to be happy about what is going in here. Fortunately for people who don’t like NIMBYs, no one involved gives a hoot because Braes Heights isn’t in Southside Place and doesn’t have a say.

    And if you aren’t happy about three-storey townhouses coming in just wait until you find out what they have planned for the rest of that property! Hint: it’ll be the tallest thing on Bellaire/Holcombe between the TMC and Sharpstown.

  • FYI: The property at 3747 Bellaire Blvd. backs up to the homes in the 3700 block of Gramercy St. The homes on the north side of the 3700 and 3800 blocks of Gramercy are in the City of Southside, but yet they are also part of Braes Heights and must follow the Braes Height deed restrictions, in addition to Southside Place’s restrictions.

    It definitely sounds like the proposed townhomes plan to try to break the height restrictions. I certainly hope that they won’t be allowed to build 3.5-story townhomes there along Bellaire Blvd. The Southside web site actually mentions 4-story tall townhomes! That just won’t look very good along Bellaire Blvd., much less to the people in the homes to the south of the development.

    I might note that all of the other townhomes in the neighborhood are 2.5 stories high. There’s really no reason for the proposed townhomes to be 3.5 stories tall, except to create more profit for the developer/builder. I’m sure they’d still make plenty of money off of 2.5-story tall townhouses.

    Another thing that the local residents should be concerned with is the burden that 45 new homes will add to the existing infrastructure (water, sanitary sewer, electrical), not to mention traffic/noise. Can the existing infrastructure support so many new homes? I’ve been told that Southside’s water system is pretty old and failing in places. Also, what will be the impact on rain water runoff since there will be a lot more buildings on that corner lot once the new townhomes are built.