Allston or Nothing: Side Street Now at Center of Alexan Yale Apartment Dispute

ALLSTON OR NOTHING: SIDE STREET NOW AT CENTER OF ALEXAN YALE APARTMENT DISPUTE About 290 ft. of Allston St. have become the latest point of contention between developer Trammell Crow and Heights opponents to the proposed 5-story Alexan Yale apartment complex. This complex, planned immediately south of the other one, would sit on the block bound by 5th, 6th, Yale, and Rutland, with Allston running through it. The Leader reports that Trammell Crow has requested that the city abandon Allston, which dead-ends just before 5th St., so the complex doesn’t have to be discontiguous; opponents, of course, want Allston to be opened up, to help with traffic and ensure connectivity to the nearby detention basin that’s been proposed as a recreation site. The abandonment request is going to be decided upon soon by a city committee of reps from public works, planning, and the fire department — though Trammell Crow appears to have some leverage, reports Cynthia Lescalleet: “The structure could go even higher, the developer says, if it doesn’t get what it’s seeking. . . . [Trammell Crow] has ‘alternate plans’ that would add two or three floors to the building. There’s also speculation about a possible sky bridge connecting sections on either side of the still-open street.” [The Leader; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Allston St.: Allyn West

17 Comment

  • Hardball, Trammell Crow style–I think I’d retreat to fight another day

  • I just love these parasites. The take away message for the kids at home: “Do as I say, or I’ll make it worse.”

  • 5th and Allston did not originally connect with an improved road because White Oak Bayou used to bend right up to the intersection of those two roads. But there was an impromptu dirt road that connected 5th and Allston. When the area got built up with industrial warehouses, the bayou had been channelized and moved further south. 18 wheelers would go up 5th to Allston to access the warehouse. They cut a wide arc so they could make the turn. Eventually, the owners of the warehouses put down concrete where the impromptu road was cut. Allston does technically end at 5th, but the reality is that people have been able to drive from 5th to Allston for decades. Adding 730+ units in two blocks is not the time to be reducing street grid access. Build your apartments to the sky TCR, but don’t take our street.

  • I live down the street from this and I am very excited. I am ready for all these apartments to open up and all the other residential developments to finish. More people creates more demand for retail to open up. A strain on the infrastructure will be good because the city might get around to fixing things up around here. Minimally, that immediate area will look much better than it does now. The developers might be creeps and not care about the area but we will get to enjoy the benefits of density while they drive 1.5 hours back to the Woodlands or whatever gated community they came from.

  • They need better idea people to battle this idea. It seems Rutland Place would be adequate for the access to the future retention recreation area. It seems if the owner owns the frontage on both sides of a dead-end street that they wouldn’t need the “leverage”. There is not a compelling reason,unless you count spite, to make them retain the road there. You’re best bet is to find a prairie chicken or a Braken Bat Cave meshweaver spider. Let’s go people…get creative.

  • @OldSchool

    Good call. Google Earth shows that shortcut as an actual road, and there is Google StreetView for that entire shortcut from Alston to 5th.

    So I’d call that a road.

    Closing down city streets is a step in the wrong direction. There is more reason to have a complete grid as density increases, even if it is another road.

  • City has always allowed to close off a street if you own both sides, especially if it’s already a dead end. I’m not sure what leg Heightsters have to stand on on opposing this.

  • The solution is simple, no?
    Give Trammel Crow a 380 to improve Allston and 5th Streets so that they connect.

  • @Angostura And then TC can run off with the 380 money while leaving the place worse off than it started, just like the developer did over at the “Heights” Walmart

  • It will be interesting to see if my Heights neighbors cut off their noses to spite their faces. CM Cohen has already indicated that she is willing to cut off her nose by voting against abandonment. Hopefully, the rest of City Council is smart enough to work with TC to get some improvements to the area in return for abandoning a dead end street.

    Recently history is not encouraging.

  • sorry non-involved entities – this is not really a “dead-end street”. The fact of the matter is that legally Allston does connect with 5th street – there is a legal ROW for this connection even though the city of Houston never built the road connection. Okay, the owner of the property along this intersection built his own connection because he couldn’t get the city to do it…but, he didn’t post this connectiON. If the private access to the present established intersection it doesn’t make sense that the city should also abandon the ROW, no the city should finally step up to the plate and complete the street it has ignored for so long. The residents of this street are paying above average property taxes and getting substandard service. We already get reduced trash pickup due to the alleged “dead end” status of this street even though legally the ROW does extend to 5tho

  • I’ve met with a couple neighbors over here and as far as we know TC does not want to buy the lots on Allston, south of 6th.

    I personally do not mind them abandoning this ugly dead end street, as they have threatened to go UP if not. I think a 4 story apartment would look nice here. Plus this dead end is ugly, said a million times.

    I’d like to know where swamplot is getting its information as I’ve been following this including talking to the TC Developer.

    I am very confused at this point on where information is coming from.

    Anyway, what we are concerned with is the ALLEY WAY!! I could care less about the end of Allston St, that looks shoddy anyways and I’m not against development, and think the TC development (if done right) is a huge improvement over this crappy building.

    On the Alleyway what we are concerned about is DRAINAGE, which is what the alley way is used for now mainly and officially as it has storm inlets/drains(drainage is ok in this area and we’d like to keep it that way). We are also worried about access to the alleyway and with them shutting off the street and adding so many people a safety concern of emergency access by utilizing the alleyway (fire, flood, etc). This will be a very high density area close to residential homes. TC has told me they do not wish to have the city abandon the alleyway.

    It is not very visible because it is shoddily fenced, but you can go from the alleyway on 6th St down to Fixtures International, then take a right and end up back on Allston St. There is access through here, probably was a requirement from the city as that fixtures international building is encroaching on the southern part of the alleyway.

  • I hope the city sides with the existing residents and with transit against greed. If I lived on this block I would much rather have TC build it higher than abandon a road- it will cost them more to do it and I am sick of these developers pushing taxpayers around.

  • Look at the map. It’s a road to nowhere. It will serve nothing more than to increase building costs and force the builder to build higher to ensure the density is profitable. If abandonment is not allowed, it’s animus and spite driving the bus, not sound civil engineering.

  • Heightsters keep forgetting that they do not own the neighborhood…. no HOA, no Deed Restrictions, means no say-so. That is exactly why you chose the heights, can’t cry foul now.

  • I don’t see how this matters one way or another at all. Nobody would really be using that street except for people that live in the apartment complex, everyone else would either exit 7th or 4th (or what have you) off of Yale anyways.

    I think what the neighborhood should be pushing for, and this is having lived at Camden Heights, is for a massive amount of visitor parking and strictly-enforced parking restrictions on the surrounding streets, OR against the inclusion of a pool on the property. Otherwise, enjoy having people parked haphazardly up and down your streets on every weekend day from April to October.

  • It’s time for restricted parking. Meaning you have to have a tag to park on a neighborhood street. The people who move into these complexes will want to dump hundreds of cars into the surrounding streets. Developers rarely if ever bother providing enough parking. Visitors will have no place to go. Residents often do not get enough spaces for their own vehicles. Houston should keep the street, improve it, and improve access from 5th to Yale.