Ready for the market: the site of the Great Tuscan Wedding Fantasy Crash of ’08! Listing agent Bill Burge says the sellers of the wedding venue in Garden Oaks once known as the Tuscany Gardens and Villa will be asking $4.5 million.
The Tuscany of Garden Oaks, at 835 W. 34th St., was built from the ashes of the famed Bill Mraz Ballroom, by Titus Inc. — operators of that other wedding stage set on Chimney Rock, Bella Terrazza. Titus of course is better known as the company that stranded all those brides and grooms without the $2 million in deposits they had paid for their weddings before Hurricane Ike hit. (Though maybe the company isn’t quite so well known: HCAD lists the property’s owner as “Tutus Inc.”)
We all know the ending: Rachael Ray swooped in and gave that big de-Tuscanized group wedding in the middle of the baseball field at Minute Maid Park — and 33 couples got to get married on teevee for free! Happily ever after, right? Well, almost.
Titus ended up declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy last October. So . . . assets for sale!
This masterpiece of Italian approximation, built on the site of the former Polka Capital of Texas, amounts to 33,250 square feet on 3.3 acres. It was completed only shortly before Hurricane Ike hit.
More details from Grubb & Ellis associate Burge:
A couple of the buildings are modified originals, but it’s mostly new. The wine cellar building was built on the slab and frame of a metal industrial building . . . They did have a handful of events before shutting the doors.
- The Tuscan Villa of Garden Oaks
- About Us [Bill Mraz Dance Hall]
- Shuttered halls silence area wedding bells [Houston Business Journal]
- Turning a nightmare into a dream [Houston Chronicle]
Photos: Bill Burge, Grubb & Ellis