Climbing Around the Enormous Nooks of the Proposed Ivy Lofts Highrise

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston
In keeping with the project’s general theme of creative use of space, designs for the Ivy Lofts highrise put all of the building’s exterior crannies and levels to work.  Renderings show at least 9 variously-sized and -sheltered rooftops and outdoor spaces incorporated into the plan for the proposed tower, whose teensy condo floorplans will start at 300 sq. ft.

Developers are already setting up a sales room in a former grocery store warehouse on the site (located on the block between Live Oak, Leeland, Nagle, and a discontinuous stretch of Pease), not far from coffin-factory-turned-craft-store Texas Art Asylum. Novel Creative Development hopes to sell all of the tiny condo units before contractors break ground in June on the tower (pictured from the south below):


Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

From the Nagle side of the block, the renderings show a small dog park for your presumably-tiny pets:

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Several communal loitering spots are pictured, complete with strips and patches of micro-greenspace to suit the micro-condo experience:

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

The mix of wooden, tile, and grass surfacing in the larger rooftop areas echoes the diversity of materials employed in the exterior walls:

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Other mingling options will be available for those less inclined towards vegetation or unenclosed spaces:

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

The pool area will reportedly contain a wet bar, in-water seating, and a ledge intended for tanning:

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Those not interested in unrestricted communal gathering may be able to retreat to one of the many private balconies evidently featured in some of the condo units; residents of higher floors may have access to bird’s-eye views of downtown, the surrounding neighborhood, and the surrounding neighbors:

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Images: Novel Creative Development LLC

East Downtown

21 Comment

  • While the prices they are asking would be much more appropriate at a prime location (say, on the Red line in downtown proper), I haven’t seen anything about maintenance fees yet. Considering the large number of units in the building, perhaps the maintenance fees will be more reasonable — if they are half that of the exorbitant fees seen on the downtown residential towers, the selling prices might actually make sense.

  • Ridiculous how they include a girl wearing a bikini 6 floors above the pool. This fools no one into thinking it will be fun to live in such s small space.

  • Wow. Highrises finally jumping over to the east side of 59… I knew it was only a matter of time, but I imagined the first would be west of Dowling. That area is going to be unrecognizable in a few years…

  • After seeing those SimCity renderings, I realized that this cramped tower reminds of a Chicago housing project tower set in the Bayou City. No, thank you.
    Show me a buyer of one of those units and I’ll show you a contender for Monty Python’s “Twit of the Year” competition.

  • So much hate for this project. I would have thought that Swamplot commenters, who never met a townhouse they couldn’t deride, would heap mounds of praise upon a high-density urban development. Shows what I know.

  • @feh- The lesson I’ve learned after following Swamplot for a few years is that Swamplotters just hate *everything*. High-rises? Too gaudy/impractical. Medium-density development? Too generic. Strip Malls? Waste of space. Condos? Who on earth would ever buy one of those! Highway expansion? Waste of taxpayer money and a big hassle. Rerouting highways? Preposterous! Cars? There’s too many of them. Light Rail? Hah, who ever heard of such a thing working out. Busses? Useless. Uber? Scammers! The homeless? Grind ’em up into Soylent Green. The rich? Hate em!

    I missed the steady stream of content during the break, but I really did *not* miss the comment threads. Sorry/not sorry.

  • Nothing wrong with the tiny concept per se. But I just don’t see it less than 450 feet. NYC has very small units but in NYC you step out your door into a vast world. This high-rise is not on the rail line, is not in downtown, or mid town or anywhere else interesting.

  • Don’t assume for a second that this project is actually going to be built. Phases like this one “Novel Creative Development hopes to sell all of the tiny condo units before contractors break ground in June” don’t give me much confidence.

    Their financing commitments certainly contain a minimum number of pre-sales before they get any money. How many do they need? No one knows. It’s not a good sign that they are building their sales center on the same site as the building itself. Why not build the sales center across the street so they can keep selling units during the construction period?

    I still say this is a great project in the wrong location. IIRC, they only spent $5,000/unit on the dirt. They would have done much better paying $10,000 or $15,000/unit on dirt in a more desirable location.

  • The concept is not a bad one. The execution, on the other hand, most certainly will be. Locating the project in a somewhat empty stretch east of Downtown is a questionable decision at best, with few selling points BEYOND the building itself. It’s not directly on the light rail, no bike trails, no grocery stores, limited “hang out” spots. Will some of that come as a result of the development? Most likely, yes. The area around will transform. But I wouldn’t want to be one of the first eager tenants in the building praying that the area surrounding changes quickly, only to be dismayed as the broader Houston real estate market continues to struggle, and new development dollars stop pouring into speculative projects east of Downtown.

  • I don’t think that they want to sell very many 300-sf units. They are using the ludicrous sizes to get media attention, but I suspect when you’re in their sales office they’re selling you on combining units, which Swamplot mentioned was an option a few days ago. They’ll end up with a pile of loose ends which they’ll sell in bulk to somebody who wants to rent them out.

  • Again. Put this thing in the heart of midtown, next to the village, on the rail in Museum/Med District, or downtown then you would have something with potential. Put it is an area with relatively cheap land, very little walk-ability, no commercial/retail, and you have failure.

  • jonsnow, obviously she’s wearing a bikini because the closet space in the unit is only large enough for 4 bathing suits, and 2 pair of flip flops.

  • What city are they planning this for?
    If you look at the picture there are no obvious parking floors or structures.

    Will never be built unless it is for a senior citizen “storage facility”

  • This has rail line on two sides of it, few blocks away. That isn’t bad. This development kind of contains it’s parks, etc. inside of it and it’s retail below it, along with the garage so good.

  • Emancipation Park is getting a big redo and is about a mile away. Discovery green is less than a mile away. Midtown is getting Whole Foods. There is already a Randalls and Fiesta in midtown. Downtown has Phoenicia. Minute Maid Park is a mile away, BBVA Compass stadium and Toyota Center are closer. Cafe TH, Kim Son, Cajun Stop, District 7 and a few nightclubs are just a few blocks away. Telephone Thai and all the other Eastwood haunts are a quick drive to the east on Leland. With all the built ins, the units are all but furnished. Anyone who pays a developer’s asking price is a fool. I am sure they have plenty of room to negotiate the sale price down a bunch to anyone who buys before construction starts. This isn’t the future of real estate in Houston, but it is not a bad idea. When you are just out of college or have lived with roommates for a while, 300 sq ft all to yourself is like living in a mansion.

  • At 300 sq ft, a queen size bed is 10% of your entire living space. 300 sq ft is about half the size of a normal 2 car garage. So yes, all those garage apartments in the Heights are handily bigger than these units. I don’t think some of you quite get how small a space this is and how out of touch with this market a project like this is.

    The only way I’d actually take this development seriously is if there was a very honest effort to bring in mixed-use retail to the first couple floors along with more retail development in the area. Otherwise all you have is a project full of “for-sale hotel rooms,” which with the proximity to downtown is probably the real purpose behind this place.

  • The bikini girl makes perfect sense. She’s doing a pervert at the pool check before she walks all the way down there

  • Hate because they’re being utterly unrealistic about price per square foot and then acting holier-than-thou about how they’re just for people “open-minded” enough not to place any value in that metric.

  • This seems like a pretty hard concept to sell in a non-prime location to space loving Houstonians. And if you actually want to sell it, some higher quality renderings would really help….. these look like they were done by a 2nd year architecture student the night before a final presentation. Shell out a few hundred bucks to one of those Chinese rendering farms with the severely broken English emails and step your game up Ivy Lofts…..

  • What is this? A condo for ants?