Comment of the Day: About That 35-Story Tower About To Go Up Down the Street

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ABOUT THAT 35-STORY TOWER ABOUT TO GO UP DOWN THE STREET “I need some opinions. A friend of mine owns a patio home on W Alabama next to this site. Will this help or hurt her property value? There’s a one acre tract between this development and hers, and we don’t know what it’s going to be. I figure it might help her value because it will be near retail and probably a restaurant or two, but who knows?” [Bill, commenting on First Sign of the 35-Story Apartment Tower Coming to Weslayan and West Alabama]

15 Comment

  • I don’t know, and neither does anyone else, but just to be on the safe side she should form a high-dollar PAC and produce thousands of obnoxious stars signs and billboards. She’d do well to seek changes to Houston’s entire development framework on account of her absolutely unique and unprecedented situation.

  • Ack, yard signs. Can you edit that, Gus?

  • Houston MUST have more density to sustain itself long term. Some people are just going to have to be near it and Houstonians are just going to have to get over it.

  • @ firehat:

    At least you did read your post even after the fact.

    I’m left wondering and scratching my head at some posts when folks make typos and are unaware of it. Some things are easy to figure out but others, well…….

  • @firehat,

    In an effort to promote recycling, maybe she can start taking all the Ashby highrise signs and editing them to say W. Alabama.

    same scary building, new yard location.

  • Wouldn’t this neighborhood become walkable instead of having to drive everywhere? And don’t walkable places have a greater value than places that aren’t?

  • Welcome to the world of no zoning and no planning growth. Anything can happen. Perhaps a new mixed use development like Town Center. Attractive – Yes. Booming – Yes. Lots of nice shops and dining options – Yes. Nice residential options – Yes. But absolutely no planning for community traffic impact. No planning for parking impact. No planning for surrounding community value impact. Just take a look at what the lack of zoning and or land use planning has done to the surrounding Town Center areas. It is great if you are an owner within the Town Center area but it is hell if you are in the surrounding area. But, that is how Houston is run, Developers Rule.

  • to try to answer the OP’s question, I’m NOT a real estate professional, but I’d think it would be a wash. The land might not be as attractive to a future homeowner due to a large building almost in the backyard, but the land itself would assert itself as being more comeercially viable in a dense part of the city, and a develper might be willing to pay more for it someday. The structural value should stay the same as long as your friend maintains the property well. There are others here who could probably give more informed opinions.

  • @ Chris: Walkable places are only more valuable if they are walked by an, um, “fashionable” variety of people. Since this development will draw a “fashionable” crowd, it probably won’t hurt.

    As for the traffic, we’re looking at 250 apartments (so add 500 vehicles per day to a road with the capacity for tens of thousands) and enough retail space for the typical corner pharmacy store. The retail will generate the most traffic, but mostly from trips that would’ve happened anyway with or without the retail being located on that particular site, so it actually decreases thru-traffic in this and the surrounding neighborhoods.

    If the driveways are properly configured and there’s enough room for vehicular stacking, then there shouldn’t be any discernible effect on congestion, IMO.

  • how about we have a pop quiz, somebody name me one city experiencing more than 5% annual growth (or whatever houston’s currenty is) that doesn’t have planning, development, and traffic issues.

    beyond that, traffic is only an issue in this city during rush hour. while it is drastically getting worse as the oil boom continues to grow, we should all be thanking our lucky stars still.

    if you have tranit concerns, then your best wish is for total gridlock. only then will it be enough of a priority to throw tax money at. as it is now, it’s not worth the investment until we get more density.

  • Generally speaking, any new upscale development would be a good thing for the immediate area. The only impact on value I would see if the building itself casts a shadow on your pool, or even worse, the lights from it beam directly into your bedroom at night.

  • If a high-rise overlooked my pool, a shadow would be the least of my worries.

  • Short term, it would be tough to sell a property next to a major construction site. Mid term, not a big issue as a lot of the single family residences in the area are in the shadows of commercial, low, mid and high rise development. Long term, could end up with lot value if the property ends up surrounded by highrises. But there may come a time when everyone in the development could have a chance to sell for lot value plus if a developer wants the entire parcel and offers to buy everyone out.

    When density sets in, walkability is a matter of survival. Just compare Buckhead/Midtown in Atlanta to the Backbay in Boston or Vancouver Island. The former has basically introduced density to a suburban layout (strip malls, big grocery stores, and wide streets set against more and more high-rise complexes). The result is impossible traffic and parking because no one would dare try to walk to anything due to streets that are impossible to cross and retail strip centers that are too far from residential density. But in the Backbay or Vancouver Island, you can walk to the store, restaurants, etc. and do not need to get in your car every time you need something.

    If the area around W Alabama and Weslayan gets built up with enough ground floor retail to enable residents to avoid getting in their car, there will be more value to property in the area than if developers follow the suburban model of mega grocers and stripmalls.

  • The one acre tract separating the town and your friend will be high end townhomes. More than likely a gated community and also more than likely homes close to $1M, if not over.

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