Housing, Retail, Ramp to 59 Planned for I-45 at Cullen Blvd.

HOUSING, RETAIL, RAMP TO 59 PLANNED FOR I-45 AT CULLEN BLVD. Rendering of the Gateway at Cullen, Cullen Blvd. at I-45, Greater Third Ward, Houston, 77004 New housing geared toward University of Houston and Texas Southern University students is planned near the U of H Main Campus’s main entrance on Cullen Blvd., according to PRNewswire. Plans for the Gateway at Cullen development include 531 beds (in single, double, quadruple, and quintuple groupings), mostly in townhome-esque 2-story configurations, which will contrast with most of Fountain Residential’s previous campus-geared housing projects in the area.  PRNewswire also reports that plans are in the works to replace the nearby Bestway Motor Inn with a new on-ramp to 59, and that the former Fingers Furniture warehouse will be turning into a retail center anchored by a grocery store. [PRNewswire, previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Fountain Residential

31 Comment

  • Great for UH to have off campus housing option and better yet a grocery store to serve the growing on campus student population plus EDO. The East End is quickly coming into its own.

  • You might want to link to this instead???:
    Is there any other information out there about this on-ramp to 59 from near Cullen? If this was a real thing, I would think it would be reported by other sources but I cannot find anything online.

  • So here’s the actaul link to the info if anyone wants it.
    This is actually pretty interesting news. That’s always been a bit of a blighted stretch, if they are seriously going to drop in new apartments AND a retail center with grocery there that’s arguably one of the biggest real estate developments for the east side I can think of. It’s mostly been EaDo townhomes and just the belief that it’s up and coming, this is a lot more than that. And their choice to develop east of 45 instead of in the third ward proper, where there is ample land right next to the university is equally telling.

  • Thanks, Lykos- link’s been fixed.

  • Odd that it’s Lovett’s neighbor who seems to be confirming that the Finger site will feature a grocery store. Lovett’s own site just notes a generic big anchor on the north end of the site with a bunch of parcels running along the freeway.


  • Nice to hear about the UH project and the retail plans across the street but an on-ramp to the 59? I don’t understand how that can be..must be a typo meaning the 45. The 59 is too far away.

  • Does anyone have more details on the “Proposed Affordable Housing for the Harris County Housing Authority” (number 1 on the first page on the lovettcommercial.com site above)? I think that’s going to hurt that area from developing.

  • I am interested in this on-ramp to 59 near Cullen as well. If something is not done, the 45 North on-ramp at Cullen will be unusable with new residences/shopping in this area.

  • Is Fountain paying for the underpass redevelopment? Will the redevelopment make the crossing more pedestrian friendly? If not, it’s a waste of city money that could be used to fix potholes and/or expand bicycle infrastructure. A protected bike lane under I-45 and along Cullen would be perfect for all the UH students who commute to campus or to the Elgin light rail station.

  • This development would appear to replace what the map on the Lovett site shows as HCHA housing.

    Does Combat Kroger move around the corner from Polk Street to anchor this development?

  • There was a project announced some time back where the 59 interchange would be moved to the Downtown Destinations/Scott St. elevated portion that runs alongside 45 instead of the current interchange closer to downtown. This is separate from the huge proposal that included tearing down the Pierce Elevated.

  • Here’s information on Fenix Estates, which is the affordable housing project that’s going in near Cullen: http://hchatexas.org/wp-content/uploads/Fenix-Estates-kd.pdf

  • serta,
    the affordable housing is meant to replace the cheapo apartments that burned down last year. You can’t see it on google maps any longer, but if you go to historic aerials and look at 2012, it’s there. Honestly, current affordable housing is a step up to what was there.

  • At last night’s Eastwood Civic Association meeting, we were told that Wal-Mart is in the final stages of negotiations to be the big anchor at this site. The owner had approached Kroger and HEB to try to get them to be the big anchor but they wouldn’t bite.

  • Walmart?? 2 miles from Walmart Gigante on Wayside? Walmart that just ditched 200+ stores?

    Wow. I will never understand what goes on in Bentonville.

  • An earlier dedicated ramp to 59 isn’t nonsense. The onramp at Cullen pointed in that direction is already unusable. Took me from 6:00 until 6:30pm just to get on the freeway there the other evening.

  • I had such high hopes for that center. It really doesn’t make sense to have another Walmart that close, I wondered if they’ve approached Target.

    Toasty, I know I’m going to sound like a jerk but I rather have an empty lot that’s there now then Affordable housing.

  • As I understand it, the Spur 5 elevated lanes are to be connected to 59 with new ramps, while the lower lanes are to flow directly to and from the Pierce Elevated (while it still exists). The only way a ramp confined to the Bestway land could reach that upper deck from Cullen or the feeder would be for it to do a sharp turn like the Scott Street exit to the east, or Edloe from the 59 feeder.

  • On Walmart closures:
    “More than 95 percent of the closed U.S. stores are within 10 miles of another Wal-Mart store. When possible, it will transfer store associates to nearby locations.”
    I’m guessing that the majority of these closed stores are located in or near smaller towns and so it makes sense that the same trend would not necessarily apply in Houston. However this is an area (greater Eastwood & East End generally) that no other retailer seems to want to enter based on not enough “rooftops”. Yet Walmart is willing to do so and do so within earshot of another Walmart? MAKES NO SENSE.

  • Walmart makes zero sense whatsoever. That can’t be right.

  • The Walmart @ Wayside pulls most of its customers from the neighborhood around it, and further down the freeway.

    The Kroger on Cullen is a high volume WIC customer store, that gets most of its customers from across the freeway.

    No, the two Walmart stores are not going to be too close to one another. Kroger and Randall’s were also approached re: being the anchor. They both declined as well.

  • Hope it’s going to be an HEB. Combat Kroger sucks.

  • I’m not sure HEB makes sense either, Gulfgate is pretty darned close already. HEB makes more sense deeper into EaDo or near the Navigation stuff. Target would make the most sense to me.

  • Meanwhile, at the other end of campus, some activity now near the MacGregor Tract:

    Current work seems to be in the NE corner, the COH park portion, Spur 5 at Wheeler.

  • This has potential to make day-to-day life more bearable for folks living near by. I think a Target would do very nicely, especially with so many college students nearby. The thought of having a Walmart there is creepy. While I have a love/hate relationship (more like acceptance of convenience/hate relationship) with the existing Kroger, the idea of having a Walmart and all it entails is a big letdown. The truth is there is a large community of under served people in this neighborhood. The Target off I-10 is always crowded, and a Target at this site would be ideal.

  • @MrErection: getting from UH to Gulfgate is pretty much a nightmare at all times of the day. Gulfgate might as well be on the moon as far as Cougs are concerned. HEB, Kroger, Walmart, Target, Piggly Wiggly, who cares, as long as it’s not at Gulfgate.

  • @MikeNomad: “No, the two Walmart stores are not going to be too close to one another. Kroger and Randall’s were also approached re: being the anchor. They both declined as well.”

    Where is this information coming from? Anything credible or just neighborhood gossip? It’s strange that the Eastwod CA would be given this somewhat inside information and that nobody else seems to have.

    Also on what basis do you say the two Walmarts would not be too close? Is this just your (worthless) gut feeling?

  • @Ezekial
    How is Gulfgate so difficult for you to get to? You get on the freeway and exit Woodridge. It’s the same as driving everywhere else in Houston. I go to Lowes or Home Depot all the time from Eastwood. It’s pretty easy actually.

  • Yeah, can’t see Gulfgate access being a problem when you’ve got both the freeway and OST / Telephone.
    As noted, the East End is not bereft of grocery stores; it may be bereft of PREFERRED grocery stores, but there’s still some there, most notably the Kombat Kroger in the immediate vicinity to this site. Yes, the area’s population is growing, but it’s hardly dense, and university students show poor income demographics (an accident of the Census, given that many get handsome allowances from their parents). So the list of obstacles a new grocery store (or Target for that matter) would have to overcome include: (1) existing stores nearby (2) low-density, albeit growing, population (3) demographic data which will pull in students and low income households in 3rd Ward and the East End (4) a lack of growth in middle income FAMILY households, which spend more at grocery and general merchandise stores than single and childless households.
    Bottom line for grocery dreamers: the numbers probably don’t add up yet, despite what’s happening in EaDo and Eastwood. Who knows, maybe a risk-taking player might move to secure that site or others, but that’s definitely a future-looking deal, something grocery chains aren’t known for. If anything, the more desirable location would be closer to US 59, where you could capture both Downtown and EaDo denser residential growth rather than rely on low density gentrification to the east of the BNSF tracks – but it’s doubtful that land prices would allow the numbers to work there either.

  • Has anyone heard which grocery store will be in this retail center?