Latest Plans for Former Houston Post Complex: New Entrance Block on St. Charles, Rest of Double Block Mostly for Parking

Lovett Commercial won’t be building that new northwest corner structure on the former Houston Post site previously slated to house a Sprouts Farmers Market at Emancipation and Bell avenues, but it does plan to move ahead with this blocky new entryway housing an elevator and stairway on St. Charles St. — that is, if Houston’s city planning commission gives it the go ahead. The developer fired off an application asking the commission for permission to plant the cube (shown in yellow above) right at the property line, as opposed to 10 ft. from it as would typically be required, but then postponed its consideration for 2 weeks during which it plans to gather more supporting information. The structure would go right outside the existing 3-story building between Emancipation and St. Charles St. that Lovett plans to preserve.

Other portions of that 1944 building already toe the line in similar fashion along St. Charles and Emancipation. They were grandfathered in to the current setback rules, along with the entire north façade of this slightly smaller, abutting structure that lines Polk St.:


Outside of the box, “no major exterior changes or renovations” are planned for either building, slated for a mixed-use cocktail of offices, retail, and now — the developer says — studio lofts.

But on the inside, the powers at Powers Brown Architecture want to hollow out most of the buildings’ first floors — except a corner portion shown below in gray — for parking:


That leaves almost the entire 3-and-a-third-acre double block parkable, with surface spots to the south (indicated on the left) and covered ones to the north. Curb-cut access points line Emancipation and St. Charles, but not Polk or Bell.

Renderings and site plan: Houston Planning Commission

East Downtown

8 Comment

  • This does not seem like an efficient use of the lot at all. I count 192 parking spots in the surface lot. Is the indoor parking really necessary?
    Also, those entrances and exits onto Emancipation are going to be a nightmare. That is a fairly busy street with (I believe) a 35 MPH speed limit. I would imagine that there will be a high likelihood of collision from people trying to pull out of the indoor parking exit—which probably would not have an optimal line of sight to oncoming traffic, given the almost non-existent set-back mentioned in the article.
    Better idea would be to restrict driveway access to drives on Bell and St Charles only, as those streets are far less busy.

  • Looking back at the site plan, it does seem like the building (proposed modification? not sure) would not extend out as far as I thought, so the sight lines aren’t as compromised.
    I still stand by my comment regarding the volume of parking though. Seems like overkill.

  • Disappointing. Many residents in the area (like me) were holding out hope for a grocery store which is desperately needed!!

  • Total bummer that there will be no grocery store here.

  • Phoenicia in Downtown and Kroger on Polk & Cullen are grocery stores that are a reasonable distance from EaDo and East End. The distance between both is 1.5 miles. They may not have the products or amenities that gentrifying residents seek out, but they have a decent selection that can get the job done when it comes to meal planning and preparation.

    I have lived in EaDo for 5 years and have been able to host dinner parties of 6-12 people by shopping at the Kroger and Phoenicia for all ingredients that I need. Until other grocery stores decide to open in the neighborhood, we should take advantage of what we have.

  • @EMA agree with your comments in general, but after 10 years, I am just sick of this Krogers. Recent renovations seemed to have fixed the mouse problem. The store now carries IBC root beer. But it did not have half-and-half last week and is often out of broccoli. I am afraid to eat anything out of the deli. Phoenicia has a great deli, but requires a bit more effort to get to.

  • Absolute bummer to find they’ve done away with the grocery store. Eado is in dire need of a high-end grocery, look at any other neighborhood with a similar median income and concentration of residential developments, this is certainly a gap of opportunity still missing. Aside from that, I am interested to see what the rest of the tenants will look like.

  • Let this site plan stand as a response to all those people who assume that zero parking minimums means zero parking. This site is exempt from CoH’s minimum parking requirements, and yet 90% of the surface area is dedicated to storing automobiles.