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.
- Previously on Swamplot: East Downtown’s Houston Post Building Now Airing Out in Preparation for What’s Next; Sprouts Farmers Market Shown Sprouting in East Downtown’s Ex-Houston Post Complex; First Sign of a Post Journalism Future for an East Downtown Double Block
Renderings and site plan: Houston Planning Commission