Marlowe Man, Smarter and Stubblier Than You, Is Selling Randall Davis’s Downtown Condo Tower

Marlowe Sales Office, 1311 Polk St., Downtown Houston

The dude with the squinchy eyes and razor-deprived face plastered along the side of the former ticket booth at 1311 Polk St. downtown is hawking highrise condos in Randall Davis and Roberto Contreras’s 20-story Marlowe building, meant to go up on that very site, across Caroline St. from the eastern end of GreenStreet. And Marlowe is his name, too. “Marlowe is smarter than you,” declares the accompanying website:


Website for Marlowe Condo Tower, Caroline St. at Polk St., Downtown Houston

Inside Marlowe, who’s moving in at 1211 Caroline St., catty-corner from the South Texas College of Law, are 100 condos perched over a 162-space striped parking garage. They have floor plans named after other intense-eye actor types like “Brando,” “Sinatra,” “Pacino,” “Connery,” and “Newman,” (probably for actor Paul, not the Seinfeld mailman). Judging from the calculations plastered on a poster inside surveyed by a Swamplot reader, Marlowe is single, has an annual salary of about $150K, is about to sign up for a $425K+ mortgage, and has consulted his tax advisor. Though he’s pretty open with the budgeting stuff, he likes his condos “stylized.”

Rendering of Proposed Marlowe Condo Tower, Caroline St. at Polk St., Downtown Houston

Photo: Judith. Website and rendering: Randall Davis Company


35 Comment

  • Any ideas about the demographic this could possibly work on?

  • Uh, if I saw that guy walking toward me on the
    street, I’d cross over. He needs a haircut, a bath, and a shave. Are they advertising to Euro-Trash? I actually like the building and the Hollywood vibe is kinda cool from a marketing perspective, but this model is awful.

  • … and his stylized jheri curls

  • He looks more like a Yanni than a Marlowe.

  • Marlowe looks to be a douche…

  • The building’s design is cool and its location is even better – so I’d lose the cheesy pitchman – he resembles a clothed dick dancer.

  • Hard not to laugh that Marlowe is smarter than me when he doesn’t put 20% down and has to pay PMI/P&I on a $425K 30-year note. ;) Cost breakdown has been uploaded here:

  • I can’t stop laughing at this. “Marlowe…strong like BULL.”

  • Meet Marlowe – that guy who chased you and your girlfriends back to your hostel from the bars when you decided to go to Naples for a weekend back in study abroad.

  • Marlowe makes me think of the “Like a Boss” music video, like he just woke up from a bender that he started before his office meeting, sporting a two day shadow and a still-buttoned, starched white collar.

  • just in case no one has pointed this out yet, i think it should be “South Texas College of Law” not “Southwest…”

  • they’re just taking the same dumb ploy and appealing to peoples youth. make no mistake, this building will be an old folks home. and there’s not even Bogart, how sacrilegious.

  • “…salary of about $150K, is about to sign up for a $425K+ mortgage…”

    Seems like a bit of a stretch on that income.

  • Really? Who thought this ad campaign was a fab idea? The Old Spice Man was funny and a bit sexy, but I second the Euro-trash assessment.

  • I think it’s like a bad magician that says “…this ordinary deck of cards…”. But, I mean, at least be smart and complete the thought: “He’s smarter than you, he’s trading rent for ownership” really doesn’t make *much of any* sense. In this case there isn’t a difference between the two, is there? One could wind up to carry that thought in so many different directions that it makes me pessimistic, to say the lease.
    There’s nothing up my sleeves. Brrrrr…..

  • I have two friends who named their dogs Marlowe…

  • That’s the greasiest looking model I’ve seen in ages. If it was in Vegas, maybe it would work. Ugh.

  • I have to hand it to Randall Davis. Every time he seems to have reached the pinnacle of architectural cheesy douchedom, he surpasses himself with something new.

  • Marlowe arrives too late in the cycle. Maybe next boom?

  • ^^^^ What she said. ^^^^

  • If he was smarter he would not be buying an over-priced Condo, in a city where Condo’s are notoriously difficult to sell – and have maintenance fee’s that are often as high as the mortgage payment. Ya, I think Ill go with Marlowe is wanting you to buy out his interest in that money pit so he can cut his losses and run.

  • So the demographic they are pitching for is young tall building lawyers, and oil & gas managers.
    The ones of those in my client base would NOT find that guy appealing, not the ones of either gender.
    But what really doesn’t work with that demographic is being told that some cartoon character is SMARTER than them.

  • @coconutbutter, Some back of the napkin calculations puts the HOA at about $700+ a month. The breakdown also didn’t include insurance because it (plus PMI) would inconveniently put it more expensive than renting.

  • Memebag, your answer would be douchebags.

  • Yes, Marlowe is a Euro-greasy dick dancin’ boss but Marlowe sure seems to inspire us to comment. I think Marlowe is doing his job.

  • Those black stripes of varying widths and patterns on the garage/podium make it look like some draftsman screwed up the lineweights in Microstation.

  • Had Stefanie Cotton show me a townhome a little while back. They should have used her picture (worth a google). It would’ve played way better with the bros they’re trying to court.

  • That guy in the picture looks like no joke

  • Someone should sit the developers down and explain the difference between “stylized” and “stylish.”

  • @spiteful: Thanks for catching that! We’ve fixed it.

  • Randall Davis must be quite the drinking companion.

  • More cheap construction from RD. Houston should be ashamed. Everything he’s done ends up in litigation and just visit his properties – they’re cheap. Embarrassingly cheap, even by RD standards.

  • The pool will not get any sun in the daytime, as it will be blocked by the building. Not really a great design. Was interested initially, but I think I’ll skip it.

  • marlowe’s buying into a bubble…and has decided on the ed harris floor plan…lol…i think randall davis is losing it.