Rice is getting ready to plop a few units of student housing on the corner lot long-occupied by the Morningside Court Apartments, a 54-unit building just south of Rice Village that the school bought in 2001. Wasting no time, Rice kicked all the tenants that weren’t students out of the complex that same year — according to Nancy Sarnoff — but kept the 5 buildings standing until last summer. (During that limbo period, the school’s attention was on the opposite side of the Shakespeare St., where the 4-story Rice Village Apartments, also for students, went up in 2008 in place of houses and smaller apartments.)
Three stories of townhouse-like dwellings appear now to be planned for the former Morningside Court corner, where their main entrances will front Shakespeare St. On Thursday, Houston’s planning commission decides whether they can be built up close to that road — about 20 ft. from it as opposed to what’d typically be some extra distance.
- Rice acquiring apartments for conversion into student housing [HBJ]
- Previously on Swamplot: Daily Demolition Report: Neither Meadows Norwood
Images: Houston Planning Commission
Does anyone happen to know which Planning Commission Meeting this was brought up in? I’m assuming the October 25th one?
Wow! Those are so far removed from the student housing I lived in while in college. Both in terms of proximity to the main campus as well as aesthetics. I managed to cram, along with 4 roommates, into a three bedroom ground level that I’m pretty sure was constructed entirely out of pressed cardboard and liquid nails shaped roughly like a rectangle. I still had a 15 minute bus ride to get to campus (although to a school exponentially larger than Rice U). I’m curious how much students will pay to live here?
That is sexy… Revival much? I thought this school had a ‘good’ architecture department, surely they protest?
I recently looked at the current plans for this project. I do not think the building as planned would be a good addition to the neighborhood. For one thing it is premised on 19th century urban row house architecture. For another it is planned to accommodate too many cars at a time when technology is moving in the direction of eliminating private ownership of cars. Uber has become the largest taxi company in the world and doesn’t own a single car. All that garage space could be put to better use. Rice needs to do some serious rethinking.
So, Sandy, where are all those Uber cars going to park when they’re not shuttling drunks around?
rice has to offer first rate student living opportunities to attract the most qualified students. the bricks-and-mortar library may be obsolete with the web, but rice must focus on building a new, world-class library.
The previous apartment building (which Rice did not build, but rather bought, then converted to graduate student housing) was a single building, not five, as reported above, and it had 23 units, not 54. The proposed replacement is four buildings, with a total of 20 units, and provides more on-site, off-street parking for tenants and visitors (the old building had only 22 parking spaces for 23 apartments, the new one will have two spaces per apartment on-site, plus additional visitor spaces).
Accurate details can be found at the informational web site that was set up more than a year ago: http://campushousing.rice.edu/morningsidesquareapartments/
Dee: Some libraries have become glorified study halls/computer labs, like the UH MDA Anderson. It was expensively remodeled 10-15 years ago. Rice is different and probably already has extensive gathering areas (for study groups, etc) located in their colleges, and well-off students with their own computers. But librarians form an active and aggressive group; they want their own buildings, too.