New 30-Story 3400 Montrose Tower Will Face Kroger, Show Montrose Blvd. Its Garage and Drive-Thru

Rendering of Proposed 30-Story Hanover Apartment Tower at 3400 Montrose, Montrose, Houston

The new 30-story apartment tower the Hanover Company is planning to replace the vacant 10-story office tower just south of the Kroger at Montrose and Hawthorne will hang back from the street that gives the new development its name. Renderings submitted to the city’s planning department in conjunction with a variance request for the development — labeled 3400 Montrose like its predecessor — show a structure set back approximately 30 ft. from Montrose Blvd., but hugging and favoring its Hawthorne St. side, where the views of the Kroger parking lot (if you look down from your new skypad) will be much better. The rendering above shows how the building’s Montrose Blvd. face should look, from a spot just south of the Walgreens drive-thru across the street.

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3400 Montrose Office Building, Montrose, HoustonThe office tower the new building will be replacing, perhaps best known as the 9-story pedestal that supported Scott Gertner’s Skybar (and Cody’s before that), was notably different — and for Houston, it does now appear a bit of an urban oddity. Built long before the city required new buildings to sit 25 ft. back from major thoroughfares like Montrose, it lined that busy street with retail spaces, hid the garage in back, and had its walk-up entrance at the corner.

The most telling detail from the renderings of Hanover’s replacement, by Chicago-and-SF architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz, is the imagined signage wrapping around the corner. The “3400″ faces Montrose, but the word “Montrose” will face Hawthorne. And so will most of the building’s main features: The guest driveway entrance will come off Hawthorne; its lobby window and the balconies on the upper floors will face Hawthorne, and so will its widest face. (The 2-lane street will also get a couple of garage driveways.) Here are the Hawthorne views:

Rendering of Proposed 30-Story Hanover Apartment Tower at 3400 Montrose, Montrose, Houston

Rendering of Proposed 30-Story Hanover Apartment Tower at 3400 Montrose, Montrose, Houston

Montrose Blvd., on the other hand, gets a side view of the building, a partially masked look at guests stepping out of their cars, and a garage and driveway exit:

Rendering of Proposed 30-Story Hanover Apartment Tower at 3400 Montrose, Montrose, Houston

Rendering of Proposed 30-Story Hanover Apartment Tower at 3400 Montrose, Montrose, Houston

The renderings show 20 floors of apartments on top of a double-height amenity deck, which sits on a parking garage that appears to have 7 levels. The development will extend the complete depth of the block, taking over 2 houses on Yoakum St.

Here’s a site plan; Montrose Blvd. is on the right:

Site Plan of Proposed 30-Story Hanover Apartment Tower at 3400 Montrose, Montrose, Houston

Though Hanover isn’t trying to get around the setback rules for Montrose Blvd., it is asking for a little help on the Hawthorne side: A variance request that will likely be heard by the city on January 23rd asks permission to install the ground-floor canopy and extended amenity-deck-level balcony shown in this Hawthorne St. view:

Rendering of Proposed 30-Story Hanover Apartment Tower at 3400 Montrose, Montrose, Houston

Both would encroach into that the required 10-ft. setback on that street.

Renderings: Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architects. Site plan: GWH Landscape Architects.

Hanover Looks North

43 Comment

  • No ground-floor retail? Uh oh.

  • Yet another Montrose high-rise without zip-line service to Lola’s patio. Ugh.

  • Another really imaginative design for Houston.

  • Hey, not ideal, but better than the hulk that is sitting there now.

    Montrose Blvd has quite a lot of new, high rise development around it and appears to be the next great corridor for high-rises. Too bad about the feel of “the hood” …..

  • This boom is crazy. I cant even imagine what the city is going to look like in 3 years! Despite the current craziness Houston is still 20000 homes short of a neutral market.

  • Notice almost every car drawn is an Audi.

  • Rex,
    You have to fill all those apartments with somebody!

  • Looks awful. It will also cost two of the remaining fine homes on Yoakum, although they have been deteriorating for decades. Now the Kroger will spend it’s life in shadow – should help with the a/c costs. Another piece of recent history gone…

  • Finally – a huge improvement over that existing eyesore. Can’t wait for the implosion.

  • I lived in the Parc IV mid-rise at 3614 Montrose from 1986-1993. This new building reminds me of an updated version of the Parcs Towers. Two 12 story towers and a parking garage merged into one new structure. I hope the building turns out as nice. When I lived at the parcs, they were very well maintained and managed. A great staff, great neighbors and a wonderful location to live. Many times I still think of the good times there- especially now as I suffer thru Chicago Winters in the burbs………………

  • I just wish they would superimpose their renderings on photos or drawings of the actual location. I live in the neighborhood and the surroundings in the rendering are barely recognizable.

  • Boring design, eh? Hanover seems to build nice properties, but really plain, boring design, from what I see around town.

    Is this a result of cutting corners for a cheap build or boring architects?

  • Looks like a contemporary version of Houston House.

  • Finally! Montrose is going to be beautiful once they get rid of that shopping center at the corner of Montrose and Westheimer

  • Demi – It’s the result of experience acquired from building condo/apartment towers all over the country. They know what will sell and how to design/build it in a cost effective manner that yields profits for their investors. They are very good at what they do.

  • I think it’s great someone is going to finally tear down the already falling down building that is at this address. I also think it’s great a residential highrise is going up at this location. Though I know some on here will lament the funky Montrose of old, this tower helps Montrose be seen as one of the few truly walkable neighborhoods in Houston.
    My one gripe it why would the architects and developers site this project where the views from apartments will be mostly North/South? The main reason Scott Gertner’s was so popular was the awesome view of downtown. I would think that you could rent apartments with a full on view of downtown for a higher price than one’s looking north toward Allen Parkway. A west exposure would take in Greenway Plaza and Galleria skylines as well. If they are gaining the full block, I don’t see why the axis is constrained to face the way it does.

  • @ShadyHeighster – Exactly. The architect could have rotated the design as it rises so that more units would have downtown views, not to mention it would absolutely give the building some character.

    Come on, sbv. Nobody wants boring. Especially in the “funkiest” patr of town. Give us something to view!

  • Rotating the design would only slightly improve the downtown view for the broad side of the building. The center of the CBD is slighty more East than Northeast from this sight, so both faces of the building can basically view it at a 45 degree angle. I’m sure they will all be marketed as downtown views. The current orientation also preserves views of the Med Center, which I think is also quite lovely at sunset.

  • Hats off to Hanover and SCB for a contemporary building that pays homage to the modernist building it replaces. Nice departure from all the brick apartment buildings going up around town. I remember the amazing views from the Sky Bar, and would love to have that view from my living room.

  • Are you nuts?–this building is bland and dull and barely an improvement over that old hulk sitting there now–everybody on Swamplot goes nuts over every development over 20 stories!–oh golly Houston is looking like New York–oh WOW the city is looking like Dubai!!–get a f**king grip, it’s one!! ugly highrise following about 10 new highrises, mostly very underwhelming –get a grip dorks, Houston will never be NYC and that’s ok–

  • What about all that asbestos ?

  • ^^Shannon. Wish you lived there. Since, You’re the only one talking about NY.

  • Too tall for the area, 30 stories are you kidding ME ! Anyone trying to commute up Montrose from the medical center during rush hour will love the additional traffic !

  • One no I don’t what to live in NYC–all those great museums, restaurants, Broadway shows, world class architecture, great public transportion, great parks, center of the fashion, advertising, financial, diamond industry to name a few–yeah, who would anyone want to live at he center of the universe, all those 8.5 million people are nuts, what do they know, right

  • Good Grief! More traffic on Hawthorne. As it is now, one gets beaten to death in their car with all the pot holes! And just wait to see the rush hour on Montrose via Medical Center. Traffic backups cause blocking of residential streets now. Developers need to be responsible for the additional traffic on the streets since the city appears unable.

  • @Jamie — There’s nothing wrong with Audis.
    @Traffic Complainers — We’re the 4th largest city. What do you expect? No traffic? Keep dreaming.
    @Hate the Design peeps — Yawn…this lamenting is cliché and tiresome now. The design isn’t amazing, but a lot more interesting that the decrepit, rundown building it’s replacing.
    @Shannon — We understand Houston will never be NYC. Nobody except you is making that comparison. Having lived in Manhattan for a time, I did enjoy my experience, but you make it out to be a wonderland. It’s great for singles, childless couples, and the uber wealthy. The vast majority of people, thought, work long hours, live in tiny places, etc. A lot of my friends at the time were sharing 2-/3-bedroom apartments that were very expensive and small. NYC is fun for a season, but not ideal for most people.

  • DOES ANYONE EVEN CARE ABOUT SAVING MONTROSE?! These changes are ruining the community, and unlike others, I do believe a part of the original Montrose is still alive. What little is left can be saved. The construction of this 30-effing-story tower will be the final straw – the beginning of the absolute end. This is my worst nightmare. This kind of development needs to be taken to downtown, to the med center, or even to “Upper Kirby” or “Midtown”, but NOT to Montrose. Because I can’t say it better myself: “Montrose has been “a haven for Prohibition honkey-tonks, antique stores, wealthy socialites, motorcycle gangs, gays, harmless eccentrics and a broad array of exiles, writers, artists and musicians.”"(Dreyer). It has now been taken over by “young professionals” and upper-middle class clones (most of whom aren’t even from Houston). Why can’t people restore vs. demolish and rebuild? It saves money, reduces wastes, and maintains community. The original 3400 Montrose tower would have made awesome apartment/loft living. But, no, Houston has no sense of historical preservation or intelligence. With all of the growth the city is having, Houston needs to learn to grow “smart”. But, apparently the only thing people care about these days is MONEY. They don’t give a flyin’ flip about community, sustainability, or the way they are impacting the direction of society. The change is heartbreaking and disgusting. And, worse, NO ONE EVEN CARES. Something needs to be done. Please help!

  • Ah more high rise construction: glad Annise Parker won’t have the traffic snarls in her hood!!!

  • Ah yes: Mayor Parkers administration cedes more variances to developers. And her neighborhood is so tightly deed restricted. What a load of hypocrisy . And the traffic snarls during construction will be lovely..

  • @ Patrick. Oh get off the Mayor Parker blah blah blah. I’m no fan of the flip flopping über politician either but so what if she lives in a deed restricted neighborhood? So did Bill White, Bob Lanier and Kathy Whitmire. So do I. So do lots of people who don’t want all these encroachments. You are welcome to move to one as well. And if it is true that more variances have occurred under her watch, logic would dictate it is because this building boom did not occur in previous administrations. Plus the Planning Commision grants the variances not the Mayor’s office. If you want to cast blame, look towards those that set the City up with no zoning. And like many others have said, it replaces an eyesore that was beyond logical rehabilation costs. Let’s hope it drives out Covenant House and all the other riff raff around that part of the ‘hood.

  • Help: The city would never have allowed someone to buy that building and convert it to lofts. Trying to wrangle that building to fit today’s codes would have made it impossible. It *could* be done, but the city would have to allow people to build to what the market says is acceptable vs. what they say is acceptable.
    .
    Patrick: To be fair, our mayor is in favor of a similar variance request in her subdivision as what the 3400 Montrose builder is requesting. The land by the supr/W. Alabama is going to be developed and they need a waiving of a deed restriction setback requirement.

  • Philip Acquaro: I live on Hawthorn and I walk on it (or skatebaord) more than I drive. Walk to Kroger, Wallgreens, Starbucks, Berry Hill, froyo, pizza, walk to brazil, shops on Westhiemer (too many to mention), Mangos (I don’t, but I could :), the new steak place, etc.
    .
    Walk around man. It’s why we live in this area.

  • Help — If I’m not mistaken, Montrose was originally established as a wealthy enclave with mansion when it first appeared on the map. Since then, it has transformed into “a haven for Prohibition honkey-tonks, antique stores, wealthy socialites, motorcycle gangs, gays, harmless eccentrics and a broad array of exiles, writers, artists and musicians.” To claim that Montrose has always been this haven does not appear to be accurate or true.

    Many of us favor restoration. My chiropractor used to work in that build and it was terrible. I hated going to the chiro just because of the derelict building. I’m happy to see it be replaced with something new.

  • The variance request here has nothing to do with “deed restrictions”. These requests are for variances to CITY CODE, not deed restrictions. Deed restrcitions are private tools enforced by neighborhood associations (and via State Law, by the City when issuing building permits). The City will not issue permits in violation of Deed Restrictions, but it is not brought into the enforcement of them unless there is a violation that crops up. Most of Montrose is probably free from deed restrictions because if they expired or were unenforced, they have already been broken. The Mayor has nothing to do with deed restrictions and does not approve every single request for variance that comes before the planning commission. By the way, there are a whole bunch of other elected officials besides the Mayor who contribute to decision making for the City and last I looked, they were put in office by a bunch of radicals known as voters.

  • There are several townhouses on Yoakum with garages behind them and driveway access from Hawthorne. It would appear that the northern most townhouse will be demolished along with the old two story house on the northeast corner of Yoakum & Hawthorne. What about the garage access for the remaining townhouses?

  • I wonder what the owners of the property on the southwest corner of Westheimer and Montrose will do now that this will be built? I seem to recall it being PM Realty, but not sure.

  • Oh good, there isn’t nearly enough traffic over there.

  • Can’t we get rid of Kroger instead? It’s disappointing that Houston can’t get its zoning code right (yes, its stupid rules about setbacks, density and parking do amount to a zoning ordinance). If we’re going to bring Galleria-style high-rises into Montrose, we might as well just accept that car-based high density is our future for the central city. But don’t be surprised when traffic inside the loop is as bad as Uptown if we’re going to build an unwalkable central city.

  • @Keith, you might be surprised by the number of us in this city who could not care less whether the city is walkable or not, because we aren’t going to be walking. Unless you are going to restrict the number of people allowed to visit businesses from outside neighborhoods, there will have to be provision made for cars. A business that attracts 300 customers driving cars needs to have enough parking capacity to handle that.

  • Bill- The townhouses on Yoakum are being bought up for demolition. I have noticed quite an increase in homeless persons walking the neighborhood since work has begun on the building. Many neighbors, including myself are very concerned about the increased traffic this apartment building will bring to the deteriorating streets surrounding the building and the neighborhood.

  • Who is doing the demolition? Anybody have a phone number for the company? I would love the old windows for a green house I am building.