New Apartments Facing Washington Ave Roundabout Will Have Retail on the Ground Floor and Maybe a Trader Joe’s

Proposed Elan Memorial Park Apartments, 904 Westcott St., Rice Military, Houston

Architect Meeks + Partners has posted a rendering of the steel-framed apartment complex Greystar is planning to replace the Memorial Club Apartments lining the southern boundary of the Washington on Westcott roundabout. Swamplot reported Greystar’s plans for the apartments last year — along with a tip that the planned redevelopment would include a new Trader Joe’s. The rendering shows no sign of a Trader Joe’s, but it does show the base of the apartment structure filled with retail spaces and outdoor dining areas facing the roundabout. The view appears to be taken southeast from the roundabout; the existing stone Rice Military placard is in the foreground.


Memorial Club Apartments, 904 Westcott St., Rice Military, HoustonGreystar plans to construct the project, named Elan Memorial Park,  in 2 phases. The first phase will consist of 292 apartments; phase 2 will have 258. The Memorial Club Apartments (pictured at left in a similar view from last year) sit on both sides of Westcott St., so it’s likely that the phases will be on opposite sides of that street from each other.

Rendering: Meeks + Partners, via Urbannizer. Photo: Candace Garcia

Elan Memorial Park

32 Comment

  • If ground floor retail doesn’t include a Bork, why even bother?

  • Seems like only yesterday I was going to see high school punk shows at the Abyss, located right there in a trashed out old theater, and kinda fearing for my life walking to my car. This rendering looks really nice, it’s just strange to see the neighborhood transform.

  • Thank you. Now, was that so hard?

  • This looks like a miniturized Texas Med Center skyline, complete with Methodist’s “ship” leading the fleet.

  • I don’t think that lot is big enough to handle parking for both the apartments and the Trader Joe’s. It will be interesting to see whether this complex will help generate pedestrian traffic, which seems an impossibility in Houston.

  • There’s hope.

  • They might have a parking garage just for Trader Joe’s shoppers. They are building apartments like this in DC where parking is hard to come by. Currently, there is a safeway on the bottom floor with apartments above it but no lots, I believe.

  • Build baby build!! take that NIMBYS!!!

  • I think the “ship” referenced belongs to MD Anderson Cancer Center – we call it the “SS Mendelsohn”!

  • Houston does not need another Trader Joe’s sorry. The only time I went to the one on South Shepard I thought the selection sucked and it was over priced I do not get why the are so popular

  • I did the diddly-hoo-hoo in the Memorial Club apts once

  • Brian: My wife and I LOVE our trader Joes. Overpriced? I’m always surprised how cheap the stuff there is. Maybe I’m missing something…

  • I agree with Cody – really like the TJ’s on Shepperd and so looking forward to TJ’s opening in my neighborhood. Prices at TJ’s are very affordable for the quality you get. I must have been missing something as well…

  • Woo hoo! I agree with the previous comment, Trader Joe’s is so affordable and delicious! And the wine selection is excellent and well priced. Build baby build!

  • Prices don’t seem high at TJs. As for selection, do you really need 50 varieties of everything? The stores picks one, maybe two types of a product and moves on. It’s not like HEB where I just spent 5 minutes deliberating what type of marinara sauce to buy since there were ~10 different bottles to choose from.

  • Back in the 90’s I used to work at Memorial Club. The biggest obstacle we used to have to leasing the $450 a month apartments was that “scary” neighborhood behind it, Rice Military. My times have changed.

  • WOW indeed. Washington on Westcott is (will be) to Houston what DuPont Circle is to DC. There is no more appropriate place in the region for mixed use than right here. The scale of this development is spot on. Hopefully phase two differentiates itself enough from this design to maintain the varying streetscape. The roundabout provides an authentic, public space focal point like none other in Houston from which density and activity will fan out. One can only wonder how long before Specs, Shipley’s, and other nearby blocks will be redeveloped into scale appropriate structures built with pedestrian friendly attributes such as this.

  • Rendering looks like it belongs in a city.
    I went to the TJ’s on Shepard once. Never been more underwhelmed in my life. I don’t get it.

  • I just got an email from Crestwood civic club relaying a conversation had with Greystar about this site. They confirmed many of the details in the article, but said that TJ’s would not be a tenant. Instead they are looking at restaurants to fill the space.

  • Trader’s is an acquired taste. You need to slow down and try a few things that maybe don’t look familiar from your normal grocery store. Lots of blogs out there with recommendations to get you started.

  • DuPont Circle????!! Really?? Errr, not quite. DuPont Circle is the epicenter of gay Washington, it’s gayer than Paul Lynde, Montrose is our DuPont Circle. Though this a cool looking building and I agree, Trader Joe’s, rocks (for what it is). No area of Houston has had more of a transformation than Rice Military, I agree when I was a kid this was a scary area, now it’s highly sought after.

  • It’s like saying Buffalo Bayou Park reminds you of Central Park because it has buildings next to it, I mean, WTF?

  • My first apartment ever was at the Memorial Club. I paid $435 for a 600sf apartment with gated parking, a small pool and workout room.

  • Given the issues with the proximity of Memorial Elementary, which ended up closing the Spec’s on this roundabout, I think Trader Joe’s (or any other business requiring an alcoholic beverage permit) would struggle with permitting. By my reckoning, anything North of Camelia St violates the 1000-ft rule. Given that ground-floor retail tenants in mixed use developments are disproportionately food-and-beverage operations, unless Wow Bistro plans to operate under a private club license, I put the odds of GFR actually happening on this site at somewhere south of 50%.

  • No one shops at Trader Joe’s anymore because it’s always so crowded. And there is not enough parking.

  • Jonas: I shop at the TJ’s on Shepherd and the only time I had trouble finding parking was the first week they opened.

  • No one shops at Trader Joe’s anymore because it’s always so crowded?! I’m confused.

  • @fdm, @HRE: google Yogi Berra.

  • Y’all also know there is a trader joes on south voss between woodway and San filipe. If the only reason you’re not shopping at Tjs is because it’s crowded, try going to the other one. It seems like there’s so much more space and not nearly as crowded. Especially during the week.

  • We’d love to see a grocery adjacent to Rice Military and TJ would definitely fit the bill. I, too, think their prices are reasonable and the selection would be far better than El Tiempo Market. My biggest question is when the city is going to improve the streets in the area to handle all the additional traffic. They are, without question, among the worst in the nation for a city of this size. Can I get an amen on that?

  • The whole thing is one hot convoluted MESS. Greystar is ruining this neighborhood and alot of other areas in Hosuton,The scuttle is once the new kid on the block, the rising star, NOW EVERYONE wants them the heck out of Dodge on the next coach! What they are doing is ruining this city to a degree..what they plan is better for the likes of New York..not little Washington Avenue…and other parts of town. Plus, they could care less about their present tenants. They lied to many of them around town they are booting out, making them hunt for apartments in this dangerously hot weather…

  • WHAT is that big HULKING monstrosity? LOL They tore down the popular Memorial Club for THAT THINGY?
    It is a “unique” but puzzling design to say the least. Will it fit in that little area???? And on a roundabout that is already pretty risky as it is? I wonder whose bright idea that was amongst the talking suits at Greystar. Greystar, once the new “kids” on the block have seemed to outstayed their once touted welcome in Houston. Famous for kicking out residents on short notice, tearing down popular apartments, some not even very old, and coming up with renditions better suited for downtown New York City or Galleria Area at the very least. Oops! My apologies, New York City. You people would have the good taste not to build that tacky out of place building in your city! Greystar, you kicked out the high rent paying residents of Memorial Club for that thing? Makes ya proud to be a Houstonian, doesn’t it? NOT….