New Modern Retail Center To Park Next to Former Jimmy’s Ice House, Dangle Deck Over Ditch on Its Side

A new shopping center dubbed South Heights on White Oak has plans to land in the shared parking lot on White Oak Dr. just west of the former Jimmy’s Ice House at Threlkeld St. The rendering at top — taken from a leasing flyer for the development put out by Centric Commercial — views the proposed woodsy building from the north side of White Oak Dr., at the edge of the lot between Christian’s Tailgate and Barnaby’s Cafe. On the east side of the building, a deck fronted by a glass curtain wall cantilevers over a drainage ditch that runs north from White Oak Bayou through the woods between the site and the neighboring ice house.

A view across the parking lot from its southwest corner shows the low-lying area on the right:


Here’s what the ditch and the sliver of parking lot beyond it look like from the ice house’s own lot just east of the site:

Back on level ground, a patio fronts the west side of the planned building at 2805 White Oak, outside what’s shown below as its coffee component:

Only 5 spots are planned for the 10,000-sq.-ft. building’s parking lot, indicated in the site plan with one way in and one way out onto White Oak. However, the owner of the property — an affiliate of automated parking developer Easy Park — is the same entity that bought the yellow car hangar across the street and appears to have plans to dramatically increase that lot’s car capacity:


Photos: LoopNet (parking lot); Swamplot inbox (drainage ditch). Renderings and site plans: Centric Commercial

Low-Slung in the Heights

12 Comment

  • I remember when modern stuff didn’t look old.

  • Parking just went from completely frustrating to gonna be impossible. As for the automated parking garage to go in next to taco’s and Christians. . . .well, people may not respond well to putting their car into a vending machine. How will that handle a suburban or extended cab truck? Uber it is!

  • Infill development on a former surface lot is a huge deal, and I’d love to see more of it.
    Ideally, the city would exempt individual developments from parking minimums so that parking structures can be built to serve popular destinations, and allow new development on what is currently surface parking. In the meantime, it takes a single developer to have a critical mass in a particular area to make this work. The other current example is the project in Fairview in Montrose.
    The Waterworks development on 19th would be another good candidate, as Braun has a lot of other surface parking nearby that could be profitably developed if they went vertical with the parking on that development.

  • This is located above Gostic Gulch which is a home to numerous turtles and other wildlife. Neighbors have been feeding the turtles for years. Some are very old and large. What consideration is being made to safeguard and protect their habitat?

  • Re the turtles and wildlife – answer is not a damn thing. If we want to save them we’ll have to do it! Let’s get started!

  • Add on a turtle ice house for them to knock back a couple o cold ones.

  • They are ditch turtles, they’ll be displaced back into the bayou and find a new ditch to hang out in. The implication that there should be some sort of special plan on dealing with mundane ditch turtles is farcical.

  • “The Farcical Ditch Turtles” would be a good band name.

  • I hope they build it with the “Restaurant”, “Retail”, and “Coffee” signs unchanged. That would really set it apart from the neighboring buildings.

  • How does this project make economic sense? In order to build a slightly larger retail building, they will need to spend millions to build a gigantic parking garage… who is going to park in this garage? How are they going to recoup their investment? White Oak is not a dense shopping district… There are a few neighborhood bars and a few causal restaurants. How much is someone really willing to pay to park so they can eat at Barnaby’s Cafe or Rita’s Ice House??? Is someone really going to valet their car to buy a cup of coffee at the new coffee shop??? I could see maybe building 100 spaces, but 244?

  • @Chester76: “[w]ho is going to park in this garage?”
    Shoppers, I bet. The same sort of people who would drive to a mall and spend several hours walking to different stores and shopping will drive to White Oak and do the same. I ride my bike through that area on the weekends and it’s full of shoppers.

  • @Chester:
    Let’s say that developable commercial land in this part of the Heights is worth $80/sf. There are 39 parking spaces on that 12,100 s.f. lot, which amounts to $24,800 per parking space. If the new parking structure can be built for around that much per space (which is probably pretty close to what it DOES cost), then it already makes economic sense.
    However, the new development removes 34 spaces (on net), and will probably require 75 of its own, depending on use classification, but, as you point out, the new garage provides over 2X this many spaces. Which means that the structure can either accommodate patrons of the other places nearby, or open up additional land for denser development.
    For example, a project was recently announced for the lot next to Fitzgeralds: a 2600 sf restaurant on a 12,500 sf lot, 3/4 of which is dedicated to 26 parking spaces. That same lot could now accommodate 4 restaurants of that size, with all the parking in the new structure.