Pay No Attention to the Construction Work Now Taking Place on the Ashby Highrise Site

Buckhead Investment Partners tells Swamplot that the work crew, excavator, and large drainage pipes spotted on location yesterday and today at the east end of the site of the residential building known as the Ashby Highrise at 1717 Bissonnet St. constitutes nothing more than “on-going site work.” Multiple permits to construct the proposed 21-story Boulevard Oaks tower have been issued over the past decade — the most recent ones a little less than a year ago. And construction crews have been active on the site before. But Buckhead reports to Swamplot that there is “nothing else meaningful to report at this time.”


Photos: Swamplot inbox

Just Digging It

7 Comment

  • when I win the lottery on Saturday night I am going to waste some of my money buying this site from the developer and building an apartment complex with as many units as there were previously and renting them all out as low income housing.

  • Toasty – That is essentially what was there before and honestly very few had a problem with it. Granted it was not section 8 housing, but it was low cost and full of students, retail workers, etc. Most of the complaints around the development stem from concerns over the height of the structure not fitting with the neighborhood, and the increased traffic, not the replacement of 200 something units with 200 something units. 200 high dollar units = 400+ cars at an already crappy set of intersections. 200 low rent units likely means more bus/bike/walking traffic.

    Buckhead needs to give up on the idea of a residential tower, there just isn’t the market for it. I think they need to follow the example from the old Shell Lab on Holcombe, add a private street or two and subdivide for 3-4story freestanding homes. Pack them in tight, you could get a lot of units on the property and finally make some money off the place.

  • Ignoring the rather elitist presumptions about transportation (how do all those people in expensive Galleria condos/apartments get to work?), drive into any middle/lower middle class neighborhood on a weekend and tell me that lower priced housing means fewer cars. The driveways will be full, and there will be room for one car to drive down the middle because of all the others parked on the street.

  • If traffic is the issue, then be apart of the solution and start using transit. You have a bus (#65)that runs with pretty good frequency (12-15 headways) on Bissonnet: and it takes you directly to the red line

  • @MH005 – while your suggestion is logical, it ignores the sunk costs the developer has in this deal. One can only imagine the size of the check he’d have to bring to closing. The only way your scenario plays out is if the developers get foreclosed and the bank unloads it afterward.

  • Its also worth noting that per the County Clerk’s records the developer’s original loan matured in 2013 and it’s been continuously extended every 4 to 6 months with the latest extension moving the due date to October 4, 2017. Getting a construction loan is going to be challenging, and putting and keeping the equity together even more so.

  • @Meh- Just reflecting the traffic that was there when it was Maryland Manor. Lots of parking, but in the middle of the day most of the cars still parked, so bus/foot traffic.

    I ride my bike fairly regularly, doing what I can to cut down on traffic. Plus, it’s getting tough to get a parking space at HEB.

    At some point, somebody (Buckhead or the bank) is going to take a hit off this property. All those holding costs are adding up every day and I think the Buckhead vision of a $20M payday has long sailed away. If they sell it there is no way they make back all the sunk costs. If they develop it, slowly, they can avoid borrowing much more and might be able to walk away in the black.