Roosting in a $484K Downtown Loft with a Byrds Eye View


919 Prairie St., Downtown HoustonLimestone-paneled Byrd’s Department Store, designed by architect Joseph Finger in an early modern style back in 1934, was turned into an awning-skirted mixed-use structure in 2005. The conversion was planned by Ray + Hollington for builder Robert Fretz, grandson of the original builder, and left the upper portions of the building rebranded as Byrds (no apostrophe) Lofts. In the retail space downstairs is Georgia’s Market. Upstairs, one of the second-story condos was put up for sale last week, with an asking price of $484,000. But the listing’s interior peeks still leave some rooms up to the online condo-shopper’s imagination.



Where are the 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and powder room in the 1,453-sq.-ft. space? Photos only briefly pan across the all-in-one living-dining-kitchen, which share tall, wide steel-framed windows looking south:


In the kitchen, slabs of slate are deployed for various uses: as counters, backsplash, and island dining overhang:


Could bed-and-bath access be between the oven tower wall and microwave (above) or near the matte-and-polished steel tile entry door (below)? Do they have windows?


The building description included in the listing says it has 5 units (though only 4 make it into HCAD’s records) and that they share a 3,500 sq.-ft. roof terrace with landscaped redwood deck, grill room, and bar.  There’s no mention of any included parking. The unit’s monthly maintenance fee is $660. This condo last sold in 2010 — for $430K.



Among the sky and scrapers in view is another remixed commercial building; Rice Lofts is right down Main Street’s lineup of vintage storefronts. Across the transit median, meanwhile, sits the former Isis Theater building.


Cornering the Market

2 Comment

  • This building was the Lewis-Nathan’s Jewelry & Loan for decades until about 1990 when they retired. The building then remained vacant until the first Main St revival that the first rail line killed.

  • There is parking as part of this unit. I know that they had purchased the lot between this building and the old Cabo spot a while back for parking for the residential development.