Second Downtown SkyHouse Highrise Will Go Up on Main St. Just South of the First

Proposed SkyHouse Main Apartment Tower, Main St. at Pease St., Downtown Houston

Atlanta’s Novare Group, known for planting glassy crowned apartment towers in Sunbelt cities, is about to build its third in Houston. If the SkyHouse Main the company is planning for the block surrounded by Main, Fannin, Pease and Jefferson (across the light-rail line from the Beaconsfield) looks familiar, that’s because the new 24-story, 335-unit project appears identical to the SkyHouse Houston building it just completed a block to the north. That means a multi-level parking garage on the east side of the block, and retail space on the ground floor, fronting the rail line.

SkyHouse Main would be the company’s third SkyHouse in Houston: SkyHouse River Oaks is currently under construction southwest of River Oaks, on the site of one of the former Westcreek Apartments just east of the West Loop.

Rendering: Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart

SkyHouse Main

31 Comment

  • I wasn’t 100% sure if I liked the way this building looked when it was first erected. I can now say, without a doubt, that I think an identical building right next door will make it look a lot better. I’m loving this already.

  • Looks like a fantastic addition to downtown. This will fill one of the worst “parking craters” on Main Street with street level retail and bring in more residents. Now if only we could get some another grocery store or two in downtown as well.

  • OH. MY. GOODNESS. Every block gets a Skyhouse! Pease gets a Skyhouse. Jefferson gets a Skyhosue. River Oaks gets a Skyhouse……

  • Twin buildings when they’re done right, like the Four Leaf Condo’s, looks like cool sculpture. When they’re done like this however, they just look like upscale Robert Taylor Homes. This developer could have made one building taller or tweeked the design to give some character to each building. I get that they want every building to be familiar, but do they have to be the exact same? Atlanta has a lot of duplicate condo towers and it makes their skyline look like Sim City, well that and the fact the skyline creeps down Peachtree for 5 miles in fits and starts, like Park Avenue was picked up and moved to Atlanta.

  • I think the Heights should get one next.

  • Identical towers all scattered around in different submarkets are okay. Don’t put them next to each other unless doing so creates a unique architectural landmark (i.e. Pennzoil Place).

    Different architectural styles appeal to different people in different ways. Some people like glass facades. Some people like brick facades. Some people like it glassy, but slick and clean with few other architectural flourishes. The amenity packages should be slightly different, too. Give them different personalities and you’ll more easily capture a larger share of the total downtown market in this tight little corner of that submarket.

  • Rumor mill has it that the block to the southeast of here (across Main from Amegy, across St. Joseph from METRO) has been sold as well for residential development.

  • Christian, while I agree that downtown could use more grocery stores, the two SkyHouses are only about 7 blocks from the Randall’s on Hadley. I bet they will be closer to their neighborhood grocery store than the vast majority of Houstonians.

  • I just imagine coming home drunk, going through the lobby, going up to my floor (I’m sure this is my floor) and not being able to unlock my door. I’m sure this is my door.

  • @Robert: True, but that’s still a pretty long hike while carrying groceries. I’d like to see downtown become the totally walkable, vibrant city center that a city of 2+ million deserves. It’s starting to get there, but more of everything is needed, and the ability to pick up groceries on foot is a key component to attracting the residents who will further downtown’s growth.

  • As long as they don’t squish six of these on one lot with a single skinny driveway down the middle, I think we will be ok.
    The Skyhouses look like parking garages for people when you get up close and in person with them. They are just plain concrete structures with windows. There is almost a neo-brutalism element to them. Except, the brutality is the extreme economic efficiency of the architecture. The second one is the same as the first not because it saves money. It is the same because they could not come up with a design that could be build for any cheaper than the first.

  • Oh puh-leese and boo hoo. Cry me a river about the downtown grocery scene.

    If you can afford to live in a brand-new downtown highrise and can’t be bothered (or believe it un-hipster-like) to drive, walk, cycle, and/or ride transit all of the seven blocks to the nearest Whole Foods or nine blocks to the nearest Randall’s or to hop on the train at the station in front of your apartment building and take it to the Wheeler TC on a long cattycorner from a Fiesta or to take the train to the McGowan Station and walk four blocks to Spec’s or to take the train to the Preston Station in front of Georgia’s Market, then surely you can afford to have your groceries delivered. Whole Foods does it. Georgia’s Market does it. Amazon Pantry does it for non-perishables, and I’ll bet that Amazon Fresh is coming soon. Other third-party delivery services are available, too.

    The availability of groceries to downtown residents should not be a lifestyle barrier anymore, unless its just that you happen to think that poor schmucks selling fruit and vegetables in outdoor stalls all day long on the sidewalk right in front of your tall shimmering abode is somehow a necessary amenity and that with an insufficient dose of what you incorrectly think is “irony”, you cannot possibly be expected to persevere or flourish or some other bullcrap like that. And if that’s what our society has come to…then seriously WTF? W.T.F.

  • There is a reason for the tunnel system. First, Houston has in climate weather, second, Downtown is a good place to get run over, third, you get harassed on the sidewalk by a vagrant every block. Downtown Houston is certainly becoming more vibrant and more and more people are moving down there, but it’s never going to be the Upper East Side and this obsession with a grocery store downtown is getting redundant. If there is a market AND they can find a space that makes sense then I’m sure one will appear, if not you all can save up and open your own.

  • @Christian: If you put grocery stores closer to everyone living downtown there will be nothing there but grocery stores. People who live in high rises have their groceries delivered.

  • What is unprecedented about this is that you have the same thing two blocks in a row on Main Street. You have ground floor retail and no parking garage, two blocks in a row on Main Street.

  • “well that and the fact the skyline creeps down Peachtree for 5 miles in fits and starts, like Park Avenue was picked up and moved to Atlanta.”

    Park Avenue is always what I think of when I look at Peachtree in Atlanta. ;-)

  • I second what TheNiche said, and I’ll add that there’s a nice Phoenicia Market within walking distance of this as well.
    There is plenty of occupancy in the new highrises built in downtown Austin over the last few years, and their nearest grocery would be the Whole Foods at Lamar and West 6th. So there’s more food options in downtown Houston than in downtown Austin.

  • A full-sized (50,000 sq.ft. +) grocery store, by suburban decent store standards (a Kroger, HEB etc.), usually needs at least 8,000 residents of at least middle-income households to be considered viable. Maybe more if those households are primarily childless, as they are downtown. So let’s say 10,000 for downtown. It has a ways to go.

    And those who refuse to count the Randall’s, the Wheeler Fiesta, the Quitman Fiesta, etc.? They are easy to get to if you’re downtown (well OK it’s hard to drive to Quitman at the moment, but you can use the METRORail). It’s hardly like you live in a food desert. Think of what it’s like living deep within some of the bigger suburban masterplanned communities – how far it is for them to get to the grocery store. You don’t have it so bad. Plus there’s Phoenicia and Georgia’s to fill in the gaps.

  • I’m willing to bet that there will be a B-cycle station put in once these two buildings are up; and guess what? Those bikes have front baskets that were made to hold groceries. Not having a grocery store directly across the street is really not going to be a barrier to living in downtown.

  • Ah yeah, correction. The seven-block distance is for Phoenicia, not WF. Brain fart.

  • It’s like Sim City!

  • I like the twin towers look. And yes downtown has plenty of grocery stores. It’s just land downtown is to expensive to build a business such as a grocery store. The only way you could build a profitable grocery store downtown is if it was on the first floor of a tower such as Phoenica.

  • Guys, I’m not necessarily talking about a full size supermarket. Just two or three little NYC-style grocery/convenience stores scattered around downtown with a thousand or so square feet apiece would be fine.

  • When I lived at the Rice Lofts it took me maybe 7 min to drive to the Randall’s. Not bad at all! It’s about the same as most people I know who live in the suburbs. I do wish Georgia’s Market stayed open later for those night time last minute grocery needs like milk, chips, etc etc

  • Christian, just don’t complain then about the extra-high prices typically charged in those kinds of stores. You’ll pay for convenience.

  • Downtown Austin has many more grocery options than just Whole Foods. There are multiple Royal Blue Grocery stores sprinkled across downtown. They fit the NYC bodega style grocery/convenience stores except much nicer/cleaner. Downtown Austin is also getting a Trader Joe’s also. I get what Christian is saying. I don’t think he wants an HEB on every block.

  • @Matt

    Yes, the Royal Blue stores in downtown Austin are great. The closest thing we have is Georgia Market, but that is only one location.

  • Does anybody have the scoop on the new W Hotel going in?

  • @Simone

    Where are you hearing about a new W?

  • Houston ought to play to its strengths and develop the inner loop into yuppie heaven (or yuppie hell, depending on your perspective) – Whole Foods as the predominant grocery option, Chipotle as go-to fast food, 24-hour fitness supersport, extreme walkability…

    …with the usual bars and restsurants providing infill…and the Bagby St design format/protocol predominating.

    Other cities would kill to accomodate new residents to such an extent but are permanently obstructed by land use restrictions and excessive wait times for new development.

  • Skyhouse is student housing. Look at the floorplans. $3-$4 per square foot and it is the cheapest highrise in Houston – all 3 of them. Simpleton cookie-cutter trash.

    Are renters that stupid?