In case you were curious what the 9th-floor 1-bedroom condo in the Cosmopolitan owned by southwest Houston charter school Accelerated Interdisciplinary Intermediate Academy looks like, here are some photos taken when the property was listed for sale in February of 2011, for $468,500. The school purchased the condo that June. 250 elementary and middle school students attend Accelerated Interdisciplinary Intermediate Academy on its mostly bare 7-acre campus at 12825 Summit Ridge Dr., near the intersection of Alt. 90 and the Fort Bend Pkwy. Toll Rd. The taxpayer-funded school’s 2 buildings have no windows.
So what’s the condo for? An unidentified school representative emails the Chronicle‘s Jacob Carpenter to explain it’s used for “”back office support and SECURE storage of historical records.” Repeated break-in attempts, according to the representative, prevented the records from being kept at the school. “The writer also reasoned that the charter preferred buying property instead of paying rent, and that its options were ‘very limited,’” writes Carpenter. “The author didn’t explain why the school opted for the condo when cheaper storage and office space were available.”
The almost-floor-to-ceiling windows and balcony in the school’s Cosmopolitan condo face south, down Post Oak Blvd.:
Ralph Bivins tells Swamplot that lots of dirt is being shoved around on the foreclosed former site of the WaterLights District project, west of 288 and just south of the Beltway where all those heads of former heads of state used to hang out. Pearland’s Ivy District is now being planted on the site instead: plans for the $300-million development include a multifamily complex, condos, a senior living community, townhomes, office buildings, and room for retail.
Part of the project’s funding will come from the EB-5 visa program, which allows wealthy foreigners and their immediate families to immigrate to the US in exchange for a necessary investment expected to create at least 10 jobs. Sueba USA and Beijing-owned American Modern Green are developing the site; American Modern’s parent company Modern Land of China has worked on projects in China (including Steve Holl’s twisty Linked Hybrid in Beijing) and Vancouver, but the Ivy District is its first US venture.
American Modern Green bought the land straddling the Harris-Brazoria county line back in late 2012 following the 2010 foreclosure. Here’s the breakdown of what will go where, per the current plans on the Ivy District’s website:
COSMOPOLITAN’S CONDO ASSOCIATION PREEMPTIVELY SUED BY WOULD-BE NEXT-DOOR HIGHRISE DEVELOPER IN UPTOWN Dinerstein is evidently embracing the ‘inevitable lawsuit’ over its proposed 40-story Vantage highrise (planned for the northwest corner of Post Oak Blvd. and San Felipe Dr. next to the 22-story Cosmopolitan condo tower) by suing first, reports Nancy Sarnoff. In 2014, Cosmo residents formed a political action committee to oppose a now-scrapped 50-story tower planned by AmREIT for the same Uptown corner; Sarnoff reports that the lot’s current owner has filed a suit against the condo association to preemptively block nuisance claims related to the tower’s construction (which featured prominently in the legal fight surrounding the Ashby highrise). The plaintiff also wants a judge’s declaration that the condo group doesn’t have legal standing to sue based on alleged violation of city ordinances; the developer wants attorney’s fees paid, too. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Elevation of proposed Vantage tower: Gensler