10/02/14 5:00pm



Four Seasons Hotel, 1111 Caroline St., Downtown HoustonBy day and by night, a swish penthouse in the 1982 Four Seasons tower downtown ensures a panoramic view from rooms throughout the open floor plan. Understated, light-filled, and seamlessly sleek in its 2006 design by notable Houston architect Bill Stern, who died last year, the luxury condo maxes out minimalism. In mid-September, after its owners left town, the highrise home’s asking price dropped to $3.85 million; its initial ask in April was $4.6 million.


The Lookout
12/13/13 2:15pm


Warwick Towers, 1111 Hermann Dr., HoustonAptly named a “bridge unit,”  this eighth-floor space spans between the 30-story Warwick Towers just north of Hermann Park in the Museum District. The 3,385-sq.-ft. condo it’s part of had $5oK knocked off its initial asking price earlier this week in its relisting by the same agent after a 6-month previous listing expired. The million-dollar view (which curiously is not pictured in the listing) is now priced at $1.15 million — plus a not-insignificant monthly maintenance fee of $2,694.


Looking North and South
03/11/13 3:00pm

This crumbly parking lot at 1625 Main St. will be where a 24-story, 336-unit residential tower called SkyHouse will begin going up in April. Concrete’s already been poured to improve the sidewalks and make planters for token landscaping to shade the street. A rep from the architecture firm Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, and Stewart tells Swamplot that renderings and site plans for the luxury highrise aren’t available; the photo here shows a similar development, SkyHouse Midtown in Atlanta, from the Atlanta-based firm.


08/10/12 1:36pm

No, the Turnberry Tower luxury highrise planned for a prime Galleria spot next to the Water Wall Park never got off the ground, but office workers and shoppers nearby have been able to enjoy a good old-fashioned Houston-style sendoff for the project. The 5-year-old, 12,000-sq.-ft., multimillion-dollar sales center for the toilet-heavy tower at 5048 Hidalgo St. is being demolished. Hines, the new owners of the property, will have no use for the structure in the new 7-story One Waterwall apartment complex it’s building there and expects to complete in 2014:


08/09/12 3:01pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE RENT ISN’T TOO DAMN HIGH “People who think that $3,000 plus for rent in a luxury high-rise in Houston is ‘outrageous’ have not been paying attention for the last 10 years. Museum Tower and several others have been at 95%-plus occupancy for years with similar rates. I think a lot of Houstonians have NO idea just how wealthy hundreds of thousands of their fellow Houstonians actually are today.” [Jon, commenting on Ashby Highrise To Start Rising on Bissonnet This Year]

07/14/10 11:07am

EVEN IF SHAYA BOYMELGREEN CAN MAKE IT THERE, HE WON’T BE BUILDING TOWERS HERE In his first interview with a reporter in 3 years, international developer-in-distress Shaya Boymelgreen tells the New York Observer he’s back in Manhattan, scouting for “new development opportunities,” and singing an old movie tune: “Unless I get an offer I can’t refuse, I would like to concentrate now in Manhattan. I believe this is now the opportunity and the time. If I cannot make it in Manhattan, I don’t know where else I can make it.” Translation: His long-threatened twin condo tower development planned for San Felipe at the end of Woodway in Houston is officially toast. [New York Observer; previously on Swamplot]

05/25/10 11:15am

A CONDO OWNERS FAN SITE FOR SHAYA BOYMELGREEN Still waiting for the developer of the twin-tower condo development proposed for San Felipe near the end of Woodway to provide an update on the project? Some New Yorkers would like a word with him too. The residents of the Newswalk Condominium in Brooklyn have created a website called Shame on Shaya, documenting in Russian, Hebrew, and English the “extraordinary number of construction defects” in developer Shaya Boymelgreen’s first high-profile development, constructed in 2002: “The building is now undergoing a two-year, $7 million construction remediation project. Newswalk residents are currently in legal action against Boymelgreen with a suit seeking no less than $10 million in damages.” Spokesman Michael Rogers explains: “Many of us got to know Shaya in the early days of Newswalk, and found him friendly and likeable. He may not fully understand what the residents of Newswalk are suffering, and this campaign is a way to bring him up-to-date.” [Previously on Swamplot]

03/08/10 12:27pm

LUXURY APARTMENT OPENINGS Eight years into it, Leon Hale still isn’t entirely accustomed to his fancy just-inside-the-West Loop highrise apartment: “I mean in all the other places I’ve lived I washed the windows myself, if they ever got washed. And I admit I’ve never gotten used to having doors opened for me. I’ve always been pretty well able to open doors for myself. But door-opening is the custom here, and who knows? Someday I might get so feeble I’ll need such help. That’s not one of my goals, though. In other ways life here is a lot the same as in several apartments I’ve lived in. Little things happen that usually don’t happen in free-standing homes. For instance, the apartment just below us is being renovated, and the other day somebody was drilling a hole in the ceiling down there. He drilled too far and punched a hole in our kitchen floor, right up through the tile, in front of the dishwasher.” [Houston Chronicle]

12/03/09 11:28am

Just a month ago, an executive of Brooklyn’s Boymelgreen Developers was telling the Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff that the company was still committed to building those twin 28-floor condo towers at the very end of Woodway on San Felipe, next door to the old Dolce & Freddo gelato shop. Development director Sara Mirski reported that the firm planned to start construction on the Ziegler Cooper design next year, after completing a new market analysis in the spring.

The former shopping-center site, just a leap over Buffalo Bayou from Piney Point Village, was purchased by an Israeli company controlled by developer Shaya Boymelgreen 2 years ago, just days after another Boymelgreen affiliate flipped the property at the corner of Richmond and Post Oak — the site of the former Mason Jar and Steak & Ale — for a quick $24 million profit.

But those were the good ol’ days. Now Boymelgreen may have a few other things to take care of before he can get going on the San Felipe Condominiums:


10/27/08 1:41pm

Proposed Turnberry Tower, Uptown, Houston

The rumor Swamplot reported late last week has now been confirmed from multiple sources: The 34-story Turnberry Tower luxury condo palace planned for the Galleria area — yeah, the one with the tombstone-shaped silhouette — is officially dead.

Rendering of Turnberry Tower Galleria: Robert M. Swedroe Architects and Planners

10/24/08 3:04pm

Proposed Turnberry Tower, Uptown, Houston

From the Swamplot rumor mill comes an unconfirmed and second-hand report: that the team behind proposed Houston Turnberry Tower — the 34-story luxury highrise planned to rest just behind the Williams Tower — “officially pulled the plug on their galleria deal yesterday.”

Could this be true? A lot of hard work — and a lot of plumbing design — has been poured into that project. It would be sad to see it all go down the toilet.

Late Update: The rumor has been confirmed.

Rendering of Turnberry Tower Galleria: Robert M. Swedroe Architects and Planners

06/03/08 9:58am

Plaza Level Pools, Turnberry Tower Residences at the Galleria, Houston

There will be a grand total of 652-and-a-half private bathrooms in Houston’s Turnberry Tower. Apparently this is the kind of attention to detail that’s needed to attract buyers who are flush with assets:

When meeting with buyers, Turnberry’s sales staff emphasizes the high life they’ll enjoy, said [Turnberry Ltd. vice president Jim] Cohen, with the 40-year-old condo tower developer.

They’re told, for example, that when they hang out by the pool, a Turnberry staffer will offer a cool towel for their neck and wipe sunscreen from their sunglasses.

Image of Turnberry Tower plaza-level pools: Turnberry Ltd.

03/21/08 9:11am

Landscape Plan, San Felipe Condominiums Towers, Houston

This landscape plan from the Boymelgreen website is our first glimpse of the two condo towers the company is planning for 5.5 acres on the southwest corner of the intersection of San Felipe and a short segment of Woodway — just west of Voss, on the Right Bank of Buffalo Bayou. And this morning the Houston Business Journal has more to report:

New York City-based Boymelgreen Developers is developing the project for landowner Azorim, a publicly traded company in Israel of which Boymelgreen owns 64 percent. . . . The unnamed project will consist of two buildings with 28 residential floors each and an 18,000-square-foot fitness center and spa. The project will have a total of 237 condos starting at $1 million each. Units will be an average size of 2,500 square feet.

The architect is Ziegler Cooper. Boymelgreen’s website refers to the project as the San Felipe Condominiums. (And it reports a building that’s 14 condos smaller.)

Jennifer Dawson’s report in the HBJ says that sales won’t start until the fall, after a sales center — which will later “be converted into a spa, restaurant or office building” — is built on the site of the former Dolce & Freddo next door.

Below the fold: That 1960s office-and-shopping center on the site won’t go quietly!


01/23/08 11:52am

Plan of Top Floor Gramercy Tower Suite Penthouse of Turnberry Houston Tower Showing 9 and a Half Bathrooms

Do you experience the urge to urinate frequently? Do you suffer from recurring bladder infections? An enlarged prostate? And one more question: Do you have $8.5 million burning a hole in your (probably moist) pocket?

Well then, you’re certainly going to pee in your pants when you see the exciting floor plans for the two “Gramercy Tower Suite” penthouses on the top floors of Houston’s 34-story Turnberry Tower! Yes, this will be the height of luxury: 11,860 sq. ft. of living space on three separate levels of an Uptown highrise; an additional 3,535 sq. ft. of terraces; 4 bedrooms plus a Den, a Guest Suite, and a Staff Room for live-in help; a Media Room, two Lounges, and a 2-story Great Room; a private elevator entry; your own private pool and cabana; and so much more.

But forget all that. What makes this little pied-à-terre special is that even if all that space perched high in the sky (and the at-least-jaw-dropping panoramic views) gives you an unmistakable urge to evacuate, you’ll only be a few shuffling paces away from a toilet: Each unit comes with nine-and-a-half bathrooms. And if that’s not enough, there’s plenty of room to add more!

Read on for more of the scoop on where to poop: floor plans for the top two floors, with more porcelain palaces clearly marked. Plus: a closeup of Swamplot’s favorite Turnberry penthouse pit stop!


08/21/07 8:00am

Turnberry Tower Residences at the Galleria Exterior Rendering

This wide headstone, set to rise behind the Galleria Waterwall like a giant radiator grille poached from a 1948 Packard Custom 8, is Houston’s Turnberry Tower. At 34 stories (marked down from 42 threatened previously), it’ll reach just above the groin of the adjacent landmark Williams Tower.

The 184 condominium units inside, which will range from $1 million to $8.5 million, go on sale in two weeks when the 12,000-sf sales center opens. The building is scheduled to be finished by the start of the next decade.

What’ll $8.5 mil get you? One of two 15,000-sf units at the top, each of which boasts four bedrooms and—no, we’re not shitting you—nine-and-a-half bathrooms. Why will residents need so many?

For the entry-level price of $1 million, you’ll have to make do with less than 1800 square feet. But all residences feature private elevators, 10- and 11-foot ceilings, a fireplace to keep you warm on chilly Galleria nights, and terraces with glass railings. The building will have a spa and fitness center, a theater room, social rooms including a tea room and library, and a swimming pool atop the four-story parking garage.

Uncomfortable with the communal parking? Don’t worry: Twenty-five private air-conditioned garages will also be available.

Image: Robert M. Swedroe Architects and Planners