The 2 New Apartment Buildings Just West of Downtown That Alliance Residential Hasn’t Even Announced, but Is About To Start Building

707 Saulnier and 707 Robin Streets, Fourth Ward, Houston

Two separate apartment buildings, one 8 stories tall and the other 5, will be going up at the far east end of the Fourth Ward, just over the Gulf Fwy. from Downtown. The building bounded by Saulnier, Crosby, Heiner, and Robin will cover the entire 1.136-acre block, which is currently a surface parking lot (see photo above), and bear an address of 707 Saulnier St. The (presumably taller) building one block to the south, labeled 707 Robin St., will take up the vacant two-thirds-of-an-acre L-shaped portion of the block bounded by Robin, Crosby, Heiner, and Andrews.

Developer Alliance Residential (the same company behind the Broadstone complexes at Main St. and West Alabama in Midtown and next to the new SkyHouse downtown, as well as other complexes in the Houston area) doesn’t appear to have announced the project publicly, except to let neighbors know that construction will begin on September 8th and will shut down portions of the surrounding streets for the duration of construction, which is expected to last through October 2016.

A Swamplot reader sends these pics of the sites:


707 Saulnier and 707 Robin Streets, Fourth Ward, Houston

707 Saulnier and 707 Robin Streets, Fourth Ward, Houston

707 Saulnier and 707 Robin Streets, Fourth Ward, Houston

Together, the 2 buildings will contain 269 apartments.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Fourth Ward

20 Comment

  • I’ll never understand why anyone would rent an apartment at eye-level with a Houston freeway. It seems like there are so many of them and now new ones popping up everywhere…

  • Strange that they didn’t take the neighboring parking lot to the north on W. Dallas. Always interesting to look at an aerial map of this area to see the slow creep of midtown, slowly encircling the eastern edge of this crappy, low density, but politically protected part of town.

  • Development and population in Houston is roaring like never before. By 2020, there won’t be a vacant lot in downtown Houston or within 2 – 3 miles beyond downtown that isn’t developed or in the process. This is a new Houston. Significant mass transit alternatives (beyond bus/car) are now imminent. Anti-Rail do-nothings have lost the argument as reality now bites. Houston rail critics should be laughed out of town. It’s either choke to death or expand MetroRail and add Commuter Rail from The Loop/610 to the explosive outer suburbs. With this kind of growth the trains will be packed, along with our congested streets/freeways.

  • This is great. Will really improve this area and help keep out the dogs.

    On a side note – I took an enormous dump in this parking lot a few years back. Was like three coke cans with an apple on top. Lol

  • @ Houston2020 – You are so right. Even today there are people that are opposed to mass transit. You have to be blind if you don’t see writing on the wall. Soon, owning a car will be more of a hassle. Taxi services will increase. Traffic complaining now??? just wait until 2020… Living outside of beltway 8 will be horrendous. High rise living will become more normal for families. Our infastructure will be a huge burden… which will need massive repairs… causing more traffic problems…

  • Another asphalt eyesore getting razed for some residential risers. The tin townhouses behind it will suffer some sunlight deprivation but will benefit from having some sound buffering between them and the freeway.

  • @houston2020 @Andoni So you want rail from where to where? Houston has so many different job centers, so spread out, and people live in such low densities, I haven’t ever heard a convincing pair of “from” and “to” that would improve traffic in any meaningful way. Park-and-ride buses already take the lowest hanging fruit (From Katy/Sugar Land/Woodlands to Downtown) and you would be hard pressed to get rail that would move faster than those buses. You have to have the absolute worst timing for a car ride to take longer to get from downtown to the end of the light rail line near the Astrodome (so if you’re not looking at leaving exactly 4:30-5:30 a car can usually move twice as fast).

    NYC and other places with successful commuter rail have subways to take people from the commuter rail hub at Penn Station to within 3-4 blocks of their workplace. So your plan is to build commuter rail that say goes from Katy to the 610 loop, and then what do you do? How do you get to your workplace? How is that going to be faster and easier than driving? With Houston’s rain and heat, I doubt you’ll get people willing to walk more than a few blocks. With companies like Exxon choosing to build an isolated suburban campus, its very hard to get enough job density to even consider park and ride buses let alone trains….

  • @Andoni, I think you are wrong about people living outside the Beltway, at least partially. Many who live out there also work out there. This is especially true North and West–there have long been major employers along I-10 and 45 north, and it only seems to be expanding.

    That said, obviously a lot of people commute into town in the morning and back out in the evening. There is only so wide they can make those freeways. I wonder if there will come a time when commuters will sort themselves out rationally–if you work inside the Loop, live inside (or near-inside) the Loop, if you work in Greenspoint or the Woodlands or at the new Exxon facility, live up north, etc. In other words, when will commute time, cost and hassle become a major factor in where most people choose to live?

    I am happy to see more condos and apartments going up inside the Loop. That means more choices. But the infrastructure of the city, including roads and mass-transit, has to keep pace.

  • The problem with these apartments is that they are close to downtown yet it’s very hard to walk to the nearest office buildings (Chevron, KBR, Continental / United). Most days I take the ramp from the end of Pease to get on I-45 north to get home, and every so often there will be a brave office-dweller trying to walk under I-45 there.
    Traffic from the Pease and Brazos on-ramps stops for nothing!

  • afraid i really don’t know of many folks opposed to mass transit, but I know of lots that have yet to see statistical and studied proof that the high cost of rail transportation and high risk of a straddled/bankrupt METRO unable to expand far outweigh the more nimble alternatives of further rapid bus transit zones. but preach on as you like because METRO is already so loaded with debt it will take many more public initiatives to provide sufficient funding for any further rail links at this point.
    but i have to ask, exactly what is so wrong with letting the freeways become choked, outside of the obvious and very detrimental impediments to intra-state commerce on our freeways? is it so wrong to encourage denser developments within the inner city loop and within reach of METRO’s existing framework? would Houston’s economy crash if folks were forced to decide between abundant spaces and cheap living against tighter living spaces and quicker commutes? many cities economies with more traffic than Houston have seemed to manage this balance just fine.
    also, let’s not get a head of ourselves. oil and gas hiring already slowed at the turn of this year and most growth is just in the construction and retail/service sectors catching up. although the US looks set to ride the energy boom for the foreseeable future (LNG facilities for exporting can’t come quick enough) that’s not to say you can just extrapolate out unprecented growth well ahead into the future.
    and as for eye-level apartments with the freeways, it’s all about pricing. i could think of many many other things much less desirable to find out ones windows.

  • @Houston2020..By 2020, there won’t be a vacant lot in downtown Houston…
    Perhaps. Although these formerly vacant lots might be replaced by equally vacant office towers. The whole daily-go-to-office working culture might be as obsolete in 2020 as cable TV and home telephones are today.

  • Always amazed at the new mid rise apartments going up along freeways, and they face the units toward the freeway, and put the parking garage on the back side where the better view and less noise would be. UNconceivable!

  • METRO’s debt is actually at its lowest point in a long time…which is how they are able to afford System Reimagining! But the great amount of frequent bus service inside the loop the need for rail will be obvious and get done! There will be busses every 15 min or better on Washington, Polk, Dallas, Montrose, Richmond (12 min), Westheimer (8 min), Kirby, bissonnet, S. Main, Beechnut, MacGregor (12 min), McGowen, N. Main etc… im a planner intern at metro

  • I didn’t realize the gulf freeway started at that point. When does the north freeway begin. This is farther north than south.

  • Hopefully that part of I-45 will be buried or at least below-grade with bridges over it within the next 10 years. No excuse to have a above-grade freeway cutting right through the heart of the city like that.

  • @ dag: Where there exists a large block of freeway-adjacent land in the urban core where visibility is high but access is constrained for some reason, and its economic highest and best use is decided by the high bidder, then you can figure that retail and office developers will tend to bid low and that industrial users are priced out. A multifamily user will probably like it, though. The structure itself is an advertisement, and the City’s sign ordinance is fairly generous for outdoor advertising that is affixed to a building that is being marketed for sale or lease. Even if such a site is so challenged that a discount is built into the land price, it’ll probably go multifamily one way or the other, sooner or later.

    As a consumer, I know better than to live next to a freeway. Light pollution, sound pollution, and air pollution are all legitimate health concerns. I also know better than to buy physical gold from a company that advertises on talk radio; nevertheless, I’m long gold. There’s nothing wrong with living in an apartment or being long gold, but suffice it to say that there’s a sucker born every minute and yes they do respond to advertising.

    @ Houston2020: Houston won’t run out of land for the same reason that it won’t run out of oil. The price will go up relative to demand in order to ration a scarce resource. At high enough prices, already-developed land gets cannibalized. An example is Hines’ apartment tower in the Museum District. You can expect to see more of that kind of activity.

  • @Andoni

    ” Living outside of beltway 8 will be horrendous”

    I now work for a business in the Energy Corridor. I just hired a person who wanted to move from their job downtown to our location so that they don’t have to make the drive into downtown everyday. They live far outside the Beltway and have a 6000sf house with 2 people living in it. It’s not the decision I would make but there are a lot of people out there who do.

  • Interesting, glad I’m getting out of the neighborhood. Shutdowns for street reconstruction and now this, going to be a bear for the next couple years in the ward . . .

  • I wonder how the new residents will feel about all the trannies and “amateur” strippers going to and from Tony’s Corner Pocket nearby. Hopefully they’ll just wave and give them a big “Haaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!”

  • Happy to see the development coming to the neighborhood. Contrary to the comment above, it’s really quite easy to walk to the office buildings downtown from this site; just walk over 45 on the W Dallas bridge and you’re at Allen Center, where you can hop into the tunnels and go all the way to Discovery Green, Chase tower, and yes even Chevron in the AC.

    One less parking lot and a couple hundred more voters who think SJL is a dimwit – this sounds like a dream come true.