The Muse Coming to Castle Court

THE MUSE COMING TO CASTLE COURT Dallas developer Behringer Harvard announced today that construction’s underway on The Muse, an apartment complex planned for the 2.9 acres in Castle Court sold last summer where the former Andover Richmond Apartments had stood — until their demolition in November — for 50 years. The Muse, developed by a partnership between Behringer Harvard and Trammell Crow, will have 4 stories with 270 units atop 2 levels of parking, says the press release. Also planned for the site at 1301 Richmond near Graustark? “Common-area amenities will include a cyber cafe, business center, state-of-the-art fitness center, luxury swimming pool and dog-amenity station.” [PR Newswire; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Allyn West

11 Comment

  • Why couldn’t they have torn down some of the shitty complexes in that area, instead?

  • It appears that new apartments are being overbuilt inside the loop and this bubble could possibly burst!

  • A cyber café? I didn’t realize ‘The Muse’ was a community college from 1997.

  • The last time I saw a cyber café was in Mexico City in 2005. Perhaps it’s the wrong term for the thing that they mean.

  • One thing I don’t understand – how is there is THAT much demand for new “luxury” branded apartments (i.e. stainless appliances, laminate floors, granite counters) relative to existing, older properties like Andover, that may offer less amenities and “luxury” but at the benefit of lower rents, to such an extent that both classes of properties can’t coexist in the same market? It seems like every other one of these new developments replaces an existing development. Is it easier to sell to investors as replacing/displacing an existing property/tenants vs. a brand new greenfield development?

  • IT would be nice if they torn down the crappy ones instead, but the crappy ones are might subsidized or something.

  • You can’t build new construction and market it as affordable or “not luxury”, the math and economics simply do not work. Consequently, since that’s the only viable option it becomes a game of chess where the Luxury projects strive to demolish and displace older projects to make themselves dominant and now the norm.

  • Welcome to reality, folks. You can’t build on land that owners won’t sell you. You can’t build apartments on the same site as existing apartments without tearing the old ones down.

    Break out Google Maps in satellite view. Show me all the large tracts in the inner loop that are available for apartment development. Existing apartments occupy some of the best sites for new development, therefore they have to go.

    There is plenty of demand for quality inner loop apartments. There was a 2+ year building hiatus caused by the credit crisis. Now developers are making up for lost time.

    Houston added 118k new jobs from Jan 2011 to Jan 2012. This is a HUGE number. New jobs = new households = more demand for apartments. Rents are going up, up, up.

    Where do people want to live? Inside the Loop. That’s where builders will build.

    The bottom line is this: The numbers work. Houston is booming. Other cities aren’t. Every apartment developer worth his salt is looking for site to redevelop. This is how cities get built.

  • JB3– “It seems like every other one of these new developments replaces an existing development”
    Yes, inside the loop, where the majority of these new complexes are being built, they do replace existing properties. Mainly because the land inside the loop west of 45/288 is built out. They aren’t making any more land, last I checked.
    And as to why they can lease “luxury” apartments with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops? It seems to me that there are a whole lot of young people graduating college and getting their first place that just can’t imagine living with anything less than granite countertops, because that is what they grew up with at Mommy and Daddy’s house. Living in something built 30 or more years ago would be just “icky”, you know?

  • JB3, there are no greenfields inside the Loop, or at least not very many. New, high end apartments take the place of old dated apartments because it makes sense for the owners of the old apartments to sell. Often, they can make far more in a sale then they could in a lifetime of ownership. The old apartments are comparatively low density and don’t rent for much and much of the value is in the land, thus higher taxes without higher rent. Makes a good case for a sale for the right price.

  • No apartment bubble. Houston saw its population grow through the market crash years without any new apartments being built. New inventory is not keeping up with demand. As for the demand for “luxury” v. plain old regular folk apartments, there is coexistence and more demand for “luxury” than you would think. The price of buying inside the loop is climbing rapidly. Rent of $1,500-2,000 is starting to look like a bargain compared to the mortgage payment on a house in Montrose of the Heights. And a lot of people are here on temp assignments with a generous housing stipend. Also, smaller older complexes are getting renovated without going high end. A pretty dismal complex on W. 16 in the Heights has almost completed a down to the studs renovation.