The Signs Around the Parc Binz Site

Walking by the vacant site on the corner of Binz and Chenevert on the way to Hermann Park, reader David Hollas notes that the large sign advertising a 75,000-sq.-ft. medical-offices-and-retail development planned for the site has been taken down. Meanwhile, the surrounding neighborhood has been peppered with Ashby-Highrise-style signs protesting Balcor Commercial’s planned 6-story Parc Binz building and parking garage at 1800 Binz St— and “hi-rise buildings” in general. Opposition to the development got some media attention last year, but Hollas has seen sign changes on the property before: “About 2 years ago, the signs offered the sale of townhomes that were to be built imminently, but never materialized. After a period of inactivity and weed growth, the city came and decked out the site with code violation placards. Eventually the site was mowed and trash removed, and the city signs and townhome signs disappeared.”


Photos: David Hollas. Renderings: Balcor Commercial

22 Comment

  • Seriously? Move to Manvel if density bothers you that much. #nowords #wahwahwah

  • I actually kind of agree with skooljunkie in a way. I drive down Binz every day, and while a lot of the housing there is fine, the area could use something to help revitalize. Not sure if that should be in the form of an office building, but something instead of a weedy field or vacant house would be nice.

  • So after reading this blog for awhile I’ve concluded that the message is we should never, ever, ever, ever demolish an old building and we never, ever, ever want new development. Am I wrong?

  • Never heard of this before but the building certainly looks nice. This is an area I’d really like to see grow to make one continuous business district from downtown to the medical center. The area is lined with a many of our cities best resources and amenities, certainly something we should be looking to expand on and provide greater access (be it through jobs, transport, housing, etc) to for all Houstonians. The museum district is one of houston’s key talking points for attracting top talent away from the more popular “creative-class” cities and more investment in these areas will help as well (admittedly, this is area is still primarily medical in which we’re at the top of the class regardless). Bring on the growth and jobs.

  • There’s actually lots of density. Most of the buildings in the area are small apartment buildings. Except for the ones which are larger apartment buildings. It’s out of scale; maybe the neighbors think the Palazzo is enough. And if the enabler of density is walkability, forget it. There are a few restaurants and shops on Almeda Road but not much else in the area.

  • NIMBY’S are so annoying. Especially when they live inside the loop.

    i support all highrises and mid rises.

  • I just hate the fact that they want to spell Binz Park “Parc”

  • All right, now this is just silly.
    I seriously hope this thing gets built.

  • Used to live over there. That place is a dump. I had two bicycles removed from my back porch on a second floor. I could hear gunshots coming from across the freeway on a nightly basis. Absolutely loved my apartment building. Absolutlely hated having to navigate the crackheads on a stroll down to the Reggae Hut.

  • I lived near they site for 3 years and while I loved the hood, I always hoped for more retail in waking distance besides the food stamps grocery store on Almeda and Taco Bodega. I think this offers great potential for the neighborhood and I’m all for it (although I now live in Montrose and don’t frequent that area like I used to).

  • People will protest anything … ridiculous. People want to live in the inner city where density gives them opportunities for all sorts of amenities, but when a very reasonable development (i.e. not wildly out of scale) is proposed on a vacant piece of privately owned property, there are those who want to stop it. Put your money up and make it a park if you want.
    Here’s a clue … the inner city will keep getting more and more dense, as it should, and as happens to all cities in the world. If you want a less dense environment, move to the suburbs, as happens in all cities in the world. Houston won’t become NYC overnight, but if we had all of the crazy NIMBYs back in the day, no city would have grown higher than about 3 stories. Change is constant, we should just hope to try to manage it reasonably.

  • @ marmer: There’s lots of density there, sure, but its hardly as though the neighborhood infrastructure can’t handle additional development. Its got a street grid, yet light enough traffic that stop signs predominate rather than signals. Besides, newer development and affluent people will tend to crowd out the undesirable elements (which do still exist east of Main Street) and foster additional pedestrian amenities.

  • It is no Ashby. But, looking at the map, the building is going up right in people’s back yards. Calumet is very residential and most of the redevelopment has been townhomes. I can see why some people would not be happy with this going up in their back yards. We can debate density and urban planning all day, but the bottom line is that people who buy residential property inside the loop should have some assurance that they will not have a 3 story garage in their back yard. If not, we may reach a point where transitional areas like Binz fall back on itself when the residential owners ditch their properties when the mid-rise buildings come in. No one will want to live in the mid-rises because they will be surrounded by vacant lots.

  • Met the neighborhood assoc a couple times and realized it was just full of (and run by) pretentious NIMBY’s that didn’t know what they wanted (kept me from ever wanting to move there). This doesn’t surprise me at all.

  • “People who buy residential property inside the loop should have some assurance that they will not have a 3 story garage in their back yard.”

    That isn’t the issue. The issue is whether something can be built adjacent to their back yards. …and while we’re at it, I’d like to take issue with the presumption that back yards represent good planning for an urban neighborhood, worthy of ‘protected’ status. Back yards should be discouraged IMHO. The Museum District ain’t Pearland.

  • OMG – what a great location for a HEB/Whole Foods/Kroger/etc….!

  • Really? The site looks too small to me for any kind of big grocery store. Parking’s already not real great for the apartments and medical clinics in the area. Hate to see the trees go, too.

    Isn’t this the location where the sign originally advertised “architecturally significant townhomes” or something like that? Or was that the Tuscan place across the street?

  • I live two blocks away and I think it is great for the community, certainly better than what is on that property now. Our HOA board brought it up at our last meeting. The old folks who live on my block were against it, they just generally suck in general, so I expected that. I will say if any yard signs go up in my block, I will be reporting them to the HOA.

  • When and if you get old, you’ll probably suck too. generally in general.

  • Alright, the slippery slope just became reality.

    This horribly misplaced NIMBYism is right up there with people who talk just to hear the sound of their voice, or people who get in the way just to make themselves feel useful.

  • I live in one of the two story brick apartment buildings adjacent to this lot. Although I am all for walkable restaurants and shops, this 6 story building will be very out of place on the block. Nothing around here is taller than 3 stories, and it will basically be in my backyard. I like seeing the sun in the evening…

  • John M, seriously!? There are two monolithic four-story apartment complexes nearby. One of them is a block west of you, the other is a block to the southeast. Once you get a whole two blocks away to the south…there’s a condo highrise fronting Hermann Park. An eight-story apartment project just got built in your neighborhood in the last couple of years, and three- and four-story townhomes are scattered throughout.