Where Apartment Rents Are Actually Up in Houston; Bayou City’s Green Building Strength


Photo of Meyerland: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


8 Comment

  • Korean Noodle House is da bomb! Can’t wait to see their new location, I’m going to miss being seated in that tiny extra room crammed with four tables…Jjamppong for the win!

  • Re: Greater Houston Partnership: Houston Apartment Market Expected To Struggle for Next 5 Years, Especially Downtown
    Well what does the GHP expect? It doesn’t have to be that way…it doesn’t have to struggle; but it may struggle because they’re too stupid and ignorant to secure world class retail downtown to compliment all the new residential and new convention district activity. Who the hell wants to live DT and have to go all the way to the Galleria or beyond for decent retail? Especially for housewares. DT doesn’t even have a Macy’s…no Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s…nothing. So until they make that happen, forget about it. Houston has the most backwards ass “so called” leaders on the scene…laughable. The GHP is going to have to get off their mediocre asses and do some trade missions and bring back some corporate relocations, and get Macy’s, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s on the phone.

  • @ Honest Truth: Yeah, actually that was the plan all along was to create a wealthy residential population anchoring the downtown area and then to pitch it to retailers. Believe it or not, this has been an ongoing effort for nearly two decades, but the demography is still seriously lacking.
    Hopefully things will stabilize prior to the 2020 Census and there’ll be some good strong numbers. That’s what retailers need to see.

  • I am going to take a wild guess that a building boom coinciding with an energy industry bust is a bit more significant in terms of the downtown apartment market than whether someone can walk down the street to get a Le Creuset dutch oven versus making the treacherous 8 mile drive to the Galleria. Retail is a big deal in cities where parking is extremely expensive and many residents go without a car. But parking is still comparably very cheap in Houston and is included in the rent for the current crop of new multifamily coming to downtown.
    Once the energy industry rebounds, downtown multifamily will rebound quickly. While downtown definitely lacks in retail, it is doing quite well with restaurants, bars and entertainment. There are a half dozen new restaurants opening in the Discovery Green/Minute Maid Park area. The new apartments are all being built with “retail ready” first floors per the 380 requirements. So, more restaurants and bars will follow as more people move downtown.

  • Hopefully at this point department stores, which are a very challenged (some saying flat-out dying) retail category nationally, are NOT the strategic objective for retail in Downtown. The main objective, hopefully, is everyday / convenience / commodity-oriented retail and services where it truly is more desirable to have it close by (though in some cases not directly adjacent). The most common example of this would be a regular grocery store. The household and population numbers for the CBD, when combined with EaDo and other Downtown-adjacent areas, starts to approach sufficient numbers when you add up all the expected residential units – except that grocery stores will also factor in nearby competition such as Randall’s, Whole Foods and Kombat Kroger. I do expect that you’ll start to see smaller-scale convenience and commodity retail, like the CVS (with produce!) supposedly going into the first Market Square tower.
    All that said, Houston First would like to see unique / boutique soft goods to please visitors from out of town visitors. I would imagine lease rates in the retail space of the new buildings will be too high to work for local independent businesses (which would be the most distinctive and desirable from a visitor standpoint), and the demographics won’t be sufficient for chain credit tenants until a large increase in regular visitor levels at the hotels and convention center is proven out. Thus, I don’t expect to see much new soft goods / comparison goods retail for some time.

  • Old School, you can pick up that Le Crueset Dutch oven upstairs at Phoenecia, squarely within the confines of downtown, should you wish to do so…

  • Retail doesnt need to wait on the census. They just need to look at how many online orders are being shipped to or have CC to zip 77002. That tells them when and where they need to build a store.

  • @ Rex: That’s an intriguing idea, but I’d imagine that it works better with some product categories than others. As Local Planner pointed out, the sort of retailers that downtown is targeting are service-intensive, convenience-oriented provisors of basic goods, and ideally those that add some kind of local flavor. Its a bit of a stretch to imagine that kind of tenant relying very heavily on online sales data as a prediction of brick-and-mortar performance. However…I’d like to keep an open mind about this sort of thing. It may not be wholly useless. Have you ever heard of this being done? What were the circumstances?