Where You’ll See the New 42-Story Highrise on Hermann Dr.

Tema Development is planning to build a 42-story residential tower on that recently surveyed fenced-in lot right beside its Parklane condos on Hermann Dr., according to a couple of Swamplot readers who saw the Corgan-designed building presented at a Museum Park neighborhood association meeting this week. One reader describes the highrise:

The building has a unique design that will twist as [i]t goes up, changing the viewpoint of the higher levels (towards downtown, I believe). They’re planning a 5-story parking garage with one level below grade. On top of the garage will be an amenities level, including a pool and clubhouse among other things. It’ll be connected to the tower via a skybridge. The tower will be bordered by Jackson St. (west), Hermann Dr. (south), and Ewing St. (north). A private drive will be built on the east side as the grand entrance of the building, which will include valet parking. Entrances to the parking garage will be off this private street with a secondary entrance off Jackson St. . . . I believe they’re working with the same landscape architects who worked on the Asia Society building. . . . Lastly, the units will be for lease and not for sale. They expect it to hold 550 residents. I don’t remember the exacty breakdown of units, but it’s something like this: 20-30 studios, 140 one-bedroom, 30 two-bedroom, and 10 three-bedroom.”

Photo: Allyn West

40 Comment

  • Bad-ass use of that property, and directly across the street from the soon-to-be redone Houston Garden Center in Hermann Park. Great location for dense development.

  • I hate it. It’s boring. It’s ugly. It will cause more traffic. Mosquitos from the park will probably fly into the apartments. The pool is too shallow. The rail is too far. No ground floor retail. Can’t they ever do anything right!!!!

  • Wow sounds like a very interesting building. Cant wait to see renderings.

  • Needs ground floor retail. Just kidding :)

  • When the Parklane was built TEMA’s original site plans included three buildings.

  • That’s a huge tract of vacant land. I wonder how much theyre using.

  • @alternativemike: the plans include dining and/or some other street-level amenities. So…no need to kid.

  • Residential Highrises on Hermann drive…just don’t make it…..The Warwick Tower is somewhat successful..1400 hermann can’t give the apartments away even after redo of the exterior..and the Parklane is a total fiasco…lose lose lose…there is not a win win here folks…..

  • @tcpIV, yes,Parklane was intended to be the first of three condo towers. The second and third were to be taller than Parklane but similar design. There was also big parking structure and a 15 or story hotel planned. Parklane was also supposed to have a glassed-in rooftop amenities level. It really would have made it a more disticntive building.

  • To Gary: If ever there were places for high rise residential, Hermann Park and Allen Parkway fits the bill.

    1400 Hermann the ceilings are 8′ and the Warwick had a poor design with the windows. When you are sitting on your couch or chair, the big beam you see on the balcony blocks the view. The new modern high rises incorporate floor to ceiling windows, high ceilings and resort style pools.

    That project is right on target and should be and will be a success, in my opinion.

  • The Mosaic has proven not to be the grandest success–this is a bold move, not sure I’d invest in a building of this size in this location, but I look forward to watching it rise, if it gets funding–the description of the structure sounds intriguing

  • Great neighborhood, it’s just an absolute desert when it comes to any form of retail.

  • Great news! I hope this does well. I think that this location is better than the Mosiac, but the Mosiac would give me pause if I was a developer.

  • The twisting design sounds similar to the 40-story tower they’re building at 2929 Weslayan. Construction on that project seems to be going awfully slow. It was supposed to have been open by now.

  • So who’s buiilding it? And where can we see these renderings???

    And who/what is TEMA?

  • The more I read about this, the more I doubt it will be built–if they study the Mosaic I can’t imagine them building such a large structure in this location–what along the park has ever been a big success –maybe The Warrick (or the abomination Hotel ZaZa)–the rest have struggled including this companies Parklane–I guess time will tell

  • This building will greatly improve the neighborhood. Such a unique design and very in tune with the growing surroundings. Of course there will always be the complainers.

  • It took them a while to get the cranes up on their project, but now they are chugging right along. 9 floors in about 2 months makes for a solid one floor a week which isn’t a bad pace. They just had to get goin!

  • RE: MOSAIC – Well to be honest, while the Mosaic looks great from a distance, the first impression when you drive up to the base is ‘crap’. The base / entrance is NOT aesthetically pleasing to sart with, and then there’s the faded signs all over in the windows on the ground floor. Makes it look like an old hair salon in the projects. If I were looking for a place, I would see that and just keep on truckin’…

  • I don’t see why people don’t consider The Mosaic a success. The initial company that built the project didn’t know what they where doing that’s why the property went bankrupt/ foreclosed. Once it was repurchased the new owners turned the property around and I think it’s been a success since then. There are currently only 10 rental units and 27 for sale condos, that’s not bad for a 800 unit building.

  • Mosaic is so poorly designed, it’s almost comical. The bookend arrangement of the towers where units look into other units is terrible. It’s like a public housing ground plan dressed up with some 1990’s crap trim. A well designed project in this neighborhood will do fine.

  • Mosaic was a disaster. The developer built more for-sale condos in a single tower than had ever been built in any tower in Houston’s past, attempting to sell some of Houston’s most expensive housing per square foot (once your account for interest, maintenance fees, property taxes, and the eventual effect of paying a Realtor and closing costs) at a marginal site to young buyers. Even in good times (without a financial crisis that soon followed or what appeared to be ‘desperation marketing’ on the part of the developer), their plan was doomed to failure. Awesome floor-to-ceiling windows aside… They. Got. Everything. Wrong.

    The Montage, Mosaic’s for-rent twin, on the other hand, proves the market. You can build a shit ton of small units on a site that straddles the boundary of its own market area, lease them as apartments to young folks, and then sell the entire asset (unencumbered by the mess that became of Parklane or Mosaic) at a very very low cap rate.

    This is a fantastic site. I wish them well.

  • TEMA …who built the Parklane is building the new tower…the Parklane is mainly a rental with only 7 actual owners…check the local tax rolls..I believe this is a black owned company, it was built when I lived at 1400 Hermann.40 yrs ago.but was never successful It has been a basic rental for all those years..in those days it was on the edge of the ward…1400 was the JEWISH highrise..with families such as Sakowitz and Weingarten….but not very safe after dark..of course that has all changed..all those families have passed and the younger generation has moved to the uptown area..I doubt that the area will ever be “THE place to live”

  • @sara: Oh really? Awesome then! Ground floor retail/mixed space would be great and could tie in very well to improve the already good walkability of Hermann Park and the surrounding area. Restaurants and shops on ground level could do well with the crowds drawn by the Miller Outdoor Amphitheater, surrounding museums, apartments/condos close by and, of course, Hermann Park itself.

  • Even if Hermann Dr. will never be THE place to live, you could walk there from here and that counts for something.

  • I’m not surprised many prominent Jewish families lived there is was close to the wealthy Jewish enclave Riverside Terrace–anyway, yes this will never be the place to live, it’s on the wrong side of the park to begin with–maybe some Medical Professionals would rent there considering its proximity to the Medical Center, but frankly id never invest in this venture, it’s too risky a location–id build on the Rice side of the park for sure (not that there is any land), but not on the eastside of Hermann–no way

  • I think this is a great project and I think it will fair better than Mosaic if for no other reason that it is all leased and hopefully of better quality, but I still think a project downtown like the new skyhouse on Main will end up widely more successful. It’s amazing that parkside real estate could be considered so risky. The only significant drawback I could think of would be the relatively marginal distance to nightlife areas which I would think shouldn’t matter that much in a city that everyone drives anyway. Buffalo Bayou is pretty built up and Memorial Park didn’t exactly have a lot of adjacent area to build next to to begin with so this is definitely getting close to the last bit of parkside high-rise development in the loop.

  • Hermann Park is near some pretty sketchy areas (eastside of park)–the area on the otherside if 288, is rough–(Riverside Terrace is making a comeback but the rest is ghetto, it’s dangerous as hell–unless I worked in the Medical Center I’d never consider living on the eastside of Hermann, even if I worked in the Medical Center is live on the Westside of the park not the East–maybe this will be successful, but again I’d not invest in it nor care to pay a premium to live on the wrong side of the park–look I love Central Park but it doesn’t mean I want to live in Harlem

  • Shannon- Shut it. You have no idea of what you are talking about. Gary too. First, the Parkland wasn’t built 40 years ago. That bldg. went up in the 1980s. Secondly, if the area around Hermann Park was “ghetto” or “”rough” then Hines wouldn’t be sniffing around and the Venue wouldn’t have risen and hundreds of condos wouldn’t have gone up over the last decade. Additionally, you’ll find that some of the old houses over there are now priced in the $750,000 range. That’s some pricy ghetto. Lastly, where would you build on the Rice side of the park? Considering all of the land bordering the western boundary of Hermann Park is either owned by Rice University or sits behind the gates protecting $10 million dollar estates, your SOL. This isn’t Houston circa 1978 anymore.

  • @ Shannon: This siteis the north side of the park, not the east side.

    Even if I were inclined to agree with you that the east side of Hermann Park were especially dangerous (I’m not, btw), that still does not detract from the reality that small high-end units located there lease well. That is what matters.

  • Shannon, that’s a sad comment about the ghetto. It’s a great area and not everyone can live in utopia.

  • @shannon: apparently this person hasn’t visited this section of town recently.
    I moved to the Museum Park area 4 years ago…and have loved every minute of it. Reasons?
    1)the remaining indigenous people that have lived here for decades, essentially all my neighbors in this Museum Park area, are as helping and cordial as can be (I qualify the term “indigenous” only to clarify that some have lived here for 30-40 years, whereas as interlopers like myself have only just moved to this wonderful section of Houston fairly recently, with many newcomers arriving every week);
    2) the equidistant proximity to Med Center, Rice Univ, Downtown, and Midtown cannot be beat;
    3) Light rail, Hermann Park, Miller Theatre, “Best Block in Houston”, 90% of Houstons museums, and Rice U are all in walking distance;
    4}The area is undergoing extremely rapid gentrification…in the last 2 years, I would estimate that no less than 25 new dwellings have been built, and every week I see another property being prepped for renaissance (Urban Living the biggest presence). That’s pretty amazing for a neighborhood comprised of less than 1 square mile.
    Furthermore, that’s NOT including all the commercial property that has been, or is being built: Lucille’s, Museum Point, Hermann Park Manor, Asia Society, Parc Binz and Parc Binz II, a newly proposed Hines Apartment tower across from the Asia Society, Proguard Storage, the TEMA development building mentioned in this article, and a plethora of new Medical office buildings.
    So really, unless someone has an acute case of agoraphobia and/or has been living in a cave (or a nunnery) for the past 2 years, I cannot find basis or observable reason for the unfair and strangely biased remarks about Museum Park.

  • What is a LVN and why would we need to pay these FAUX healthcare workers upwards of $70,000 a year? Does this sound Christian or even sane? What is a lawyer, Attorney and the various sub-catagory FAUX degrees we seem to print out like wallpaper for these infants? Some of us actually believe in commerce and making a pure living through building real companies, not another FAUX charity, ER Quick drug dealer stops that replaced the Blockbusters around town while we pretend that selling so-called street drugs is worse……what is worse is the fact you all are liars to yourself………..LIARS…….METH, Methodist…..what church was founded by native Americans to smoke the PEACE PIPE? can’t imagine which one idiots………

  • I was in that area last week–and I stand by my opinion of where this residential building will be located (WRONG SIDE OF THE PARK!!)–I grew up in Southhampton and my parents still live there, so yes, I’m familiar with the area–I’ve been thru every inch of Hermann Park-I’d happily live in my parents neighborhood, I think it’s the prettiest in Houston, but I’d never pay a premium to live on the East side of the park–it’s great you love it, I don’t–and the Asia Society is on the North side of the park–just sayin’

  • Wow… Shannon, I’ve got to say, your input here reveals a lot about the mindset of the anti-Ashby crowd.

  • shannon…you’re pretty much out of touch with reality. The entire ‘hood of Museum Park, where this property will be built, is bordered by 59 on the North, Main St. on the West, Hermann park on the South, and essentially Almeda Rd. on the East.
    The proposed site is actually NNE of the park…right across from the 17th hole of the Hermann Park Golf course. Why you keep going on about the area to the east of the park…I’m assuming the neighborhoods across 288…is beyond me. It has absolutely nothing to do with the proposed site of this project.

  • just be careful if you go out after dark!!!! and goofus get a life!!!and stop being critical of what other people write we are all entitled to our opinion..remember its our first ammendment right…

  • I am curious about the commentary regarding the Parklane being a fiasco or failure…please elucidate

    And I would imagine the Parklane tenants and unit owners are going to be the only people upset with this…

  • FYI: Rendering has been leaked on HAIF.

  • This looks like a very good location for a highrise.