The UH professor whose experiences living next door to the vacant-lot-turned-highrise-construction-site across the southern border of River Oaks made for a colorful teevee news report and an EPA complaint has called an end to his protests of the rumbling, diesel fumes, and building and patio cracks caused by the giant crane that showed up next door (pictured above). With an unspecified amount of financial assistance from Hines, the developers of the 17-story office tower going up at 2229 San Felipe, Richard Armstrong and his family will be moving from 2244 Welch St. to a new home in Pearland early next month.
His media appearances “got the attention of Hines and Gilbane Construction,” Armstrong reports in a letter posted to an online news group focusing on the tower’s construction. “Fundamentally, there isn’t much that can be done,” he writes, “given the pace and scale of this construction. . . . We have loved this house and the neighborhood — up until December. This is a wonderful pocket for people who want access to everything the inner loop has to offer. Unfortunately, other people are discovering our secret. So we’ll just have to roll with the changes.“
It appears that Armstrong’s “roll” will be bankrolled — at least in part — by Hines.
“We had been considering a move to Pearland in the far future, and now we have decided to act on that sooner,” Armstrong writes. “We found a very good place that was available, and I informed [Hines’s senior managing director for the project] of our new intentions. He immediately asked me if Hines could help out with our relocation, and we reached a very satisfactory agreement in that regard. At this point, we consider the inconveniences to us caused by the project to be balanced out by the ready assistance they have offered us. They still have to find some agreement with our landlord . . . who loves this house and has taken good care of this property. But that is a separate conversation.”
Armstrong ends his letter with a goodbye to his once-quiet Vermont Commons neighborhood, and a not-so-subtle suggestion to his neighbors — that addressing their own complaints directly to Hines (who is “interested in being a good neighbor,” he says) might result in some rewards for them, too:
We wish you all well as you come to terms with the massive changes going on on Welch Street. We understand how radical the transformation has been. Our back garden [pictured above] used to be the quietest place in inner Houston, where all manner of birds and critters would come to drink in the fountain. I fear those sleepy, carefree days are gone. . . . Clearly our entire city is being shaken by unprecedented development. In the long run, this might work out well for you property owners — I sincerely hope it does. But I share with you the pains — and concerns — of the process.
- River Oaks-area residents fighting to stop office building [abc13]
- Previously on Swamplot: Neighbor Has a Few Problems with That 17-Story Office Building Going Up Over the Side Fence; Lawsuit Won’t Stop Construction of Hines’s San Felipe Tower — At This Time; The Scene on San Felipe: Hines’s Friendly Neighborhood Skyscraper Is Going Up Now; Dear Hines: We’d Settle for a Residential Midrise, Please; Hines Not Stopping San Felipe Skyscraper; Hines Develops Website To Explain 17-Story San Felipe Development; “Stop” Signs Oppose 17-Story Hines Office Building on San Felipe; A Look Around San Felipe at the Randall Davis Condos and Planned Hines Office Building Site; Hines Plans a Shiny New 18-Story Office Building Across San Felipe from River Oaks
Photos: abc13 (2244 Welch); Richard Armstrong (back patio)