The 2016 lawsuit that just last week resulted in a multi-million dollar judgment against Houston developer Urban Living isn’t the only litigation the firm’s caught up in right now. Since the beginning of the year, the same plaintiff, Preston Wood & Associates, has filed 4 more suits against the developer and its partners, alleging that at least 6 more Urban Living projects were based of derivatives of the design firm’s copyrighted townhome plans.
One of the projects, dubbed The Modern on Sabine, is shown at top on the corner of Sabine and Bingham streets. Another, The Modern on Austin, went up in place of a few row houses torn down at Austin and Tuam near the end of 2013:
Construction on all of the sites named in this year’s spate of lawsuits started shortly after Urban Living inked a license agreement in 2014 to use some of Preston Wood’s designs. But according to Preston Wood, Urban Living never notified it that construction was beginning at any of the townhomes based off the plans, as required by the contract. On top of that, Urban Living also allegedly sublicensed the plans to a number of its subsidiaries — including Zenith Urban Living and Signature Homes — none of which included Preston Wood’s copyright statement on the plans they reproduced.
Zenith handled the Sabine St. houses (shown at top), while Signature built the Modern on Austin and Bomar Terrace, viewed below from the corner of Crocker St.:
(Only the 2 houses on the left qualified as infringement, said Preston Wood, putting the corner one in the clear.)
At Graustark Villas just north of the bridge across 59, Tanglewood Builders handled construction while Urban Living took care of sales and marketing:
Rainier Custom Homes helped out with 1515 Bonnie Brae St., another Castle Court project named in the lawsuits:
At Barletta — a row of 6 structures on W. 16th and Beall streets — Urban Living partnered up with Surface Properties:
- Previously on Swamplot: Breaking Down the Math Behind Urban Living’s $29 Million Dues; Urban Living Gets $29 Million Penalty for Copycatting Townhomes