Heights Lot Prepared for Midrise Apartments

This drawing shows the proposed replat of a 3.5-acre lot in the Heights. It appears that Dallas-based Trammell Crow is planning to build apartments on the property bound by Allston, Yale, 6th, and 7th, about half a mile from I-10. Terra Associates, identified on City of Houston paperwork as the replatting applicant, tells Swamplot that the development will be 4 stories of apartments atop 2 levels of parking, one of which will be underground. There are no plans for retail. Seventh St. dead-ends here; the Heights hike and bike trail runs past the lot on the north. The replat is slated to be presented at a public hearing on Jan. 17.

Images: Swamplot inbox

30 Comment

  • Looks good to me. The heights could use some density.

  • Good use of space. That area could use a little love.

  • That should be seen as good news for the Heights. The apartments will occupy land currently used as overflow truck parking for Pappas warehouse, and add some more density to the 6th St/White Oak corridor. Plus provide that many more potential users for the hike and bike trail.
    Of course, if the widening of Yale just south of I-10 had not put utility poles in the middle of the sidewalks ( or should that be sidewalks in the utility pole ROW), the new residents could even think about walking to Wal*Mart!
    And now that I think about it, the underground parking so close to that bend in White Oak bayou could be considered an extra flood retention pond!

  • Is the unrestricted reserve in that plat the same as the property lines for the new apartment complex? If so, it looks like some new(er) construction on Allston is going to get bought out and demoed while two lots with not much on them will stay. I am not sure I get it.

    It is not a bad place for some density in the Heights. And it is certainly better than getting a 22 story tower. But, it would have been much better to see about a dozen of these go in on the Ainbinder development with ground floor retail instead of trying to squish them into some of the nooks and crannies in the Heights. With rents going up in Houston by 18-19% in one year, the odd parcel of land here and there in the Heights isn’t going to do much for density.

  • Let the hand-wringing begin!
    Most compelling argument against: traffic. The new feeders have made crossing I-10 on Yale unpleasant, and this won’t make the situation any better. That said, the argument “This is going to make traffic terrible, and besides, it ought to have ground-floor retail,” is a little self-contradictory.
    Least compelling argument (actually expresses in writing at another online forum): This address is zoned to Harvard; what will become of its “demographics”. Assuming this development will be comparable to 2125 Yale, where the vast majority of the units are 1-BR and start around $1400/mo, I think fears of a “brown wave” crashing over Harvard Elementary School are overwrought.

  • ShadyHeightster – This lot is on the SW corner, the Pappas parking lot fronts Yale at about 621 Yale. I live near this location and frankly don’t know what to make of it yet. It will be nice to have the trucks gone as the constant drone of generators does not help one sleep at night.

    The area is absolutely turning around, which can’t happen quick enough. With a few break-in attempts of my vehicle and home that I attribute to “locals”, seeing the old rotting homes and trailers demolished creates a sense of peace.

  • Although I am glad it is going to be something besides that truck parking lot, I’m not looking forward to the increase in traffic right there. Everytime I take my kids out on the bike path, we take our lives into our hands as the cars FLY by. We need a pedestrian light at that crossing to help those of us west of Yale. I also wish they were putting in single family homes like the ones that are being built in the 1000 block of Rutland.

  • Angostura: I think this would be far more comparable to the Camden on 4th and Oxford, but starting rents are right around the same. Given the demographics of that building (I’ve lived there) and that currently exist at Harvard (which I now live a few blocks from), the demographic shift would be quite the opposite. That would be, if apartment-dwellers in this area had kids, which by and large, they do not.

  • I rented a 2 bedroom, 2 bath bungalow on Norhill for two years. It was $1300 month. Aside from having to mow the yard, why in the heck would somebody take a 1 bedroom apartment on Yale for $1400/month in the same area? I know there are answers to these mysteries, but they make no sense to me. As for this building, at least they aren’t mowing down a block of historic homes to build it.

  • Anse, Please go to HAR or any other source and look for a ‘bungalow’ in that price range around this building for rent. Some enjoy the ease of living in a complex where everything is taken care of. Not everyone can find amazing deals on well taken care of houses. Most stuff starts $2000+

  • Anse: Rents in the heights have drastically gone up over the last year. The market is simply not the same as it was when you rented your Norhill bungalow. There is not much supply and a ton of demand.

  • This is a huge apartment complex that is being stuffed into a relatively small area. This one holds 353 units, which is 80% more than the development at 2125 Yale. There is simply no comparison between the two properties.

    All of the traffic from this complex will dump out at the Yale bottleneck – the area between 6th and I-10 – and will be further compounded by the other complex being built on Yale right at the freeway.

    It’s too bad the developers are so caught up in the dollar signs that they cannot stop to consider how well the project as a whole will work with the infrastructure and the neighborhood as a whole.

  • Developers in this town have never given a rat’s patoot about infrastructure and context.

  • ” With rents going up in Houston by 18-19% in one year, the odd parcel of land here and there in the Heights isn’t going to do much for density.”

    Really? 353 units at 1.5 persons per unit equals approximately 530 residents in the apartment complex versus the average Heights block in 77008 that has 24 homes and 2.31 persons per home, or 55.44 residents per block. In other words, this one partial block will have as many residents as 10 Heights blocks.

    I’d say that helps Heights density.

  • @Miz Smith, exactly my thought when I read post 12.

    “Not my job” said the developer.

  • I would like to point out that I moved out of that bungalow in March of last year, so it wasn’t that long ago…and yes, I’m aware that rents have gone up. Paying that much for an apartment in the Heights still seems like a bum deal to me. But maybe I just have a knack for finding cheap rentals in that neighborhood. Between ’04 and ’12, I rented four different properties; I got kicked out of three of them because they were bought and torn down. Maybe the Heights will be glad I don’t live there any more. The wrecking ball seems to follow me around.

  • It is a concern that there is already a complex planned for this area adjacent to i10. That does seem like a more appropriate location. And Yale already backs up to 6th in the mornings now in route to i10. I sure hope the other development would allow for a right turn lane to be added at Yale & I10. It would help a lot!

    All the streets in the 6th/Yale/Shephard/11th grid are narrow, with no curbs and gutters (i.e. not designed to handle lots of cut through traffic). You can barely navigate multiple cars around traffic parked on the streets now at times.

    I support density, but this just seems out of scale and I really want to see what infrastructure upgrades are planned in the surrounding area. I think a much smaller scale coupled with infrastructure upgrades within that whole grid in the neighborhood would be a more attractive project.

  • I don’t see that there is much to complain about. You live in a city for crying out loud. I bet that bike trail gets a lot more use when this project is done. It might even encourage more busniess o Yale Street.

  • @Dave: You took my quote out of context. I was talking about comparing putting in one or two or three complexes like this in one of the few open lots left in the Heights compared to developing the properties south of I-10 that have been turned into single story strip malls. The Ainbinder, Orr and potential San Jacinto Stone sites total just over 30 acres. That would mean potentially, at a minimum, 8 complexes similar to this one with a total of over 2800 units or @4,200 residents using your math. That would be worth almost 80 blocks in the Heights using your math. And it would have been easy to build up more than just 4 floors of residential without having the constraints of that skinny plot of land. But, instead, we are stuck with having to shoe horn density into our neighborhood where there just isn’t enough land to make a real dent in the shortage of multifamily housing. That is not to say that 350 units doesn’t make any difference. It just doesn’t make any meaningful difference, especially in compaison to what could have happened south of I-10.

  • This is great news for the area. Maybe they can help get some lights placed along the bike trail in that area, as I always see people creeping in the shadows right around there at night.

  • From Anse: “.. But maybe I just have a knack for finding cheap rentals in that neighborhood. Between ’04 and ’12, I rented four different properties; I got kicked out of three of them because they were bought and torn down…”
    I sense a difference between causation and corolation. Meaning it could be you were getting cheap rents BECAUSE you kept renting from places that were otherwise targets to be knocked down. Most places that get knocked down are not at their highest and best use and that could be in part because their under market rent or in a physical condition to only get under market rent.

  • *correlation

    For 2013, Gus needs an edit button :)

  • Since the feeder was extended from yale to shepherd and combined with the wal mart development, traffic on yale is already slow and stop. Prefer houses. Long term, apartments are usually not good for the neighborhood.

  • *their/they’re. Sorry, long week.

  • This is not a good idea as is. I live next door to where this giant behemoth of a apt complex will be built on the small ribbon street (~17′ wide) known as Allston. I am not against development of some sort. It will be nice to get the trucks gone and the abandoned homes. But an apartment complex (especially of this size) is not sustainable. What is really concerning is that the developers have acknowledged they have not done any traffic or drainage analysis. Recent homes have been built nearby and what would be more appropriate are more homes or a smaller complex with a mixed use (retail on the bottom floor for example.) Yes, anything will increase traffic, but 350 units will increase traffic beyond belief and create an extremely unsafe environment for the surrounding streets and hike/bike trail usage.

  • The city will undoubtedly require Crow to do drainage and traffic impact studies and if necessary, expand streets, outfall and utility capacity.

  • Other than comment 12, where does anyone ascertain that this is a complex of 350 units?

  • I spoke with the builder directly to find out what was being built.

  • Forgive me for being naive, but why is everyone so hell bent on “more density”? What good does that do for the neighborhood, or the city in general?

  • @Chris in the Heights: Good point. Many cheer on putting in these pencil box apartments as desireable “density”. While the improvements will generate more taxes and bring more people inside the loop, not all density is created equal. Density for density’s sake is at best a marginal benefit and at worst a negative imposition on the existing character of the neighborhood with lots of externalities. Density that creates a walkable urban environment is what is really the beneficial attribute of density. Done properly, density can allow people to live and work in an area without having to constantly rely on their cars for transportation. This reduces traffic and creates desireable street life with people out walking to stores, restaurants, etc. instead of just going from one parking lot to another. This development could actually do something positive in terms of density if it included some ground floor retail that would give residents in the complex and the neigbhorhood more walkable options for food and shopping. At least it is within walking distance of some shopping (if you dare to cross the feeder). But the lack of ground floor retail is a big missed opportunity for the neighborhood.