The plans submitted to the city along with a variance request being advertised lately along Canal St. show that the developer — an entity which traces back to Frank Liu — is asking for permission to drop below a required 3,500-sq.-ft. minimum lot size on its new property. That would allow the company stick about 29 houses on the L of land the documents refer to as Williams on Canal, which wraps around the brightly muraled La Familia Meat Market building and 2 pre-1950’s homes just south of it on St. Charles. The drawings in the request show 64 townhomes altogether, including the company’s adjacent land on the same block (extending all the way to Commerce St.):
Another variance request was filed for the other group of homes (under the name Williams on Commerce). The accompanying variance paperwork for each group justifies the request by claiming that 7 of the 64 houses would be placed in a land trust that will sell them in a below-market price range to lower income “workforce” buyers.
Images: La Familia Meat Market (top); Josh Beker (second); Houston Planning Commission (siteplan)
The invasion of cheap townhomes continues without abatement; taking history one square foot at a time.
Billy: I assume the people that can now afford their own home appreciate this ‘invasion’
Yea, we should really band together to save the Commerce street scrapped warehouse foundation and weeds.
While I don’t mind the re-purposing of the old meat market building land for townhomes, do they really need to put 64 of these on the plot? In a land of sprawl, why are we trying to achieve urban density all in one go?
I’m sure there’s more money to be made by building 64 of these on the plot – but let’s give everyone a bit more room.
“The accompanying variance paperwork for each group justifies the request by claiming that 7 of the 64 houses would be placed in a land trust that will sell them in a below-market price range to lower income “workforce” buyers.”
There’s part of the reason for the high density; they need some extras built as “affordable housing” payoffs to the City for the variance, so to do a greed squeeze ends up being a super squeeze once the City gets their incentive.
@Cody These cheaply built town homes is what I should have said. No doubt low income buyers will not be able to afford $300K – $400K these homes will command. Unless they are rentals that accept HUD vouchers or are utilizing LIHTC. Both are 99.99% unlikely.
I’m finding 2.15 acres on HCAD, so 64 townhomes on that is 29.8 units per acre. That is pretty high as townhomes go, but that is only comparable in density to garden-style suburban apartment complexes. It is nothing by comparison with the urban apartment or condominium buildings that typically get built in Houston’s urban core.
And actually, I’m all for it. When new townhomes get platted, those plats are basically going to last until the end of time; all the king’s knights and all the king’s men won’t be able to put townhome-platted land back together again. (That is, short of running a new highway over the top of it.) So it might as well be dense. Bring it on.
I really tried to be a good neighbor and give this meat market a chance, but every time i bought fajita meat here is was fatty and chewy with little seasoning. They could have succeeded if the inside felt as nice as the outside looked.
Not sure why everyone thinks the meat market is going anywhere, the pictures show it using land surrounding the meat market, the words on the page describe it going around the meat market. Confirming on Google maps shows the meat market occupies the space on the corner of Canal and St. Charles, which coincides with the picture above confirming that it isn’t part of the L shape plot for the townhome farm.
Doesn’t 29.8 units per acre violate section 42-184 of the CoH muni code, which places a limit of 27 units per acre?
Elsewhere, there is mention of 30+ units per acre, but that’s for multi-family residential, not what is presumably single-family.
This variance was approved on 2 March. #OldNews