How the Apartments Along White Oak Bayou in Woodland Heights Have Grown

Proposed Elan Heights Apartments, 2222 White Oak Dr., Woodland Heights, Houston

The latest rendering for the Elan Heights apartment complex Greystar is planning for the site of the former Skylane Central Apartments (more recently called 2222 White Oak) it’s getting ready to demolish shows a few changes: The 325-unit building is now projected to rise 7 stories above a 3-level parking garage perched on a raised slab (useful for keeping lower-level cars dry on the bayou-side property). But this design from Meeks + Partners will require a variance from the city, because it scoots 12 and a half ft. closer to White Oak Dr. than city rules currently allow.


Proposed Elan Heights Apartments, 2222 White Oak Dr., Woodland Heights, Houston

Proposed Elan Heights Apartments, 2222 White Oak Dr., Woodland Heights, Houston

A hearing before the planning commission is tentatively scheduled for the May 29th meeting. Greystar is also proposing to build this under-the-bridge dog park on the east side of the building, below the Taylor St. overpass:

Proposed Elan Heights Apartments, 2222 White Oak Dr., Woodland Heights, Houston

Images: Meeks + Partners/Kudela & Weinheimer/Greystar

Taking the Skylane to Elan Heights

39 Comment

  • It looks absolutely fantastic but if the Woodland Heights community didn’t like Morrison Heights, then I can certainly see some level of opposition to this massive complex.

  • meh, looks just like the Skylane building that’s already there
    (I kid… I kid…)

  • Looks great! What’s there now is such a dump, this will really help improve the area. I can’t imagine the ‘little buddy’ store staying around much longer in the shadow of that building though.

  • I like it. Variance away!

  • Not a terrible location; but there is a neighborhood behind the building and I would not want a tower taking my backyward privacy while throwing up a massive shade wall. Developments like this take from its neighbors but the neighbors get nothing but more traffic. I hope at least the building as adequate parking for guests/residents so that the neighborhood streets are not packed with unfamiliar cars.

  • Looks pretty nice. Those units that face downtown/I-10 will have some good views.

  • @Triton

    They’ll oppose to this project, but it will be built anyway.

  • As expected, the architecture has been dumbed down from the original renderings that were floated. Still, it is a step up from the usual pencil box with hats.

  • Definite improvement–they’ll get their varience —doesn’t everyone?

  • I would be 100% not thrilled with a 10 story lurking over my backyard. Landowners should be compensated for loss of their privacy.

  • There are no other residences on this block, so I don’t know about a loss of privacy. That said, a few folks on Usener are going to lose their skyline views.

  • I live in Woodland Heights and drive past this spot every day. Couldn’t be happier with this development. The current structure is a wretched eyesore. It sits across from an overgrown lot and next to a few ratty commercial buildings–hardly an imposition there. Caddy corner to this spot there are a few faux-Victorian clap traps, but this shouldn’t diminish their view. There are nice single family homes within 1-2 blocks, but they are so close to the freeway and busy Taylor St. that it’s hard to believe how this will really impact their property values. This is nothing like the Ashby high rise situation.

  • I liked the previous design better. This mish-mash of styles is loud, combined with the exposed parking garage…

  • @Ian..the Feral Govt has caused great loss of privacy to everyone and no one is being compensated. But then again no one is asking for it either. Maybe people do care more about someone possibly peeping into their backyard, but using the same common argument for apathy, why would anyone care if their not doing anything wrong?

  • @Ian It’s a good thing that there aren’t any backyards next to it to lurk over, then.

  • I’m not sure the locals / residents share everyone’s enthusiasm for the the project…..,-95.381482,3a,75y,334.06h,90.12t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1saK-_mgxyYUjrzMh4oCG4IA!2e0

  • This looks almost identical to the Memorial Hills complex on Jackson Hill and Scotland St. near the Waugh/Memorial intersection.

  • This is too hulkingly big and does nothing to incorporate or embrace the aesthetics of the neighborhood or park, but I do like the neighborhood amenities the developer is proposing. A dog park and children’s play area are lacking in that area, and will be used and appreciated by all. I read somewhere that this project was expected to include a restaurant, any word on that?

  • I live in Woodland Heights and I support this project. It’ll be a bit dusty for a while, but the end result will be great for the neighborhood.

  • @DNAguy – haha. i bet the Google driver pressed on that gas pedal after the friendly wave from the locals. Maybe the next residents will raise a Starbucks capuccino instead?

  • I, too, live in the Woodland Heights and drive past this eyesore daily. While I appreciate the improvement, I worry about the effect of 330 units (vs. 76 current units) where all garage entrances are on Usener, as is the loading dock. This increase in density will definitely cause residents who drive this way to cease turning left on Usener, but to continue north on Taylor/Watson instead and find the nearest cut-through street to get them over to Studewood and beyond. This will definitely affect my street which already gets a lot of cut-through traffic.

  • I lived in Montrose when the Tremont Tower was built. You do not have to be right next door for a building to cast shade on your house and yard. I was about a block away and the entire neighborhood was shaded by that monstrosity. It really did loom over the whole area.

  • Everybody gets their variance. Looks like their sidewalk will go bye-bye. Let ’em walk on White Oak.

  • Oh that’s too bad I always liked the Skylane apartments, very groovy 60’s modern architecture. There were several built in Houston back then… I’m not sure how many locations are left but this one looked like it were kept up pretty well.

  • One more thing to price me out of the neighborhood…next, my husband, son, and myself will be evicted from our reasonably priced apartment so yet another of these massive buildings can go up.

    Apparently Watson isn’t congested enough with traffic from I-10, and apparently some commenters don’t understand that a very tall building will indeed loom over people’s yards. Yes, people will be able to see from their windows down into the yards of homes on the adjacent block.

  • It has a very “North Dallas” look to it, which will certainly be a change.

  • @ Justin, just how will this “be great for the neighborhood”? I don’t care how good it looks (not my opinion anyway, I agree with Ss that the skyline apts could be hip and affordable if properly renovated) 325 units means more traffic, more stress on the local infrastructure and more pollution. The traffic flow here is already awkward good luck crossing Watson with your dog to use the dog park (as if anyone will want to hang out under the bridge anyhow). I guarantee choking traffic backed up to Teetshorn in the mornings and more accidents on I-10 between the i-45 interchange and Taylor exit. Typical greed motivated Houston project, build as big as possible, and accept “a step up from the usual pencil box with hats” as something to be happy about.

  • Ahhhhh people will be able to see other people in other yards from the windows of this building. I’m sure this has never been a problem Ina any city ever! At least it isn’t like this-

  • Much ado about nothing. HeightsGal claims that no one will use Usener anymore due to exit ramps emptying onto Usener. What she forgets is that the residents on the exit ramps must wait for me as I drive by, not the other way around. I’ll continue to use Usener. Others predict Armageddon for traffic, as if the 325 residents will do nothing all day but drive in and out of the apartments. My suggestion to worried Woodland Heights residents is to drive over to Target and watch the exit to the apartment building there. There simply is not that much traffic generated by an apartment of that size. Now, I am sure that the worriers won’t believe me, but rest assured, it will not be that bad. This is why the variance will be granted.

  • @Duston: I wish developers here would approach things the way that article says Japan does: “the shadows of buildings cannot be cast on other buildings for more than a set amount of hours a day, with the minimum requirement being set on winter solstice.”

  • @Mel- A children’s play area is lacking? This is across from Stude Park. You know, the giant park with a pool, huge playscape, multiple little league fields, and a bike trail. That said, the children’s area in this rendering is wedged between 2 dog areas and appears to be a total afterthought.

    Yes, new apartments there will be nice. No, this is not kind to the neighborhood. Yes, it will have a negative impact on traffic. They should not approve the variance and make them go with the original plans, which are more respectful of their neighbors and do not encroach on the bayou.

    @Sunnie, I share your concerns. The extreme downside of gentrification.

  • Doing some quick calculations, I don’t believe the shadow will cast across the street even when the sun is at its lowest position. If it does, it won’t be by much.

  • @DarbyMom. Check your Google Satellite. There is currently no sidewalk. This apartment building will actually create a sidewalk where none existed previously. So, no one has to walk on White Oak anymore.

  • Geez, heights mom. Yes, I am aware of the park at the far end of stude, and the park on Houston and the park on Beauchamp. Snipe, snipe.

  • That’s our house you are talking about. It won’t block our view. Build away.

  • If NIMBYs weren’t comprised of such smart people being so intellectually dishonest, I can’t help but feel like I would end up being a fairly proactive technocratic sort of person, making all kinds of helpful suggestions. Helpful suggestions are what comes into my mind when I read an article like this one, but by the time that I’m done picking though amateurish propaganda, I tend to feel like even the slightest suggestion for a change would lend them popular support and make me complicit in an unethical act that — even if its not criminal — would make me feel like a criminal.

  • Too bad they’re asking to build closer to the street, if there was more green space they could plant better shade trees! Perhaps more oaks along White Oak? Just a thought……..
    Yes, it’s big and tall, everything along I-10 is choking us and making it hard to get out of the neighborhood headed south……the bayou used to protect us from having access to the freeway but those new ramps have changed all that :-( I just wish the builders (and our city) were a bit more sensitive to the neighborhood!

  • You need to convince the city to update the baseball park directly across the street. Please make sure to involve the local high school, John H. Reagan – IB World School, that uses the field for home games, to supply manpower for upkeep and maintenance.

  • i am very interested in seeing floor plans and reserving one ASAP.