Suburban-style retail and apartment complexes may have all but conquered the former industrial block southeast of the Heights Swamplotters have taken to calling Katyville, but there are still plenty of warehouse-y buildings to tear down — often of the more Mod variety — south and west of Timbergrove Manor. Here though, just inside the West Loop, isolated pods of townhome colonies would be the more likely result. A resident of the area tells Swamplot neighbors only found out about a 131-unit townhouse subdivision planned off of W. 12th St. between Ella and Seamist because developer InTown Homes is seeking a variance (in a hearing before the planning commission this Thursday). The variance is to gain approval for not including a north-south street through the 6.916-acre property.
In tune with the recent trend of slapping the “Heights” name on anything north of I-10 between Downtown and the West Loop, InTown plans to name the project Timbergrove Heights. It’ll replace a few buildings from the sixties and seventies between 3480 and 3484 12th St. that include the Vintners Own winery and a former office of cubicle installers Cubes (above). If the variance is approved, entrance to the development will come from 2 new streets and 2 new shared driveways extending off W. 12th St.; it’ll sit between Perry Homes’ Timbergrove Court patio-home loop off Seamist and townhome development Heritage Creek, both of which date from the early noughts.
Photo: Swamplot inbox. Plat and map: InTown Homes
Does anyone know how to find these variance requests online? The Houstontx.gov web site does not easily give up its secrets, but I would have expected to find variance requests posted there for all to see, naif that I am.
Oh no, more townhomes!
A couple of those creatively named streets appear pretty thin. Also, when you have a visitor, these neighborhoods don’t seem to offer anywhere to park. I had been wondering about the same issue around the San Felipe Hines Tower/Saint Honnore/Winfield Gate/Chateau Ten developments where street parking is already at a premium and will get more interesting with increased traffic flow.
I smell a Houston Real Estate Cliche nomination making an early push – Heights Everywhere – even out by Highway Six: http://swamplot.com/somewhere-out-in-the-energy-corridor-heights-apartments-are-coming-to-central-park/2014-01-22/
@adr Half of Houston can be “Hill Country” inspired, and the other half can be “Heights”!
Aso, Intown Homes is unveiling a 400k+ model for bungalo style homes on the east end. I would think they would try to build those in Woodlands heights but because this is the west side of the heights, it will definitely be a townhome community. Also wonder if this will be goverment funded for roads and sewers or if he does that himself.
@ Nuke, that’s very true. Especially since these will require 131 curb cuts on those tiny access streets! But for those who want more density in Houston, well, here it is!
I think they can cram in another dozen or so townhomes into that space. Why not make it an even 150?
Sure wish some of these developers would tear down those dumps on 18th…
Hahah!!! take that hipsters and yuppies!!!
Looks like Clusterville.
Naming everything “XYZ Heights” and giving it “Hill Country” architecture sounds a bit much like overcompensating to me… the real estate equivalent of a chromed out, jacked up F250.
We should embrace the pool table that is Houston topography and resurrect the prairie – both as a name and a building style.
As of this afternoon 3480 is halfway demolished. The density of that planned development is horrid. I’m actually disappointed to see the industrial sites go.
I agree with mollusk . We should resurrect the name, style and further the landscaping. Houston was a beautiful landscape that is not wholly lost (yet)! Dreaming of something that you wish you had is sub par to respecting what you actually have (or what you have that could be returned to).
The annoying thing about these developments is the parking; not enough of it and so it spills into surrounding streets. Developers feed off neighborhoods and usually don’t care about the problems they cause. We will have to go the way of LA where every inch of street parking is marked, metered, and secured through the use of window decals.
I don’t suffer from claustrophobia but even those units in the middle make me squirm. No light except from the back (or is that the front?) garage side facing a narrow alley with views of the other prison cell in front of you. This isn’t density, this is insanity.
The current planning commission agenda, which includes details on the variations requests, can typically be found here: https://edrc.houstontx.gov/edrc/login.aspx
Horrible. Fine example of the worst of pure-profit development going on right now
Lack of parking, lack of greenspace, lack of light (especially for the units in the center). If most residents use their garage for the intended purpose (actually parking vehicles) parking shouldn’t be too bad, but there is still going to be spillover into the surrounding area. I guess it’s still a warehouse of sorts, just for people.
Where will the builder put the garbage cans – or will there be private waste service? And, drainage and flood plain data should be extremely important. That said, Intown (Lovett) seems build a pretty good structure.
Guess what guys…if you are west of Shepherd or south of I10, you are not in the heights. Frankly using the name just makes you look stupid and unaware of the area.
Ian….why should a developer not make a profit?? Why should people who want to live in a townhouse, not be able to?? Because you said so?? Your comments are ridiculous. This was a freaking POS warehouse district, that is being developed into a viable community that people want to live in. It improves the landscape in the area, and adds to the tax basis for the city, making improvements to other areas of town viable, which makes a better city for everyone. I hate people like you. Move to California.
Let’s call it what it is: this is a glorified apartment complex.
Angostura- many thanks!
I love the way people can get so testy just looking at a subdivision plat. At least look at the developer’s website and see their product and then let the mud fly. This seems not much different than the townhome community nearby at Ella and Grovewood or those two off Hempstead and 12th. It’s preferable to the Rice Military style of 5 on a lot sideways backwards and forwards. And exactly what would be the desired use of this plot? A 5 story apartment block? A UPS processing facility? A drug and alcohol rehab center? If you think anyone is going to try and recreate Beverly Hills, you’re just nuts!
SFP – your tone is out of line. Go look at places where people enjoy living. There is a clear balance between private and public space, footprint to plot size, necessity of common resources like, oh, I don’t know, even one extra parking space, etc. You can develop a 7 acre tract profitably (very profitably) without jamming **the highest possible number** of 3-4 story identical townhomes into it like sardines.
Go drive around Rice Military, or somewhere where this style of developer has left their stamp. Tell me that seems like a nice place to live. I don’t pretend to be able to tell this person what to do with their land, but this blatant money-is-the-only-object style turns small tracts and then entire areas of town into depressing colonies of people-boxes devoid of character, style, or human interaction for that matter.
Profit is the obvious end-all of real estate development, but you don’t have to sacrifice every single compromise for a quality development at the altar of the almighty dollar. I own personal and rental property in this town and have a vested interest in its future. You can be the one to move away if you can’t bear even the slightest note of dissent at this barren display of greed – one which is transforming our city for the worse.
I”m putting 54 units on 3.9 acres. SUCK IT!
Congratulations – your legacy is probably going to be a future slum, which will stick around long after you’ve squandered your profits on custom motorcycles and divorce settlements. You seem to have the financial side of things nailed down, why don’t you try to take some time to improve yourself and your perspective on life. Maybe shut off the TV and try reading some classics. Best of luck in life.
Ian–Just as JT pointed out….go look at the developer’s website before thumbing your pompous nose at his development. Intown homes goes above and beyond the status quo on every development they do, and as a result they command a premium to the market……so………not only do people WANT to live in his communities….they’re actually willing to pay a PREMIUM to do so.
Also, I don’t have motorcycles, and i’m not married.
SFP, I live in a neighborhood where Intown is building 3 houses on a corner lot (probably 5-6K sq ft). Two are attached facing one frontage, the 3rd is behind it facing the other frontage. There is about 5-6 feet between the attached and the single townhouses. While I have seen worse developments, this is pretty awful from a quality of life point. Will that keep people from buying? Probably not, people will buy anything. Will it have long term value or a positive long term impact on my neighborhood? That is up to time to judge. However, don’t assume that everything they build is “quality”. I walk my dog by these places everyday and noticed recently that the porch lights have been installed with a light on oneside noticeably higher than the other (by front doors). With a for sale sign in front, this has never been corrected.
Matt, the Heights subdivision also extends past Shepard and Durham, about a half a block into and abutting Shady Acres. Look at an old map and see. There is a dog leg that covers several blocks from probably around 16th northward.
SFP you’re the man!!
Not everyone can afford $700k plus for an outdated 2200 square ranch home. I live right down the street from the proposed development and am excited to see the neighborhood grow. I’ve lived in SF and NYC and Houston is neither, but we are getting more metropolitan and people need to handle that.