New Plans Show BLVD Place with Apache Office Tower Stamped in the Middle of It

What will the long-awaited BLVD Place mixed-use development just north of the Galleria end up looking like now that Apache is building a 33-story office tower and parking garage — and reserving space for a second tower — on a huge chunk of the land facing Post Oak Blvd.? Like a considerably smaller retail complex than what Wulfe & Co. advertised from 2007 until the Apache purchase announcement this June. The development now appears to be split into 3 functionally distinct blocks: A Whole Foods-anchored shopping center with office space above it wrapped around a parking garage on the corner of San Felipe and Post Oak Blvd.; the Apache office complex to the south of that on land formerly occupied by the Pavilion at Post Oak; and a bank of 4 apartment or condo towers (including Hanover’s) and maybe a hotel hanging in back, behind Post Oak Ln. The only incongruity will be the portion of BLVD Place that’s already been built: the 4-story retail-and-office building in the Apache zone at the project’s southeast corner, which will now be separated from the rest of the retail by the Apache Tower.


The view along Post Oak Blvd., north of Apache’s new HQ:

The new Whole Foods Market and Frost Bank at the corner of San Felipe:

Restaurant space on the south face of the complex:

And views of office entries along Post Oak Ln.:

Images: Wulfe & Co.

18 Comment

  • During rush hour, it can take 15-20 minutes to drive from the Galleria to 610 along Westheimer. I wonder how much worse it’ll get before people who work in the area begin to park at Best Buy and walk to their offices.

    Does the pleasure of living in the suburbs really make up for the 4-5 hours of daily stop-and-go commuting?

  • Looks cool, but I’ll believe it when I see it. This thing has been stalled so long, it’s hard to imagine it ever getting done.

  • I have little faith in Wulfe and this project. It would be great if it was developed like this.

  • The fact that they are going with more offices (with a named tenant) and apartment towers and cut seriously back on retail means this project is moving forward.

    This went from a massively multi-use project to office and residential towers near each other with some retail adjacent.

    The offices will happen because that market is really hot right now. I see apartments before condo’s. The Whole Foods and the Rice Epicurean really close make the high-rise apartments attractive to tenants.

  • @Rodrigo, I’ve lived inside the loop and in the burbs, worked downtown, Greenway and the Galleria and in 20 plus years can only recall one two-hour commute and that was the day every road in Houston turned to ice. Either you drive a really slow car or write fiction.

  • What are the chances the resi towers turn into 6-story wrap arounds?

  • @Ridrigo, 4-5 hours? Maybe if you’re commuting from Matamoros.
    I’ve lived in Houston over 20 years and never heard of a commute more than 45min-1hr(even from the Woodlands or Sugarland), with average commute being much shorter.
    I do however see how it would take 4-5 hours for the same trip on public transport.

  • @Commonsense & Rodrigo
    Well, to add a single data point, my co-worker who lives in the Cypress area was telling me just this morning that his commute to downtown this week has been averaging hour and a half. He also mentioned that it takes him less time when he rides the bus, since the bus can ride in the HOV lane.
    About 5 years ago, I experienced a 4 hour commute from Midtown to Dairy Ashford via IH-10. A terrible accident in the pre-dawn hours combined with the freeway expansion project turned the road to a parking lot. My boss kept calling me and joking, “hey, you got a minute to talk??” It was hilarious.

  • why all these suburb haters. people decide to live where they can afford to live. life inside the loop isn’t always so peachy either.

  • @rental me this… It’s been my experience that people who live in the suburbs often have difficulty admitting to themselves just how long their commute really takes. Admitting how long they spend on the road would greatly diminish their perceived self worth. Instead of being a great father who values time with junior above all else, he would have to admit to being a father who values a 3,500 sq/ft home and not having to pay for private school above all else (including time with junior).

  • Rental: Ever heard of:
    59 to Westpark Toll Road?
    Or straight out Westpark Dr?
    Or straight out Memorial Dr?
    Or straight out San Felipe / Briar Forest?
    Or straight out Westheimer Rd?
    Or straight out Richmond Ave?

    There are LOTS of ways to get to Dairy Ashford and none of them would take very long in the AM.

  • I choose not to live in the suburbs. I also choose not to be a pompous blow hard who criticizes others for where they choose to live. Can’t we all just get along?

  • Agree with Bernard there.

    Taking I-10 from Midtown to Dairy Ashford in the morning is just ONE of many options. Now with the improvements, it’s never slow barring a massive traffic accident (and that is not a normal commute day).

    When I-10 was in it’s old configuration, only an idiot would use it to commute since there were many surface street options that were faster.

    Also, if you own a nice comfortable car, having a 1hr plus commute isn’t bad at all.

    As for people choosing suburbs, most of the time they are sacrificing themselves to a bad commute so their kids can have better schools and a nicer home for their income. The great thing about Houston is that you have options. You can choose the way you want to live versus having to incapable planner tell how you should live and commute.

  • @All: 4-5 hours would be the total time spent commuting per day, not one-way. That said, there are people in my office who’s primary residences are in Dallas…

  • @rodrigo: It’s subjective. Some perceive it to be worth it. Others do not. As stated above you have options. Don’t assume that your situation/preference is universal.

    @not really: See my comment to Rodrigo. A lot of people apparently can’t see past their own noses and somehow don’t get the concept. There are inner loop haters (and haters of just about anything out there) for the same reason.

  • I’m really disapointed that the Apache HQ building/plaza will completely cut the site in half. Notice on the site plan how the green rectangle (lush landscaping) below the blue circle (water feature) engage the footprint of the new HQ building!?! Any pedestrian trying to walk from the north shopping district to the existing retail will be forced around the fountain onto a 4′ wide sidewalk along Post Oak. That old school site planning may still have merit in an area like Westchase fronting BW-8. But it is a BIG step back from Wolfe’s original concept. A VERY smart move would be to plug in retail on the ground floors of the two HQ buildings and improving pedestrian access. When will Houston realize the corporate office and retail can coexist in the same building envelope? And that these two uses DON’T need to be separated by a stark motor court full of idling, black SUV’s.

  • @WanYay: It appears that there will be access through the Apache tower. Look at the pathways (brown checkerboard pattern) to the north of the tower. It looks to me like that is for foot traffic between the tower and the Whole Foods site, allowing a connection between the current building and the Whole Foods site.

  • This BLVD Place version 4.0. It’ll take years to being totally built out.