Playing Dress Up with the Tiny Floorplans of the Ivy Lofts Condos

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

These are the minuscule views you’ll be able to scope out in a few weeks, when the Ivy Lofts folks throw open the doors of the grocery-warehouse-turned-million-dollar-sales-center currently sitting south of Leeland St. between Live Oak and Nagle streets. The former Leeland Wholesale Grocery space will officially reopen on March 12th, according to a freshly-pressed press release from developer Novel Creative Development, and will contain the above palm-of-your-hand mock-up model of the proposed Ivy Lofts condominium tower amid its East Downtown environs.

The center will also include several actual-size-but-still-quite-small model floorplans, including that of the baby-of-the-bunch Tokyo unit — now weighing in around 350 sq.ft., a bump up from the 300 sq. ft. touted in earlier marketing materials.

Not feeling up to the trek? The Ivy Lofts are also now listed on HAR, and renderings have been released that will let you try on some different outfitting options for a couple of the unit designs. Here’s Tokyo by night, in bedroom mode:


Tokyo Unit, Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

And here it is a few hours earlier, before the kitchen table made a retreat as the bed ate the couch:

Tokyo Unit, Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

The above renderings are of the Tokyo’s Gourmet module, which includes a little extra kitchen with that kitchen table. Other options include the Intellectual — shown below with a desk area in place of the added counter and dining space — and the Fashionista, which is “perfect for extra storage space,” according to Novel Creative:

Tokyo Intellectual, Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Here’s how the living room of the 760-ish-sq.-ft. Paris unit is intended to start the day:

Paris Unit, Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

And here it is in formal evening attire:

Paris Unit, Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

The Paris’s floorplan, at more than double the square footage of the Tokyo, includes 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 2 walk-out balconies:

Paris Floorplan, Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

The developers state that every unit will have a walk-out terrace. Here’s a few more variations on the theme, not labeled by their respective geographic allegiance:

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Another building mockup at the sales center, meanwhile, will provide a chance to play dollhouse in the various outdoor nooks and patio spaces incorporated into the highrise’s design:

Mockup of Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Ivy Lofts Rendering, Leeland at Live Oak, East Downtown, Houston

Renderings and photos: Novel Creative Development


East Downtown

26 Comment

  • I keep waiting for Ashton kutcher to jump out and yell “punked!”.

    This has reached almost parody status. I love how the tiniest model is called the Tokyo. No self awareness whatsoever. I’m sure the Tokyo will command top dollar when it is re-sold… punked!

  • Do you think they’ll pipe in token hipster music to all the units so residents feel like they’re living in a never-ending HGTV tiny house show?

  • Wierd….. I would super glue, nah gorilla glue all the stuff on the murphy bed shelf…. I’d glue the pillows down too. I’d probably also go with more of a hovel motif by opting for a big metal pot full of boiling water to do laundry in while hedging my upward mobility on the chance of inheriting a chocolate factory.

  • Two dudes standing in a kitchen engaged in conversation, each holding a glass of red wine. Two chicks sitting on the bed-couch watching television. NOTHING ABOUT THIS PLACE SEEMS REALISTIC TO ME.

  • Tulips! Get your tulips!

  • I mean this is so Texas.

    So Houston.

    So Eado.

    Soooooooo going belly up.

  • I think this place will surprise a lot of bystanders by actually working. The views on the Downtown side are nearly perfect in their distance from the skyline and the area surrounding it has bottomed and is rising in a long-term uptrend. The concept is new but is viable once you get used to living with few possessions and spending a little time each day moving things around a bit. Yeah, the nearby townhouses might offer more value per square foot etc but some would prefer to live in a building and have no maintenance.

  • They even dressed everything up in monochromatic gray and you all still are not sold? I actually really like how these developers are committing Houston real estate heresy by spitting in the face of the realtor/builder mentality that square footage is the only thing that equals value. The reality is that most of Houston’s residential real estate’s fetish with square footage is nothing more than the delivery of unnecessary junk. Single family homes do not need an “open concept” living/dining area that could double as a racquetball court. Nobody does anything with that creepy first floor room next to the garage in just about every townhome in Houston. A “media room” is closer to solitary confinement than it is to a real movie theater. Watch out sq ft peddlers, there may actually be people out there who are not willing to buy your junk anymore.

  • “Honey can you reach over and heat me up a burrito?”

  • I see this working in higher density cities like NYC, SF or DC, etc, but Houston has way too many relatively affordable options. The prices are way too high per square foot! If it was cheaper, I could see it working. People will sign up not understanding that the maintenance fee’s will double their mortgage. I can see 2/3rd’s of the project empty day one, prices dropping lowering the value, then a bunch of tenants living with lower income tenants who paid half the price. I’ll come in an build something across the street with double the square footage for the same price, LOL!

  • Okay, the smaller unit, I get there is a market for Tiny House enthusiasts. I just think it’s funny when they tour these places and say “well, there’s not a lot of room in here to really do anything” (NO SHEEEEET).

    I wonder what all these buyers will do in their free time since they don’t have much cleaning to do. Spin in a circle while spraying multi-purpose pledge and repeat spin with a towel. PRESTO!

    Look, I want a minimal space as well. If I wanted a grand 5 bedroom brick 90’s masterpiece I’d venture in the suburbs… but maybe I’m a freak? I like to have room to dance/exercise on my xbox kinect. I LIKE inviting people over for dinner, and more than just another couple… I also like having a place to store the Christmas Tree.

    The larger unit is truly a joke. You could find a condo with double the space and afford to drive a brand new C-Class, and furnish your pad in Roche Bobois.

  • @oldschool – if these were substantially less $$ then I could see young people buying to have a crash pad. But it seems like financial suicide when you can get triple the square feet in very similar downtown condos for the same or less price.

    Btw, lots of people sacrifice square feet for location. I could have had double the space in Katy, but downsizing to 300 square feet is just comical. This isn’t New York or San Francisco. We aren’t living on an island or tiny pennisula. There is land literally everywhere to build. This is financial suicide for anyone who buys this. I guess that’s why it’s the Tokyo – buying one is a little like hari kari.

  • Eh. My condo is 800 square feet, which is comfortable for me, so the 750 square-foot unit isn’t all that much smaller. While I cannot stand the 3,000+ square-foot McMansion craze that seemingly holds Houston in its death grip, I’m not sure the city is ready for micro-condos of 350 square feet.

  • @Dana-X Agreed. I’ve definitely seen an uptick in interest in the last 10 years. Among my group of friends and acquaintances, most owning or renting inside the loop, there are a number who have been looking for a place just like this. I’ve pointed out they could get more in a townhome, but they are used to living in a high-rise (NYC, etc transplants) and want low upkeep and condo-like amenities.

  • “Resort style pool w/wet bar, rooftop courtyards, fitness center, yoga room”

    Uh, prospective buyer, when the HOA goes bankrupt. All of this stuff pretty much goes away.

  • Looks like a stack of shipping containers, or lofts built out of legos. Sound insulation would be a good thing here. This might be a sign that the glamourization of density has peaked.

  • I feel like choosing to use a fisheye perspective in a render says a lot about these guys

  • I like my small house. I have no idea what I’d do with 1500 sf, let along 2500-3000 sf. so I get it. it’s a great idea. someone will buy it. not me though, while I like a smaller home, I also like my garage and my yard.

  • @Commenter7: Not so fast. The smallest units go for the low $100ks. Other than a few very odd, old and crunchy condos here and there, there is nothing in that price point inside the loop. The closest thing to that price point is the St. Germain lofts. For @ $150k you can get a 550ish sq ft loft with very limited amenities and a much higher condo ass’n fee. No snazzy built ins, no pool, no porch, and very limited common areas.

    The larger units are listing for $350k for 875 sq ft. You can get larger lofts in downtown for the same or less, but the fees in downtown are much higher. Most units @1200-1500 sq ft have fees in the 700-800 range. The higher end units in the micro condo have fees in the $200s. Yes, the condo fees for the micro condos could just be a shell game and shoot through the roof, but condo fees anywhere are always a risk. But assuming that the condo fees stay in the same ballpark, the 875 sq ft micro is really coming out to be more like a $250k unit.

  • Those closets in the floorplan are tiny. Makes be proud of my 1950’s house’s totally-inadequate-for-today’s-wardrobe closets. Brain, you may release endorphins now…

  • @Old School: I’ve noticed the same thing. St. Germain, 2016 Main, Herrin Lofts, and other nasty old apartments-turned-condos all have similar or lower price points per sf, but either lack amenities, views, have low ceilings, smell, are in questionable locations, and have double to triple the HOA fees of what the Ivy offers. For new construction under $200k inside the loop with views, proximity, amenities, and low fees, this is pretty much it. They said on their FB page they’ve reserved 90 units in the first 3 weeks so far…

  • I’m particularly a fan of this rendering:

    Every condo ad shows happy people, but IVY LOFTS goes the extra mile and actually shows a future resident drying tears of ennui after the reality sets in that her new digs are straight out of a bad 70’s dystopia flick.

  • Welcome to Swamplot, where we hate townhouses, make fun of rich estates on HAR every day, love to talk about urban development and how great it is, and can’t stand the idea of compact highrise residential living in a spot where *we* wouldn’t put it.

  • @Tom Jackson: I zoomed in on that render and she isn’t drying her tears. She’s on the phone while looking up at the cubby containing her Chuck Taylor All Stars. I think she’s on the phone with Track Lights R Us ordering a new LED head.

  • @oldschool – HAR has a 521 square feet micro condo at 215 to 230. A 621 square feet unit is 272k. Again, I believe its financial suicide to buy so small at such a high price. People are going to get stuck there when they do normal things like get in relationships,get married, have kids and realize you can’t do those things in such a tiny space.

  • I reserved the Ivy Tokyo unit ($142K with a downtown view) and then I had to rescind the refundable $250 offer. You have to put down 10% within 45 days after reserving a unit.. Then you have to put in another 10% once the building reaches a certain height. On top of that, it costs $25,000 for the build-ins. After a week, I realized that the sales team was marketing these units for UH/TSU college rental. I’m too old to live with that noise level.