Sonoma: Bolsover Bulldozer

Demolition on Bolsover St., Rice Village, October 2007

Having torn down an entire block of buildings in the Rice Village for a condo project the company can’t get financed, Randall Davis has a better idea: Why not demolish the buildings on the other side of Bolsover — so they can build the second phase instead?

The Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff reports that Davis and company have been unable to get a $100 million construction loan for the Sonoma mixed-use condo development he’s been marketing for a couple of years. Hey, that’s no problem! Just move on to the next project, and double down on the demo:

Now they’re negotiating for a $70 million loan with 40 percent equity to build the smaller second phase of 85 units.

“Hopefully they’ll respond positively since we have so many sales,” said Davis.

The sales, however, are for the first phase of the project, which has been 50 percent pre-sold.

And the second phase is on the south side of Bolsover, where Walgreen’s has a lease until January.

After the jump: marginal views of phase two!


Phase 2 of Sonoma, Rice Village, Houston

Proposed Phase Two of Sonoma Condos, Rice Village, Houston

Photo of Bolsover demolition from last year: Swamplot inbox; Sonoma renderings: Ziegler Cooper Architects

11 Comment

  • There must be some major problem now. Randall Davis has had a pretty good track record for these kind of developments.

    I wonder what the target pre-sold units were need to please the lenders?

    Unless they couldn’t find any tenants for the commercial aspects of the project. Which to me makes some sense since so much commercial space is available just down the street.

  • It wouldn’t surprise me if the lenders are asking for more pre-sales now than they were a year or two ago. I wonder how many of those pre-sales will be still be interested when they’re told their new condos are actually going to be in the second phase building which presumably doesn’t have the courtyard.

  • If I remember right (and it’s on the website if I’m wrong), the second phase is pretty much a two (maybe three) story retail/office combination building that faces the now gone Bolsover St.

    It really isn’t much more than that. It would essentially be a new version of much of the typical development found in the Rice Village area.

    The Phase 1 of the project was the real story. Having a large condo/retail project in Rice Village would create (in my opinion) a new era for the Village.

  • I really hope this project goes the same way as the condo tower by the galleria water wall. At least the gounds are cleared and city can build a small park once RD defaults on this project.

  • If Sonoma doesn’t get built, the land will eventually flip to another potential developer. Unless the city will pay the market price or use eminent domain, you can forget about it becoming park space.

    Of course, there is always another option. The residents of South Hampton weren’t to thrilled with this project either (just like Ashby). If they really want to do something they can just buy the land and donate to the city instead of using taxpayer dollars. It’s not like the area needs a part Rice University and Herman Park do a fine job.

    P.S. Victor, are you referring to the Turnberry Tower? Has something stopped this project. As far as I know they are still moving forward as soon as they hit there pre-sales limit.

  • re: kjb434
    I was referring to Turnberry tower. We already have couple fancy high-rises in completions stages (twins at Hermann Park and one on Kirby), and the current inflow of potential buyers for Turnberry is slowly turning away – there is no set deadline for Turnberrie’s start, so why keep the money in a deposit there, when you can get a condo elsewhere. The developer of the Turnberry has at least couple other towers on a “bank do-not-lend” list across the US, so I don’t see a really good reason why the Houston tower be any different :)

  • Ok,
    Thanks for the info. It makes sense. I guess I had the same feeling of Turnberry as I do with Randall Davis. Turnberry has a lot of completed towers Vegas and Miami (of course we know where those markets went though).

    I guess we’ll wait and see. I remember 2727 Kirby’s outlook looked pretty dim before they started.

  • I doubt Turnberry will ever come to fruition… it just seems like a pipe-dream… and how long has that banner w/ the woman been hanging in the Galleria? RD on the other hand… if you know his history and tenure in Houston, you can bet he’ll find a way to make it happen. All speculation of course, I personally hope it happens.

  • hmm…I wonder if these architects will ever get paid?

  • Does anyone know how pre-sales were handled for Sonoma? Not to say anything about Randall Davis’ practices, but I have alwats suspected that some projects similar to this had pretty low standards for what constituted a pre-sale — I remember visiting the sales office for one such development and asking for a brochure, and I was marked in their book as a pre-sale. (Of course, the development I’m talking about was the Shamrock Tower downtown, so take that for what it’s worth.)

  • I thought Randal Davis wasn’t involved with Shamrock Tower