Studewood Place: Some New Building Behind the 11th St. Someburger

Details on the 6-story mixed-use building being planned for the corner of Studewood and 11th 1/2 St. in the Heights will be announced “very soon,” a representative of the new property owner promises Swamplot. A couple readers wrote in earlier today with questions about the new construction fence that just went up on the 25,000-sq.-ft. lot, directly behind the Someburger stand on 11th St. Here’s all the owner, a new firm called Vita Nuova, is willing to say about the project — dubbed Studewood Place on city permits:


They’re planning a cast-in-place concrete structure with an all- or mostly masonry exterior, containing apartments or condos and “some retail.” Also included: some multi-level parking and some “really cool green space.” Car entrances will be on both Studewood and 11th 1/2. The architect is from San Antonio; a local historical consultant is working to make sure the design is what the developer considers “period appropriate.” The long-vacant site is the former home of the Globe Laundry; the new project is registered under TCEQ’s Dry Cleaner Remediation Program, which the developer says doesn’t appear to require any solvent cleanup on the site. Vita Nuova plans to put a sign up soon announcing more details in the next 30 days.

Photos: The Heights Life

121 Comment

  • I am interested to see the final design. I also wonder if the surrounding area will rise up in opposition like Southampton. With “Tower of Terror” taken I suggest High rise of Horror” or “Mountain of Monstrosity”

  • Frankly, I don’t care about the style of architecture. I mean, a 6 story building will never appear to have been built in the 1930s, so why fake it. The Heights isn’t Disney Land. Build something interesting rather than something fake.

    The issue with this is the same that happened on White Oak when the developer wanted to build a mid-rise next to Onion Creek. This “Monstrosity” will completely deprive residents for blocks around of their privacy.

    Who cares about architecture? What about scale? A fake craftsman or faux Victorian won’t make up for the fact that office workers will be able to peer in to everyone’s back yard.

    Of course, we may see the difference here being that the White Oak development would have been peeking in to the yards of $800k homes, where this development will be looking in to the yards of $300k bungalows…

  • …and I must add that I don’t see how they are going to build a building of that size on that lot and have any room for any kind of green space unless it’s on the roof.


  • I agree with Heights Life – No fake history, please…

  • This is a momentous occasion for a decrepit commercial area. If you are concerned about your island of seclusion and privacy then consider a slice of heaven in Katy. Otherwise, allow visionaries to transform for the better.

  • More interesting will be to see how long this project lasts before being scaled back because of the credit markets the same way the Rizk project was.

  • Why do developers think that they can make something 3-times as tall as every single nearby structure and believe that nobody will care? Who are they fooling?

  • Landedgent: Any development is not for the better. There are serious concerns for people who live around the property and they have a right to be vocal about what is built surrounding their largest investment. Do you live in the Heights or near this project? I do. I am thrilled to see development on the site but there are so many ways this could be awesome instead of just settling for whatever crap some developer wants to throw up and then walk away from, back to his own damn house in Katy.

  • @Jimbo: you are spot on. I’ll wager this eventually evolves into a Disney complex of three story faux-Victorian Hardiplank-clad pastel-colored townhomes. Personally, I would like to see Studemont facing small retail with one or two stories of affordable apartments above. The location is great.

  • So I’ve managed to fail miserable to determine who the jtempleton from the website email address is. 880 exchange would suggest a Heights area location.

  • Thank you, LandedGent. I agree completely.

  • If by “decrepit commercial area” you mean Stella Sola, the Glass Wall, Zelko Bistro and Berryhill Taco, then I am all for decrepit. The 11th st and studemont area has come along quite nicely before these guys showed up.
    These are no visionaries. They are going down a trail that has already been blazed by others (add DaCapo and 11th st Cafe to the list above).
    And why do they think that six stories is appropriate? Nothing else in the neighborhood comes even close to that. It isn’t nearly has bad as Ashby or Walmart. But, it certainly isn’t great either. And it raises the issue of whether the next guy will build 8, 12, or 16 stories.
    This is a lot that is barely large enough for 4 residential lots. So, this kind of project could go in on almost any block of Heights, Yale or Studemont or any of the big cross streets (6, 11, White Oak).
    I am not against this, but I fear this may be a tipping point for the Heights.

  • Would you rather see a continuation of the series of failing, if not bankrupt bungalow retail structures that are all up and down Studewood? Have you so conveniently forgotten all of the for sale signs and abandoned structures? I say ‘good for them.’ Everyone complains on this stupid website about urban sprawl, of ex-urbs and suburban blight. These people are building on a blighted lot in a commercial area, on a busy street. Stop being hypocrites. They’re bringing business and people into the Heights. I work in the Heights, so I wish them the best. Rather than complain on a website, go do something worthwhile.

  • It is common myth that protest by homeowners led to the non-building of the condos next to the Heights Hike and Bike trail.
    The truth is, they wanted to build nearly 70 ‘luxury condos” in .7 acres surrounded by natural and needed drainage culverts to the bayou. Access would have been over one bridge at the end of 4th street.
    The city denied a permit when neighbors pointed out that there would be no room for a fire engine to get on the property and turn around. It was that simple.
    By this time, the market for Luxury Condos had gotten soft and I suspect financing became an issue.
    If they had been willing to build something less dense (alas, smaller profits) there would have been no legal way to stop them.
    Had the owners been willing to go less dense

  • Meant to say at the end, Had the owners been less dense…

  • Please put in a Starbucks with a drive thru.

  • Although I feel 6 stories is a bit much, I’m very excited to see this lot finally be worked on. I parked their freqeuntly, and would constantly see shifty looking characters hanging out. I’m really looking forward to seeing the sketches, as well as the fireworks from the angry neighbors. I do live half a mile from here… and hopefully they will take our opinions into consideration with their scale/design.

  • They ALREADY have their building permit, folks. They are not going to change/revise the design now, unless they run into financial stumbling blocks. And if they’ve gotten this far, I’m guessing financing is not an issue. Can’t wait to see what it looks like- “San Antonio architect” makes me hope for Lake/Flato, but that might be too much to expect.

  • Old School, how is this lot barely big enough for 4 residential homesteads… when a majority of the lots in the heights are 5,000 sq. ft and this one is 25,000 sq. ft. That seems like an adequate enough amount of space for 5 regular heights size lots to me… or 10 townhomes. I think i’d rather have a 6 story mixed use building that 10 townhomes…(depending on the design). I’d prefer either to the current lot though.

  • I second Matt’s emotion :)

  • Caneco: Most lots in the Heights are 6600. Woodland Heights is mostly 5000. You can barely fit 4×6600. And so what if it is 5 lots or 4. The point is that it is a very small tract for a 6 story building. What happens when someone gets a hold of a larger tract (24th st, for example)? Will they feel justified in building 12 stories because this guy is building 6?
    Between townhomes and a 6 story building is six of one, half a dozen of the other. At least the townhomes would fit in with the height scale of the neighborhood (but you never know with townhomes). Neither is something to applaud.
    And the Heights is not such a destitute wasteland that we should all drop to our knees in tears everytime someone wants to build on a vacant lot. In fact the Heights is such a hot neighborhood that the real issue is whether it is time for some reasonable restrictions before we get our own Ashby.

  • What they should do is make it a camelback. They could have a bungalow for the first ten feet in the front and then rise to full height in the back. If they make sure to use timber siding then voila, historic district compliant.

  • I emailed the developer today at the address provided on their website. I sent links to various conversations, including this one. I suggested they engage the community and see if there couldn’t be some way to make this an acceptable project on all sides (for me it means no stucco and no faux history, plus maybe taking it down 2 floors. I know it means different things for others). This was his response:

    “Yes, we are aware of the discussions. Yes, We will engage the community.
    Thank you for your input. We too reside in the Heights and feel strongly
    for the Heights culture and community. I can assure you that we will be
    informative and responsive to the community.”

    So, if Phil is right and they are already past the point of discussion, this was a BS response. However, if they are being genuine, they could really end up doing something special and setting a good example for future development that pleases at least people closer in to the middle ground on the issue (altho I acknowledge some on the far side will always be much harder to please).

  • HeightsLife,

    What is “faux history”?


  • Did you need to scream that EVERYONE?

  • OldSchool… I think your wrong. The lots on this street are all 5,000 (50×100) and the surrounding blocks are the same. Funny you mention Woodland Heights being 5,000, because my house is in Woodland Heights and my lot (as well as everyone on my block) is 6,350. How is replacing a vacant/car swallowing/ vagrant hang out parking lot with a LEED certified building not something to applaud? I mean, I think I’d rather see something smaller, but I’m going to reserve my judgement until I see some drawings.

  • Note the cell phone tower in the picture. The bell tower looking thing. There was great outrage at having a tower in an “historic” area, thus the faux tower. The result is a real reluctance to put any more towers up , which explains the horrible coverage in the Heights.

    My point to Gretch who hates it before seeing the plans and everyone else – beware of unintended consequences. Something will get built there.

  • Someone screamed:
    “we will not allow this to happen in our neighborhood”.

    What part of “they already have a building permit” do you not understand? Houston has no zoning, and they have apparently conformed to all codes. I am hoping for the best; a mixed use project could be wonderful here.

  • Oh dear, here we go again. Several years ago, residents were able to get the proposed oversized cell phone tower revised to the current bell tower. Several additional towers are now in the area, so spotty reception shouldn’t be blamed on this one site.
    At any rate, 6 stories is way way out of proportion – see the 5-story apartment building at 22nd & Yale: . I support efforts to adjust this mess to something more reasonable. Once again, the golden rule is in effect: he who has the gold makes the rules.

  • Caneco, Standard Heights lot was 6600 in the original development. Of course this lot is outside the original Heights development so that wouldn’t necessarily apply.

    I know the big rig driver who lives in the apartments just on the South side of 11th and sometimes parks on the vacant lot is not going to be too pleased, not a lot of places you can leave an 18 wheeler in the Heights.

  • Six stories – which includes parking? Get over it. I am all about stoping the Wal-Mart based on the traffic but this will not cause any real additional traffic problems? So whats the deal. It is on a retail intersection that could become something very nice. And if we are lucky this will increase the traffic at 11 Street Cafe and then they can afford to clean the place up and hire some decent wait staff………. Oh and I still want that Starbucks Drive Thru.

  • I was wrong, virtually every lot within 6 blocks of here is in fact 6,250 sq. ft. So it would be EXACTLY 4 normal residential home sites (not barely as previously metioned = ] ) I wonder why kind of retail they are planning on having? Maybe this will help turn the studewood/11th street corner into an actual destination point. (i go there 3 times a week for capoiera anyway)

  • Maybe the way they discussed with the community is by asking their neighbors?

  • They will be incorporating the “tell them it will have retail to keep the neighbors happy until the last minute and then claim some kind of finance/permitting snafu that can be blamed on someone else and bang in the apartment building you had planned all along” retail model.

    See HEB on Alabama and Sonoma Village for other examples.

  • The people you vote for that are running the city are ultimately the folks making these kinds of decisions. I like change AND live only blocks from this site and I have to tell you I am looking forward to seeing this change in the Heights. We’ll always be “quirky” and cool but can we do it while having new buildings too?

  • For the record, I don’t give a crap whether it is 4 or 5 lots. I was close enough. Move on. My point is that six stories on a 25,000 sq ft lot is pushing it in a big way. Nothing else around it comes close to being that tall. And because it is so out of scale with the neighborhood, I am not going to applaud it. The neighborhood deserves better. I do not oppose it, but am not happy with it. I am tired of developers who are so completely out of touch with the Heights. I do hope that this project will get residents together to finally get some real protection for the neighborhood. If they get to do 6 stories, then the next guy will want 12 stories on the soon to be closed Fiesta lot, and who knows what may happen if the warehouses in the southwest corner of the Heights (Aztec rentals, et al) move out. Zoning is only the devil until the skyscraper goes up in your backyard.

  • MOpens,

    I guess “faux history” isn’t a real thing. maybe I just coined a new term? Anyway, I was referring to things like Swampie favorite “peel and stick brick” or things that are made to look old but are not actually old at all and don’t even really look old. They just look like something from an old timey town at Disney.

    To Gretchen,

    I wouldn’t really call this an Ashby situation. Something should get built there. I think mixed use is great, but 6 stories? That’s where I am lost. There has to be a middle ground between “build anything at all costs” and “only 2k sq ft bungalows should be built there.”

  • To HeightsLife: This IS an Asbhy situation. 1. Out of scale building in close proximity to residential; 2. Out of character construction (concrete and stucco) for the neighbhorhood; 3. Total sneaky-ness by developers to skate past concerned neigbhors; 4. No regard given to traffic/residential density concerns; 5. No real answers given until it appears to be “too late.” I truly am not opposed to new development to make my neighborhood a better place to live, what I am against is seeing apartment buildings from a mile away and having another Rutland/14th mistake to contend with after the developer is long-gone. To Phil: Ashby had permits.

  • Lose the ground floor retail, and you basically have a mini version of 2125 Yale. Without the increased density from 2125 Yale, we probably wouldn’t have the new Heights Asian Cafe, Jus’ Mac or new coffee house on 19th.

  • Gretchen, if you could post links to the architectural rendered images that you are discussing that would be really helpful to the rest of us. Also, could you let us know how many units are going to be going in the development. I’m assuming you must know this in order to conclude that there will be residential density/traffic concerns.

  • Gretchen,

    Go get your scissor on, and smoke a J.

    You’re being very un-dude.


  • Obviously lot size does matter, you brought it up.

    These people who are building this live in the Heights. How can you possibly claim it is out of scale with the neighborhood when we haven’t seen any renderings yet? Yes it is bigger than anything else, yes it seems like it will tower over the surrounding bungalows. Who are you to decide if that is a good or bad thing for the neighborhood, without even seeing a rendering? The neighborhood deserves better??? WTF man, you don’t even know what it is yet!


  • It took me a while to figure out that the history of this city is that of change. I love the little bungalows on 11 1/2 St, even the car wash…there’s a guy out there detailing a muscle car right now. But a 6 story building overshadowing these things is not inappropriate. It is, in fact, very Houston appropriate. This building will add to the diversity of architecture in the area, hopefully provide a nice retail/restaurant or two, and bring in more consumers for our existing businesses (and yes, I hope that they clean up the 11th St Cafe, too). If you do not like this kind of free market, entreprenurial endeavor….take yourself to another city that has zoning or move deep into the middle of a heavily deed restricted neighborhood. I have lived here since 1989, and absolutely love what this area has become. I love Houston, and am on the edge of my seat waiting for this to be built!

  • The Menil Collection is a four-story high building in a neighborhood of primarily one-story bungalows.

  • “The Menil Collection is a four-story high building in a neighborhood of primarily one-story bungalows.” Funny how I never seem to be able to get off the first floor when I visit.

    6 floors and a parking garage is a lot of building for a 25k ft lot in a neighborhood where everyone else has either put 4-5 single family homes (only on the internet would people be obsessed whether it was four or five lots) or, at most, two story retail/commercial buildings. Building three to six times as tall as your neighbor is a dick move, even if you do it on a vacant lot. It doesn’t matter how vintage you dress it up or whether it is LEED and runs the AC on the hot air coming out of area realtors.
    I actually hope it gets built as is so people in the Heights will finally wake up and see that our neighborhood will be torn up by developers to become some mix between FM 1960 (Walmart development) and the mishmash of residential, retail, commercial, low rise, mid rise, high rise, that is Upper Kirby/Montrose, but probably worse. We need some reasonable restrictions before we really get an Ashby highrise.

    Putting your money where your mouth is would mean getting the ‘community activists’ together to buy the lot and build whatever it is you feel is appropriate.

    ‘community activists’ are all about talk and never put their money where their mouth is. Either because they don’t have any money, or they don’t care as much as they claim to.

    This person is putting their own capital at risk and putting a lot of development dollars in the heights. My guess is they have a lot more to gain by doing the right thing than anyone crying about the project.

  • “I actually hope it gets built as is so people in the Heights will finally wake up and see that our neighborhood will be torn up by developers to become some mix between FM 1960 (Walmart development) and the mishmash of residential, retail, commercial, low rise, mid rise, high rise, that is Upper Kirby/Montrose, but probably worse.”

    The folks who opposed the Walmart wanted basically exactly this sort of thing built there instead. Now that someone wants to build a mid-rise mixed use project in the Heights, they oppose that, too.
    Is it “density for thee, but not for me,” or just a general desire to control what other people do with their property?

  • GotSlum beat me to it, but I’ll say it anyway…

    MEMO to Heights residents:

    If controlling the future use of this property was so critical to your lifestyle, enjoyment of your home, enjoyment of your neighborhood, the value of your home, etc. then you should have broken out your checkbooks long ago and bought the property for yourselves. What stopped you? Surely, you knew that something would be build here. That’s how things work in Houston and if you’ve lived here more than a week, you should know it.

    Here’s your notice. There are plenty of other tracts of land in the Heights that are ripe for re-development. If you want them developed your way, go buy them now before it’s too late.

    And one more thing just for the record. Are you folks aware that the homes you love so much, were at one time completely out of scale and incompatible with all the empty land that existed in the area before the evil Omaha and South Texas Land Company started carving it up into tiny lots for houses?

  • ” 2. Out of character construction (concrete and stucco) for the neighbhorhood;”

    What exactly would be “in character construction” in the Heights? Run-down 2-story apartment from the 1960s next to a body shop next to a faux Victorian?

  • I live in the Woodland Heights and find it interesting that behind the nice, leafy quiet exteriors of these cute bungalows is a lot of HYSTERIA and RAGE (e.g. Gretchen). I wouldn’t mind seeing ugly 1960s and 70s apartments torn down, especially the Skylane Apts. Hopefully, we won’t get another Washington Ave because drunken louts are a nuisance.

  • This will really bout out of character with the car wash across the street…

  • My turn to shout-
    Especially note the importance of mixed use and old buildings in urban neighborhoods.
    Thank You. She is my personal saint.

  • Actually I really hope that we do get at least something of a mish-mash of residential, commercial and light industrial in the Heights. It has been kind of sad watching the little machine shops and other industrial buildings come down over the years. They were part of the diversity that attracted us here.

  • See Finness’ #57 post, and comply.

    Thumbs up!

  • Austin has quite a few mixed-use projects of similar scale located on the edge of Heights-like residential neighborhoods, so I see no reason to be scared of this proposal. However, I hope it is designed with more imagination and skill than Allegro’s other faux historical projects on Studewood (the parking bereft Glass Wall building and the awful Stella Sola Building).

  • I should have said that Austin has ‘successful’ mixed use projects of similar scale….By the way, is comparing Houston’s development to Austin better or worse than comparing it to Dallas? Just curious…

  • What local “historical consultant” thinks period appropriate is a 6 story concrete structure? Their williningness to consult and work with the community is as much BS as them actually having a real historical consultant.

  • Jimbo – May you may receive the blessings of St. Jane for a comment like that. (see 57)

  • Why do people keep using the term “faux historical”? I don’t know what that means, and my bet is neither do they (at least HeightsLife admitted it) – it just sounds good . If I understand the folks that support the historic ordinance, they want everything that’s new in the Heights to be “faux historical.” Is a camelback “faux historical”?

  • Here’s hoping for the best in the development. I have lived a few blocks away from this site (close to the Fiesta and its unsteady future)for the past 18 years in a 1920 restored bungalow. I have seen more changes than I could have imagined when I first moved here (not happy about a lot of it but have learned to evolve along with it). I would find it exciting if the hood got a really good piece of architecture regardless of the style. I have seen great juxtaposition of styles in cities all over the world and it would sure the hell beat most of the stuff being built in the area if they did it right. Let’s wait for the drawings before taking up the pitchforks. Also, could SFP please pass along the definition of “go get your scissors on” means? For some reason, I found that incredibly funny but have not a clue what it means.

  • Boo hoo. Now you have to take the ugly side of such rapid rise in property values. Welcome to the rest of inner loop Houston. If it is good enough for the Westheimer/Kirby area, it is good enough for you. And let’s face it, alot of the heights is pretty much an eyesore.

  • I live down the street in a “being renovated” bungalow (no camel back here). I just do not know why the hoopla over the “historic” aspect. We all live in cheap built homes with no historical value. This is just a neat place to live (full of character). As long as it is cool looking and does not cause 24/7 noise and traffic – bring it on……..

  • Melanie – I am so sorry, but there is no agreed upon definition of eyesore. Your eyesore is another person’s quaint, unique or authentic.
    There are neighborhoods aplenty for those who treasure conformity. I hope you have found one that suits you.

  • Shepherd/Durham North of 11th south of 610. Quaint. Authentic. Unique. Whatever floats your boat Finness.

  • To finnesse:

    Perhaps that recently demolished house on the corner of Michaux/?Woodland was an eyesore? Even the tramps didn’t want to stay there for too long. Everything has a price, including Jane Jacobs’ desire to preserve urban neighborhoods. It caused property values to rise, leading to the flight of low and middle-income families. Urban renewal especially with historic preservation will price certain people out due to greater desirability. I think the Heights is going through this phase.

  • What exactly is all that historic about the Heights?

  • All I am saying is that one mans’ trash… though I think from time to time of the teenage clerk out the northwest side who said to me “The Heights? I was just there. I thought it was scarey. Everything was so old and creepy.”

  • MOpens-

    Do people really use the term “faux historical” with regularity? Ha! I had no idea. I don’t think it has to have a real definition in any case. When I say it, it makes perfect sense to me.

    I think the idea of preservation and Historic is made out to be too black and white. People seem to think there can be no nuance to the conversation. I think that is wrong. For example, I believe in preservation for a couple of reasons. I like to be able to look back, I love history and sociology and preservation of buildings has a lot to offer in that capacity. Maybe it’s because I grew up in New England where older is usually better… Who knows, but that’s where I stand. I also really get creeped out by the thought of throwing a whole building that still has years of use in the dump. I mean, how long are our landfills going to be able to sustain this kind of growth? But I digress…

    Anyway, if I had the jeanie in the bottle, I would wish that we would preserve more but that what was built new was made to look new. I would love to see more creativity in the new homes and would love to see more modern homes or really modern twists on Craftsman or Victorian style. As I said before, everything else is, to me, a bit like a Disney Olde Towne. Most who engage in these debates would say I can’t desire preservation and want modern architecture at the same time, but I do. My mind works that way.

    And I also think fake stucco is ugly, so I don’t want it. But my biggest issue with this development is the size. I just hate the thought of looming 6 story midrise that I’ll be able to see from my front porch. I just don’t want it. Call it NIMBY, call it whatever. While I very much appreciate the land owner’s right to build what they want, I don’t have to like it and I can tell them what I think. Just like I have a right to eat with my kids at a restaurant and people don’t have to like it and they can talk smack about me within ear shot. C’est la vie, folks.

  • @Gretchen – The Ashby High Rise was going to be a 23 story mixed use development with 450 parking spaces. The article states a 6-story building calling it “period appropriate” on this lot. If you are looking for a cool sign to put in your yard or a bumper sticker on your car, maybe you should move to Southampton. I am hopeful it will be a great addition to the hood.

  • If I walk around naked in my backyard and someone in a 6 story building can see me, it is illegal? I mean, I have a “privacy” fence and I am on my property….????

  • Urban renewal especially with historic preservation will price certain people out due to greater desirability. I think the Heights is going through this phase.
    Funny. Exact opposite of what historic district opponents reckon will happen. According to the the bottom is going to fall out and their houses and land will become worthless.

  • I would just like to add my concurring opinion that there should be a drive through Starbucks in this new building. With the beautified cell tower next door, it may be the only place to make phone calls that don’t get dropped in the Heights.

    It is interesting that one of the biggest concerns with that cell tower was the height of it back in the day… and now something much taller is going in. Perhaps they should have waited and just put the tower on top of the new building for better coverage.

  • @Gretchen Mondive thank you for the email address. My wife and I are probably the most affected by this project we live across the street from the development. We hope to meet with the developer and hopefully something positive will result from the situation for all parties involved. The reality of the situation is the building is going to be built. It is now time to work together. Thanks for the concern for your neighborhood and preserving it’s integrity.

    Maybe our street can get some curbs and ditches filled out of the situation.

    Let this be a lesson to the all Heights neighborhoods…if we want to preserve the historic aspect and small town feel of our area one of the two options must be taken.

    1. Historic Designations


    2. Deed Restrictions

    otherwise this will continue to happen.

  • I live one block away and feel extremely blind-sided! I, too, was happy to see that property make a change. However, there was no indication of what was to come, no chance for neighbors, as far as I know, to protest. Why? At the same time that they are adding a Walmart in our area (why can’t we have something like Highland Village?) the traffic will become miserable. The great thing about the Heights, now, is that it is quiet and has minimal traffic. What now?

  • Melanie, perhaps you have not spent much time going in and out of the Heights. I have always wished for more from the Heights, but the truth is, at this point in time, you can get in and out of the Heights with virtually no traffic. You can’t do that with West U or even River Oaks at certain times. Coming into the Heights, no matter what time, is calm and peaceful-quaint. That is what we are trying to preserve. Higher taxes, we got ’em! I have parents in both R.O. And W.U. And see our taxes comparable to theirs for sure. Maybe you should do a little homework on taxes b4 speaking out.

  • I sure hope its not just “some commercial” with mostly condos, it should be the other way around. This is a perfect spot for a great new business concept: a healthy marketplace w/ unique shops/restaurants – something unique for us Heights Residence. That corner is a goldmine – but whattup w/ 11th ST Cafe, Andy’s, and that hideous Optical Building next to Decapos – do these business owners have any creative spark whatsoever – Hellz to the No, major boring! We need a creative developer to recreate that block and make it hip – also – let’s turn that white church shaped like an old theatre into a cool Music venue where people can kick the groove in the H-town pocket & rejoice!

  • to Kristin,
    I don’t have a dog in the fight. I work in the Heights but live far away. Regardless, what makes you think that a developer is going to want to give you warning or a chance to protest?!? They bought the land, they’re developing it. What stake in this do you or anyone who feels blind sided have? They didn’t give you a chance to speak, complain, picket, whatever because they have a product that REGARDLESS of what they tell you,… you will not like it.

  • As I approach Studewood on Key Street every day I try to imagine how high 6 stories will be. In my mind’s eye it is huge. And I try to determine how many months out of the year my home and yard will be without sunshine in the afternoon. And the loss of privacy I enjoy in my backyard. Despite these negatives I am optimistic about the development. And can’t wait to get a look at the design. It boils down to good vs bad. I can always move.

  • A 12 year old could build a tree house and someone in the Heights would have a problem with it. Residents are going to have differing and opposing opinions as to what is good development and what is bad, which retailers they want and who they don’t. As far as retailers go you can vote with your dollars but when it comes to new development, the developers are subject to the current COH restrictions and guidelines not people’s opinions, preferred taste or vision for the neighborhood no matter how much of a consensus there is.

  • From Kat:

    And good luck selling your house with that in your backyard. Unless your renting; then no problem.

  • I think more projects like this is exactly what the Heights needs, especially on an underdeveloped commercial street. This would be what, in cities with zoning, they call “neighborhood commercial.” But I’m annoyed by three things:

    1. The scale. Six stories is tall. Four would have been more appropriate. Unless the building is exceptionally designed, it will feel clunky and out of place. Which brings me to:

    2. The nod to faux history. The Heights is a mishmash. Yes there are historic bungalows, but there are also warehouses and weird structures. That’s what’s great about it. The worst buildings by far in the Heights are the pastel fake-historic townhomes. They fool no one, they look tacky, and they Disney-ify the neighborhood.

    3. The architects. San Antonio? What, we don’t have good architects right here in Houston, who would understand the neighborhood and the surroundings? I’d wager that most architects practicing in San Antonio are of the faux-historical variety (but then I know very little about San Antonio.) So many big projects recently use out-of-town architects. I could name a number of firms in town doing great work.

  • Matt,

    I thought I was done commenting on this thread but AMEN to your last point (all your points are good, IMO). I just don’t get it. We have many great architects in our own city!

  • Any updates on this project? I haven’t seen anything new as to # of stories and the retail in the bldg. Thanks.

  • It is an active construction site.
    The most recent newletter of the HHA Land Use Committee mentioned it.
    The chair is
    Bill Pellerin []

  • it is to be 6 stories high. i live two houses down and have been told that the bottom will be mixed commercial, while the next couple are parking, next couple are lofts and the top is a said rooftop bar. anyone know an estimated time of completion? in the last week construction has slowed down significantly

  • to GJB:

    Regarding your comment the “hideous Optical Building” Where the “h” do you come from? Do you have any idea what that place was like 5 years ago? This is one of the remaining good historic buildings in the neighborhood. And as for the creative nature of the owners, do you have any idea who that is? Have you ever stepped inside the place? Just look at the mushrooms down the street on the east side of the 1200 block of Studewood and comment!

  • As for Glasswall, this is what I take as fake history. There was a great old building on that spot before Allegro tore it down and built this ugly, mish mash,impermeable crap. Authenticity is he issue! While I welcome more good restaurants to our “hood” I say Zelko’s yes Berry Hill no!

  • any news?

  • I read the comments about the whole “not in my backyard.” I get that. But, listen, something WILL be built there. What you need to be worried about is WHO is building there. The company has a nice little name, and a website that doesn’t give much info. The people who started this project are the same people involved with the poorly managed 2727 Kirby. You know the building that has tile falling off the garage, a sheet of glass FALLING from the 7th floor hitting a car? The lawsuit on that one alone should make those folks in the Heights worried. They have good ideas, but they lack the experience to pull it off. They prefer high salaries to safety and quality work.

  • Anything new on this Studewood project? What stores or restaurants will be there? Is the exterios hideous after all?

  • From .P.:

    While I welcome more good restaurants to our “hood” I say Zelko’s yes Berry Hill no!

    You must be one of the few saying no to B-H. They have been packed lately, more so than normal.

  • The project seems to be well underway with the foundation poured – assuming it is for an underground garage. Nimby is right. The lack of information on this project is noteworthy and worrisome given the company’s history. I”m happy for anything to improve Studewood, but would be more comfortable about the project if the owners were proud of it rather than using a “manage” the information strategy. Never a good sign.

  • I would still be interested to know what the link is betweejn this building and 2727 Kirby. At least on the surface they seem to be entirely unconnected but maybe I am missing something.

  • To MOpens:
    Yeah a Hooters would be packed every night too! Typical houstonian criteria “Makes $ = good”. This “lowest common denominator” mindset is precisely what worries me about what may develop on Studewood.

  • Personally I would welcome more restaurants serving the full cross-section of the residents of the hood are welcome. If I’m going for anice lunch with the wife then Zelkos is great, if I have the kids in tow then Berry Hill is much more applicable. God forbid we turn the Heights into a monolithic ghetto of bistros at the expense of the vast majority of residents. Diversity is the issue!

  • If our Berry Hill was more like the original I would whole heartedly agree. Unfortunately ours is a giant architecual eyesore surrounded by parking lot. And inside there is a tv in every corner.

  • Each to their own I guess

  • @P. What’s wrong with the parking lot? not all of us live within walking distance, especially with a child. Or are you saying I should stay out of your neighborhood?

  • To Ross,
    “What’s wrong with the parking lot?” That’s sarcasm right? And bringing children into the discussion makes it ever so clever!

  • @P., there was no sarcasm in my post. You implied that Berryhill is bad because it has a parking lot and architecture that you dislike. The building design isn’t great, but it’s not bad, and the parking lot seems to be sized correctly for the normal crowds. I wanted to know why you think the parking lot is bad.

  • O.K. Ross,
    This is getting a little tiresome. It was not my intent to denigrate Berry Hill. But now I feel forced to defend a position that I thought was rather clear by my first post. The original Berry Hill is a nice small establishment which started with a unique idea and a dream to provide hand made food to neighbors. Much like Zelcos Now they are found at malls slinging fattening Mexican food and frozen margaritas. The building is too big and ugly (that’s my opinion and this is a forum for opinions).It is surrounded by concrete which sheds water on to the streets, radiates heat, and reflects noise. My opinion is this kind of eatery would fit better at the Target near I-10 and Taylor, on Shepherd Ave, or on Washington as it has now developed. HTH

  • Of course it’s also true to say that unless the minimart on 11th had the big parking lot behind it Zelco would not have been able to open. Like it or not businesses, including Zelco, need parking.

  • From .P.:

    “slinging fattening Mexican food and frozen margaritas”

    Are you serious? Do people really think that we should determine that a restaurant should/should not be in the Heights, or even judge whether it is appropriate for the Heights, based on the quality and type of food they serve? I hear you on the other arguments – don’t agree, but hear you – but this one point seems a bit much.

  • I agree about the charm and low key feel to the original BH location versus the more television laden new location.

    I do think that if a large segment of the Heights dines and meets there that it’s good for the neighborhood. The parking lot is much better than say… then the new massive corner CVS or Walgreens for the size of folks that dine there.

    There have been times that we’ve had to street park to go there. If I had a choice I’d go to the original location yet it seems to benefit the neighborhood.

  • All I know, is the day Hurricane Rita blew through, BH was open with electricity to be able to use my computer and get some food in a nice air conditioned atmosphere. The owners, who are usually not there as staff, were working hard to keep it going since so many of the staff were unable to be there.

    To me, that is supporting the community that supports them.

  • .P.,

    You have a right to your opinion but your take seems very Utopian to me, a very common trend in the Heights.

    Do us all a favor and put your money where your mouth is, perhaps you can start developing restaurants in the Heights that are “appropriate”. You can develop the business plans for their financial success, design the structures, design the parking lots, the menu.

    While your at it maybe you can finally get a zoning ordinance passed or at least start a petition drive to ensure the Heights is not blighted by all these unacceptable businesses.

  • So… what about the building @ 11th & Studewood?

  • Chester…well put!

    I am probably alot closer to that BH and Zelkos than .P. likely is. I am happy having both of them there. And you know what happens when you don’t have enough parking spaces available? well, check out Washington Ave. That might give you a better picture.
    I am a short walk from both places, but when it is hot and humid, I drive.
    I will be able to see most of the new project behind Someburger from where I live, and am happy to see something being done. Will certainly improve the look of the vacant lot strewn with weeds and riddled with environmental issues.
    And a sidenote close to the topic, the original builder/developer of 2727 Kirby? Passed away in 2008. His wife bravely pressed on and finished the project. So I am pretty sure there is no connection between 2727 Kirby and the corner of 11 1/2 and Studewood.

  • If BH was all the way over at Target how would I walk up there on a Sunday afternoon for a fried fish taco and a couple of margaritas? The inhumanity of it!

  • Only “one” taco and “two” margaritas? I never use such limiting descriptors when I decide to go to BH. I would just say “tacos and margaritas.” And depending on how many of the latter I end up with, getting home from Target could be tough. Or downright dangerous. In fact, I think BH is providing a public service by being right where it is.

  • Why does anyone eat tacos at BH? Have you never had the divinity known as the BH nachos? They pour queso over chips, black beans and steak, folks. To quote Martha, “that is a good thing.” To quote Ina, “how bad can that be?” To quote Charlie Sheen “Winning, duh!”. To quote Mel, “caring is sharing, but if you touch my nachos, you will die.”

  • Hey, hey, hey! Y’all behave yourselves! There were just THREE postings in a row that were somewhat lighthearted/non-hateful. That’s bordering on civility, something rarely seen on here. Go back from where you came so that all unhappy-with-there-lives opinionated stick-in-the-muds can reign supreme again.

    Have a nice day, boys and girls!

  • Glad to become a whipping post for all of the haters out there!. This thread started out discussing what we would like to see more of in this area. I said “Zelko yes Berry Hill no” I don’t know where all of this vitriol comes from? Granted I love the original Berry Hill and am disappointed by both the atmosphere and food at “ours” (I also do not like parking lots and prefer gravel or otherwise permeable ones to cement or asphalt). I am sorry if this seemed to imply that I somehow think there should be some system to determine what type of food should be allowed to be sold in the heights. I take no offense by being called a Utopian (I guess that should be “an” Utopian, but that just doesn’t sound right)but please don’t start assuming what type of person I am and what my motivations are. I am generally a positive person and was just trying to make a comment on what I would like to see in our neighborhood. I thought these two restaurants located right across the street from each other made a fitting juxtaposition. I guess I just got a bit threatened when I was asked to defend my position and acted a bit uncharacteristically.

  • .P, how dare you have an opinion and express it in this comment section. You have some nerve, sir or madam! I for one love the nachos at Berry Hill, but don’t particularly care for the tacos. So there!

  • I recall that Zelko’s struggled to open because the owner didn’t have enough parking as mandated by city ordinance.

    I haven’t had a chance to try Zelko’s yet, but my wife and I go to BH from time to time. It’s an easy walk from the house (a good thing after two margs). The pricing is reasonable and it’s family friendly.

    One of the great things about the Heights (to me) is the increasing number of choices for food and entertainment. The existence of BH on 11th doesn’t mean that great “local” places can’t coexist. Places like Zelko’s, Shade on 20th, and Glass Wall and Stella Sola on Studewood prove that, I think. Choice is good.