01/29/10 9:40am

The 3-story, 62,000-sq.-ft. office building across from the Galleria that was once the headquarters for the Stanford Financial Group will at last go up for sale. Accused Ponzi schemer Robert Allen Stanford, awaiting his trial in a Conroe jail cell, had opposed the sale of any real estate owned by the corporations he controlled until 2 weeks ago, but subsequently changed his mind. A court ruling last week makes it official.

The office building at 5050 Westheimer sits on 1.6 acres and includes a 285-space parking garage. Also to be sold by Dallas court-appointed receiver Ralph Janvey in “stalking horse auctions”: Stanford’s Sugar Land airplane hangar, as well as other properties in Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

What about those condos in the Stanford Lofts Downtown?


02/20/09 1:36pm

Allen Stanford’s international “banking” empire is falling apart. How’s his work as a Houston real estate developer holding up?

Stanford Development Corporation still owns a couple of units on the top floor of the Stanford Lofts, the 5-story East Downtown condo building topped with a starred tiara that the company completed in 2002, just a few blocks east of Minute Maid Park. But owning the condos didn’t prevent the condo owners association from filing a construction-defect lawsuit against the Stanford Lofts developers and builders in 2007, charging Stanford Development with “breach of contract, Deceptive Trade Practices, breach of warranty, fraud, and negligent design, construction, and supervision.”

The summary of problems with the building included in the original complaint is 9 pages long, and includes failure to meet building codes, wall cracks and leaks, structural movement, and a series of defects causing continuing problems with water infiltration. The repair estimate: more than $2 million.

The case has dragged on for some time. Attorneys for the Stanford Condo Owners Association complained that Stanford Development was dragging its feet, arguing last year in response to a stay request:


12/06/07 10:54am

Balcony of Stanford Lofts Unit 409

A resident of the Stanford Lofts just east of Downtown writes in to make sure everyone knows, after all, that the building’s view of Minute Maid Park is not going to be obstructed by . . . a view of a new soccer stadium for the Houston Dynamo directly across the street.

No, no official deal’s been announced. But this tidbit from a Chronicle story has allowed condo owners to breathe a sigh of relief:

The Dynamo first set sights on land owned by the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority just east of Minute Maid Park and U.S. 59, but have since decided against the property, which the Astros lease for stadium parking.

“We know for a fact (the property) is no longer being considered,” said Sports Authority head Kenny Friedman, who added that the Sports Authority is not actively involved in the negotiations.

The team might be looking to purchase private land near the same general area as the county-owned property, although Luck declined to confirm or deny it, saying only that a downtown venue is still planned.

So where will the Dynamo stadium go? Keep reading below the fold:


05/15/07 10:21am

The Stanford Lofts

Note: See below for an update.

The new stadium for the Houston Dynamo soccer team will likely be built downtown, on some surface parking lots across the highway from Minute Maid park. Negotiations between the city and the team focusing on that site are set to take place very soon. That’s big news for residents of the Stanford Lofts, until now a lonely building set a few blocks away from downtown’s hubbub. Miya Shay explains:

This is good news for sports fans, bad news for people who paid a premium for the Stanford Lofts. When those guys bought the high priced condos, they were told the parking lot in front of the lofts will NEVER be built on. Oh well, such is progress. Now, a portion of the parking lot will be used for the Dynamo stadium. No more unobstructed views of downtown!

Well, just wait until the new stadium plans are unveiled, okay? Maybe there’ll be a nice gap in the stands right at midfield, and the folks looking out their windows from the Stanford Lofts will have great views of all the games, for free. No lines at the restrooms, either.

After the jump, some unobstructed views.