The Downtown Apartments Caught Between a Freeway and a Curved Place

The Hamilton apartments, Downtown, Houston, 77002

Say, how’d those midrise apartments nestling delicately into the northernmost armpit of the 45-59 exchange turn out, anyway? An accessory to a Midtown drive-by past the scene sends a fresh shot of the finished product and its The Hamilton nametag, taken from the ramp that sends northbound 45-ers onto the potentially doomed Pierce Elevated. Construction started in 2014 and just wrapped in the fall as leasing started up.

Only the top 2 and a half of the complex’s 5 residential stories (never mind the parking podium levels below that) can peek over the railing of the freeway on the southern side of the structure, providing scenic views both to and of any loiterers on the building’s uppermost southern balconies. Spencer Moore of even took the time to share the experience of staring down drivers on the closest ramp:


The opposite side of the building also gets a modest view of another set of eye-level — though likely less noisy — curves:

CWA Union Building, 1730 Jefferson St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

The Hamilton sits catty-corner to the Communication Workers of America building (above), at 1730 Jefferson St., which appears to be in contract after a few years on the market.

Images: Swamplot inbox (top), LoopNet (bottom)

Video: FancyHoustonApartments

Hamilton Now Showing

24 Comment

  • Every time I drove by that construction, all I could think about is the first time a car jumps that barriers and lands in one of those apartments. Who in the world would want to live there.

  • I’ve always wanted to live on an elevated freeway.

  • If the Pierce Elevated does in fact go away, this might go down as the smartest developer in the city.

  • I drive by the street level of that place often, I never see anyone going in or out. is it possible this is a mafia front?

  • and if the COH realizes an alternative use of the Pierce Elevated as a park maybe they can set up some zip lines.

  • toasty: From my understanding, the recent boom in class A residential has created a glut and properties are suffering with either low occupancy or having to pass out major concessions to attract renters. So if this place just started their lease out, they’ll be pretty dead for a while.
    We had a lady look at one of our properties (older class C building in Montrose) and she chose one of the new properties instead. We asked what deal she got. They gave her 3 months free and $200 total move in cost (or something like that). Crazy.
    I have to think in a few months when these concessions burn off and all the people that moved in for next to nothing are faced with a $2000/month rent payment for their little 1 bed — many will skip.

  • @ MyTwoCents: I’ve always thought the same thing. Was this project subsidized-low-income housing? Did I read that on here years ago?

  • My thought have always been… a lot of residents are going to be annoyed by the constant parade of lights that will pan slowly from left to right at night from those on the spur. I wonder if they provide light proof shades?

  • @MyTwoCents: “Q. Who in the world would want to live there.”
    A. Exhibitionists.

  • Pretty sure there was an Ask Me Anything posted on Reddit from someone who lives in an apartment there facing the freeway

  • @Cody – most of the “3 months free” deals are pro-rated so it’s not like they go from $0 to $2,000 after three months.

  • Aahhh, a glass of wine, the whine of tires on concrete, screeches of brakes… nothing’s better on a pleasant Friday afternoon on the balcony!
    Who knows why anybody leases these units!
    My observation: There are indoor people and outdoor people.
    The former are content within their apartment – and the closer it is to nightlife/shopping/work the better.
    The latter needs nature everyday and are recharged by peace& quiet, birdsong and the whir of the wind.

  • Yeah, I’ve never understood the placement of that building. The class a boom aside, a) that corner of downtown is still a far cry from “nice” or even “inhabited” or “safe,” and b) that video just shows how loud it must be to live there! I’m all for ambient city noise – I really up in a large city and now live in a lovely area of midtown – but that just looks and sounds unappealing.

  • I find the movement of traffic going by like that can be hypnotic, like watching a river. Red lights in one direction, white in the other. Certainly not for everybody, but I’d say most people are too caught up looking at screens to give a rats ass what view they have out any window. They’d be inside playing candy crush even if the view was Grand Canyon. The issue I would have is noise; I’m curious to know if the developer took any steps to deal with that.

  • All the cars will be flying out to their jobs in the Downtown Area.

  • The housing stock of the city has MANY luxury apartments located too close to comfort to a freeway. On I-10, the Sawyer Lofts’ north side right up on the freeway with some units being feet away from an exit ramp. Go further west and I-10 is lined with luxury apartments that look out at the freeway from a very uncomfortably close distance (basically two lanes away, plus a small setback). This is becoming a permanent fixture of the city. I’m not sure why anyone would voluntarily rent one of these, but the developers are banking on housing being in so short supply that someone will basically lose out when the music stops playing and there’s not a chair to sit in and they will be forced to rent one of these. I think that must be the game plan. Maybe they think if it’s common enough people will just subconsciously modify their lifestyle expectations in a big city to thinking its okay to live between 7 and 50 feet from one of the widest freeways in the world.

  • @cmoney: Yeah, I remember driving through New York and Chicago back in the 1980s and being right up against 2nd floor windows, staring into apartments. This is what life in the big city looks like.

  • I would much rather rent a $1500 apartment next to a freeway than own a $400k townhouse next to the railroad tracks.

  • I wonder if any of the folks who choose to live that close to the highway realize just what they are doing to their health or future health. I can imagine there will be a nice layer of soot-like material on their outdoor spaces and windows in short order as well.

    Here is a recent LA Times story on the dangers of living so close to the highway:

  • Lightmatrix: It was years and years ago, but someone did a study of a highrise apartment complex jammed hard against the Geo. Washington Bridge in New York City that demonstrated rather conclusively that the higher the noise level in the apartment, the worst the children residing there did in school. No great surprise, of course.

  • I think within 150 yards (not feet) of a highway you increase your risk of asthma as well. and it’s not from particulate matter, it’s the amount of NO2 that is in the air. NO2 is a direct exhaust of combustion engines.
    Not for me.

  • @GlenW Weird I could have sworn that I read here too that it was to subsidized housing or something like that