The Finger Apartments Behind the Montrose Whole Foods Market

From a perch in the American General Life Building off Allen Parkway, a reader sends this view of the “HUGE property” at 2900 West Dallas, behind the new Whole Foods Market on Waugh. Construction work has been going on for about a month, reports the photographer. Going up: 431 apartment units in a 6-story block from the Finger Companies. Judging from these 2 renderings of the project, the apartments won’t end up looking much like the Whole Foods or the American General office campus directly to the north:


Photo: Swamplot inbox. Renderings: The Finger Companies

32 Comment

  • And who is paying for the extra vehicles on these streets? That’s right, you and me who can’t afford to shop or LIVE there.

  • Because, dammit, Houston needs more apartment!!!

  • Yup, and it’s butt ugly to boot. Thanks I nearly get run over daily trying to ride my bike on west Dallas, and it will only get worse I’m sure.

  • Too bad Lake Flato doesn’t design multi-family.

    msry – please remove your foil hat.

  • as opposed to me paying for the many miles of freeways you use everyday to get to BFE??? folks that live close to town get the raw end of this stick, missmsry.

  • I personally don’t see any issues with the design. Do we want density or not in the Loop?

  • is this what we have to look forward to after dunlavy fiesta goes down?

  • Hope you enjoyed having a downtown view for 6 months, Whole Foods.

  • Boring for such a marquee location.

  • U-G-L-Y
    You aint got no alaby
    You ugly
    You ugly
    Yeeeeeash you ugly

  • We have to have density to acheive walkable areas. But damn thats ugly. just an opinion it will look dated and one day nobody will want to live in it or at least not pay top dollar to live in it

  • You people and your “density” and “walkable” areas… go sell that BS to Katy or Sugar Land. More cars more cars more cars. That’s what comes with more people.

  • Well stay in the suburbs, markd. We are actually talking about real city living here. which is what you’ll never get in Katy and Sugarland.

  • How long before it becomes “the projects”?

  • Dismal. Nothing about it looks like 2012. Houstonians should demand and pass ordinances that all buildings designed for Space City should look like they belong in the 21st century and not some piece of crap from 1982.

  • Anyone who has lived in Houston for a long time can tell you that todays luxury apartments are tomorrows slums. Density is a precarious issue. Too much and crime is a problem, too little and you can’t achieve a cohesive neighborhood that interacts. Houston continues to fail at striking the correct balance because developers drive the process and couldn’t care less when the project is finished and sold.

  • Missmsry, let’s do a little math here, shall we? A 431 luxury apartment complex is likely a $50 million or more project. But, just for kicks, let’s assume that HCAD values it much lower, say $33 million. Now, since it is an apartment complex, and not a single family dwelling, there is no homestead exemption, so Finger pays full freight on taxes. At $33 million, Finger will pay the City of Houston in excess of $200,000 in property taxes annually. Finger’s total tax bill will exceed $825,000.

    So, to answer your question who is paying for the extra traffic? The Finger Companies. A lot.

    Now, how much do you pay for our streets? Oh yeah, zero. You don’t even live here. I don’t quite see what complaint you have. It won’t affect you.

  • You ride your bike on West Dallas, Corey? Hmm … good to know.

  • People: These are apartments at Parisian density next to a grocery store and an office complex in the urban core. These are completely appropriate to the site.

    True enough, the architecture is very ‘safe’. But then, they’re only apartments. They offer a lifestyle for the masses, not the independently wealthy, opinion-leading, trendsetting, cultural elite…or any bohemian equivalent. If you don’t understand them, then they aren’t for you.

    This is actually a terrific irony. Elite urbanists have worked to re-shape our culture so that living in the urban core can be perceived as an aspiration unto itself. Successful, now they’re whining that the people who would’ve otherwise moved into housing on greenfield sites–and the developers that build for them–are uncouth and tasteless. Its all very Portlandic.

  • TheNiche: funny clip. Too bad it was from someone that actually filmed their TV (about the worst way to get a video :(

  • I am more disappointed that the street side won’t have any retail, nevermind the blah exterior.

  • The people that should be upset about all this are the owners of the 1990 to 2000 built innerloop apartments. Hanover and Finger are coming out at $1.88/sf on their rents. That leaves the 10 to 20 yr old buildings hoping and incentivizing for $1.50/sf, well under what they are getting now. That is 1 year out… who is looking that far.

  • re: W. Dallas; It’s an official and painted bike lane used by dozens/hundreds of cyclists daily.

  • Looks pretty good to me.

  • Re: retail, see my comment over in the Park Memorial discussion.

    If any of you have been to a European city that rebuilt after being blasted to bits in WWII (not counting the ones that created exact replicas of their historic buildings), then you’d see we don’t really have anything to complain about with this project.

    It is great that folks who can’t afford $1.80 rents will still be able to live in the urban core in a less-than-20 year old property. Anything that helps people with disposable income choose to live in the central city is pretty much a good thing. Remember the opposite was going on for decades and the results were, for the most part, not very desirable economically for Houston.

    (Oh, and spare me the “but that helped preserve our historical building stock and allowed funkiness to thrive” bit. There’s still lots of the city where that can happen, provided that you’re willing to put up with some urban annoyances.)

  • It’s a real sign of the times that a 400+ unit high density development in a mixed-use area barely warrants a couple blog posts worth of coverage. It’s become a *common* thing. I like this.

  • We “have to have density to achieve walkable areas”? What is walkable about that? More density equals more cars no doubt about it. Can’t wait to see what happens to Dunlavy & W.Alabama after 300 something units go up in place of Fiesta there. “Walkable”? The new meaning for that is trying not to become roadkill at the newly congested intersections while everyone driving is on their phone.

  • Look, I’ve lived in Montrose for 17 out of the last 20 years. I’ve had mostly dumpy, under $500 a month rentals. I live in a nicer house now–it was built sometime before 1910, a 2-story converted to a duplex in the ’80s. I live upstairs and my rent is $1 per sq foot. My point being, I’m not a “wealthy elitist” looking to keep affordable housing out of the neighborhood. My complaint about this trend of slapped-together, hideous architecture that doesn’t bother to fit in with the style of the neighborhood is this: It is poorly constructed and will eventually stagnate because folks won’t be willing to pay $1.50 per sq. ft to live in a crumpling beehive. It will have to be torn down with yet another POS. Also, I used to have a great view of downtown but over the years, single-family “town homes” in the $500K+ range have popped up (and at rapid speed) like 3-story sheet rocked anal warts. I no longer have a nice view, nor do my other long-time original-construction-dwelling neighbors. And I don’t get why someone who is single needs a huge 3-story house! I took great pleasure when the first owner tried to unload his monstrosity for $400K. Sat on the market for months and months–he ended up getting a lot less than he owed. I’d say haha, but I’m still stuck looking at it instead of the downtown skyline.

    THAT is why so many of these developers doings are discussion-worthy for Montrose residents and if you don’t live here, you can’t understand the pinch-points and should shut up and stop commenting on that of which you know nothing!

  • @LucindafromMontrose

    Your cynic-laden diatribe is most excellent. I share most of your sentiments to the letter. “3-story sheet rocked anal warts” is now etched in my brain for future recall – it is so fitting.

  • @ Lucinda: What I heard out of your comment was whiny elitist aestheticism, laced with self-interest and vindictiveness.

    A buck a foot for a full floor is fairly pricey in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps your next neighborhood should be in the East End. The East End is very good about inflicting perspective on a person, making one either more cognizant of affluence or less desirous of opulence. (It was a humanizing experience for me, but I was open to having one. Your mileage may vary.)

  • Not only is the design of this building unattractive and dated, the insanely loud construction begins at 6:45AM on holiday weeks. I have a permanent impression about the finger companies brand: lacking creativity/innovation and uncaring for the communities they operate in.