The Numbers on Commerce Towers

How has that condo conversion of the former Commerce Building at the corner of Main St. and Walker Downtown been working out?

The building has 122 finished units and a two-story-tall penthouse that has not been built out yet.

A total of 69 units have been sold, and another 25 have been leased. [Commerce Towers sales and leasing agent Susan] Speck said some of the renters are interested in buying.

Prominent Houstonian Jesse Jones built the first part of the structure in 1928, and added onto it in the 1930s, Speck said.

An entity named Premier Towers bought the building in 1999. It was redeveloped by New York-based Whitney Jordan Group with Tarantino Properties Inc. of Houston.

The first condo units were finished and people starting moving in during 2002.

Photo of Commerce Towers, 914 Main St.: Sandra Gunn Properties

7 Comment

  • Wait, wait, wait. First occupancy took place in 2002 and 8 years later it’s still not built out or fully occupied?

  • No use building out a condo unit when it can be left unfinished for a potential tenant. Some were finished so the building owner could get renters in for the interim.

  • I had an apartment in a converted Stanley Tools factory building that was like. A few other tenants and I rented the first 20-odd lofts. When we rented them, most of the rest of the floor was still a single cavernous space. The owners gradually built out additional lofts. I think the rationale was that they could get some cash flow while still working on other parts of the building.

  • I really liked the units I saw in this building but I think they were simply priced too high for downtown. The $$$ they were asking didn’t mesh with the typical scene out front on Main Street. That said, the place did seem popular with Med Center types who could just hop on the rail and be at work in a jiffy.

  • Owners that bought new are selling at considerable losses today.

  • High end units with home depot finishes. It really is a shame, they could be great but way over priced and under finished.

  • Commerce Towers wasn’t the first hirise condominium that was overvalued in this city and won’t be the last – they are easily marketed as “exclusive, luxurious, elegant” and all the adjectives used to make buyers feel special. In reality, they’re mostly tract homes in the sky. They just have bigger price tags. Although personally I’ve always had a problem with the adjectives with regard to lofts as opposed to “pied-a-terres.” Of course in the case of the Lay’s “pied-a-terre” it looks like a tract home and may become the biggest and most expensive loft in town after the buyer tears out all the walls to start over and realizes they don’t have enough money to put it back together. As for lofts, well, if you like the warehouse look, go for it. Just don’t expect to get your money back.