The Tortilla Factory Is Now Replacing the Actual Tortilla Factory at 15th St. and Shepherd

Now that the former Espiga de Oro tortilla manufacturing facility on Shepherd Dr. between 14th and 15th streets has been torn down, work has begun on the new 337-unit apartment building — dubbed The Tortilla Factory — that’s taking its place. The photo at top looks north up Shepherd to show a crane and some construction vehicles at work beyond fencing emblazoned with the mark of the project’s developer, Alliance Residential. It bought the 2-acre site from the folks behind the tortilla operation late last year, following an undercover ICE operation that revealed about half of the factory’s employees between 2011 and 2015 were undocumented immigrants. After entering a guilty plea, Espiga de Oro agreed to pay the feds $1 million for “conspiracy to induce and encourage unlawful immigration.”

The new Tortilla Factory will stretch almost the entire length of the block between 14th and 15th:


A representative for Alliance told the HBJ’s Fauzeya Rahman last year that it’d feature “Spanish and Mediterranean architecture elements.”

The project’s architect, EDI International, is now showing renderings that depict some sort of outdoor theater situated in the complex’s inner courtyard:

Photo: Swamplot inbox. Renderings: EDI International

Where Espiga de Oro Left Off

16 Comment

  • Has the developer or city made plans to widen 14th and/or 15th street to handle the increased traffic that 400+ new residents will bring? 14th is the closest traffic light and traffic backs up during peak times of day.

  • Going to add a ton of traffic to the area.

    City/state needs to rebuild shepard ASAP.

  • Stop the Bixby high rise! It will cause traffic problems! Flooding problems! Sue the city! Stop this encroachment on our peace and quite.

    Wait Wait a minute, you mean this is on Shepherd and 14th, ….in Shady Acres, not even the Heights…um well… never mind.

    Does anyone really think the developers give a rat’s a$$ about the impact on our neighborhood? On traffic? That’s laughable. If it does not hit the bottom line, who cares what the traffic will be like. And CoH does not care so long as property tax valuation go up and they can collect more money improve the streets in the rich parts of town (Galeria, Memorial, Upper Kirby, etc…)

    Oh how I long for the good ol’ days of tortilla factories full of illegal aliens, mystery meat taco stands, EZ-Credit car lots, pawn shops, and the Valero mart with ice cold 40’s and roller dogs….

    Keep the shady in Shady Acres ya’ll.

  • Far to tall to back into a neighborhood. 14th and 15th cannot be widened. Any expansion would push street up against houses. Isn’t there any other places to build in Houston?

  • Yale st is already clogged. Let’s do the same for Shepherd as well !

  • That’s a silly name for a residential complex. Surely they could find something that tells the history of the space that isn’t so….literal.

  • I doubt any street upgrades will happen so those new residents will enjoy fuming in the gridlock while paying top dollar for their rent. Maybe those folks can walk to where they need to go?

  • Maybe another metro rail going westnorthwest would go perfect with this?

  • @Elizabeth,
    The Heights has a very efficient grid system of streets, and cars will naturally re-route around choke points. An apartment building of this size should generate about 150 trips during the peak PM hour. That’s about 2-3 cars per minute, of which a pretty small proportion will use 14th. Widening 14th is likely to induce MORE traffic to use 14th, and probably make the situation worse overall.
    Since it’s never a question of whether homes get built, but where, infill residential development tends to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT). But yes, a rebuild of Shepherd to make things safer and more pleasant for pedestrians would be great.

  • Angostura, have you actually been to this stretch of Shepherd recently? On the side streets, there is no room for the parking associated with all the new townhomes, let alone a multistory apartment complex. The streets are barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass. Heights Beer Garden is across the street and that parking is terrible already.

    Its too late to add rail here….that would take years and all the cheap property is now gone or overpriced. (It was there not too long ago)

    Lets just hope this area does not go the way of the Richmond Strip.

  • Odd, there used to be a rail going nearby years ago, when even fewer people lived in the area. People ride bikes on those RoW now.

  • Why is Durham having more trouble getting development than Shepherd?

  • There isn’t a plan to widen Shepherd/Durham. There is a plan to reduce lanes for cars from 4 to 3. Turning one of the lanes into a bike lane on both streets.

  • @qqq,
    If streets can’t safely accommodate parked cars, then parking shouldn’t be allowed on them. I have no problem with making parking more difficult and expensive, especially for bar patrons, as it may result in fewer people wanting to do it.
    Besides, if we put a bunch of Heights Bier Garden regulars right across the street, mightn’t that REDUCE demand for parking? (Assuming we make it safe for pedestrians to cross the street.)

  • What’s the implication of Richmond ave???

  • How tacky…my grandmother’s property was on this and the developers are the slimiest. They lied and negotiated under the guise of Espiga de Oro was expanding…yeah, expanding into an ugly apartment complex. What an eyesore on what this neighborhood used to be.