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-   -   HOUSTON | Development Thread II (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=114123)

Cory Oct 19, 2006 9:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Great_Hizzy
Is it me or does it appear that they've changed the color scheme? Seems more ivory than beige now.

Maybe it is just this rendering.

I agree with texasboy somewhat, but the people that will take the bus to the Village are a strict minority in Houston and I think traffic would still be just as bad if bus service was better and I think even the residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the Village will even continue to drive. (sorry for the run-on.) Bus service down Kirby sucks so I don't blame them. That does not mean the P.T. should stay the same especially when you have developments like this adding about 500 new residents to the block. Maybe 73 will speed up its service one day.

Houston Proud Oct 19, 2006 11:15 PM

I read on Chron.com about the new park. They mention that it also going to have a ice skating rink. Is this true?

Furthermore, did anyone hear about the $1.4 billion dollar devepolment Texas Children Hospital is planning? That info and graphic designs is also on Chron.com

Boris Oct 20, 2006 1:28 AM

Here are the designs/renderings of the new Childrens' hospitals:

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/...1019medcen.jpg


Texas Children's West Houston campus will be located at a 55-acre tract at I-10 and Barker-Cypress and start with 96 beds.

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/...pupGallery.jpg


The Neurological Research Institute will consist of research labs and a vivarium encompassing 15 floors and 400,000 square feet of space.

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/...pupGallery.jpg


The $575 million maternity center is the most expensive piece of the Texas Children's Hospital initiative.

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/...pupGallery.jpg

Here's the Houston.chron article:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4270485.html

Shasta Oct 20, 2006 3:56 AM

It looks like the shuttered hotel (Holiday Inn?...the one on top of the garage) may give way to the new Maternity Center. The skywalk would attach it to the West Tower and Clinical Care Center that already exist across Fannin.

Seems as if the Neurological Center will be on Baylor's campus?

I like the looks of the med center buildings.

Trae Oct 20, 2006 3:09 PM

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/...pupGallery.jpg

That, along with the St. Christus Catherine hospital exapansion on Fry Road, plus the new Med Center on IH-10 and 99, then the 500 foot Medical Tower near Memorial City Mall will give this area its need for hospitals.

Great_Hizzy Oct 20, 2006 4:03 PM

I really like the graphic of that last Texas Children's project. Has a bit of flare to it.

Trae Oct 20, 2006 9:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Houston Proud
I read on Chron.com about the new park. They mention that it also going to have a ice skating rink. Is this true?

Furthermore, did anyone hear about the $1.4 billion dollar devepolment Texas Children Hospital is planning? That info and graphic designs is also on Chron.com

A skating rink? Wouldn't it melt most of the year. I mean its not indoors.

Trae Oct 20, 2006 9:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shasta
The word is out about Galveston.

Drake Development of South Carolina is proposing a 38 story, 366 condo unit tower for Galveston's East Beach. Drake has a stellar reputation for getting projects up on the coast with numerous projects in Myrtle Beach. The prices for this one start at $700,000. That seems to be a reach but we'll see...

East Beach Resort and Spa
http://www.drakedevelopment.com/imag...turesphase.jpg

http://www.drakedevelopment.com/imag...tonArt/Map.jpg


So, is Phase II not going to be built, or is it depending on sales.

Great_Hizzy Oct 20, 2006 9:27 PM

Probably depends on sales.

guess Oct 21, 2006 5:52 PM

http://www.wulfe.com/images/PagePhot...rdPlace_Lg.jpg

New Video
http://www.wulfe.com/BoulevardPlace.asp

Shasta Oct 21, 2006 7:55 PM

That will be such a HUGE improvement over what currently exists. It also looks like there will be FOUR hi-rises in the complex. Also interesting to note that there will be boutique office space added. That is a sign that the local market is doing quite well. This is expecially good news considering the Uptown/Galleria office market had been rather dormant for quite awhile.

Can't wait to see it happen!

Great_Hizzy Oct 23, 2006 3:44 PM

Any news on the site across Post Oak from Blvd. Place? IIRC, the owners of the current shopping center announced a similar plan for that site as BLVD Place, but it would be smaller in scale. I haven't heard anything else about it in months, however.

Boris Oct 23, 2006 11:25 PM

Restaurants confirmed for Houston Pavillions:

____________________________

Houston Pavilions adds upscale eateries
Houston Business Journal - 4:42 PM CDT Mondayby Allison WollamHouston Business Journal

Houston Pavilions has secured six new restaurants to add to a lineup of tenants that already includes Houston's first House of Blues and Lucky Strike locations.

The nearly 800,000-square-foot entertainment complex, located in downtown and bounded by Dallas St. to the north, Polk St. to the south, Main St. to the west and Caroline St. to the east, is slated to open in October 2008.


New restaurant tenants at the Pavilions include:

Lawry's, The Prime Rib: The restaurant will feature prime rib specialties in what will be its first location in the Houston area and only its fifth location in the U.S.

Tuscany: The old world gourmet coffee shop's third Houston location is headed for the Pavilions.

Yao's Restaurant and Bar: The second Houston location for the sports-themed restaurant, owned by the family of Houston Rockets superstar Yao Ming.

Antica Osteria: One of the most popular Italian restaurants in the city, will serve northern and southern Italian delicacies that its loyal patrons have enjoyed in the restaurant's existing location on Bissonnet for years.

Red Cat Jazz Cafe: Already one of the top live music venues in Houston, Red Cat Jazz Cafe will feature soulful blues and cool jazz with its Creole and southern cuisine at its second downtown location.

McCormick & Schmick's: The Pavilions will be the second Houston location for this nationwide seafood restaurant.


http://houston.bizjournals.com/houst...ml?jst=b_ln_hl

Shasta Oct 24, 2006 2:24 AM

Interesting... When I first read the Red Cat Jazz Cafe I just assumed they would be closing their original location just a few blocks away. Will be curious to see if they can pull off two locations.

This is a good mix of local and national chains. Downtown is lacking on the national side so it is nice to see McCormick & Schmick's and Lowry's on that list. This project is going to make such a huge difference for downtown. I'm really excited about the whole deal!

Shasta Oct 24, 2006 2:50 AM

A new Downtown Tower?
 
Downtown might be getting a BIG office tower (up to 1,000,000 square feet) according to the latest Houston Biz Journal...

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houst...3/story13.html

Von Oct 24, 2006 4:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shasta
Downtown might be getting a BIG office tower (up to 1,000,000 square feet) according to the latest Houston Biz Journal...

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houst...3/story13.html

wat do u guys think about this it's not such a big report :shrug: would be nice though

Great_Hizzy Oct 24, 2006 2:26 PM

Well, I'd like to think that any firm that's aggressive with buying commercial real estate property would be planning for the possibility of building a new highrise (makes good sense) but of course the reality of bringing such a project into fruition depends on whether or not the CBD's currently estimated 14.5-15.0% vacancy rate will go down another two points.

Typically, 12.0% is a pretty healthy point to bring in a new highrise on such a level (1,000,000 square feet or more). Keep in mind that the Pavillions will add around 300,000 feet of office space once its completed.

Trae Oct 24, 2006 10:26 PM

Current downtown buildings in that square footage range include the following buildings containing between 900,000 to 1,100,000 square feet;

Center Point Energy (741 feet)
Continental Center I (732 feet)
Three Allen Center (685 feet)
ExxonMobil Tower (606 feet)
Two Houston Center (579 feet)
KBR Tower (550 feet)
Devon Energy Plaza (521 feet)

Would be a tower (or two) that would change our skyline.

Cory Oct 24, 2006 11:14 PM

I am sure I am not the only one who was confused by how the mixed use above the TMC Transit Center would work out, a very nicely designed transit stop by the way, since it is pretty much surrounded with new development. Here is a more revealing rendering of the transit oriented project on Fannin.

http://img117.imageshack.us/img117/8519/asp4.jpg

Also, across the bayou at the southwest corner of South Braeswood and Fannin is the proposed Slosburg Medical Village. 1.8 million square foot transit oriented development. It's about time somebody notices the TMC's potential outside of its campus' borders.

http://img124.imageshack.us/img124/323/afc9.jpg

http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/4593/aazo0.jpg

http://img116.imageshack.us/img116/2419/aa2ky8.jpg

http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/6687/aa3ms3.jpg

It seems like there will be a nice urban corridor from the Museum District to the TMC Transit Center. All stations are properly developed in my opinion or will be in the near future. The MFAH station could use a similar mixed use near MFAH on Binz but I would not be surprised if that will be used for expansions.

texasboy Oct 24, 2006 11:29 PM

Great updates everyone. I am amazed at all the stuff that is continuously coming to the TMC. I guess we can see the differnece between sprawl and good land use now dealing with the Barker Cypress Texas Children's and the TMC's. 55 acres? Unnecessary. Looks like that will be a nice walk from what looks to be the parking garage.

Shasta Oct 25, 2006 12:52 AM

Texas Southern University's new Public Affairs Building
http://www.satpon.com/images/tsu-publicaffairs.gif

Here's a link to a rendering for The Wesleyan. I think this is going up at Wesleyan and US 59 on the site of the old motor hotel. Anyone know for sure?
http://www.meekspartners.com/project...heboards&pos=1

Cory Oct 25, 2006 1:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shasta

Here's a link to a rendering for The Wesleyan. I think this is going up at Wesleyan and US 59 on the site of the old motor hotel. Anyone know for sure?
http://www.meekspartners.com/project...heboards&pos=1

I drove by that site yesterday and although I did not know it was going under development I do not remember seeing any type of activity as far as signs. Just a decaying Comfort Inn I believe it twas.

Derek Oct 25, 2006 2:56 AM

im just curious...but can anybody tell me the location of the williams tower in relation to downtown houston?

Cory Oct 25, 2006 3:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by derek5
im just curious...but can anybody tell me the location of the williams tower in relation to downtown houston?

About 8 miles west.

Derek Oct 25, 2006 1:58 PM

wow....thats a lot further than i thought...

Houston Proud Oct 25, 2006 11:10 PM

Shasta, what is the web site for the new Texas Southern Public Affairs building?

Great_Hizzy Oct 26, 2006 2:13 PM

Re: Williams Tower

Actually, not to nitpick, but it's closer to six miles west of downtown. But either way, it's further than most outsiders believe, sure.

And great updates Shasta and WG, especially those TMC project renderings. I've always wondered how the proposed Transit Center mixed-use development would "look" in relationship to the transit platform. Looks like an 8-10 story building with ground retail.

Cory Oct 28, 2006 5:40 AM

Anyone hear about the new Alexan apartments going up on the 2000 block of Westheimer, west of Hazard? There is a rendering on site. The current property, Westheimer Square is suppose to be demolished next month for the 244 unit building. It's a six story building. Four floors on top of two story garage.

Trae Oct 28, 2006 10:44 PM

Ricco67 at HAIF put up this photo on the new 42 story high-rise next to the Williams Tower Waterfall:

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l1...7/DSCN0355.jpg

JManc Oct 29, 2006 12:16 AM

holy crap, that will dramatically alter the area!

c4smok Oct 29, 2006 5:32 AM

can't put my finger on it but the setup so far looks like a small hotel then a 42 story condo tower =X

Shasta Oct 29, 2006 6:15 AM

I am fairly certain that is just the sales center for the Turnberry proposal. There is no way that a 42 story tower would have a wood/fiberboard base!

c4smok Oct 29, 2006 6:24 AM

Now that is some sales center lol

Shasta Oct 29, 2006 6:57 PM

Nancy Sarnoff is back at the Chronicle. She's doing her weekly real estate column on Sundays again. Yippee.

This week's had a blurb about another hi-rise proposal on Clear Lake in the town of Seabrook.

The Marriott Apollo
17 floors
8 floors containing 225 hotel rooms
9 floors of condos

Will be located on NASA Parkway.

Cory Oct 30, 2006 1:54 AM

I knew i was not crazy when i thought the Vistas at Midtown finished up pretty quickly. Seems like their second project, Piedmont in River Oaks, is just about done.

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/6840/aki9.jpg

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/3059/aaom4.jpg

Great_Hizzy Oct 30, 2006 7:51 PM

Good to see the Chronicle has a real estate beat writer again, especially with HBJ charging you to view featured stories.

And that is definitely the sales office for the proposed Turnberry condo. Shasta is 100% right.

Xeelee Oct 31, 2006 1:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Great_Hizzy
Good to see the Chronicle has a real estate beat writer again, especially with HBJ charging you to view featured stories.

And that is definitely the sales office for the proposed Turnberry condo. Shasta is 100% right.

Holy carp. I almost spillrd my coffee... :(

mikecolley Nov 1, 2006 2:58 AM

Here's an update on the destruction of the Central Ford dealarship on Westheimer. It's now completely gone!

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/old_ford1.jpg

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/old_ford2.jpg

Now you can see what a great location it is: notice the uptown skyline in the background. You can also see part of the Westcreek apartments, which will eventually be torn down as well.

Sorry if this is a re-posting, but here's an article about the development in case you missed it.


Mixed-use project flows to Westcreek
Aging Galleria-area complex to be razed to make way for potpourri of
upscale uses
Houston Business Journal - April 28, 2006
by Jennifer Dawson
Houston Business Journal

Developers are planning to tear down more than 1,000 inner Loop apartments
near the Galleria and replace them with a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use
development containing specialty retail space, a boutique hotel and residential
units in midrise and high-rise buildings.
The redevelopment is planned for 29 acres just inside the 610 Loop between
Westheimer and San Felipe where the Westcreek Apartments are located.
Westcreek is adjacent to the old six-acre Central Ford dealership site on
Westheimer, which is earmarked for a mixed-use redevelopment as well.
The parties that control the Westcreek and Central Ford sites are considering
doing a joint development, according to sources.
Officials at the controlling companies would not confirm a possible partnering
effort, saying that an announcement could be forthcoming within a few days.
The Westcreek complex, which dates back to the 1960s, is owned by a Cypress
Real Estate Advisors partnership. Redevelopment plans for the 1,229-unit
multifamily complex are described on the Web site of the Austin firm, which
made local headlines last November with its purchase of the 46-acre Hardy Yards
property north of downtown for a proposed redevelopment.
John Kiltz, a principal with Cypress Real Estate Advisors, says it's too soon to
comment on the plans for Westcreek.
"We're kind of right in the middle of trying to structure a deal with somebody,"
Kiltz says.
Those talks, say sources, are ongoing between Cypress and Fort Worth-based
Trademark Property Co., which secured a ground lease on the nearby Central
Ford site at 4410 Westheimer last August. Trademark, which also built the
Market Street retail center in The Woodlands, announced plans to redevelop the
six-acre Central Ford tract into retail, residential and possibly office space. (See
"Car dealership gives way to urban infill," Aug. 12, 2005.)
Trademark has not yet taken possession of that property due to complicated lease
arrangements, which are expected to be worked out soon.
Trademark Principal Tommy Miller says via e-mail that he does not have an
update on the Central Ford project, but might have news within a few days.
Whether the Central Ford and Westcreek projects are done jointly or separately,
a large amount of new residential and retail space seems destined for the Galleria
area.
The developers are considering adding 300,000 square feet to 400,000 square
feet of retail space at the Westcreek site, which is located between the Galleria
and Highland Village. Despite its proximity to those retail powerhouses, at least
one real estate expert believes the area can support more stores.
Retail broker Nick Hernandez of Page Realty Partners Ltd. says there are a
number of retail concepts -- such as soft goods clothing stores, couture fashion
boutiques and restaurants -- that have not yet made their way to Houston that
would be likely tenant candidates for a new project.
Hernandez, whose leasing team represents Trademark on Market Street and the
Central Ford site, says existing retailers interested in changing the look of their
stores may also consider new developments. And retailers in nearby shopping
meccas may want to switch to a new location, or open a second site in the same
general area, Hernandez says.
"They may want to come out and do a store on the street," he says. "You could
attract other retailers in the area to relocate."
Looking westward
Although the Westcreek Apartments occupy some of the most high-profile real
estate in Houston, some portions of the mammoth complex are almost 40 years
old. The 1,229-unit project was developed in two phases -- one in the 1960s, and
one the following decade.
The original section containing 814 units is called Westcreek at River Oaks. Built
in 1967, that phase is located at 2049 Westcreek Lane. The second phase,
constructed in 1971, is called Westcreek at Highland Village. Those 415 units
carry a 4444 Westheimer address.
Now considered to be one large multi-family complex, Westcreek is 93 percent
occupied, according to statistics from O'Connor & Associates. Units in the
complex rent for an average of 98 cents per square foot per month.
The Westcreek complex last changed hands in November 2005 when it was sold
by Houston-based M. Kaplan Cos. LLC. The complex was sold into a partnership
with Cypress Real Estate Advisors as the general partner and Kaplan as a limited
partner.
Richard Zigler, president of Kaplan Acquisitions, says redevelopment plans are
preliminary, but the project is envisioned to be similar to the upscale Victory Park
development in Dallas that encompasses retail shops, residences, a hotel and
entertainment venues.
Kaplan originally purchased the Westcreek complex in 2002 from the
predecessor of JP Morgan Chase for roughly $68 million. Kaplan did a
renovation of the property in 2002 and 2003.
Jeff Hollinden, managing director of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which
represented JP Morgan in the 2002 sales transaction, says the property is prime
for redevelopment.
"It's a great chunk of land," he says. "It's always had the potential to be
converted."
jdawson@bizjournals.com • 713-960-5935

mikecolley Nov 1, 2006 3:03 AM

The new condos on Briarglen on nearly complete. Too bad they're tucked away on a street that most Houstonians have never heard of.

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/briarglen.jpg

Cory Nov 1, 2006 3:20 AM

The Briarglen actually turned out pretty nice. We need more infill like that in some older areas of Houston and not so hidden.

Here is an update on the two twin tower condo projects going up in the area. Palisade Plams and Mosaic.

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/4598/ati2.jpg

http://img285.imageshack.us/img285/5536/aabu9.jpg

Anyone know if the plan for four towers to be built at the Palisade Palms was scrapped.

messerproperties Nov 2, 2006 6:47 PM

I know this is a little old, and it might be posted on here, but has anyone heard of any new high-rise development proposals for that piece of land in Clear Lake that Hakeem "THE DREAM" Olajuwon purchased. Man, I bet that strip of Nasa RD 1 will soon be full of high-rise residential. If Endeavor is successful, then you know this will happen sooner than later.:tup:

Here's the article....

Former Rocket acquires historic site along Clear Lake
Olajuwon scores again

By NANCY SARNOFF
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Former basketball star Hakeem Olajuwon has purchased the historic West mansion along Clear Lake, a Mediterranean-style estate on 41 acres of prime property.

Built in 1929 and designed by prominent architect Joseph Finger, the home at 3303 E. NASA Parkway was built for the family of oil, lumber and cattle baron James Marion West. His son, Jim West Jr., was a colorful millionaire known as "Silver Dollar Jim" because of his penchant for showering silver dollars on those around him.

Olajuwon, who bought the property for an undisclosed price, is planning to sell it to developers, who could build high-rise residential buildings, retail centers or medical facilities there.

"It's a typical Hakeem move of buying the primo site," said David Cook, a real estate broker with Cushman & Wakefield who represented Olajuwon in the purchase and is now marketing the property for sale. Olajuwon bought the property from the Pappas family of Houston, which owns restaurant chains.

Although he no longer lives in Houston, Olajuwon has become an active real estate investor in the city.

Over the years, the retired Houston Rockets center has purchased many high-profile sites, including the southwest corner of Kirby Drive and the Southwest Freeway, the city's former Federal Reserve Bank building, the old World Trade Center building near Minute Maid Park and a historic downtown bank building, which he turned into a mosque. He's made millions on the sale of many of these properties.

Olajuwon, who now lives in Jordan, could not be reached for comment. It is expected that the property will be divided and sold in parcels, similar to what he did with land he acquired at Kirby and the Southwest Freeway, according to Cook. What was once the Westheimer Transfer & Storage facility is now a CVS and Chick-fil-A.

A 35,000-acre spread
Surrounded by mature trees and Spanish moss, the West estate was part of 35,000 acres that the family patriarch assembled in the 1920s, according to the Houston Architectural Guide. A portion of that property is now the Johnson Space Center.

Located in Pasadena, the entire property is appraised at just over $3 million, according to the Harris County Appraisal District, but its market value is much higher.

Property along the water in this rapidly growing area is selling for an average of between $25 and $30 per square foot, according to the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership.

Developers have been grabbing land around the lake for high-rise residential, hotel and other real estate projects.

"There's a bunch of people that would love to have that mansion," said Barbara Cutsinger, marketing manager for the Bay Area group. "It's one of the most beautiful settings."

Immediately adjacent to the estate, a developer is selling upscale townhomes for between $300,000 and $500,000.

The company says on its Web site that the project's "Italianate-styled architecture" was inspired by its neighbor, the West mansion.

The house has been vacant for many years and is in need of serious renovations.

Legend has it that the family moved to River Oaks after Jim West Sr. died, stipulating in his will that the home on Clear Lake would never be used as a residence again. It stayed vacant for decades and was often the target of vandals.

It later became the Lunar Planetary Science Institute, and some of its interior architectural charm was replaced by commercial embellishments like acoustical tile ceilings.

What's next?
Now that it has a new owner, the property's future is unclear.

Its designation as a recorded Texas Historic Landmark and its placement on the National Register don't preclude it from being demolished, according to the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. It does, however, allow for substantial tax benefits if someone wanted to restore it.

"The West mansion is the most significant and visible historic landmark in that part of Harris County," said Ramona Davis, executive director of the alliance. "We're encouraged that the West mansion is now owned by someone who has the resources to restore this beautiful house to its former grandeur."

citykid09 Nov 4, 2006 8:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikecolley
The new condos on Briarglen on nearly complete. Too bad they're tucked away on a street that most Houstonians have never heard of.

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/briarglen.jpg

What part of the city is this in?

Xeelee Nov 5, 2006 6:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by citykid09
What part of the city is this in?

it's on woodway or memorial drive i think. my new job is near there.

Shasta Nov 5, 2006 6:24 AM

The Briarglen is located on Briarglen Drive. It's just South of San Felipe between San Felipe and Westheimer. It's Inside the Loop but West of the railroad tracks.

Xeelee Nov 5, 2006 6:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shasta
The Briarglen is located on Briarglen Drive. It's just South of San Felipe between San Felipe and Westheimer. It's Inside the Loop but West of the railroad tracks.

there you go. :)

Xeelee Nov 5, 2006 6:58 AM

Sorry but im usually on my third beer by that time... i keep a cold six pack in the trunk of my car. :)

Cory Nov 6, 2006 7:20 PM

Boutiques to give downtown retail a new charge
Houston Business Journal - November 3, 2006by Allison WollamHouston Business Journal

The Central Business District is in line to get an influx of trendy retail boutiques, thanks in part to a nearly two-year-old grant program that has kicked into high gear.

Local retailers AA Concepts and The Tipping Point have landed grants from the Houston Downtown Management District, making them only the third and fourth projects to receive the monetary incentives since the program was started in early 2005. Meanwhile, Austin-based Factory People is also in the early stages of a planned expansion into Houston's CBD.

Lifestyle retailer AA Concepts has secured a $175,000 grant from the management district to open a store in the firmer Sakowitz Building, and sneaker boutique The Tipping Point received a $50,000 award for a store in the old Humble Building.

The Houston Downtown Management District, funded through taxes imposed on property owners in the district, approved $1 million in 2005 to start the grant program aimed at bringing "soft goods" retailers to downtown.

Soft goods include everything from books and music to clothing and art. Restaurants and bars are not eligible for the grants.

Los Angeles-based clothier American Apparel Inc., a cutting-edge company that caters to socially conscious buyers, was the first retailer to take advantage of the program when it landed a $150,000 grant in early 2005. The company plans to open a store in the Sakowitz Building once a certain portion of the building is leased to other retailers.

Since then, the only other grant recipient has been the planned 800,000-square-foot Houston Pavilions entertainment complex, which received a $600,000 grant for retail and $400,000 to create a streetscape along Dallas Street.

Whereas the Pavilions has already landed some big-name tenants such as House of Blues and Lucky Strike bowling alley, these two newest grants are expected to help ramp up the fledgling retail scene for boutique stores in the downtown area.

Kathy Williams, retail development specialist for the Downtown Development District, says AA Concepts -- which currently operates three stores in Houston named Wish, Fabrik and Method -- will receive its grant once the proposed 5,785-square-foot store is built out in the historic Sakowitz Building.

AA Concepts tailors its store designs and merchandise to suit the specific demographic in which the store is located. In the case of the Sakowitz Building, the retailer is planning to debut a new concept, Habita, which is described as a lifestyle store that will sell home furnishings, accessories and apparel.

AA Concepts is in the process of finalizing its lease, and Williams says an opening date has not yet been determined.

Meanwhile, Williams says, upscale sneaker boutique The Tipping Point will receive its grant when the Houston-based retailer completes construction of its store in the old Humble Building at the corner of Main Street and Polk.

The Tipping Point is a start-up company which Williams says will debut its concept with a 1,100-square-foot store by early next year.

The retailer will offer one-of-a-kind and collectible sneakers as well as apparel and branded footwear.

Meanwhile, a funky Austin-based retailer is also planning to expand to Houston with a new location in the Sakowitz Building.

Factory People caters to customers in search of hard-to-find cult clothing designers such as Evil Genius, Fred Perry, Kid Robot and Yoko Deveraux.

Although a lease has not yet been signed, Factory People Owner Thomas Popov says he hopes to open a Houston location by the second or third quarter of 2007.

He says the Houston store will be similar to the original contemporary showroom in Austin, but it will also "have more of a Houston flavor."

Williams says interest from retailers has been pretty steady since the announcement of the Houston Pavilions complex, which will be bounded by Dallas, Polk, Main and Caroline streets.

In addition to House of Blues and Lucky Strike, high-profile restaurants such as Red Cat Jazz Cafe, McCormick & Schmick's and Lawry's The Prime Rib have also signed on to anchor the development.

"The knowledge that we have the arrival of The Pavilions coming has spurred a lot of interest in the downtown area," Williams says. "The infusion of retail that The Pavilions will bring to downtown is causing a a spur of activity."

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2006/11/06/story7.html?b=1162789200^1370677

Shasta Nov 6, 2006 7:30 PM

That is great news about the retail coming to downtown. Those are the types of stores needed; destination places.

Back when I thought I might be moving back to Houston, I wanted to open a branch of our furniture biz in downtown or midtown.

Von Nov 6, 2006 11:43 PM

Nice pics! woots woots for Houston, now on a totally different subject!... I see alot of trump towers everywhere except for Houston, why's that?? :(

Houston Proud Nov 6, 2006 11:54 PM

I thought Houston Pavilions was going to break ground today? What happened?


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