June 01, 2006
Old neighborhood, new retail

I just spotted this story about some new retail development in Montrose. It's exactly two blocks away from where I lived for nearly four years back in the 90s, so I'm interested in it.

To take advantage of the growth of high-density residential and office in the near southwest submarket, Wellington Development Co. has acquired one acre inside the loop for close to $1 million. Wellington's plans for the plot are to develop about 25,000 sf of retail, with an estimated project value topping out at $3.5 million.

The development tract, assembled in several direct deals with local owners, takes up the corner of Montrose Boulevard and West Dallas Street. "There are very few corners inside the loop that are currently available for development, particularly when you get between River Oaks and Downtown," says Chris Hotze, partner in Wellington Development. He tells GlobeSt.com that Wellington is examining more land acquisitions in the area "if it's available. We've had discussions with the next-door neighbor of what we just bought."

Anyone know if this dude is from the same family as Steven and Bruce Hotze? Because that would suck.

Hotze says the hope is to be moving dirt by first quarter 2007. "This is a strong site for a retail spot," he says. "The 1.9-million-sf American General Headquarters is right there plus a significant number of new projects, lofts and high-rise condos."

It's also a stone's throw from the not-yet-started new housing at the old Ed Sacks Waste Paper site. There's a crapload of new condos and townhouses nearby, mostly (gag) from Perry Homes. I drove by the site this evening, so I can verify that it will be on the southeast corner of Montrose and Dallas - southwest is a very busy Chevron station, northwest is American General property, and northeast is that old warehouse plus some new housing units.

This area could certainly use some more retail space. I'll be interested to see what they get there. The one concern I'd have about this is that navigating Dallas at this intersection is annoying and a bit dangerous, since there is not a protected left turn signal from Dallas onto Montrose. The city is going to have to do something about that sooner or later; before this new traffic magnet comes online would be nice. Making the whole area more pedestrian-friendly, given the sizeable population that'll be within a few blocks of the intersection, would also be a good idea. I hope the developer will do a little asking around to see what the locals might like before doing like CVS and assuming that a suburban-parking-lot approach is the only way to go.

Link via Houstonist.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 01, 2006 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack