April 23, 2007
Another bohemian hippie attorney update

Just because I never get tired of this picture:

Nancy Sarnoff has another update on my current favorite real estate project (see here for the previous installment).

The developers of a controversial mixed-use project in Rice Village kicked off an aggressive sales program last week with two swanky cocktail parties for prospective buyers interested in living above boutiques and restaurants in a Mediterranean style building.

The proposed development, called Sonoma, will have 225 high-end condos and 125,000 square feet of retail and office space on both sides of Bolsover Street between Morningside and Kelvin.


Developer Randall Davis Co. and owner Lamesa Properties say they're putting more parking in the development than what the city requires. And the seven-story, mixed-use project, they explain, will meet a demand from professionals and empty nesters who live in Southampton and West University and want to downsize without leaving the neighborhood.

The units will average 1,700 square feet and prices are estimated to be in the low- to mid-$500,000s. They'll be modeled after upscale homes in the area with arched entries, built-in bookshelves, 10-foot ceilings and complete Viking kitchens with plate racks, pot filler faucets and pine and marble islands.

The roof will have a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, fire pit and fireplace, two hot tubs and a koi pond surrounded by River Birch trees.

Bolsover will be transformed into a European plaza with a central water feature and Italian cypress palm trees, said Randall Davis.

"It's not something I've done before. I've gone through great lengths to study the Mediterranean feel and bring it to the condominiums," he said.

Once again, I have to applaud these guys for their marketing acumen. Between the sign and the street-closure controversy, they've gotten a ton of free media.

Even though the deal's not entirely sewn up, the developers are pushing ahead.

"A deal is never done until it's done, but the potential buyers will understand we feel very positive about the process we're going through," said Julie Tysor, owner of Lamesa Properties, adding that construction could begin in September.

By which point the Kirby storm sewer project will be its neighbor to the west. Oh, happy days indeed.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 23, 2007 to Elsewhere in Houston