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Ashby Highrise lawsuit gets underway

Better settle in and get comfy, we’re going to be here awhile.

Sue me!

The trial that began Tuesday over the Ashby high-rise planned for a neighborhood near Rice University is poised to be a battle of experts.

A Harris County jury will hear arguments for the next four weeks in State District Judge Randy Wilson’s court from attorneys representing the residents of the affluent neighborhood and those of developers of the 21-story high-rise at 1717 Bissonnet.


Jean Frizzell, who represents the residents, said he will question one of the developers, Matthew Morgan, and call several expert witnesses, including traffic and foundation experts, architects and a horticulturist, as well as a real estate expert, to discuss property values. Of the residents in the suit, 27 will testify.

Fred Cook, who represents the developers, will also question the Buckhead developers. The defense will also present testimony from the project’s traffic engineer, who prepared a traffic impact analysis approved by the city, along with a traffic expert, engineers, architects and an appraiser.

The defense will also present testimony from a law professor who specializes in property rights to discuss land development over time in Houston, and will bring five residents from the neighborhood to the stand who are in favor of the project, Cook said.

Four weeks? Good Lord, capital murder trials don’t usually take that long. (And crazily enough, it could have gone longer.) I obviously don’t know what the plaintiffs have in store, but it’s a little hard for me to see the marginal value of the 27th resident’s testimony. This will either be one of the more entertaining legal events in recent years or it will be a colossal snoozefest. Prime Property has more.

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